(Reuters) – Certain U.S. states began easing COVID-19 curbs as severe infections began to slow in many parts of the country, while an unabating surge in cases in Europe led to a tightening of restrictions.
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.
* The European Union and AstraZeneca failed to make a breakthrough over delayed COVID-19 vaccine deliveries.
* Hospitals in Lisbon flooded with COVID-19 patients are at risk of failing to meet soaring demand for oxygen, as Germany sent military medics to the country to evaluate how they can help.
* The Czech Republic’s coronavirus vaccination drive was in chaos after the Health Ministry called for a two-week halt to new vaccinations amid a supply shortage.
* France reported its biggest one-day jump in COVID-19 cases since mid-November.
* Delays to COVID-19 vaccine shipments have forced authorities in Madrid to halt inoculations and are threatening supplies in Catalonia.
* Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin abolished some COVID-19 restrictions, allowing bars, restaurants and nightclubs to open overnight.
* New Zealand’s health authorities conducted further tests and began contact tracing efforts after two more cases of the South African variant were confirmed in Auckland.
* The city of Beijing tightened curbs on inbound travellers ahead of the peak Lunar New Year travel season kicking off on Thursday.
* Japan’s vaccination roll-out faces logistical hurdles that could further delay the slow-moving campaign, complicating plans to deliver wide-scale coronavirus inoculations in time for the Olympics.
* Over one million people in the Americas have now died from complications from COVID-19, the head of the Pan American Health Organization said.
* Chile’s health regulator approved the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use among its population by a unanimous vote of its advisory board.
* Mexico’s Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said emergency use of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine should be authorized within days.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* South Africa expects the flight carrying its first 1 million coronavirus vaccine doses to arrive on Feb. 1.
* Morocco will start rolling out its mass coronavirus vaccination programme on Thursday, the first African country to do so.
* President John Magufuli said Tanzania did not need a coronavirus lockdown because God would protect his people and homespun precautions were better than dangerous foreign vaccines.
* The University of Oxford expects efficacy data from a study of its COVID-19 vaccine against the British variant of the novel coronavirus by next week.
* Laboratory testing found that Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc’s COVID-19 antibody cocktail can combat the South Africa variant, but a similar drug from Eli Lilly and Co is inactive against it.
* Stocks fell around the world as investors turned more cautious over stretched valuations and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. [MKTS/GLOB]
* The Federal Reserve left its key overnight interest rate near zero and made no change to its monthly bond purchases, pledging again to keep those economic pillars in place until there is a full rebound from the pandemic-triggered recession.
(Compiled by Aditya Soni, Bartosz Dabrowski and Jagoda Darlak; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)