(Reuters) – India could resume deliveries of COVID-19 shots to global vaccine-sharing platform COVAX in a few weeks for the first time since April, while Pfizer Inc sought approval from Japan to use COVID-19 vaccines on children aged 5 to 11.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* French President Emmanuel Macron said now was not the time to push ahead with pension reform, a key plank of his 2017 election platform, as a fifth wave of COVID-19 infections took hold in Europe.
* Health workers in England will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by April 1, Health Minister Sajid Javid said.
* France registered 12,476 new confirmed COVID-19 infections, the highest since Sept. 8, health ministry data showed.
* The Biden Administration’s employer COVID-19 vaccine rule should remain blocked because U.S. employers should not have to scramble to implement an illegal rule, opponents told a federal appeals court on Tuesday.
* The U.S. government will buy another $1 billion worth of the COVID-19 pill made by Merck & Co Inc and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, the companies said.
* Brazil has had 10,948 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours, and 183 deaths from COVID-19, the health ministry said on Tuesday. The South American country has now registered 21,897,025 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 609,756.
* Shops and malls in New Zealand’s biggest city Auckland flung their doors open for the first time in three months on Wednesday as the city, which is at the epicentre of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, gradually reopened.
* China’s southwestern city of Chengdu conducted 30,000 COVID-19 tests on visitors at a mega entertainment centre, and rounded-up those who tried to flee the site, in the second mass screening at a large venue in days. All COVID-19 tests returned negative results, reported the official China Central Television (CCTV) on Tuesday.
* Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will outline plans on Wednesday to revive a pandemic-hit economy after his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won a strong majority in last month’s election.
* Pfizer Inc and BioNTech on Tuesday requested the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize booster doses of their COVID-19 vaccine in all adults, presenting recent data showing the shot would help prevent disease across ages.
* A Bangladeshi drugmaker will soon begin selling the world’s first generic version of Merck’s COVID-19 pill, molnupiravir, which has been touted as a potential game-changer in the fight against the pandemic.
* Asian stock markets were becalmed on Wednesday as surges in oil and Chinese factory prices added to worries that a hot U.S. inflation reading could renew pressure on policymakers to lift interest rates. [MKTS/GLOB]
* Southeast Asia’s internet economy is forecast to reach $1 trillion by 2030, as tens of millions more people take up online shopping and embrace food delivery, an industry report said.
* The Shanghai Marathon has been postponed indefinitely, said the organisers of the run in a post on their website on Tuesday, amid rising COVID-19 cases in China.
(Compiled by Rashmi Aich and Vinay Dwivedi; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Subhranshu Sahu)