Latest on worldwide spread of coronavirus

·2-min read

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

EUROPE

* England has imposed a new national lockdown, which British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said could be lifted as soon as mid-February if the vaccine rollout goes as planned and the number of deaths responds to the new measures. Elite sport will be exempt from curbs.

* Spanish doctors and health experts expressed frustration at the slow start to the country's inoculation campaign.

* The underlying level of COVID-19 in Ireland is now higher than during the first wave in April and May.

AMERICAS

* More than two-thirds of the 15 million coronavirus vaccines shipped within the United States have so far gone unused, as the governors of New York and Florida vowed to penalise hospitals that fail to dispense shots quickly enough.

* Eight Canadian politicians resigned or were demoted after travelling internationally over the Christmas holidays.

* Mexico has approved the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.

* Panama will receive its first shipment of vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech later this month.

* Major US airlines backed a proposal by public health officials to implement a global testing program requiring negative tests before most international air passengers return to the United States.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* A Japanese government decision on a state of emergency in and around Tokyo will be made this week - a move derided by citizens as too little, too late, especially in a nation set to host the Olympics in July.

* Indonesia will begin its mass-vaccination program on January 13, with the first shot going to President Joko Widodo.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Lebanon announced a full lockdown for three weeks, including a night curfew, while Israel's health ministry authorised Moderna's vaccine.

* eSwatini aims to vaccinate all of its 1.3 million people, senior officials in the southern African kingdom said.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Inovio Pharmaceuticals expects to start a late-stage US study of its experimental vaccine candidate in the second quarter of 2021.

* A vaccine candidate from Chinese firm Stemirna Therapeutics obtained approval to conduct human testing from China's medical products regulator.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* The balance of money circulating in Japan's economy hit a record high for the ninth consecutive month in December, as the central bank continued to flood the economy with cash to cushion the blow from the pandemic.

* US manufacturing activity picked up at its briskest pace in more than six years in December.