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FACTBOX-Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

14 Jan 2021 / 20:12 H.

    Jan 14 (Reuters) - Two members of a World Health Organization-led delegation to Wuhan to investigate the origins of COVID-19 remained in Singapore after testing positive for antibodies, while China reported its biggest jump in cases in over 10 months ahead of a major national holiday.

    DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

    * Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.

    EUROPE

    * France's prime minister said he was happy to see that vaccinations were starting to be more widely accepted by skeptical French people.

    * French data privacy watchdog CNIL condemned the Interior Ministry for unlawful use of drones to oversee demonstrations and make sure people were respecting lockdown.

    * Germany will have the pandemic under control by the end of the year, but a new, fast-spreading strain risks exacerbating the situation, the public health chief said.

    * Both Pope Francis and ex Pope Benedict have received the first dose of a vaccine, the Vatican said.

    ASIA-PACIFIC

    * India will treat a domestic vaccine equally with a prominent global one, even though the homegrown drug's efficacy has not been proven, and people will have no choice which they one they get, an official told Reuters.

    * The Philippines' Food and Drug Administration has authorised Pfizer's vaccine, the first to be approved in the country among the most-affected in Asia.

    * Indonesia may allow companies to procure their own vaccines, its health minister said, while a nationwide rollout of an inoculation programme began.

    * The once-delayed Tokyo Olympics may not go ahead this summer as planned, a Japanese minister said.

    AMERICAS

    * The White House is still considering rescinding entry bans for most non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in Brazil and much of Europe in the final days before President U.S. Donald Trump leaves office, two officials said.

    * More than 10 million Americans had received their first vaccine dose as of Wednesday, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.]

    * Mexico reported 15,873 new confirmed cases and 1,235 more fatalities on Wednesday. [nE1N2HU016

    MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

    * Vaccines are not yet Africa's antidote, a regional health official said, after the African Union secured 270 million doses for the continent where a second wave is infecting about 30,000 people a day.

    * Turkey began administering the vaccine developed by China's Sinovac to health workers, as it rolls out a nationwide programme

    * Seychelles is struggling to raise funds to pay public workers and the government plans to raise $212 million to plug its budget deficit, the finance minister said.

    MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

    * Russia's Sputnik V vaccine will be registered in nine other countries this month, the head of Russia's sovereign wealth fund said.

    * People who have had COVID-19 are highly likely to have immunity to it for at least five months, but there is evidence that those with antibodies may still be able to carry and spread the virus, a UK study found

    ECONOMIC IMPACT

    * Investors shrugged off U.S. president Trump's record second impeachment and focused instead on reports that his replacement, Joe Biden, will lay out a new $2 trillion stimulus programme later.

    * Germany's economy shrank by 5% in 2020, less than expected and a smaller contraction than during the global financial crisis, as unprecedented government rescue and stimulus measures helped lessen the shock

    * Japan's core machinery orders unexpectedly rose for a second straight month in November, although a renewed coronavirus emergency in Tokyo and 10 other areas may cool business appetite for capital spending.

    (Compiled by Sarah Morland; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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