* 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 vaccine, which President Vladimir Putin said he took as a booster.
* Russia expects a team of specialists from the World Health Organization to travel in December to work on a review of its Sputnik V vaccine for a possible emergency use list of WHO, said the head of the RDIF fund that markets the vaccine.
* Poland will have to tighten restrictions if it does not see daily cases decrease in the near future, the health minister said.
* The Slovak government has followed the lead of neighboring Austria and ordered a two-week lockdown to quell the world’s fastest rise in COVID-19 cases.
* Italy has 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 infections that is putting pressure on hospitals, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said.
* Ecuador will administer booster shots to the general population from January 2022, the government said.
* Colombia will seek to vaccinate more than 80% of its population, 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 Office of Management and Budget said.
* New cases have jumped 23% in the Americas over the past week, mostly in North America where the United States and Canada are reporting increased rates of infection, the Pan American Organization said on Wednesday. health.
* Singapore and Malaysia will launch a non-quarantine traffic lane at their land border crossing for fully vaccinated people next week.
* Egypt will activate a plan in a few days to offer vaccine boosters to the elderly, people with chronic diseases and healthcare workers.
* The SARS-CoV-2 virus will continue to spread intensely as societies return to the social mix and mobility of the pre-pandemic period, WHO Emergency Director Mike Ryan said.
Associated Australian Press