(Reuters) – Austria is placing millions of people not fully vaccinated against the coronavirus in lockdown as of Monday to deal with a surge in infections to record levels and the growing strain on intensive-care units, the government said.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals for a case tracker and summary of news
* Greece has seen revenue from its key tourist industry in the eight months to August reach half of 2019 levels, its tourism minister said, in line with the government’s projection earlier in the year.
* The British government is expected to extend its COVID-19 booster programme to people under the age of 50 to drive down transmission rates as winter approaches, the Times reported.
* Three German state health ministers urged parties negotiating to form a new government to prolong states’ power to implement stricter pandemic measures such as lockdowns or school closures.
* German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged unvaccinated people to reconsider their decision, as the country’s seven-day coronavirus incidence rate rose to the highest level since the pandemic began.
* The United States administered over 9.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the past seven days, the highest weekly total since late May, a White House official said.
* Florida lawmakers will meet in a special legislative session Monday, called by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis with the goal of thwarting coronavirus vaccine mandates.
* China is battling its biggest COVID-19 outbreak caused by the Delta variant, with some areas restricting entry by people from a northeastern city where infections have grown faster than elsewhere in the country in the past week.
* Australia, quickly becoming one of most-vaccinated nations against COVID-19, will likely start administering the shots for children under the age of 12 in January, officials said on Sunday.
* Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida outlined an urgent plan to increase hospital beds and medical resources in preparation for a possible resurgence of COVID-19 infections this winter.
* China had given 1.074 billion people complete COVID-19 vaccine doses by Nov. 12, the National Health Commission said in a bulletin on Saturday.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Israel said children aged five to 11 would be eligible for vaccination against COVID-19, and that a starting date for the campaign would be made public within days.
* Morocco will conduct rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers arriving in its airports and ports, and will deny access to any visitor with a positive result, the government said.
* Europe’s drug regulator has recommended two COVID-19 antibody therapies, one from American-Swiss partners Regeneron-Roche and another from South Korea’s Celltrion, to build up the region’s defence as infections increase.
* China’s industrial output and retail sales grew more quickly than expected in October, despite fresh curbs to control COVID-19 outbreaks and supply shortages, but the slowing property sector weighed on the economic outlook.
* Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda expects consumer inflation to accelerate to around 1% in the first half of next year as the economy recovers to pre-coronavirus levels, voicing hope for a consumption-driven recovery.
* Thailand’s economy contracted less than expected in the third quarter as businesses started a slow recovery from the coronavirus-driven slump in activity, while the reopening of the tourism sector raised hopes of a steady revival.
(Compiled by Sherry Jacob-Phillips; Edited by Shounak Dasgupta)