(MENAFN- The Peninsula)
COVID-19 continues to inflict a devastating toll on the Americas, with Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador and Paraguay among the countries with the world's highest weekly death rates, the Pan American Health Organization said.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* England will allow fully vaccinated visitors from the European Union and United States to arrive without needing to quarantine from next week, in a huge and long-awaited boost for airlines and travel companies.
* Norway postponed for a second time a planned final step in the reopening of its economy from pandemic lockdown.
* The European Union (EU) has signed a contract with GlaxoSmithKline for the supply of up to 220,000 treatments of its investigational monoclonal antibody therapy sotrovimab against COVID-19.
* Governors of three prefectures near Olympics host city Tokyo are likely to ask the government to declare states of emergency for their regions after infections rose to a record high in the Japanese capital.
* Myanmar's military ruler is looking for greater cooperation with the international community to contain the coronavirus, state media reported.
* Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered his government to open the vaccination campaign to anyone who wants a shot as his country scrambles to protect the population from more transmissible variants.
* Tempers flared in the U.S. Congress after its chief physician urged lawmakers to resume wearing masks to slow the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.
* New York will require state employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or get tested weekly, a mandate that will go into effect on Sept. 6, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Zimbabwe has authorised the emergency use of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine.
* The U.S. government will ship nearly 10 million doses of vaccines to two of the most populous African countries - Nigeria and South Africa, White House officials said, while Britain will offer 817,000 doses to Kenya.
* Changes in nerve fibers in the eyes can help confirm a diagnosis of "long COVID", according to new findings.
* AstraZeneca's vaccine carries a small extra risk of rare blood clots with low platelets after the first dose and no extra risk after the second, a study led and funded by the drugmaker showed.
* Italian regulators approved the use of Moderna's vaccine for children aged 12 to 17.
* U.S. stocks edged higher on Wednesday in a listless showing while the dollar made modest gains as investors stayed on the sidelines and waited for the outcome of a Federal Reserve meeting.
* The U.S. economic recovery remains on track despite a rise in infections, the Federal Reserve said in a new policy statement that remained upbeat and flagged ongoing talks around the eventual withdrawal of monetary policy support.
* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain's economy would show a steady recovery this year, albeit with "bumps on the road".
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