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World News

Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

(Reuters) - The U.S. government’s first shipment of millions of coronavirus vaccine doses to be divided among states and federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, will fall far short of protecting high priority groups such as healthcare workers, a Reuters analysis has found.

A health care worker warms himself on a portable heater as others give coronavirus tests at a COVID drive-thru testing center at Bergen Community College, as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Paramus, New Jersey, U.S., December 3, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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.

EUROPE

- French health authorities reported 11,221 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, down from 12,696 on Thursday and 12,459 last Friday in a continuation of an almost month-long downward trend.

- More than half of Spaniards are not willing to get COVID-19 vaccine shots as soon as they are available, a survey showed, as the government announced a target of 15-20 million vaccinations by mid-2021.

- Three of Austria’s nine provinces kicked off a national effort to test as much of the population as possible before Christmas.

- Switzerland said it would allow ski resorts to remain open for domestic tourism.

- Portugal’s parliament approved a 15-day extension of a state of emergency to Dec. 23 under a decree that envisages a further extension into January.

- Russia expects to give about 2 million people coronavirus vaccinations in December, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund told BBC.

AMERICAS

- U.S. leaders urgently called on Americans to wear masks and threatened even more drastic stay-at-home orders after deaths from the coronavirus set a single-day record.

- Canada has doubled the number of doses of Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine it has on firm order, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said, while the country’s top doctor warned that daily new cases could top 10,000 by January.

- U.S. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said it was realistic to expect that 20 million Americans could be vaccinated by the end of this year.

- The mayor of Mexico City asked businesses in the capital to temporarily close their offices and resume work-from-home schemes.

ASIA-PACIFIC

- South Korea’s capital, Seoul, announced unprecedented restrictions shuttering most establishments and shops at 9 p.m. and cutting back public transportation operations by 30% in the evenings.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

- Bahrain has granted emergency use authorisation for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the second country after Britain to approve it.

- Moderna announced an expanded pact with the Israeli health ministry to supply an additional 4 million doses of its vaccine candidate.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

- The World Health Organization hopes to have half a billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines available for distribution by the global COVAX initiative in the first quarter of 2021, its chief scientist said.

- Moderna will be able to produce 500 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel said.

- Two vaccine candidates developed by China’s Clover Biopharmaceuticals triggered strong immune responses in an early-stage human trial and appeared to be safe, the company said.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

- President-elect Joe Biden said Friday’s “grim” jobs report shows the economic recovery is stalling and warned the “dark winter” ahead would exacerbate the pain unless the U.S. Congress passes a coronavirus relief bill immediately.

- Growing prospects for a U.S. coronavirus relief package after a grim employment report helped boost demand for riskier assets, taking the dollar to a 2-1/2-year low and pushing oil prices to their highest since March. [MKTS/GLOB]

Compiled by Milla Nissi and Amy Caren Daniel; Edited by Jonathan Oatis and Sriraj Kalluvila

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