Europe witness surge in COVID-19 cases for another time, re-introduce restrictions

The Dutch government will announce new measures on Friday to tackle a surge in coronavirus infections that is putting pressure on hospitals, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said. America's Airports and commercial airlines across the United States registered one of their busiest days since before the pandemic on Wednesday, as millions of Americans travelled to visit loved ones for the Thanksgiving holiday. * Pfizer Inc has sued a long-time employee for allegedly stealing "scores" of confidential documents, including some related to its COVID-19 vaccine, as she prepared to jump to a competitor.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 25-11-2021 11:28 IST | Created: 25-11-2021 10:47 IST
Europe witness surge in COVID-19 cases for another time, re-introduce restrictions
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

Countries in Europe moved to lock down economies or re-introduce stringent restrictions as infections continued to surge, while U.S. airlines and airports saw one of their busiest days since before the pandemic ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Coronavirus infections broke records in parts of Europe on Wednesday, with the continent once again the epicentre of a pandemic that has prompted new curbs on movement and seen health experts push to widen the use of booster vaccination shots. France is expected to announce that COVID-19 booster shots will be made available to all adults as well as stricter rules on wearing face masks and more stringent health pass checks to curb a new wave of infections, French media reported.

Portugal, one of the world's most vaccinated nations, will give COVID-19 booster shots to a quarter of its population by the end of January, the health secretary said. Russia said it planned to export a nasal form of its Sputnik vaccine against COVID-19, which President Vladimir Putin said he had taken as a booster.

Poland will have to tighten COVID-19 restrictions if it does not see daily cases decreasing in the near future, the health minister said on Wed. Slovakia's government followed the example of neighbouring Austria on Wednesday and ordered a two-week lockdown to quell the world's fastest rise in COVID-19 cases.

Italy tightened the screws on people unwilling to take an anti-COVID vaccine, sharply restricting access to an array of services and making vaccines mandatory for a wider group of public sector workers. The Dutch government will announce new measures on Friday to tackle a surge in coronavirus infections that is putting pressure on hospitals, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said.

America's Airports and commercial airlines across the United States registered one of their busiest days since before the pandemic on Wednesday, as millions of Americans travelled to visit loved ones for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Pfizer Inc has sued a long-time employee for allegedly stealing "scores" of confidential documents, including some related to its COVID-19 vaccine, as she prepared to jump to a competitor. New COVID-19 cases have jumped 23% in America in the last week, mostly in North America where both the United States and Canada are reporting increasing infection rates, the Pan American Health Organization said on Wednesday.

More than 130 civil society groups largely from developing countries are calling for the World Trade Organization to cancel a ministerial conference next week and instead concentrate on approving an intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines.

Singapore and Malaysia will launch a quarantine-free travel lane next week at their land border crossing for people vaccinated, the two countries said.

Egypt will activate within days a plan to offer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for senior citizens, people with chronic diseases and healthcare workers, the health ministry said.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus will continue to spread intensely as societies return to the social mixing and mobility of a pre-pandemic period, the World Health Organisation's (WHO) emergency director Mike Ryan said.

Asian shares wobbled lower, hurt by the U.S. dollar which continued to march higher as investors bet on interest rates rising more quickly in the United States than in other major economies. Japan's government will unveil on Friday its first extra budget for this fiscal year ending March to ease the pain of the COVID-19 pandemic, with spending worth 36 trillion yen ($312.04 billion), a draft was seen by Reuters showed.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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