(Reuters) – Finance and health ministers from the world’s 20 biggest economies said they would take steps to ensure 70% of the world’s population is vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-2022 and created a task force to fight future pandemics.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals here for a case tracker and summary of news
* The prevalence of COVID-19 cases in England hit its highest level since the start of the year, reaching around one in 50 people in the week ending Oct. 22, Britain’s Office for National Statistics said.
* Some businesses flouted the Russian capital’s new lockdown measures saying they needed to make ends meet amid a lack of state support, as nationwide deaths from COVID-19 hit a new record daily high blamed on slow vaccination adoption.
* Sweden’s response to the coronavirus was too slow and preparations to handle a pandemic were insufficient, a commission investigating the country’s response to COVID-19 said.
* Poland’s total number of cases since the start of the pandemic passed 3 million, as the fourth wave of infections gathers pace.
* The U.S. health regulator authorized the Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE coronavirus vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years, making it the first COVID-19 shot for young children in the United States.
* Enrollment in U.S. government-run health insurance program Medicaid during the pandemic grew 16%, with more than 11 million additional Americans signing up, the Department of Health and Human Services said.
* Regulations governing deep-sea mining will take longer to finalise due to the global pandemic, a group of Latin American and Caribbean countries said.
* A Chinese jade trading hub on the border with Myanmar vowed strict control over domestic outbound travel to halt the spread of COVID-19, sustaining some of the toughest zero-tolerance policies in China.
* Malaysia, which said it would proceed with the procurement of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for children, announced its largest ever budget to jump-start a pandemic-battered economy.
* South Korea will drop all operating-hour curbs on restaurants and cafes and implement its first vaccine passport for high-risk venues such as gyms, saunas and bars.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The European Commission suspended funding for its COVID-19 operations to the World Health Organization’s programmes in the Democratic Republic of Congo due to concerns over the U.N. agency’s handling of a sexual abuse scandal.
* Leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies are set to commit to supporting cutting to 100 days the period in which pharmaceutical companies can develop new vaccines, drugs and tests during a pandemic, according to a draft joint document.
* Takeda Pharmaceutical, the Japanese partner for Novavax’s vaccine, is preparing to seek regulatory approval for a roll-out in Japan early next year, its top executive said.
* Global equities dipped while the U.S. dollar gained as lower-than-expected earnings results from technology giants Amazon and Apple weighed on investors despite data showing solid growth in U.S. consumer spending. [MKTS/GLOB]
* Mexico’s economy shrank 0.2% in the third quarter from the previous three-month period, the first quarterly decline since recovery from the pandemic began.
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