Latest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus

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Face masks are on sale at a farmers’ market at Steglitz-Zehlendorf district, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Berlin, Germany, October 17, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

(Reuters) – A divided world has failed to rise to the challenge of fighting the pandemic, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Saturday and warned concerted action was needed to prevent millions of people being pushed into poverty and hunger.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

– For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread of COVID-19, open https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps

EUROPE

– Cases are surging in many parts of Europe. Countries including Italy, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine and Czech Republic reported record daily increases in the number of infections.

– The foreign ministers of Austria and Belgium have tested positive for coronavirus after attending a meeting with EU colleagues earlier this week, raising concerns the gathering may have been a so-called “super-spreader” event.

– Italy is considering tightening nationwide restrictions in response to a spike in COVID-19 cases, the head of the north-western region of Liguria said on Saturday.

– A man living in the same Vatican residence as Pope Francis has tested positive for COVID-19 and gone into isolation, the Vatican said.

AMERICAS

– President Donald Trump called for a big economic stimulus as U.S. infections surpassed eight million, with record spikes in several states.

– Mexico’s health ministry on Friday reported 6,751 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 419 additional fatalities, bringing the country’s total to 841,661 cases and 85,704 deaths.

ASIA-PACIFIC

– Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern delivered the biggest election victory for her centre-left Labour Party in half a century as voters rewarded her for a decisive response to COVID-19. Her “go hard, go early” approach has eliminated locally spread coronavirus in the nation.

– India’s infections rose by another 62,212 cases over the previous day and a local media report said on Saturday the government had begun identifying about 300 million people who would be given a vaccine first when it is ready.

– Australia’s coronavirus hotspot of Victoria recorded a single case on Saturday – the lowest daily number since early June – and no deaths, with the state’s top health official calling the figures “one-der-ful”.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

– Iran, the hardest hit Middle Eastern country, extended coronavirus restrictions and closures in Tehran into a third week on Saturday as its death toll rose above 30,000.

 

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

– China’s disease control authority said on Saturday that contact with frozen food packaging contaminated by living new coronavirus could cause infection.

– The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd have received renewed approval to conduct late-stage clinical trials in India of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine, the sovereign wealth fund said on Saturday.

– Pfizer Inc said it could file in late November for U.S. authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine it is developing, suggesting that a vaccine could potentially be available in the country by the end of the year.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

– The risk that the second wave of the pandemic could derail the euro zone’s recovery from deep recession makes ultra-easy monetary policy all the more necessary, European Central Bank board member Fabio Panetta has told a Greek newspaper.

(Compiled by Frances Kerry)

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