FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

Australia's drug regulator approved the use of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for 16- and 17-year-olds as authorities urge people to get their third doses soon to mitigate the threat from the Omicron coronavirus variant.


Reuters | Updated: 28-01-2022 04:59 IST | Created: 28-01-2022 04:59 IST
FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

Australia's drug regulator approved the use of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for 16- and 17-year-olds as authorities urge people to get their third doses soon to mitigate the threat from the Omicron coronavirus variant. 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. ASIA-PACIFIC

* China's "zero-COVID" stance has put it at odds with the rest of the world and is exacting a mounting economic toll, but an exit strategy remains elusive as authorities worry about the ability of the healthcare system to adapt to new strains. * Hong Kong will shorten its 21-day quarantine requirement to 14 days for incoming travellers starting from Feb. 5.

* Australia reported fewer COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, a day after recording a pandemic high. EUROPE

* The EU's drug regulator gave the green light to Pfizer Inc's antiviral COVID-19 pill for treating adults at risk of severe illness. * Booster shots could reduce future hospitalisations in Europe by at least half a million, the EU's public health agency said.

* Finland will begin gradually easing restrictions from Feb. 1 instead of mid-February as initially planned. * After a relatively brief return to coronavirus restrictions triggered by the Omicron variant, England is going back to "Plan A" - learning to live with the disease.

* The head of the Paris hospitals system has set off a fierce debate by questioning whether people who refuse to be vaccinated should continue to have their treatment covered by public health insurance. AMERICAS

* Canadian truck drivers determined to shut down central Ottawa over a federal government vaccine mandate rolled across the country toward the capital, boosted by praise from Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk. AFRICA AND MIDDLE EAST

* Morocco will reopen its airspace for international flights starting Feb. 7, the state news agency (MAP) reported on Thursday. * A United Arab Emirates medical convoy of one million COVID-19 vaccines reached the Gaza Strip via the Rafah border crossing, state news agency WAM said.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS * COVID-19 boosters increase protection against death from the Omicron variant to 95% in people aged 50 or over, the UK Health Security Agency said.

* China's Walvax Biotechnology has recruited most of the 28,000 participants needed for a large clinical trial of its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate, a senior company official said. ECONOMIC IMPACT

* U.S. stocks retreated on Thursday after a solid opening, while the dollar gained as investors prepared for future rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. * British financial services exports have struggled to recover from the twin hits of COVID-19 and Brexit and are lingering at levels last seen in 2006 when adjusted for inflation, new data showed

(Compiled by Devika Syamnath, Valentine Baldassari and Sherry Jacob-Phillips Editing by Frances Kerry and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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

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