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FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus

16 Sep 2020 / 06:10 H.

    (Adds new developments)

    Sept 15 (Reuters) - The top FDA official on Tuesday confirmed AstraZeneca's U.S. COVID-19 vaccine trial is on hold, saying the agency is planning to do "very significant work" with the company as it conducts its investigation after an illness in a participant in Britain.

    DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

    * For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.

    * For a U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, open https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T in an external browser.

    * Eikon users, see MacroVitals cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.

    EUROPE

    * Britain's testing system for COVID-19 was creaking as a bottleneck prevented people including medics from getting a test, with the government saying it may take weeks to resolve the problem.

    * Ireland delayed the planned reopening of all pubs in Dublin following a surge in cases in the capital, but bars across the rest of the country will be allowed to open next Monday.

    ASIA-PACIFIC

    * At least 17 Indian MPs have tested positive as cases in the country near five million.

    MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

    * Zimbabwe lifted a ban on inter-city travel and extended working hours as the government gradually re-opens the economy by easing COVID-19 restrictions.

    AMERICAS

    * U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats were open to delaying an October recess to get a deal with Republicans on a new coronavirus aid bill.

    * A disproportionate percentage of U.S. COVID-19 deaths have been recorded among Black and Hispanic people younger than 21, according to a study, a reflection of the racial and ethnic make-up of essential workers who have more exposure to COVID-19.

    * Canada's health minister said she could not rule out another full lockdown if needed amid a surge in new COVID-19 cases, but added Ottawa was significantly more prepared to manage the virus than during the first wave.

    * Brazil's health regulator Anvisa authorized AstraZeneca to test its COVID-19 vaccine on an additional 5,000 volunteers in the country for clinical Phase III trials.

    * Argentina's "positive rate", the number of daily infections to the number of tests carried out, has topped 50%, one of the highest in the world.

    MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

    * Pfizer said participants were showing mild-to-moderate side effects when given either the company's experimental coronavirus vaccine or a placebo in an ongoing late-stage study.

    * Some volunteers have quit Johnson & Johnson's vaccine trial in Spain after news of side effects in a participant in AstraZeneca's trial.

    * Germany awarded $745 million in funding to biotech firms BioNTech and CureVac to speed up work on COVID-19 vaccines and expand German production capacity.

    ECONOMIC IMPACT

    * London judges have ruled that some of the world's biggest insurers were wrong to reject tens of thousands of claims from small firms battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, Britain's Financial Conduct Authority said.

    * Britain's unemployment rate rose for the first time since lockdown began in March, a warning signal ahead of an expected surge in job losses when a huge government job subsidy programme expires next month.

    (Compiled by Krishna Chandra Eluri, Anita Kobylinska and Sarah Morland; Editing by Ed Osmond and Arun Koyyur)

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