LATEST UPDATES ON THE WORLDWIDE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS

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The heads of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank urged the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies to release any excess vaccines to developing countries as soon as possible and called on manufacturers to ramp up production, reports Reuters.

•Deaths & Infections

-EUROPE

*The European Union has secured about 55,000 doses of a potential treatment for COVID-19 based on a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies developed by U.S. drugmaker Regeneron (REGN.O) and Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche (ROG.S), an EU spokesman said.
*Britain has removed Portugal from its “green list” of countries that do not require quarantine on return due to rising case numbers and the risk of a mutation of the Indian variation, Transport Minister Grant Shapps said.
*Greece will supply its northern neighbors Albania and North Macedonia with 40,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, the country’s spokeswoman said.

-AMERICAS

*U.S. President Joe Biden is touting incentives from free beer to free childcare to get 70% of American adults at least one vaccine shot by July 4.
*Pot-banging protests erupted across several cities in Brazil as President Jair Bolsonaro addressed the nation, just days after protesters took to the streets over his handling of the pandemic.

-ASIA-PACIFIC

*India signed its first order for an unapproved COVID-19 vaccine, a day after criticism from the Supreme Court over its bungled vaccine rollout that has left millions of people vulnerable after almost 338,000 deaths.
*COVID-19 is many times more prevalent in Indonesia than shown by official figures in the world’s fourth most populous country, authors of two new studies told Reuters.
*Taiwan is in talks with vaccine makers including Pfizer (PFE.N) and Johnson and Johnson (JNJ.N) for more supplies, its foreign minister said while expressing appreciation to Japan for considering donating much-needed shots.
*The head of Japan’s Olympics organizing committee ruled out another suspension of the Games, despite deep disquiet at the prospect of thousands of athletes and officials arriving during the fourth wave of infections.

•Middle East & Africa

*Moderna (MRNA.O) said it had entered a supply agreement with the Botswana government for its vaccine.

*The United Arab Emirates will suspend the entry of travelers coming from Vietnam starting June 5, as part of measures to contain the spread of the virus, the UAE state news agency WAM reported.

*Syria has received the first shipment of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported, quoting the Syrian ambassador to Russia.

•Medical Developments

*G7 leaders must donate shots urgently to avoid an outcome akin to the 1918 flu which killed 50 million people, the head of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) told Reuters.
*Countries and private donors have pledged nearly $2.4 billion to the COVAX vaccine-sharing plan.
*The novel coronavirus poses no threats to blood supply in the United States, while studies show that high vitamin D levels do not protect against COVID-19.

•Economic Impact

*Global equities stepped back from record highs on Thursday as investors studied data indicating an uptick in job growth for cues on the trajectory of economic recovery and inflation.
*Eurozone business activity surged in May as the easing of some restrictions injected life into the bloc’s dominant services industry.

Source: Reuters