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Factbox-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

·3 min read
People wearing protective face masks stand, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, near the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel in New York City

(Reuters) - The United States is developing a "new system for international travel" that will include contact tracing for when it eventually lifts travel restrictions that bar much of the world's population from entering the country, a senior White House official said on Wednesday.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

EUROPE

* Spain will give a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine to nursing home residents and other vulnerable groups, the Health Ministry said on Thursday, and released data that showed the infection rate fell to its lowest level since June.

* The Italian government approved on Thursday some of the strictest anti-COVID measures in the world, making it obligatory for all workers either to show proof of vaccination, a negative test or recent recovery from infection.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Turkey logged 28,118 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, health ministry data showed, declining slightly from a day earlier when the country registered its highest daily level since early May amid a rise in cases after schools reopened last week.

* China should consider inoculating children aged under 12 to further boost its vaccination drive, an expert at China's disease control authority said, as data showed over 70% of the population have received their COVID-19 shots.

* Iran's new government has approved the COVID-19 vaccine developed by U.S. firm Johnson & Johnson, a senior official said on Thursday, as the Islamic Republic faces a fifth wave of infections.

AMERICAS

* Facebook has removed a network of accounts linked to an anti-COVID restrictions movement in Germany as it announced a new crackdown on coordinated campaigns of real users that cause harm on and off its platforms

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

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* One year after completing one of the first studies into canine detection of COVID-19, the United Arab Emirates now has 38 sniffer dogs working at its airports that can identify infected persons at a 98.2% success rate.

* The International Monetary Fund approved $67 million emergency support for Equatorial Guinea to help it deal with the pandemic.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientists said 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.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* The U.S. Treasury on Thursday said it had disbursed about $700 billion of $1 trillion in COVID-19 relief programs administered by Treasury in the first six months since the American Rescue Program (ARP) was signed into law.

* Markets dipped globally on Thursday as concerns about investments in China and a down day on Wall Street outweighed positive economic data in the United States. [MKTS/GLOB]

* Oil prices steadied on Thursday after hitting a multi-week high a day earlier as the threat to U.S. Gulf crude production from Hurricane Nicholas receded.

(Compiled by Veronica Snoj, Juliette Portala and Shailesh Kuber; Edited by Robert Birsel, Marguerita Choy and Anil D'Silva)

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