FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

* Indonesia will drop requirements for people to mask up outdoors and for vaccinated travellers to show negative pre-departure tests, officials said. * Shanghai achieved the long-awaited milestone of three consecutive days with no new COVID-19 cases outside quarantine zones.


Reuters | Updated: 18-05-2022 05:02 IST | Created: 18-05-2022 05:02 IST
FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

Rising COVID-19 cases are driving up the use of therapeutics, with Pfizer Inc's oral antiviral treatment Paxlovid seeing a 315% jump over the past four weeks, U.S. health officials said. 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

* North Korean leader Kim Jong Un slammed his country's response to its first officially confirmed COVID-19 outbreak as "immature," accusing government officials of inadequacies and inertia as fever cases swept the country, state media reported. * Indonesia will drop requirements for people to mask up outdoors and for vaccinated travellers to show negative pre-departure tests, officials said.

* Shanghai achieved the long-awaited milestone of three consecutive days with no new COVID-19 cases outside quarantine zones. * Measures taken in North Korea to fight the first reported COVID-19 outbreak could have "devastating" consequences for human rights in the country, a spokesperson for the U.N. human rights office said.

AMERICAS * A senior World Health Organization official said high levels of transmission of the coronavirus among unvaccinated people, such as in North Korea, creates a higher risk of new variants.

* U.S. inmates released to home confinement under the terms of a law passed by Congress to slow the spread of COVID-19 have challenged orders to return to prison. AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE-EAST

* The Moroccan government said it has cancelled COVID-19 PCR test requirements for all incoming travellers. * Qatar's $300 billion sovereign wealth fund plans to invest in Spanish projects funded by European Union COVID recovery funds under a deal due to be signed during the Gulf state ruler's visit to Madrid this week, Spanish government sources said.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS * The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of a booster shot of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11.

* AstraZeneca moved to bolster its COVID-19 portfolio of antibodies with a $157 million licensing deal for experimental therapies developed by newly-launched biotech RQ Bio. ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Beijing's economy took a hit in April as authorities wrestled with a new COVID outbreak, telling residents to avoid going out or work from home and halting many businesses. * China's slowing economy will struggle to stage the kind of stunning recovery it achieved from the early depths of the pandemic two years ago, as its formidable export machine teeters and options to revive investment and consumption dwindle.

(Compiled by Dina Kartit, Aditya Soni and Devika Syamnath; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Ed Osmond and Anil D'Silva,)

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

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