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FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

31 Jul 2020 / 19:51 H.

    (Updates with latest developments)

    July 31 (Reuters) - As scientists and drug companies race to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus, public health officials and senior U.S. lawmakers sound alarms about the Trump administration's lack of planning for nationwide distribution.

    The World Health Organization said there is no "zero risk" in easing travel restrictions.

    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 a summary of developments.

    EUROPE

    * British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would postpone the next stage of lockdown easing for at least two weeks due to a pick-up in COVID-19 infection rates.

    * People in England will be required to wear face masks or other face coverings in cinemas, places of worship, museums and art galleries from Aug. 8, Johnson said.

    * England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said the government has probably reached the limits of reopening the economy and society without creating a rising number of coronavirus infections.

    * Scotland advised against non-essential travel to areas of northern England facing new lockdown curbs due to an upsurge in cases and told people from those areas to stay away.

    * Germany will force people returning from three Spanish regions, including Catalonia - home to Barcelona - to go into quarantine or take a coronavirus test.

    * The Polish government will consider new restrictions on Friday after a record rise in cases.

    AMERICAS

    * U.S. deaths rose by almost 25,000 in July and cases doubled in at least 18 states during the month, according to a Reuters tally, a blow to hopes of quickly reopening the economy.

    * A full recovery of the Mexican economy could be reached in one to two years so long as no new outbreaks strike, a senior official said. Mexico's official death toll hit 46,000 on Thursday.

    * UNICEF will fund hotel rooms for Mexican women and kids threatened by domestic violence beginning in September, a representative said, as it aims to thwart violence at home believed to be exacerbated under lockdowns.

    ASIA-PACIFIC

    * Muslims across Asia, taking precautions such as wearing face masks and temperature checks, performed Eid prayers in mosques with reduced capacity as well as on the streets.

    * Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said elections for the city legislature will be postponed from Sept. 6 due to a spike in cases.

    * Vietnam recorded its first death on Friday as it reported 45 new infections in Danang, marking the country's biggest single-day jump.

    * The Philippines extended restrictions in Manila as infections hit records for the second straight day.

    * Tokyo could declare a state of emergency if the situation worsens, its governor warned,

    * Australia's Victoria state recorded its second-highest day of new infections on Friday as its premier flagged the prospect of strict new steps.

    MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

    * South African small businesses fighting rejected coronavirus-related claims said insurers' relief offers are too little too late for many.

    MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

    * Pfizer and BioNTech agreed to supply 120 million doses of their experimental vaccine to Japan in the first half of 2021.

    * Chinese government-linked hackers targeted biotech company Moderna, a vaccine research developer, according to a U.S. security official tracking Chinese hacking. China on Friday rejected the accusation.

    ECONOMIC FALLOUT

    * European shares recovered from their lowest levels in a month, as investors looked past a severe economic contraction in Germany and on to company earnings.

    * The dollar extended its dramatic fall, putting it on course for its biggest monthly drop in a decade as investors fretted that a rebound in the U.S. economy would be derailed.

    * South Africa's economy could contract 8.2% this year if a second wave hits, the OECD said.

    * Taiwan's economy recorded its deepest contraction in nearly 11 years in the second quarter, as the pandemic dampened tourism.

    * Portugal's gross domestic product shrank 14.1% in the second quarter of 2020, the biggest contraction ever.

    * Costa Rica's economy is expected to contract 5% by the end of this year, the country's central bank said, which would mark its steepest decline since 1982.

    (Compiled by Sarah Morland; Editing by David Evans)

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