World News

Factbox-Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

(Reuters) - Officials beseeched Americans to stay at home and redouble efforts to curtail the pandemic, while governments across Europe tried to navigate a fine line between avoiding super-spreading the virus and allowing families to celebrate Christmas.

Parishioners wearing protective face masks pray at Graslin square during an open air mass in Nantes, as public masses are suspended during the second national lockdown as part of the measures to fight a second wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in France, November 15, 2020. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe


- 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.


- The UK’s four nations agreed to relax restrictions for Christmas, while Germany’s 16 federal states planned to allow gatherings of up to 10 people over Christmas and New Year.

- Spain will propose a “different” Christmas and New Year under restrictions with just six people at parties, and Italy’s prime minister warned citizens not to go skiing during the holidays.

- The European Union has struck a deal for up to 160 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, taking the EU’s potential stock of COVID-19 shots to nearly 2 billion.


- U.S. state and federal officials defended unpopular public health measures as record hospitalizations pushed healthcare professionals to the brink.

- U.S. officials plan to release 6.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses nationwide in an initial distribution after the first one is cleared by regulators for emergency use.

- Eli Lilly and Co signed an agreement with the Canadian government to supply 26,000 doses of its COVID-19 antibody drug.

- Colombian first lady Maria Juliana Ruiz has tested positive, but is asymptomatic.


- Australia will lift more internal border curbs to boost tourism as it plans to obtain its first vaccines in March.

- Malaysia said it would close some factories of the world’s biggest rubber glove maker as more than 2,000 of its workers had tested positive.


- Iran plans to use foreign vaccines while also developing its own, President Hassan Rouhani said as new daily cases hit a record high.

- South Africa is going with the COVAX global COVID-19 vaccine distribution scheme, with a committed purchase for 10% of its population of 58 million, a senior health official said.


- Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine will cost less than $20 per person on international markets and Moscow aims to produce more than a billion doses at home and abroad next year, its backers and developers said.

- AstraZeneca must prove its claim that its potential vaccine has the lowest price of the main candidates so far, non-governmental organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres said.


- U.S. stocks rallied on Tuesday, with the Dow piercing the 30,000 level for the first time, as investors anticipated a 2021 economic recovery on progress on coronavirus vaccines and the formal clearance for President-elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House.

- U.S. consumer confidence fell more than expected in November amid a widespread resurgence in new infections and business restrictions.

- Germany’s gross domestic product grew by a record 8.5% in the third quarter as Europe’s largest economy partly recovered from an unprecedented plunge caused by the first wave of the pandemic in spring, but the outlook is clouded by a second wave of infections and a partial lockdown.

- French business confidence dropped in November to a five-month low as the country entered a new coronavirus lockdown, hitting the services sector particularly hard.

Compiled by Devika Syamnth and Anita Kobylinska; Edited by Ed Osmond and Sriraj Kalluvila