FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus
* A WHO official said the U.N. global health agency had yet to receive any formal notification of North Korea's COVID-19 outbreak. * China would "strictly limit" unnecessary travel outside the country by Chinese citizens as part of its COVID-19 response, the National Immigration Administration said.
Beijing denied it was heading for lockdown as panic buying gripped China's capital, while Shanghai authorities combed the city for lingering COVID-19 cases in the hope of clearing the way to end weeks of painful restrictions. 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
* British police said they had made more than 100 referrals for fines as part of an investigation into lockdown rule-breaking at gatherings held in Downing Street. * Looser EU rules that have allowed governments to grant more than 3 trillion euros ($3.14 trillion) in state aid to thousands of virus-hit companies in the last two years will end on June 30, EU competition regulators said.
AMERICAS * President Joe Biden commemorated the death of 1 million people in the United States from COVID-19, marking what he called "a tragic milestone" and urging Americans to "remain vigilant" amid the ongoing pandemic.
* The United States helped raise over $3.1 billion in commitments to the international pandemic response ahead of the second global COVID-19 summit, but the U.S. Congress needs to authorize more funds, a senior White House official said. ASIA-PACIFIC
* North Korea reported its first COVID-19 outbreak, calling it the "gravest national emergency" and ordering a national lockdown, with state media saying an Omicron variant had been detected in the capital. * A WHO official said the U.N. global health agency had yet to receive any formal notification of North Korea's COVID-19 outbreak.
* South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases on Wednesday reported 10,017 new COVID-19 cases, On the first day since January, the institute has reported more than 10,000 new infections. * Sub-variants of the Omicron COVID variant and relaxation of public health measures are driving a surge in infections in southern Africa, a senior WHO official said.
* A senior WHO official said it was "unfortunate" that South African firm Aspen's COVID vaccine production facility was at risk of closure for lack of orders, but lessons would be learned. MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS
* Moderna Inc has made all necessary submissions required by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for emergency use authorization of its COVID vaccine in adolescents and children, it said. ECONOMIC IMPACT
* Financial leaders from Japan, China, and South Korea warned of risks to Asia's economic recovery from the pandemic and committed themselves to back market stability and sound fiscal policy. * China will not hesitate to introduce new policies to prop up growth, a senior Communist Party official said, as the economy feels the pinch of protracted COVID lockdowns.
* China's refined zinc output at 52 major smelters rose in April from the previous month, state-backed research house Antaike said, as COVID-related transportation disruptions eased and new capacity started up. * Taiwan's central bank is still moving toward tightening monetary policy, although it may revise its economic growth forecast for this year due to the Ukraine war and rising COVID cases 19 at home, governor Yang Chin-long said.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)