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(Reuters) – The United States has advised Americans against travel to Italy, Greenland and Mauritius, while California will impose a statewide mask mandate in all indoor public spaces as precautions ramp up against the Omicron variant.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* At least one person has died in the United Kingdom after contracting the Omicron variant, the first publicly confirmed death globally from the swiftly spreading strain.
* England’s Premier League found a record 42 cases of COVID-19 among players and staff at various clubs over the past week.
* The European Union’s idea of jointly borrowing for joint goals, such as for the post-pandemic recovery, could be used again by the EU if the implementation of the recovery scheme is a success, European Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Nigeria will destroy around one million expired vaccines and is taking diplomatic steps to try to reverse travel bans placed on it by some countries.
* The president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has the world’s lowest vaccination rate, urged people to get inoculated after the Omicron variant was detected there and as cases increase exponentially.
* Several companies in one of China’s biggest manufacturing hubs have suspended operations as local authorities try to contain a COVID-19 outbreak.
* Malaysia has given conditional approval for the use of the single-dose antibody cocktail Ronapreve, developed by Regeneron and Roche, to treat COVID-19.
* India reported its lowest tally of active cases in 18 months, but a sharp drop in the use of protective face masks is causing concern.
* COVID-19 cases in Canada may rapidly rise in the coming days due to community spread of the Omicron variant, mirroring the situation in the country’s most populous province of Ontario.
* The U.S. Air Force said 27 service members had been discharged for refusing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
* The U.S. Supreme Court rejected challenges brought by a group of Christian doctors and nurses and an organization that promotes vaccine skepticism to New York’s refusal to allow religious exemptions to the state’s mandate that healthcare workers be vaccinated against COVID-19.
* Samsung Biologics and AstraZeneca expanded their tie-up to include COVID-19 and cancer therapy.
* Novavax filed for emergency use authorisation of its COVID-19 vaccine in the United Arab Emirates.
* Asian stocks and oil prices slipped on Tuesday as the spread of the Omicron variant rattled investors who were already on edge ahead of a slew of central bank decisions this week, including a key Federal Reserve meeting. [MKTS/GLOB]
* The U.S. Federal Reserve, stung by persistently high inflation and encouraged by lower-than-expected unemployment, is set on Wednesday to chart a path of higher interest rates next year.
* The Asian Development Bank trimmed its growth forecasts for developing Asia for this year and next to reflect risks and uncertainty brought on by Omicron.
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