More countries detected the mutated variant of the coronavirus, with India reporting its first few cases, while the US House of Representatives approved President Donald Trumps $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks demand.
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Deaths and infections
* Britain must vaccinate 2 million people a week to avoid a third wave of the coronavirus outbreak, a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has concluded.
* Germany’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign has been overshadowed by an overdose mishap in the north and problems with the transportation of the vaccine in the south which lead to 1,000 shots being sent back.
* The distribution of an initial 200 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech across the European Union will be completed by September, a spokesman for the EU Commission said.
* The US House of Representatives voted 275-134 to meet President Donald Trump’s demand for $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks.
* Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said a COVID-19 vaccine would be available in the country within five days of being approved by federal health regulator Anvisa.
* Indian health authorities said they had found six people who had returned from Britain in recent weeks positive for the new more infectious strain of the coronavirus.
* Japan detected a coronavirus variant found in South Africa, the government said.
* International visitors will be barred from entering Indonesia for a two-week period to try to keep out the potentially more contagious variant of the virus.
* South Korea, which saw a record daily death toll on Tuesday, unveiled a fresh 9.3 trillion won ($8.49 billion) package to support small businesses and those vulnerable to unemployment due to COVID-19.
* The Philippines will ban travelers from 19 countries and territories until mid-January to keep out a new variant of the coronavirus.
Middle East and Africa
* South Africa tightened COVID-19 restrictions, banning alcohol sales and extending a nationwide curfew, as infections shot through the one million mark owing to a faster-spreading variant of the disease discovered in the country.
* Lebanon has secured about 2 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine, which will cover 20 percent of the country’s nationals, the health minister said.
* Russia will begin trials of an antibody treatment for COVID-19 patients next year, according to the head of the Moscow institute that developed the country’s first vaccine against the disease, Sputnik V.
* Novavax Inc has begun a large late-stage study of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the US, the drug developer said.
* Asian shares jumped on Tuesday, with Japanese stocks hitting a 30-year high, as hopes that a long-awaited US pandemic relief package would be expanded, while a Brexit trade deal supported investor’s risk appetite.
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