Factbox: Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

(Reuters) – German pharmaceutical giant Bayer has agreed to help CureVac produce its experimental vaccine, while European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen confirmed Pfizer and its partner BionTech will deliver 75 million extra doses to the European Union in the second quarter.

FILE PHOTO: A public health warning message is posted amidst the tightening of regulations to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Sydney, Australia, December 30, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS * Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals here for a case tracker and summary of news.

EUROPE

* Portugal reported close to half of all its COVID-19 deaths in January, highlighting the severe worsening of the pandemic in a country that had largely been spared by the first waves of the coronavirus.

* Poland has found its first case of COVID-19 in mink, the agriculture ministry said, raising fears of costly culls in an industry that counts over 350 farms in the country.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Hong Kong will extend social distancing measures for a further two weeks until after the Chinese New Year holiday, and will impose stricter testing rules when cases of COVID-19 are detected.

* Japan is expected to extend a state of emergency to fight the spread of COVID-19 this week for Tokyo and other areas as hospitals remain under pressure despite a decline in cases from their peaks.

* South Korea will extend its social distancing curbs by two weeks until the end of the Lunar New Year holidays as new infection clusters emerge in the country.

* China reported the lowest daily increase in new COVID-19 cases in more than three weeks on Monday, reversing a sharp uptick a day earlier.

AMERICAS

* The COVAX global vaccine-sharing scheme expects to deliver 35.3 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to 36 Caribbean and Latin American states from mid-February to the end of June, the World Health Organization’s regional office said.

* Chicago Public Schools on Sunday delayed the resumption of in-person classes for thousands of elementary and middle school students by at least a day, as the district and teachers failed to reach an agreement on a safety plan.

* Two Colombian citizens in Leticia, capital of the country’s Amazonas province, have been infected with the Brazilian variant of coronavirus.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Israel extended a national lockdown as coronavirus variants offset its vaccination drive and officials predicted a delay in a turnaround from the health and economic crisis.

* Ghana plans to procure 17.6 million doses of vaccine by the end of June, with the first doses arriving in March.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* China’s CanSino Biologics said an independent committee found the drugmaker’s vaccine met its pre-specified primary safety and efficacy targets under an interim analysis of Phase 3 trial data.

* China’s Clover Biopharmaceuticals said it has terminated its partnership with GlaxoSmithKline to develop a vaccine using the British drugmaker’s adjuvant, even as early-stage trials showed positive results.

* About 1,500 of the initial volunteers in a late-stage clinical trial of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine were given the wrong dose, but weren’t informed that a mistake had been made after the blunder was discovered, documents obtained by Reuters show.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Oil prices rose, buoyed by falling inventories and hopes for a swifter global economic recovery, although halting vaccine rollouts and renewed travel restrictions capped gains.

* Manufacturing in China and Japan suffered in January amid a resurgence in coronavirus infections, while South Korea and Taiwan saw improvements, underscoring the fragile and uneven nature of the region’s economic recovery.

* British manufacturers suffered a double hit last month as COVID-19 disruptions to global shipping combined with new trade barriers with the EU, according to a survey.

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