Sat, 16 Jan 2021

Britain's AstraZeneca said its Covid-19 vaccine could be around 90% effective without any serious side effects, while the United States and Germany said they could start inoculating their citizens by next month.

Europe

- Britain is looking at reducing Covid-19 self-isolation time, its health secretary said.

- Many German states favour extending a partial shutdown and make family gatherings over Christmas possible, a state prime minister said.

- Spain will begin a comprehensive vaccination programme in January, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said.

Americas

- US healthcare workers and others recommended for the nation's first Covid-19 inoculations could start getting shots within a day or two of regulatory consent next month, a top official said.

- Mexico reported 9 187 additional cases on Sunday, the third time it has recorded more than 9000 new infections in a single day.

- Chile's president said his government would appeal to the Constitutional Court to halt a pensions bill, which supporters say would help Chileans struggling with the pandemic's economic fallout.

- Pope Francis says in a new book that he can relate to people in intensive care units who fear dying from coronavirus because of his own experience when part of his lung was removed 63 years ago.

Middle East and Africa

- A sharp rise in infections in the Gaza Strip could overwhelm the Palestinian enclave's meagre medical system by next week, public health advisers said.

- The number of foreign visitors arriving in Turkey plunged 59.4% in October, tourism ministry data showed, as the economy continued to struggle to recover from the effects of Covid-19.

Medical developments

- AstraZeneca said its vaccine could be around 90% effective without any serious side effects, but the success rate varied depending on the dose.

- AstraZeneca will have enough of its candidate vaccine for 200 million doses by the end of 2020, with drug substance for 700 million doses by the end of the first quarter of 2021 globally, its operations executive said.

Economic impact

- Shares and oil prices rose on Monday while the dollar fell as investors pinned hopes for economic revival on coronavirus vaccines, even as the world contended with surging case numbers and delays to fresh US stimulus.

- Greenhouse gas concentrations climbed to a new record in 2019 and rose again this year despite an expected drop in emissions due to Covid-19 lockdowns, the World Meteorological Organisation said, warning against complacency.

Source: News24

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