Monday, 25 October 2021 12:08 GMT

Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Reuters

Johnson & Johnson said on Tuesday a second shot of its COVID-19 vaccine given about two months after the first increased its effectiveness to 94% in the United States against moderate to severe forms of the disease.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
EUROPE

* The European Commission has signed a joint procurement contract with U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co for the supply of a monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19, the EU executive arm said in a statement.
* Poland will recommend a booster dose of the vaccine for people over 50 as well as for healthcare workers, a deputy health minister said.
* Ukraine will tighten lockdown restrictions from Sept. 23 as the number of new infections has increased sharply, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said.

AMERICAS
* Two major U.S. retail industry groups asked the Biden administration for at least 90 days before imposing new rules that will require employees at larger firms to be vaccinated or submit to regular testing.
* Under new U.S. rules, foreign nationals admitted to the United States on humanitarian grounds, who are not required to have vaccinations, will have to agree to be vaccinated upon arrival, according to a document seen by Reuters.
* Argentina unveiled plans to ease coronavirus pandemic restrictions, including loosening strict border controls, allowing more commercial activities and getting rid of the mandatory wearing of face masks outdoors.
* Colombian President Ivan Duque told the United Nations General Assembly the international community must equitably distribute COVID-19 vaccines to avoid the creation of new, more fearsome variants of the coronavirus.

ASIA-PACIFIC
* Chinese leader Xi Jinping reiterated China aims to provide 2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to the world by the end of the year.
* Police in Melbourne used pepper balls and rubber pellets to scatter thousands of protesters who defied stay-at-home orders to damage property, block a busy freeway and injure three officers, leading to more than 40 arrests.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The first world fair to be held in the Middle East, Expo 2020 Dubai, opens its doors to exhibitors from almost 200 countries on Oct. 1 after being delayed for a year by the pandemic.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS
* Eli Lilly announced a pact with the European Commission to supply up to 220,000 doses of its COVID-19 dual antibody cocktail to European countries for patients aged 12 years and older who are at a high risk of progressing to severe disease.

ECONOMIC IMPACT
* World stock markets edged back on Tuesday while the U.S. dollar held relatively steady a day after heavy selling inequities, as investors assessed the level of contagion stemming from the distress of debt-saddled developer China Evergrande.

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