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NO WEEKLY BRIEF NEWSLETTER FOR THE WEEKEND OF OCT. 16-17

Factbox - Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

·3 min read
A woman is injected with Sputnik Light vaccine against the coronavirus disease in Donetsk

(Reuters) - The pace of climate change has not been slowed by the global pandemic and the world remains behind in its battle to cut carbon emissions, the United Nations said.

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

* The cost of insuring against European corporate debt defaults fell to the lowest since late February 2020, before the pandemic rattled financial markets.

* About 3,000 health workers who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 have been suspended in France, the health minister said.

* The number of daily coronavirus-related deaths in Ukraine exceeded 100 over the past 24 hours for the first time since early June, health ministry data showed.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would have to spend "a few days" in self-isolation after dozens of people in his entourage fell ill with COVID-19, the TASS news agency reported.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Several Asian nations are quickly ramping up vaccination campaigns from shaky starts, as supply shipments roll in and people overcome hesitancy in hopes of easing curbs.

* A panel of health experts advising Hong Kong's government has recommended children aged 12-17 should get only one dose of BioNTech's vaccine.

* China has completed vaccinating over 70% of its 1.4 billion people against COVID-19 with full doses, data from health authorities showed.

* In Australia, Victoria reported its biggest one-day rise in cases of the year while a surge in vaccinations raised hope for easing restrictions. Along with New South Wales, the state is testing facial recognition software that lets police check if people are at home during quarantine.

* The first plane carrying tourists in more than four months touched down on the Malaysian island of Langkawi, in the launch of a programme to revive the travel sector.

AMERICAS

* Infections have risen by a third in North America over the past week, due to surges in the United States and Canada, the PAHO said on Wednesday.

* The Canadian province of Alberta introduced a vaccine passport system on Wednesday, as Premier Jason Kenney apologised for mishandling the pandemic.

* Chile announced plans to reopen its borders to visitors on Wednesday in a bid to revive its ailing tourism industry ahead of the Southern Hemisphere summer.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* The International Monetary Fund approved $67 million emergency support for Equatorial Guinea to help it deal with the pandemic and an explosion at a military base that destroyed much of the port city of Bata in March.

* Saudi Arabia has signed a memoranda of understanding with Pfizer and AstraZeneca, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientists said on Wednesday booster doses of Pfizer's vaccine may not be needed, even though the third shot generates a higher immune response in recipients.

* New data from Moderna's large vaccine trial shows the protection it offers wanes over time, supporting the case for booster doses, the company said on Wednesday.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* European shares opened higher, though market participants were still cautious after Asian equities fell for a fourth consecutive day, and as focus turns to key U.S. data due later in the session. [MKTS/GLOB]

* Japan cut its economic view for the first time in four months as a surge in cases disrupted manufacturers' global supply chains and dampened consumer confidence.

* Foreign investors are growing more worried that Canada's federal election on Monday could result in a deadlock that hampers Ottawa's response to the pandemic.

(Compiled by Juliette Portala and Devika Syamnath ; Edited by Shounak Dasgupta, Robert Birsel)

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