FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus
* Hungary is ready to inoculate children aged 5 to 11 years old, the government said. * Slovakia went into a two-week lockdown, as the country reported a critical situation in hospitals and new infections that topped global tables.
European Union residents will need to have vaccine booster jabs if they want to travel to another country in the bloc next summer free of tests or quarantines, the European Commission proposed. 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
* Switzerland is open to compromise in talks on the intellectual property rights of COVID-19 vaccines and drugs at the World Trade Organization, but remains opposed to a full waiver of those rights, a senior diplomat said. * Hungary is ready to inoculate children aged 5 to 11 years old, the government said.
* Slovakia went into a two-week lockdown, as the country reported a critical situation in hospitals and new infections that topped global tables. * Germany, which crossed the threshold of 100,000 COVID-19-related deaths, is in a phase of exponential growth in numbers of cases, Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
* France said it would make booster shots available to all adults, toughen rules on wearing face masks and ramp-up health pass checks. * Some Dutch hospitals have halted chemotherapy treatments and organ transplants to free up intensive care beds for surging COVID-19 patients, an official said. The government said it would take strong measures.
AMERICAS * Millions of Americans got booster shots at a near record pace after the Biden administration expanded eligibility last week, but health officials concerned about climbing infections ahead of the winter holiday season urged more to get the additional protection.
* Cuban tourism operators breathed a sigh of relief this week as the first tourists in months returned to sip mojitos and snap selfies in vintage cars in Havana. * Protesters looted shops and set up burning barricades overnight on France's Caribbean island of Martinique, France Info reported, as demonstrations against COVID-19 protocols intensified.
ASIA-PACIFIC * When K-Pop sensation BTS announced that their first in-person concerts since the start of the pandemic would be in the United States, Kim Ji-eun booked a flight and hotel, praying that the curbs would let her attend the shows.
* Shanghai city found three locally transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms, a local health official said. MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* As deliveries of vaccines to Africa finally pick up, many nations are struggling with the logistics of accelerating their inoculation campaigns, the head of Africa's disease control body said. * South African scientists said they had detected a new variant in small numbers and are working to understand its potential implications.
* The EU's drug regulator approved the use of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine for children between the ages of five and 11. * Turkey's domestically developed vaccine, Turkovac, has applied for emergency authorisation, the health minister said, adding he hoped it would be available by year-end.
* Vaccination is safe for pregnant women and not associated with higher rates of complications, data released by the UK Health Security Agency showed. ECONOMIC IMPACT
* A tech shares bounce carried European equities higher on Thursday, following similar gains on Wall Street and Asia and helped also by a small pullback in the dollar from a 17-month high. * Ireland's central bank expects to gradually return the amount of capital that banks must set aside as extra protection against risks from future crises to pre-pandemic levels from next year, it said.
(Compiled by Juliette Portala and Sarah Morland Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Frances Kerry)
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)