Oct 19 (Reuters) – Australia’s Victoria state will not do special deals with unvaccinated athletes to allow them to compete at major events, an official said on Tuesday, putting Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open title defence and bid for the Grand Slam record in doubt. read more
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* The COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out one in three jobs in the UK music industry, a trade body said on Tuesday, as it called for government support to help the sector recover.
* Britain reported the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in three months on Monday as the number of infections reached levels last seen when lockdown restrictions were in place in England during the summer.
* Europe’s drug regulator is evaluating use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in children as young as five, while also taking steps to aid an increase in production and boost the shot’s reach.
* Latvia announced a lockdown from Oct. 21 until Nov. 15 to try to slow a spike in infections in one of the least vaccinated European Union countries. read more
* Colin Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state, a top military officer and a national security adviser, died on Monday at age 84 due to complications from COVID-19. He was fully vaccinated, his family said.
* The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee said its decision to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for those competing at next year’s Beijing Olympics has been met with some resistance. read more
* The National Hockey League on Monday suspended the San Jose Sharks’ Evander Kane for 21 regular-season games without pay for violating its COVID-19 protocols. read more
* Brazil’s government is considering combining pandemic relief payments and “Bolsa Familia” welfare programs into a monthly stipend of 300 reais ($54.42) next year, according to an Economy Ministry official with direct knowledge of the matter. read more
* Travel website Kayak said searches related to international travel to the United States spiked 48% on Saturday from the same day one week earlier. read more
* New Zealand recorded the highest number of daily cases since the pandemic began last year, as the Delta variant of the coronavirus spreads in its biggest city Auckland. read more
* The World Health Organization asked for further data from India’s Bharat Biotech to consider the company’s request for an emergency-use listing for its COVID-19 shot, saying the WHO could not “cut corners” in making a decision.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Algeria lifted an overnight curfew that was imposed in parts of the country last month. read more
* Burundi rolled out its first COVID-19 vaccines, months after most African countries. read more
* Valneva SE said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated efficacy “at least as good, if not better” than AstraZeneca’s shot in a late-stage trial comparing the two, with significantly fewer adverse side effects.
* Asian shares advanced on Tuesday, supported by a tech-driven Wall Street rally, and a rebound in Chinese markets a day after weak data heightened investor concerns about the world’s second-largest economy. read more