Factbox: Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

Oct 12 (Reuters) – Sydney’s COVID-19 cases fell to the lowest in two months on Tuesday. Meanwhile, New Zealand expects to administer a record 100,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses in a single day during a mass immunisation drive on Oct. 16.

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

* Russian President Vladimir Putin, seen coughing during a televised government meeting, reassured officials that he was fine and said he was being tested for COVID-19 virtually every day. read more

AMERICAS

* Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott, responding to what he called “bullying” by the Biden Administration, on Monday barred all COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the state by any entity, including private employers. read more

ASIA-PACIFIC

* South Korea will donate 1.1 mln doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to Vietnam and 470,000 doses to Thailand, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said. read more

* New Zealand expects to administer a record 100,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses in a single day during a mass immunisation drive on Oct. 16, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, as she seeks to accelerate inoculations before easing curbs in Auckland. read more

* Sydney’s COVID-19 cases fell to the lowest in two months on Tuesday as authorities rolled out support measures for businesses, shifting their focus to rejuvenating the economy after the city exited a nearly four-month lockdown a day earlier. read more

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Egypt’s public prosecution said on Sunday it had ordered the arrest of three people after thousands of unused COVID-19 vaccines were found dumped along a water channel. read more

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* India’s Everest Organics Ltd said on Tuesday it had started making the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) for a generic version of Merck & Co’s experimental antiviral drug molnupiravir to treat mild to moderate COVID-19. read more

* The World Health Organization on Monday recommended that immunocompromised people be given an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine, due to their higher risk of breakthrough infections after standard immunisation. read more

* AstraZeneca’s antibody cocktail against COVID-19, which has proven to work as a preventative shot in the non-infected, was also shown to save lives and prevent severe disease when given as treatment within a week of first symptoms. read more

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Asian shares dropped and Treasury yields held firm on Tuesday, as a global energy crunch fuelled inflation fears and concerns about Evergrande’s debt problems intensified, clouding investor sentiment before the U.S. corporate earnings season.

* British employers took their payrolls to a record high in September, shortly before the end of the government’s wage subsidies programme, potentially encouraging the Bank of England’s progress towards a first post-pandemic interest rate hike. read more

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