(Reuters) - Australia’s Queensland lifted most border curbs and reports said China has provided North Korean leader Kim Jong Un an experimental vaccine, while the U.S. coronavirus adviser resigned on Monday following months-long clashes with members of his task force.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread of COVID-19, open here in an external browser.
* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals here for a case tracker and summary of news.
* France recorded 4,005 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, the smallest rise since August, even as hospitalizations remained high.
* Infections have fallen by 30% during England’s month-long national lockdown, and the virus is now in retreat, a large-scale study of more than 100,000 volunteers showed.
* British minister Robert Jenrick said he was relaxing rules to allow shops to stay open for longer over Christmas and in January.
* California’s governor said he may renew a stay-at-home order in the coming days, while families of 15 public school students sued the state, claiming it has failed to provide equal education to poor and minority children during the pandemic.
* The head of the World Health Organization said Mexico is in “bad shape” as infections and deaths surge, while the Mexican government forecast the pandemic would likely continue worsening until January.
* Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam again urged residents to stay at home and avoid unnecessary family gatherings.
* Japan is loosening regulations on part-time work for foreigners stuck in the country and having trouble supporting themselves.
* The Olympic rings monument was reinstalled in Tokyo Bay, as organisers ramp up preparations for next year’s postponed Summer Games.
* Women soldiers are being deployed for the first time in Nepal to manage the bodies of COVID-19 victims.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Turkey will impose a weekday curfew and a full lockdown at weekends, as the death toll hits a record high for an eighth consecutive day.
* Deaths from malaria due to disruptions during the pandemic to services designed to tackle the mosquito-borne disease will far exceed those killed by COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa, the World Health Organization warned.
* Moderna Inc said it has applied for U.S. emergency authorization for its vaccine after full results from a late-stage study showed it was 94.1% effective with no serious safety concerns.
* A type of COVID-19 test that can be taken without the need for a nose or throat swab is highly effective in identifying infectious cases, the British government said.
* Amgen Inc, UCB SA and Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc launched a global trial to identify whether any of three different drugs can reduce the severity of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.
* Serbia plans to start laboratory testing of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and it will also continue talks with drugmaker Pfizer Inc about purchasing its vaccine candidate.
* Asian share markets began the new month with a bang on Tuesday, buoyed by the prospect of a vaccine fuelling a global economic recovery, buoyant Chinese factory activity and expectations of continuing fiscal and monetary support. [MKTS/GLOB]
* China’s factory activity accelerated at the fastest pace in a decade in November, a private survey showed on Tuesday.
* Japanese companies cut spending on plant and equipment in July-September for a second straight quarter, while the government plans to temporarily cut its aviation fuel tax by 80% at most to help the airline industry.
* South Korea’s November factory activity accelerated at the fastest pace in nearly a decade, supported by a steady recovery in global demand and production.
Compiled by Ramakrishnan M., Devika Syamnath and Linda Pasquini; Edited by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shounak Dasgupta
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