(Reuters) – As Britain’s COVID-19 death toll approaches 100,000, Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Wednesday that the numbers were horrendous but it was not the time to look back at the government’s possible mismanagement of the crisis.
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.
* Some British hospitals look like war zones with doctors struggling to cope with an influx of patients infected with COVID-19, the government’s top scientific adviser said, as the death toll rose by a record daily amount towards 100,000.
* Portuguese Economy Minister Pedro Siza Vieira has tested positive for COVID-19 and is in self-isolation, his office said late on Tuesday, the third cabinet member to be diagnosed with the virus in a week.
* Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Wednesday that herd immunity against COVID-19 in the country could be reached as early as the first half of this year, according to the RIA news agency.
* South Korea is in talks to buy 40 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine developed by Novavax, its local manufacturer SK bioscience said on Wednesday.
* Beijing said it will investigate all individuals who entered the capital from abroad from Dec. 10 and shut down a subway station after reporting the biggest daily jump in new COVID-19 cases in more than three weeks.
* India started exporting coronavirus vaccines on Wednesday with the first shipment to the neighbouring Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, the foreign ministry said.
* U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday led a national memorial observance on the eve of his inauguration to honour the 400,000 Americans who have perished from COVID-19.
* Abbott Laboratories’ rapid COVID-19 antigen test is highly likely to correctly detect if people have ever contracted the virus and could help with earlier isolation, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* South African healthcare experts are urging the government to share a detailed plan for administering COVID-19 vaccines with private sector partners who are offering their help.
* Britain said on Wednesday it was helping Kenya prepare to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, as African nations race to ensure their populations are inoculated.
* Zimbabwe’s foreign minister, Sibusiso Moyo, has died after contracting COVID-19, presidential spokesman George Charamba said on Wednesday.
* The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech is likely to protect against a more infectious variant of the virus, which was discovered in Britain and has spread around the world, according to results of further lab tests released on Wednesday.
* Moderna said it had received a report from California’s health department that several people at a centre in San Diego were treated for possible allergic reactions to its COVID-19 vaccine from a particular batch.
* World shares gained on Wednesday on expectations of hefty U.S. spending after U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen urged lawmakers to “act big” to save the economy and worry about debt later. [MKTS/GLOB]
* British inflation gathered speed in December, starting what is expected to be a climb this year as pandemic-fighting measures, Brexit and a recovery in the economy combine to push up costs for consumers and businesses.
* EU competition regulators plan to extend looser state aid rules until the end of 2021 to help European companies hit by the pandemic.
(Compiled by Anna Rzhevkina, Krishna Chandra Eluri, Devika Syamnath and Veronica Snoj; Editing by Philippa Fletcher, Sriraj Kalluvila, Atun Koyyur and Giles Elgood)
Credit: Source link