Factbox: Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

(Reuters) – World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on more pharmaceutical companies on Friday to share manufacturing facilities to help ramp up the production of COVID-19 vaccines.

FILE PHOTO: Dr. Syed Naqvi, center, places a new breathing tube in a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient in the ICU at SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S., January 28, 2021. REUTERS/Nick Oxford

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS * Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals here for a case tracker and summary of news.

EUROPE

* Britain wants to have offered all adults over the age of 50, its most vulnerable people and health workers a vaccination against COVID-19 by May.

* Greece tightened lockdown restrictions in parts of the country including capitol Athens. [L8N2KB667]

* Spain approved AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine for use in people aged 18 to 55, while Madrid health authorities confirmed the region’s first case of the Brazilian COVID-19 variant.

* Hotels, cinemas and theatres will reopen in Poland from mid-February at maximum half capacity.

* The Czech Republic may consider using vaccines not yet registered in the EU to speed up inoculations, Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Friday, on a trip to Hungary which has given emergency approval to Russian and Chinese vaccines.

* Ukraine has secured from the Serum Institute of India 12 million coronavirus vaccine doses developed by AstraZeneca and Novavax.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* A panel of South Korean advisers has urged caution over the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for people older than 65, citing a lack of data, the food and drug safety ministry said, as the country granted conditional approval to Celltrion Inc’s COVID-19 antibody treatment.

AMERICAS

* President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies in Congress forged ahead with their $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package as lawmakers neared passage of a budget plan that would allow them to muscle it through in the coming weeks without Republican support.

* The Biden administration is exploring every option for increasing manufacturing of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is under regulatory review.

* The Pentagon had approved the deployment of 1,100 active-duty troops to assist with COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the United States, a number likely to rise in the coming weeks and months.

* Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has had a negative COVID-19 test, less than two weeks after the 67-year-old announced he had contracted the virus.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* South Africa has secured enough COVID-19 vaccines for at least 26 million people and knows where it will get the remaining does it needs, the health minister said.

* Gulf state Bahrain will reintroduce restrictions on Sunday for two weeks.

* Lebanon will gradually ease strict coronavirus lockdown in force since Jan. 11 in four two-week stages starting from Monday.

* Yemen expects a first batch of 2.3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by March through the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility, and Saudi Arabia could separately finance shots for around 50% of the population.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Pfizer Inc has withdrawn an application for emergency-use authorisation of its vaccine in India, after failing to meet the drug regulator’s demand for a local safety and immunogenicity study.

* Recent data from Britain, Denmark and the Netherlands has shown that the analysed coronavirus mutations are more infectious, the head of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases said.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Global equity markets scaled a new record on investor expectations of further stimulus from Washington and economic revival hopes.[MKTS/GLOB]

* U.S. employment growth rebounded moderately in January and job losses in the prior month were deeper than initially thought, strengthening the case for a sizable relief package from the government.

* Indonesia’s economy suffered its first full-year contraction in over two decades in 2020.

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