(Updates with developments)
Dec 14 (Reuters) – The first shipments of COVID-19 vaccine
in the United States left on trucks and planes as it kicked off
an effort to stop the pandemic, while surging cases prompted
South Korea to shut schools and Japan to consider curbing a
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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for a case tracker and summary of news.
* Germany will close most stores from Wednesday until at
least Jan. 10, cutting short the busy Christmas shopping season,
as it tries to rein in the spread of COVID-19.
* Italy plans to set up primrose-shaped pavilions in its
artistic squares to dispense coronavirus vaccines, an official
said on Sunday, a day after the country overtook Britain to
report the highest official death toll from COVID-19 among
* Moscow will not impose a curfew or curb alcohol sales
during the New Year holiday, despite a rise in coronavirus
cases, the mayor of the Russian capital was quoted as saying by
Interfax news agency.
* The Dutch government is set to decide on stricter measures
to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the Netherlands on Monday.
* U.S. President Donald Trump suggested that senior White
House officials would wait longer for COVID-19 vaccines hours
after media outlets reported senior officials were to receive
doses within 10 days.
* The first COVID-19 vaccines have landed on Canadian soil,
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, and some Canadians are
expected to roll up their sleeves for a shot as soon as Monday.
* Brazil’s Supreme Court gave the country’s health minister
48 hours to fix the starting date for a national vaccination
program to fight the world’s second-deadliest outbreak of
* New Zealand agreed to allow quarantine-free travel with
Australia in the first quarter of 2021, nearly a year after it
locked down its borders.
* India will deploy its vast election machinery to deliver
600 million doses of vaccines to the most vulnerable people in
the next six to eight months through conventional cold chain
systems, the expert leading the initiative said.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Eswatini Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini, who tested
positive for COVID-19 four weeks ago, has died at age 52 after
being hospitalised in neighbouring South Africa.
* Nigeria’s army headquarters was isolating due to a
COVID-19 outbreak during an annual conference, a spokesman said.
* Bahrain said it had approved a COVID-19 vaccine developed
by China National Pharmaceutical Group and launched online
registration for the vaccine for citizens and residents.
* Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune made his first
appearance on Sunday since being flown to a hospital in Germany
47 days ago after testing positive for coronavirus.
* Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline delayed the
launch of their COVID-19 vaccine, while AstraZeneca said
it would investigate combining its experimental COVID-19 vaccine
with the Russian shot.
* Stocks started a busy week with guarded gains as investors
gauged the chance of added U.S. fiscal and monetary stimulus.
* A $908 billion bipartisan COVID-19 relief plan set to be
introduced in the U.S. Congress as early as Monday will be split
into two packages in a bid to win approval, a person briefed on
the matter said.
* Japanese business sentiment improved at the fastest pace
in nearly two decades in October-December, a central bank survey
showed, a welcome sign for the economy as it emerges from the
initial hit of the coronavirus pandemic.
(Compiled by Aditya Soni and Devika Syamnath; Editing by Anil
D’Silva and Arun Koyyur)
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