May 13 (Reuters) – Nearly 40% of all global deaths from COVID-19 reported last week happened in the Americas, and nearly 80% of the region’s intensive care units are filled with COVID-19 patients, the Pan American Health Organization said.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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EUROPE * Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an inquiry next year into the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic that is likely to focus on why the United Kingdom suffered Europe’s worst death toll and was so slow initially to impose a lockdown.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had found more cases of potentially life-threatening blood clotting among people who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and sees a “plausible causal association.”
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said she was pushing for a waiver of COVID-19 vaccine intellectual property rights because the United States and drug makers have “an obligation to help save the world right now.”
U.S. President Joe Biden urged parents to get their children vaccinated after a government advisory panel authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15.
Brazil will run out of raw materials to produce Sinovac Biotech Ltd’s COVID-19 vaccine by Friday, as a supply shipment has been held up in Chinese export clearance, authorities in the state of Sao Paulo said.
India had 362,727 new COVID-19 infections over the last 24 hours while deaths climbed by 4,120, taking the toll to 258,317, health ministry data showed.
Dozens of Japanese towns have abandoned plans to accept overseas athletes competing in the Olympics from July due to concerns about inadequate resources amid a fourth wave of coronavirus infections, the Nikkei newspaper reported.
Technical problems derailed Japan’s coronavirus vaccination booking system, compounding frustration over the government’s handling of new outbreaks of infections and the inoculation drive.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA * Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera said that economic growth was projected at 3.8% in 2021, down from an earlier estimate of 6.1%, owing to the impact of COVID-19 on multiple sectors of the economy.
More clinical and real-world data is needed on how well and for how long COVID-19 vaccines are protective before any decisions should be made on offering third or booster doses, Europe’s drug regulators said.
Australia is in “active talks” with COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna Inc to establish a domestic manufacturing facility for shots, Health Minister Greg Hunt said, a day after securing 25 million doses from the company.
Asian shares slipped to seven-week lows after a dismaying rise in U.S. inflation bludgeoned Wall Street and sent bond yields surging on worries the Federal Reserve might have to move early on tightening.
Oil prices pulled back from an eight-week high as concerns about the coronavirus crisis in India, the world’s third-biggest importer of crude, tempered a rally driven by IEA and OPEC predictions that demand is coming back strongly.
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda pledged to maintain steps to cushion the blow from the COVID-19 pandemic, warning that risks to the economic outlook were skewed down amid a resurgence of infections and new state of emergency curbs.
Japan’s bank lending slowed sharply in April as corporate fund demand stabilised from last year’s pandemic-driven spike, data showed, a sign the wall of money pumped by the central bank is working its way through the economy.
(Compiled by Aditya Soni, Federico Maccioni and Vinay Dwivedi; Editing by Bernadette Baum, Sriraj Kalluvila and Anil D’Silva)
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