FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

Vietnam asked diplomats of several countries for help to access alternative sources for inoculations, as it seeks to secure the 150 million doses of vaccine needed to cover its adult population. India's temporary pause on major exports of AstraZeneca's shot could have a "catastrophic" impact if extended, the head of the continent's disease control body said on Thursday before the country hit a six-month high in its tally of daily infections.

Reuters | London | Updated: 02-04-2021 15:01 IST | Created: 02-04-2021 14:49 IST
FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus
Representative picture. Image Credit: Pexels

Europe, criticized by the World Health Organization over its slow rollout of vaccinations against COVID-19, is scrambling to speed up the pace of injections and to avoid being left further behind by Britain and the United States.

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 the news. EUROPE

* More than 70 British lawmakers have signaled their opposition to the introduction of so-called vaccine passports that the government is considering bringing in to help open the economy as it starts lifting restrictions.

* New restrictions in France will impact economic growth in 2021 but it is too early to say by how much, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said, as the country heads into its third lockdown.

* Most European Union member states on Thursday agreed to share part of their upcoming vaccine deliveries with the five EU countries they said to need them most.

* Bulgaria will receive more than 1.2 million additional doses from Pfizer and BioNTech in the second quarter, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said.

AMERICAS * Brazil's Sao Paulo sped up efforts to empty old graves and make room for a soaring number of COVID-19 deaths as the city hall registered record daily burials this week.

* Chile closed its borders and tightened an already strict lockdown further on Thursday to stop the influx of new variants as cases climbed past 1 million despite one of the world's fastest vaccination rates.

* The United States may not need AstraZeneca's vaccine, even if it wins U.S. regulatory approval, the nation's top infectious disease doctor Anthony Fauci said on Thursday.

ASIA-PACIFIC * Authorities in the Japanese city of Osaka will discuss plans with the 2020 Tokyo Games organizers to cancel the western region's leg of the Olympic torch relay, its governor said, to avert a clash with measures to curb a spate of infections.

* Japan will also receive bigger shipments of Pfizer's vaccines to immunize the elderly faster, the government said after negotiating the increase in supplies. * Vietnam asked diplomats of several countries for help to access alternative sources for inoculations, as it seeks to secure the 150 million doses of vaccine needed to cover its adult population.

* India's temporary pause on major exports of AstraZeneca's shot could have a "catastrophic" impact if extended, the head of the continent's disease control body said on Thursday, before the country hit a six-month high in its tally of daily infections.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Kuwait said on Thursday it would extend a month-long partial curfew that had been due to end next week until April 22, while Qatar ordered the suspension of in-person learning at public and private universities and schools as of April 4. * Namibia will for the first time receive $271 million from the International Monetary Fund to address its deteriorating fiscal position which has been worsened by the pandemic, its finance ministry said on Thursday.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* The U.S. drug regulator gave Moderna clearance to speed up the output of its vaccine by letting it fill a single vial with up to 15 doses, with the United States banking on rapid immunization to stem the spread of the virus.

* South Africa's health regulator approved on Thursday Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, paving the way for large-scale deliveries of the shot the government has put at the heart of its immunization plans. ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Asian markets were set to open higher in a holiday-lightened trading session, riding a surge of strong factory data and falling bold yields that pushed U.S. and European benchmark stock indexes to record highs.

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


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