FACTBOX-Latest information on the global spread of the coronavirus

Aaron Bell, a UK lawmaker from the ruling Conservative Party, submitted a letter of no confidence to Boris Johnson, saying the Prime Minister’s handling of the Downing Street lockdown parties had made his position untenable. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

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

* Spain will lift the requirement for people to wear masks outdoors next week, extending a wider rollback of restrictions as the contagion slowly recedes in the country. * Greece will allow tourists with a European vaccination certificate to enter the country without presenting a negative COVID test from February 7, the government has announced.

AMERICAS * Ottawa police have pledged to quell an “increasingly dangerous” protest by hundreds of truckers who shut down the center of the Canadian capital for eight days to demand an end to COVID-19 vaccination mandates. 19.

ASIA-PACIFIC * Hong Kong plans to roll out rapid antigen testing for all of its 7.5 million people in the near future, city leader Carrie Lam has said, as the world’s financial hub grows in more isolated tries to control a new epidemic.

AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST * Turkey recorded 111,157 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours, its highest daily figure of the pandemic, while the daily death toll was the highest in four months, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

* South Africa is seeing more cases of the BA.2 subvariant of the Omicron coronavirus variant and is monitoring it, but there are no clear signs that BA.2 is substantially different from the original strain of Omicron, said a senior scientist. * The United Arab Emirates has announced that it will lift the travel ban imposed on its vaccinated citizens to travel to twelve African countries, the official WAM news agency said.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS * French drugmaker Sanofi said it still expects its COVID-19 vaccine to complete the Phase III trial in the first quarter.

* The mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine produced at the World Health Organization-backed vaccination center in South Africa could take up to three years to be approved if companies don’t share their technology and data , said a WHO official. * UK researchers want to reuse existing antiviral therapies to treat COVID-19, Oxford University said, in a bid to avoid lengthy development processes with readily available drugs.

ECONOMIC IMPACT * Stock indices around the world traded mixed despite strong Amazon earnings, while gold prices fell under pressure from a stronger dollar and higher US Treasury yields , with upbeat US jobs data bolstering the case for Federal Reserve rate hikes.

* The U.S. economy added significantly more jobs than expected in January despite disruption to consumer-facing businesses due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, indicating underlying strength that should support the expansion then the Federal Reserve begins to raise interest rates. (Compiled by Alexander Kloss, Shailesh Kuber and Krishna Chandra Eluri; Editing by John Stonestreet, Kirsten Donovan and Anil D’Silva)

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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