FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

* Argentina's capital Buenos Aires has reopened its Colón Theater for the first time in a year, while in Brazil both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have announced tighter restrictions. ASIA-PACIFIC * India's richest state of Maharashtra accounts for more than half of both new and total active infections, although a team of experts said the state's current wave might be "less virulent". * South Korea said it had found no link between the vaccine and several recent deaths, as it ordered nearly 100,000 foreign workers to be tested after clusters emerged in dormitories.

Reuters | Updated: 08-03-2021 16:00 IST | Created: 08-03-2021 16:00 IST
FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

India has urged the United States, Japan and Australia to invest in its vaccine production capacity, an Indian government source told Reuters, as the so-called Quad alliance tries to counter China's growing vaccine diplomacy.

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 could approve Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this week, in line with the timetable for its broader European Union approval, the president of the country's health regulator said.

* Poland could this week see up to 20,000 new cases a day, its health ministry said, flagging restrictions during the Easter holidays. * Britain's opposition Labour Party called the government's pay offer to health workers "reprehensible" on Sunday and pledged to vote against its freeze on income tax thresholds.

AMERICAS * The United States has identified three online publications directed by Russia's intelligence services that it says are seeking to undermine vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna, a State Department spokeswoman said.

* Ecuador and Paraguay have both received some 20,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine from Chile. * Argentina's capital Buenos Aires has reopened its Colón Theater for the first time in a year, while in Brazil both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have announced tighter restrictions.

ASIA-PACIFIC * India's richest state of Maharashtra accounts for more than half of both new and total active infections, although a team of experts said the state's current wave might be "less virulent".

* South Korea said it had found no link between the vaccine and several recent deaths, as it ordered nearly 100,000 foreign workers to be tested after clusters emerged in dormitories. * East Timor will put its capital city in lockdown for the first time, its government said, amid fears it could be facing its first local outbreak.

* Thailand will reduce mandatory quarantine from 14 to seven days starting April for foreigners arriving in the country who have been vaccinated. * Vietnam launched its vaccination programme on Monday with healthcare workers first in the queue, while Hong Kong will expand its programme to include teachers and delivery workers.

* Indonesia expects to receive 1.1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday, while Malaysia will buy more doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's shot. * New Zealand will buy enough Pfizer vaccines to vaccinate its entire population, said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA * Israel has almost emerged from its COVID-19 closures, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is on the campaign trail, said as restaurants reopened.

* Jordan's prime minister reshuffled his cabinet on Sunday in a move meant to accelerate reforms seen as crucial to Jordan's economic recovery, officials said. * Exultant crowds gathered for Pope Francis' Sunday Mass in Erbil, the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Ethiopian Airlines is set to take a lead role in ferrying COVID-19 vaccines around the world and expects demand for the service to last for up to three years. * The deputy chief executive of South African bank ABSA died on Sunday due to COVID-19 complications, his family said.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS * The EU regulator urged members to refrain from granting national approvals for Russia's Sputnik V vaccine while the agency reviews its safety and effectiveness.

ECONOMIC IMPACT * World shares dipped on Monday as the U.S. Senate's passage of a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill put fresh pressure on Treasuries and tech stocks with lofty valuations, raising inflation jitters.

* COVID-19 insurance policies are increasingly becoming vacation staples, creating opportunities for insurers as more countries require mandatory coverage. (Compiled by Sarah Morland; Edited by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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


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