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Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

* Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said US health regulators were doing a careful analysis of its experimental antibody cocktail to treat COVID-19 and that it was hopeful the drug could be authorized for emergency use in the country soon.

* Two days after Americans went to the polls to decide whether Republican US President Donald Trump will win a second term or be replaced by Democratic challenger and former US Vice President Joe Biden, the outcome hinges on results from five states (Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Nevada) that are still counting ballots.

* New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s centre-left government has increased its parliamentary majority after the results of postal and other special circumstance votes bolstered her already decisive Oct. 17 election victory. Ardern’s Labour Party increased its majority to 65 seats from 64 in the 120-seat assembly, according to NZ Electoral Commission results released on Friday. The official results included an additional 500,000 special votes, which include ballots mailed in from overseas.

* Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said on Thursday that at least 50 people have died as a result of flooding and mudslides provoked by the torrential rainfall from Eta, a major storm that has battered Central America.

* There is a “50/50” chance that Britain and the European Union will be able to reach a deal over the terms of Britain’s exit from the bloc, EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said on Friday.

* The head of the United Nations said he was deeply alarmed by fighting in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, where federal troops have been exchanging fire with the powerful ethnic faction that led the ruling coalition for decades.

* Hungary will start importing small quantities of a Russian-made COVID-19 vaccine in December for final testing and licensing, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in a Facebook video.

* India recorded 47,638 new cases of the novel coronavirus, taking its total to 8.41 million, data from the health ministry showed on Friday. India has the world’s second-highest caseload behind the United States, but has seen a steady dip in cases since September, in spite of the start of the Hindu festival season. Deaths rose by 670 in the last 24 hours, taking total mortalities to 124,985, the ministry said.

* Brazil reported 22,294 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 630 deaths from COVID-19, the health ministry said on Thursday. The South American country has now registered 5,612,319 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 161,736, according to ministry data, in the world’s most fatal outbreak outside the United States.

* Russia reported a record high of 20,582 new coronavirus cases on Friday, including 6,253 infections in Moscow, bringing the national tally to 1,733,440. Authorities also reported 378 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing the official death toll to 29,887.

* A dozen US states reported record one-day increases in cases, according to a Reuters tally.

* The pandemic is having a knock-on effect on other vital health services in Africa as countries are forced to redirect already stretched resources, a regional head of WHO said.

* Malaysia’s government will propose to raise by MYR20 billion (US$4.84 billion) the ceiling of a newly established fund to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said on Friday.

* Indonesia reported 3,778 new coronavirus infections and 94 COVID-19 deaths on Friday, data from the country’s health ministry showed. Indonesia’s totals of 429,574 cases and 14,442 deaths from the coronavirus are the highest in Southeast Asia.

* A hard lockdown will be imposed in seven municipalities in northern Denmark, PM Mette Frederiksen said. Britain said it is removing Denmark from the government’s travel corridor list.

* Greece ordered a nationwide lockdown for three weeks, its second this year after a sharp increase in infections this week.

* British police said they arrested 104 Londoners for breach of coronavirus regulations.

* Latin American nations, including those that have brought down coronavirus transmission rates, should take heed of the second wave hitting much of Europe, a Pan American Health Organization official said.

* Hungary will try to avoid closing schools as long as possible but some medical operations will have to be rescheduled as hospital beds are filling up with coronavirus patients, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday. Hungary reported 3,928 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, while the daily death toll was 84. That brings the total number of infections to date in the country of 10 million to 94,916, with 2,147 deaths.

* Ukraine registered a record 201 new COVID-19 related deaths in the past 24 hours, the health minister said on Friday, up from a high of 199 reported on November 4. Maksym Stepanov also said 9,721 new COVID-19 cases had been registered. Total infections stood at 440,188 with 8,125 deaths by Friday, he said.

* The Czech Republic reported 13,231 new coronavirus cases for Nov. 5, bringing the total tally in the country since the pandemic started to 391,945, Health Ministry data showed on Friday. The ministry also recorded 197 new deaths, including 97 on Thursday along with revisions from previous days. In total, 4,330 people have died in relation to COVID-19 in the country of 10.7 million.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News