FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus
Locked-down Shanghai aims to ringfence its COVID outbreak over the next week, officials said on Friday, while residents in China's capital Beijing largely heeded the advice of authorities to work from home to stem the virus' spread. 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
* Russia will promptly consider any request from North Korea for COVID-19 vaccine supplies, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. * Poland expects the European Union to unblock billions of euros in COVID-19 recovery funds in the coming days, a government spokesman said on Friday, after negotiators reached "milestones" in talks over the approval of its National Recovery Plan.
* The prevalence of COVID-19 infections in England fell to 1 in 45 people in the week ending May 7, the Office for National Statistics' Infection Survey said, down from an estimated 1 in 35 people who had the infection the previous week. * Happy but cautious at being able to join a mass religious event for the first time since the pandemic began, thousands of Catholic faithful gathered at a sanctuary in Portugal on Friday, as authorities brace for a potential sixth wave of COVID-19.
AMERICAS * The White House is preparing for a scenario in which Congress fails to approve President Joe Biden's request for additional COVID-19 funds by reviewing old contracts to see if there is any money it can "claw back," the president's top COVID-19 adviser said on Thursday.
ASIA-PACIFIC * At least one person confirmed to have COVID-19 has died in North Korea and hundreds of thousands have shown fever symptoms, state media said on Friday, offering hints at the potentially dire scale of the country's first confirmed outbreak of the pandemic.
* China will help North Korea fight the COVID outbreak if its East Asian neighbour requests for it, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Friday. * Japan plans to extend up to $100 million in aid to developing countries in the Indo-Pacific region to help them better battle the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said on Friday.
AFRICA AND MIDDLE EAST * International agencies and charitable foundations providing COVID-19 vaccines for Africa should order African-made vaccines, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told a global COVID-19 summit.
* North Korea is facing its first confirmed COVID-19 outbreak with no known vaccine programme, sparking new calls for the government to accept aid that could save lives, help protect its battered economy, and possibly lead to a diplomatic opening. ECONOMIC IMPACT
* New bank lending in China hit the lowest in nearly four and half years in April as the COVID-19 pandemic jolted the economy and weakened credit demand, central bank data showed on Friday, after it pledged to step up support to ward off a sharper slowdown. * Grain traders and brokers in the world's number two corn producer are struggling to make forecasts for this year's closely watched Chinese corn crop, as COVID restrictions prevent travel to major growing areas for assessment.
* Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda reiterated on Friday the bank's resolve to keep monetary policy ultra-loose to support an economy that has yet to emerge from the pain inflicted by the pandemic. (Compiled by Shailesh Kuber and Sherry Jacob-Phillips; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Anil D'Silva)
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)