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Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

* Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is 92% effective at protecting people from COVID-19 according to interim trial results, the country’s sovereign wealth fund said on Wednesday, as Moscow rushes to keep pace with Western drugmakers in the race for a shot. Pfizer Inc and BioNTech said on Monday their shot was more than 90% effective.

* Spain will get the first vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech in early 2021, while Italy expects to receive an initial 3.4 mln shots in January.

* The United States will this week begin distributing Eli Lilly and Co’s COVID-19 antibody treatment to state health departments.

* Stock markets gained on Wednesday, as news of a working COVID-19 vaccine seemed to inoculate investors against worry about surging infections in Europe and the United States.

* The European Union (EU) will authorize a contract for the purchase of up to 300 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine jointly developed by German company BioNTech and its American partner Pfizer, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday.

* New Zealand’s central bank introduced a new funding programme on Wednesday that would reduce costs for lenders, while holding its benchmark interest rate at record lows.

* The European Parliament negotiators and the presidency of Council of the European Union (EU) on Tuesday reached a compromise on details of the next seven-year EU budget, worth over EUR1 trillion (US$1.18 trillion).

* The Israeli Knesset (parliament) approved on Tuesday the historic agreement between Israel and Bahrain to normalize bilateral ties. The so-called “Abraham Accords: Declaration of Peace, Cooperation, and Constructive Diplomatic and Friendly Relations” was approved in a 62-14 vote by the parliament plenum.

* More than 51.23 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,269,346 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

* China’s National Health Commission said Wednesday that it received reports of 17 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Tuesday, including one that was domestically transmitted and 16 imported. The domestically transmitted case was reported in Anhui, the commission said in its daily report.

* The United States recorded about a million cases of COVID-19 over the past 10 days, the highest increase rate since the country reported its first case in January, Reuters reported recently. The total number of COVID-19 cases in the country reached 10 million on Monday, doubled in just three months since it hit 5 million on Aug. 9.

* Brazil reported 25,012 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 201 deaths from COVID-19, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday. The South American country has registered 5,700,044 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 162,829, according to ministry data. It is the world’s second most fatal outbreak after the United States.

* India’s COVID-19 tally reached 8,636,011 on Wednesday as 44,281 new cases were registered across the country in the past 24 hours, said the latest data released by the federal health ministry. With 512 deaths since Tuesday morning, the death toll in the country due to the pandemic reached 127,571, added the ministry’s data.

* The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) Wednesday reported 1,672 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the country’s total tally to 401,416. The DOH said that 311 more patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 362,217. The death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic rose to 7,710 with 49 new deaths.

* Mexico’s health ministry on Tuesday reported 5,746 more coronavirus cases and 617 more deaths, bringing the official toll to 978,531 cases and 95,842 deaths. Health officials have said the real number of infections and deaths is likely significantly higher.

* Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday urged premiers of the country’s 10 provinces to “do the right thing” and take stricter measures.

* France registered a total of 1,829,659 confirmed cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, up by 22,180 over the last 24 hours, the health ministry said.

* The European Union (EU) on Tuseday held a video conference with Austria, Germany, France and The Netherlands to fight against terrorism.

* Denmark’s plans to cull all 17 million mink in the country following the finding of a mutated coronavirus strain among them are facing legal obstacles.

* Republic of Korea reported 146 more cases of the COVID-19 as of 0:00 a.m. Wednesday local time compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 27,799. The daily caseload hovered above 100 for the fourth consecutive day due to small cluster infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province as well as imported cases.

* The number of COVID-19 infections in Colombia has reached 1,156,675, with 7,612 new cases registered in a 24-hour span, Colombian health authorities said Tuesday. Meanwhile, 174 more deaths were reported, raising the nationwide death toll to 33,148, the authorities said, adding that 1,059,237 people have so far recovered from the disease.

* Argentina reported 279 more COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide tally to 34,183, the country’s Health Ministry said on Tuesday. Meanwhile, 11,977 new cases were reported, taking the national count to 1,262,476, the ministry said, adding that 1,081,897 people recovered.

* Ireland will ease travel curbs for arrivals from “red” regions of Britain and the European Union hardest hit by COVID-19 from Nov. 29.

* Nepal will provide free COVID-19 tests and treatment, an aide to the prime minister said.

* Lebanon ordered a full lockdown for around two weeks to stem rising infections and allow a badly strained health sector to bolster capacity.

* Botswana signed an agreement with the global vaccine distribution scheme co-led by the WHO, giving it the option to buy coronavirus vaccines for 20% of its population.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News