(Reuters) – Pfizer filed for U.S. authorization of its experimental antiviral COVID-19 pill, while a report said the Biden administration is expected to announce this week the purchase of 10 million courses of the drug.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news
* Germany should demand proof of vaccination or recent recovery from COVID-19 for all indoor leisure activities, and require vaccinated people to also present a negative test for risky environments, a regional leader said.
* Ireland will from Thursday require bars and nightclubs to close early while ramping up the use of booster vaccines.
* The Dutch government’s plan to scrap the “corona pass” for the unvaccinated faced strong opposition in parliament, including from within the ruling coalition.
* Slovakia’s hospitals are in a critical situation dealing with a surge in infections and the government will approve measures on Thursday to limit access to services for unvaccinated people.
* Booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines are likely to be administered to the entire population of the European Union with annual shots likely required to retain immunity, Irish prime minister Micheal Martin said.
* The U.S. CDC advised against travel to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Iceland because of a rising number of cases.
* Top U.S. infectious disease official Dr. Anthony Fauci said it is possible for COVID-19 to be reduced to an endemic illness from the current major health crisis next year if the country ramps up vaccination rates.
* New York City’s Times Square will once again fill with revellers ringing in the new year on Dec. 31, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced, but only if they are fully vaccinated.
* Myanmar will reopen its land borders with China and Thailand from next month due to improvements in its vaccination rate, its information ministry said.
* China reported 22 new confirmed cases for Nov. 15 compared with 52 a day earlier, its health authority said.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Britain advised against all but essential travel to Lebanon due to ongoing instability, a fresh blow to the country in the middle of a financial and economic meltdown.
* Pfizer said it will allow generic manufacturers to supply its experimental antiviral COVID-19 pill to 95 low- and middle-income countries through a licensing agreement with international public health group Medicines Patent Pool (MPP).
* Global equities jumped higher on the back of optimism about consumer resilience in the face of rising inflation, which also helped drive the dollar to a 16-month high.[MKTS/GLOB]
* U.S. retail sales surged in October as Americans eagerly started their holiday shopping early to avoid empty shelves amid shortages of some goods because of the ongoing pandemic.
* Brazilian economic activity contracted in the third quarter, a central bank indicator showed, signalling a possible recession for Latin America’s largest economy.
(Compiled by Devika Syamnath and Federico Maccioni; Edited by Angus MacSwan and Sriraj Kalluvila)