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World

Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

  • Japan's real wages fell for the 10th straight month in December. Data also showed the country's currency in circulation and bank deposits rose at a record pace in January, a sign companies and households continued to hoard cash due to uncertainty over the pandemic.
Published February 9, 2021

Australia has fewer than 50 active cases of COVID-19, official data released on Tuesday showed, the lowest number in nearly two months.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

EUROPE

Anyone entering the United Kingdom from Tuesday will need to be tested for COVID-19 on the second and eighth day after their arrival, an ITV reporter said.

Britain's Health Department said "surge testing" was being deployed in areas around Manchester in connection to new variants of COVID-19.

The French Health Ministry said 1.92 million people had received a first injection of the COVID-19 vaccine since the start of the vaccination campaign, while 296,265 second injections had been administered to date.

The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care in French hospitals reached 3,363 on Monday, the highest in more than two months, while hospitalisation figures as a whole rose for the second day running.

ASIA-PACIFIC

Testing for coronavirus has collapsed in Myanmar after a military coup prompted a campaign of civil disobedience led by doctors and mass protests swept the country, official testing figures showed.

South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun called on restaurant and other business owners in the greater Seoul area to cooperate with social distancing rules to head off a spread of COVID-19 during the Lunar New Year holiday.

The European Union has approved the first shipment of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to Japan, the minister overseeing Japan's vaccination programme said, as the country aims to start vaccination by mid-February.

AMERICAS

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stressed he was working to ensure more vaccine shipments.

The governing body of the Chicago Teachers Union agreed to allow its 28,000 rank-and-file members to vote on a tentative deal with the third-largest US school district to gradually reopen classrooms.

Canada's most populous province of Ontario said on Monday it would extend a stay-at-home order in Toronto and nearby suburbs by two weeks, but residents of three largely rural public health regions can leave their homes starting on Wednesday.

Brazilian biomedical institute Butantan plans to vaccinate a city's entire adult population of about 30,000 people against COVID-19 to test whether it lowers the infection rate.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

South Africa will start its immunisation campaign with Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine after data showed AstraZeneca's shot offered minimal protection against mild-to-moderate illness from the dominant local virus variant.

Nigeria has not yet found the South African variant of COVID-19 in its population and will continue with plans to distribute the AstraZeneca vaccine.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

Health officials around the world gave their backing to the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19, after a study showing it had little effect against mild disease caused by the variant now spreading quickly in South Africa rang global alarm.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

The White House expects the House of Representatives to track closely to President Joe Biden's coronavirus relief plan as it marks up its latest round of legislation to blunt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Japan's real wages fell for the 10th straight month in December. Data also showed the country's currency in circulation and bank deposits rose at a record pace in January, a sign companies and households continued to hoard cash due to uncertainty over the pandemic.

Economists at Goldman Sachs bumped their US GDP forecast for the second quarter up to 11% from 10% and said additional fiscal measures are likely to be valued at $1.5 trillion, up from their previous $1.1 trillion estimate.

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