(Reuters) – Although rates of severe COVID-19 cases have fallen across the Americas, the World Health Organization is concerned about spikes in countries that had managed outbreaks effectively, its regional director Carissa Etienne said on Wednesday.
These include Cuba and Jamaica, and 11 Caribbean states that have moved from moderate to intense transmission, Etienne said.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* Eikon users, see MacroVitals cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.
* The White House chief of staff said he was not optimistic that a comprehensive deal could be reached on further COVID-19 financial aid and that the Trump administration backed a more piecemeal approach.
* Millions in Latin America’s middle classes are being dragged back into poverty as COVID-19 exposes the fragility of welfare nets and governments’ lack of financial firepower.
* Mexico should implement larger near-term fiscal support, the IMF said on Tuesday, recommending the government expand its welfare net and unemployment benefits as cases neared 795,000.
* Brazil on Tuesday registered 41,906 new cases, the highest daily count since Sept. 11.
* Spain will use emergency EU funds for an ambitious overhaul of its economy that will ramp up public investment next year and should create hundreds of thousands of new jobs by 2023, the prime minister said.
* Britain’s testing system faced more disruption after Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche said problems at a new warehouse had delayed the dispatch of some products.
* New cases in the Netherlands reached a record high of nearly 5,000 in 24 hours, while a surge in the past month has catapulted the country’s infection rate into the top 10 in the world.
* Italy has registered 3,678 new infections, marking the first time since April it has exceeded 3,000 cases in a single day.
* An Indonesian seaman who bust out of a South Korean quarantine facility by digging a hole under a wall a day before he was due to complete a mandatory two-week isolation has been caught by police, local media reported.
* Japan will scale back a requirement for two weeks of self-quarantine for some business travellers as it moves to revitalize the economy, the Nikkei said.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Official data has put Syria’s death toll at 209, but a busy Damascus cemetery points to higher numbers, with burial notices posted almost daily throughout the summer.
* South Africa’s biggest trade union group led nationwide protests against job losses, wage curbs and corruption in an outpouring of anger at how workers have been treated during the pandemic.
* AstraZeneca expects an update on its stalled U.S. vaccine trial in the next one to two weeks, analysts at Guggenheim Securities said, citing the head of the British drugmaker’s biopharma research.
* Abbott said early data shows its rapid COVID-19 test used at the White House is highly accurate.
* European shares fell on Wednesday but Wall Street looked set to recover some of the previous session’s losses, as confusion over U.S. stimulus plans and uncertainty about the Nov. 3 presidential election dominated markets. [MKTS/GLOB]
* Mergers and acquisitions in Brazil bounced back in the third quarter as companies sought ways to ride out the coronavirus storm after a deal slump earlier in the year.
(Compiled by Sarah Morland; Editing by Jan Harvey)