FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

by Reuters
Friday, 15 October 2021 19:49 GMT

Oct 15 (Reuters) - Outside advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday voted unanimously to recommend regulators authorize a second shot of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine to better protect Americans who received the one-dose vaccine.

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

* France saw the biggest spike in new coronavirus infections since the end of July on the last day of free testing for unvaccinated people, health ministry data showed.

* The prevalence of COVID-19 infections in England increased to around 1 in 60 people in the week ending Oct. 9, Britain's Office for National Statistics said on Friday, reaching its highest level since January.

* Britain recorded 145 more deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, taking the total number of fatalities within 28 days of a positive test to 138,379, official figures showed.

* Italy reported 42 coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, up from 40 the previous day, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 2,732 from 2,668.

* European Union countries have sent COVID-19 drugs and equipment to treat patients in Romania, which is facing a surge in infections largely among the unvaccinated majority of the adult population.

AMERICAS

* The White House on Friday will lift COVID-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated international visitors starting Nov. 8, ending historic restrictions that had barred much of the world from entering the U.S. for as long as 21 months.

* The U.S. health regulator is delaying its decision on authorizing Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents to check if the shot could increase the risk of a rare inflammatory heart condition, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

* Former U.S. President Bill Clinton remained in a California hospital on Friday, where he was recovering from a non-coronavirus infection three days after he was admitted.

* Healthcare systems across Canada are still very fragile from efforts needed to fight COVID-19, even as signs suggest a fourth wave is starting to recede, a top medical official said on Friday.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* The Philippines started vaccinating young people aged 12-17 against the coronavirus on Friday, hoping it will enable schools to safely reopen even as the country battles one of Asia's worst COVID-19 outbreaks.

* The Australian city of Sydney will allow the entry of fully vaccinated travellers from overseas from Nov. 1 without the need for quarantine, authorities said.

* South Korea said it would lift stringent curbs on social gatherings next week, as the country prepares to switch to a 'living with COVID-19' strategy.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Saudi Arabia will ease COVID-19 curbs from Oct. 17, the interior ministry said on Friday, in response to a sharp drop in daily infections and a considerable development in vaccinations.

* South Africa will start vaccinating children between the ages of 12 and 17 next week using the Pfizer vaccine, the health minister said.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* A Russian firm said on Friday it had begun trials of the Betuvax-CoV-2 vaccine against COVID-19, the second vaccine of its kind produced by a private Russian company, TASS news agency reported.

* Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech SE said on Friday that they had submitted data supporting the use of their COVID-19 vaccine in children aged between five and less than 12 years to the European Medicines Agency.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* U.S. stocks rose on Friday as Goldman Sachs was the latest big bank to report strong results and better-than-expected retail sales eased worries about demand.

* Oil prices settled at a three-year high above $85 a barrel on Friday, boosted by forecasts of a supply deficit in the next few months as the easing of coronavirus-related travel restrictions spurs demand.

(Compiled by Juliette Portala, Amy Caren Daniel and Shailesh Kuber; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Susan Fenton and Maju Samuel)

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