FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

* India stands ready to "expeditiously" send more vaccine to Africa to help fight the Omicron variant, New Delhi said late on Monday after China pledged 1 billion doses to the continent. AMERICAS * A panel of expert advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will vote later on Tuesday on whether to recommend authorization of Merck & Co's antiviral pill to treat COVID-19. * The U.S. CDC said everyone aged 18 years and older should get a booster shot either six months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna vaccine doses or two months after their Johnson & Johnson shot.


Reuters | Updated: 30-11-2021 18:43 IST | Created: 30-11-2021 18:01 IST
FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

The chief executive of drugmaker Moderna set off fresh alarm bells in financial markets with a warning that existing COVID-19 vaccines would be less effective against the new Omicron variant than they have been against Delta. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals for a case tracker and summary of news EUROPE

* Forty-two cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant have been confirmed in 10 European Union countries, the head of the EU's public health agency said. * The Omicron variant was detected in the Netherlands before two flights arrived from South Africa last week carrying the virus, Dutch health officials said.

* The EU drug regulator could approve COVID-19 vaccines that have been adapted to target the new variant within three to four months if needed, the agency's chief said as she said existing shots would continue to provide protection. * Germany's Constitutional Court declined to strike down an April law that gave the government the power to impose 'emergency brake' rules across Germany to contain the pandemic.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA * South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare signed a non-binding agreement with subsidiary firms of Johnson & Johnson as part of its negotiations for a licensing deal to package, market and sell the latter's vaccine in Africa.

* The United Arab Emirates has approved Russia's Sputnik Light vaccine as a universal booster shot, Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF said. * India stands ready to "expeditiously" send more vaccine to Africa to help fight the Omicron variant, New Delhi said late on Monday after China pledged 1 billion doses to the continent.

AMERICAS * A panel of expert advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will vote later on Tuesday on whether to recommend authorization of Merck & Co's antiviral pill to treat COVID-19.

* The U.S. CDC said everyone aged 18 years and older should get a booster shot either six months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna vaccine doses or two months after their Johnson & Johnson shot. * Two more cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in Ottawa, bringing Canada's total number of cases to five, Ottawa Public Health said late on Monday.

* Ecuador will impose entry curbs on travellers flying from or via a number of African countries and will request vaccine certificates from those arriving from other countries. ASIA-PACIFIC

* There are over 50 million - or about 20% - of people aged above 60 in China that are not vaccinated against COVID-19, an official at the National Health Commission said. * Hong Kong expanded a ban on entry for non-residents from several countries as global health authorities raced to curb a potential outbreak of the Omicron virus, while Australia is set to review containment steps after five persons tested positive.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENT * Becton Dickinson and Co said it was confident that its COVID-19 tests would be able to detect the new coronavirus variant Omicron.

* Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc said its COVID-19 antibody cocktail, and similar drugs, could be less effective against the Omicron variant. * South Korean biotech company Celltrion's distribution arm has signed supply deals for its monoclonal antibody to treat COVID-19 with nine European countries, Celltrion Healthcare said.

ECONOMIC IMPACT * There was a fall in world share markets and scramble to safer currencies and bonds on Tuesday after the CEO of drugmaker Moderna warned that vaccines are unlikely to be as effective against the Omicron variant.

* Pandemic-weary corporations struggled to assess the impact of the new Omicron variant on Monday, with industries from Hollywood movie studios to airlines and autos awaiting more details to help determine how it might affect their operations and profits.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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