(Reuters) – Coronavirus infections slowed in Australia and New Zealand, while Britain said it was at a “tipping point” on COVID-19 as European countries mulled tightening restrictions to curb a sharp resurgence in cases.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.
* For a U.S.-focused tracker with a state-by-state and county map, open https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T in an external browser.
* Eikon users, see MacroVitals cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.
* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was pondering a second national lockdown as an accelerating outbreak threatened to destroy any shoots of economic recovery and send millions back into isolation.
* Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech resigned following criticism of his handling of the pandemic after a surge in cases.
* Russia reported 6,196 new cases, the most recorded over 24 hours since July 18.
* After securing a generous portion of European Union recovery funds for the crisis, Spain faces an unlikely problem — how to make use of all the money, government sources told Reuters.
* India reopened the Taj Mahal after six months, with the first visitors trickling into the famous monument as authorities reported 86,961 new infections across the country, with no signs of a peak yet.
* Australia reported its smallest daily increase in new infections in more than three months, but authorities in the nation’s virus hotspot of Victoria said they could not hasten the easing of curbs.
* New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern lifted all coronavirus restrictions across the country, except in second-wave hotspot Auckland, as the number of new infections slowed to a trickle.
* Schools in Seoul and nearby areas resumed in-person classes for the first time in almost a month after daily cases dropped to the lowest levels since mid-August.
* As the United States approaches the miserable mark of 200,000 deaths, the pandemic is smouldering across all states, raising fears that when colder weather forces more people inside, it could surpass the surge seen in the summer.
* Brazil and Argentina, Latin American nations seeking more time to commit to the global COVID-19 vaccine facility known as COVAX, said they intend to do so as soon as possible after missing Friday’s deadline.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Morocco has signed a deal with Russia’s R-Pharm to buy a COVID-19 vaccine produced under a licence from Britain’s AstraZeneca.
* Israel entered a second nationwide lockdown on Friday at the onset of the Jewish high-holiday season, forcing residents to stay mostly at home amid a resurgence in new cases.
* Moderna Inc said on Friday it was on track to produce 20 million doses of its experimental coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year, while maintaining its goal of readying 500 million to 1 billion doses in 2021.
* European shares fell as rising infection rates in Europe prompted renewed lockdown measures in some countries, casting doubt over the economic recovery, with a lack of U.S. stimulus also weighing on sentiment.[MKTS/GLOB]
* British manufacturers see no evidence of a ‘V’-shaped recovery from the pandemic underway and many are planning to slash investment, a business survey showed.
* Germany’s finance minister said he expected public debt to reach around 80% of the country’s economic output by the end of the coronavirus crisis, the level it reached at the end of the global financial crisis.
* Sweden’s gross domestic product will shrink around 4.6% this year, the government said, outlining a budget bill that will pump around 105 billion crowns ($12.0 billion) into the economy.
(Compiled by Linda Pasquini, Devika Syamnath and Alex Richardson; Edited by Shounak Dasgupta and Ed Osmond)