Factbox: Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

(Reuters) – The Biden administration plans to extend requirements for travellers to wear masks on airplanes, trains and buses and at airports and train stations through Jan. 18 to address COVID-19 risks, three sources told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: A traveler wearing a surgical mask is seen through the glass window of a Los Angeles Metro Rail subway car at Union Station in Los Angeles, California, U.S. August 10, 2021. REUTERS/Bing Guan

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

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

EUROPE

* Britain’s health regulator has approved Moderna’s vaccine for use in children aged 12 to 17 years, weeks after Pfizer’s shot was given the green light for deployment ahead of schools reopening.

* Shopping malls in Paris and large parts of France now have to ask customers to show a health pass, as the government increases pressure on people to get vaccinated.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* New Zealand said that an additional four cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country overnight, including an Auckland hospital worker.

* The World Health Organization is worried about the spread of the coronavirus in Afghanistan as the upheaval caused by the Taliban advance has slowed vaccinations, a spokesperson said.

* Japan extended its state of emergency in Tokyo and other regions and announced new measures covering seven more prefectures to counter a spike in infections that is threatening the medical system.

AMERICAS

* The Canadian province of Ontario will begin offering third COVID-19 vaccine doses to vulnerable people as early as this week.

* Cuba has turned to the military to provide oxygen amid a surge of the coronavirus even as doctors rush to administer locally developed vaccines to the population.

* The Biden administration plans to begin administering booster shots to Americans as early as mid or late September, pending authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Botswana needs to budget an extra 1.13 billion pula ($100 million) to help secure COVID-19 vaccines and equipment as the southern African country battles a third wave of infections, Finance Minister Peggy Serame told parliament.

* The United States is sending nearly half a million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to Rwanda, including the first doses from the Biden administration’s 500 million global pledge this summer, the White House said.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Gritstone bio Inc said it had entered into a funding agreement of up to $20.6 million with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to advance its vaccine program against variants.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Major stock indexes slid and defensive investments posted gains amid fears about an uneven economic recovery in the United States and the continuing spread of the Delta coronavirus variant.

* The euro zone economy grew 2% in the second quarter, the European Union statistics office said, confirming its earlier reading as the easing of coronavirus restrictions spurred economic activity after a brief recession.

* It remains unclear whether the heightened outbreak of the coronavirus Delta variant will have a noticeable impact on the economy, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said.

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