The Slovak government followed neighboring Austria’s lead on Wednesday and ordered a two-week lockdown to quell the world’s fastest increase in COVID-19 cases. France, on the other hand, wants to impose containment measures but is not considering new containment. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* Coronavirus infections broke records in parts of Europe on Wednesday, with the continent once again the epicenter of a pandemic that has prompted new traffic brakes and seen health experts push to expand the use of booster vaccines. * Portugal, one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, will administer COVID-19 boosters to a quarter of its population by the end of January, the Health Secretary said.
* Russia has said it plans to export a nasal form of its Sputnik COVID-19 vaccine, which President Vladimir Putin said he took as a booster. * Russia expects a team of specialists from the World Health Organization (WHO) to visit in December to work on a review of its Sputnik V vaccine for a possible list of use of WHO emergency, said the head of the RDIF fund which markets the vaccine.
* Poland will need to tighten COVID-19 restrictions if it does not see daily cases decrease in the near future, the health minister said on Wednesday. * The Slovak government followed neighboring Austria’s lead on Wednesday and ordered a two-week lockdown to quell the world’s fastest rise in COVID-19 cases.
* Italy on Wednesday tightened the screws on people who do not wish to take a COVID vaccine, severely restricting access to a range of services and making vaccines mandatory for a wider group of public sector workers. * The Dutch government will announce new measures on Friday to tackle an upsurge in coronavirus infections which is putting pressure on hospitals, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said.
AMERICAS * Ecuador will administer COVID-19 booster injections to the general population from January 2022, the government said.
* Colombia will seek to vaccinate more than 80% of its population against COVID-19, against a previous target of 70%, as it seeks to reduce the risk posed by new waves of pandemic, said Minister of Health Fernando Ruiz. * A total of 92% of U.S. federal workers have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, per the administration’s mandate, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said.
* New cases of COVID-19 have jumped 23% in the Americas over the past week, mostly in North America where the United States and Canada are reporting rising infection rates, the U.S. said on Wednesday. Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). ASIA PACIFIC
* Singapore and Malaysia will launch a quarantine-free traffic lane at their land border crossing for those vaccinated next week, the two countries said. MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Egypt will activate in a few days a plan to offer COVID-19 vaccine boosters to the elderly, those with chronic diseases and healthcare workers, the health ministry said. MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS
* The SARS-CoV-2 virus will continue to spread intensely as societies return to the social mix and mobility of a pre-pandemic period, said the emergency director of the World Health Organization (WHO ), Mike Ryan. ECONOMIC IMPACT
* Wall Street stocks reversed earlier losses in choppy trading on Wednesday and US Treasury yields hovered near year-highs after data suggested the US labor market and consumer spending continued to slide to improve. (Compiled by Amy Caren Daniel; edited by Anil D’Silva)
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)