(Reuters) - European leaders warned of difficult months ahead as the resurgent pandemic forced authorities to impose new restrictions to try to curb the spread of the disease.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* New Swiss restrictions slated to be announced on Wednesday will likely be in place “a long time”, Health Minister Alain Berset said, as new infections hit 17,440 over the weekend.
* Croatia and Slovenia have tightened measures this week amid a rise in cases over the weekend.
* A package of measures aimed at supporting businesses in Italy, which will suffer from curbs to rein in a second wave, will be published on Tuesday, officials said.
* Bulgarian schools will be allowed to switch to online studies, as the Balkan country struggles to contain a new surge in infections.
* France may be experiencing 100,000 new cases per day, twice the latest official figure, Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, who heads the scientific council that advises the government on the pandemic, told RTL radio.
* The United States in the past days has registered its highest number of new cases - about 84,000 on Friday and about 79,900 on Saturday. Meanwhile, New York became the fourth state to surpass half a million cases
* U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Trump administration was reviewing the latest plan for more COVID-19 relief over the weekend and she expected a response on Monday, adding she was still optimistic a deal could be reached.
* South Korea sought to dispel concerns over the safety of its seasonal influenza vaccine, urging citizens to get vaccinated in a bid to avert stress on the health system.
* China reported the highest number of asymptomatic infections in nearly seven months.
* Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin faced calls to resign as doubts swirled over the support that he commands, after the king rejected his request to declare a state of emergency to fight the epidemic.
* A lockdown of Australia’s second-biggest city will be eased after the country’s coronavirus epicentre said it passed 24 hours without any new infections for the first time in four months, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Iran extended COVID-19 curbs in Tehran and across the country as health authorities said they were recording a death from the virus every four minutes.
* Qatar has signed an agreement with drugmaker Moderna Inc to buy its potential COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is approved and released for global use, state news agency QNA quoted a health official as saying on Sunday.
* One of the world’s leading COVID-19 experimental vaccines produces an immune response in both young and old adults, raising hopes of a path out of the gloom and economic destruction wrought by the novel coronavirus.
* British high-street pharmacy chain Boots said it was launching in-store COVID-19 testing at 120 pounds ($156) per test for asymptomatic people, and that a 12-minute test would be launched within weeks.
* Global shares started the week on the back foot as surging cases in Europe and the United States clouded the global economic outlook, while China’s leaders meet to ponder the future of the economic giant.[MKTS/GLOB]
* German business morale fell for the first time in six months in October, weighed down by companies’ concerns about rising infection rates that are making them more cautious about the coming months, a survey showed.
Compiled by Linda Pasquini, Frances Kerry and Amy Caren Daniel; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Bernadette Baum
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