(Reuters) – Europe’s reported coronavirus cases more than doubled in 10 days, crossing 200,000 daily infections for the first time on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally, with many Southern European countries reporting their highest single-day cases this week.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* Germany is making preparations to start vaccinations against the coronavirus before the end of the year, Bild daily reported on Friday.
* The Peruvian government refused to sign a coronavirus vaccine purchase agreement with AstraZeneca PLC because it did not provide sufficient data from its studies and offered minimal amounts of inoculations.
* The United States, state governments and some foreign countries should replace quarantines and travel bans on airline passengers with COVID-19 testing of travelers before departure and upon arrival, airline and business groups said.
* Several U.S. states, many of them in the Midwest, reported record single-day increases in cases.
* The Japanese government’s expert panel to combat the pandemic plans to propose on Friday extending the New Year holidays by about a week to Jan. 11, Kyodo News reported.
* Australia’s Victoria state – the epicentre of the country’s COVID-19 outbreak – reported that active coronavirus cases have fallen to a four-month low, paving the way for an acceleration in the easing of social distancing curbs.
* The Philippines’ coronavirus task force has approved the entry of foreign investors to the Southeast Asian nation starting from Nov. 1.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Ethiopia can jail people for up to two years if they deliberately violate COVID-19 restrictions, the attorney general’s office said, amid concern that citizens are becoming lax after a state of emergency was lifted.
* The U.S. FDA approved Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral drug remdesivir for treating patients hospitalized with COVID-19, making it the first and only drug approved for the disease.
* Using blood of recovered COVID-19 patients – or so-called convalescent plasma – as a potential treatment is of little benefit in helping hospitalised patients fight off the infection, according to results of a clinical trial in India.
* Global stocks barely budged on Friday as investors tightened positions with less than two weeks to go before the U.S. presidential election and awaited a breakthrough in stimulus talks in Washington. [MKTS/GLOB]
* White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said negotiations with lawmakers on a coronavirus relief package, now totaling $1.9 trillion, have entered a new phase with congressional committee chairs meeting.
* Japan’s core consumer prices slipped for the second consecutive month in September, a sign that a coronavirus-induced demand downturn is piling deflationary pressure on the world’s third-largest economy already blighted by recession.
* The euro zone’s economic recovery is at serious risk of stalling as a resurgent coronavirus sweeps through Europe, according to economists in a Reuters poll.
(Compiled by Devika Syamnath and Amy Caren Daniel; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Sriraj Kalluvila)