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Factbox-Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus - Metro US

Factbox-Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

A woman reads as she waits to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at London Bridge vaccination centre, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London

(Reuters) -Britain started vaccinating its population with the COVID-19 shot developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, while France sought to accelerate inoculations on Monday after an initial roll-out slowed by bureaucracy.

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.

EUROPE

* Britain began vaccinating its population with the COVID-19 shot developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, touting a scientific “triumph” that puts it at the vanguard of the West in inoculating against the virus.

* The German health ministry is seeking advice on whether to delay administering a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from BioNTech and Pfizer to make scarce supplies go further, according to a document seen by Reuters.

* France sought to accelerate COVID-19 inoculations after an initial roll-out slowed by bureaucracy and government wariness in one of the world’s most vaccine-sceptical countries.

AMERICAS

* The U.S. government is considering giving people half the dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to speed up vaccinations.

* Medical companies and shippers in Canada are racing to transport time-sensitive radiochemical materials used to treat cancer, as a pandemic-induced drop in passenger flights has narrowed transportation options and created cargo delays.

* Colombia’s capital Bogota will implement strict two-week quarantines in three neighbourhoods beginning on Tuesday to try to control a second wave of coronavirus.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Japan said it would consider declaring a state of emergency for the Greater Tokyo metropolitan area as cases climb, casting news doubts over whether it can push ahead with the Olympics and minimise economic damage.

* South Korea is reviewing AstraZeneca’s request for approval of its coronavirus vaccine, as it expands a ban on private gatherings of more than four people to the whole country with daily cases topping more than 1,000 in four days.

* Hong Kong extended its suspension of face-to-face school classes until mid-February, with the spread of the coronavirus in the Asian financial hub remaining “critical”.

* Vietnam has agreed to buy 30 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by AstraZeneca, the government said, adding that authorities are also seeking to purchase vaccines from other sources, including Pfizer.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* South Africa aims to get COVID-19 vaccines by next month but is still in talks with pharmaceutical companies and no deals have been signed yet.

* Jordan has struck a deal with Pfizer and partner BioNTech to buy 1 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine and another 2 million doses from the World Health Organization’s s COVAX programme.

* Saudi Arabia said that entry to the kingdom by sea, land and air will be resumed after a ban that lasted two weeks amid fears of a new coronavirus variant, the state news agency reported on Sunday.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Scientists are not fully confident that COVID-19 vaccines will work on a new variant of the coronavirus found in South Africa, ITV’s political editor said, citing an unidentified scientific adviser to the British government.

* Mexican authorities said they are studying the case of a 32-year-old female doctor who was hospitalized after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* World stock markets hit record highs on Monday, the first trading day of the new year, as investors hoped the rollout of vaccines would ultimately lift a global economy decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic. [MKTS/GLOB]

* Asian factory activity expanded moderately in December thanks to robust demand in regional giant China, business surveys showed on Monday.

* Singapore marked its worst-ever recession in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although contraction moderated in the fourth quarter as the city-state lifted more curbs.

(Compiled by Linda Pasquini and Ramakrishnan M.; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Ed Osmond)

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