Factbox: Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

·3-min read
Women walk with children after picking them up from a nearby primary school following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Wuhan

(Reuters) - People across the world are generally likely to say yes to getting a COVID-19 vaccine, but would be more distrustful of shots made in China or Russia than those developed in Germany or the United States, an international poll showed on Friday.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

EUROPE

* Many European nations say they are receiving lower-than-expected supplies of COVID-19 vaccines as U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer slows shipments and distribution proceeds unevenly among European Union states.

* Several internal and confidential emails about the evaluation process of vaccines have been leaked on the internet in a cyber attack on the European Medicines Agency that it disclosed last month, the regulator said.

* The estimated range of the UK COVID-19 reproduction "R" number narrowed to 1.2-1.3, the Department of Health said, similar to the range of 1.0-1.4 reported last week.

* Germany surpassed 2 million infections and the death toll from the pandemic reached almost 45,000, experts said, a day after Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded "very fast action" to curb the deadly virus.

* Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte issued a new decree extending curbs to keep a lid on COVID-19 infections after the health ministry warned that the epidemic was getting worse.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Philippine senators questioned the government's preference for the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine after latest data showed it has a lower efficacy rate.

* Nepal granted approval for AstraZeneca's COVISHIELD vaccine against the coronavirus, the government said, following a meeting with neighbouring India, a major manufacturer of the shot.

AMERICAS

* U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has chosen David Kessler, the ex-head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to help lead the COVID-19 vaccine push, his transition team said.

* Russia's sovereign wealth fund said that Paraguay had become the eighth country outside Russia to approve the Sputnik V vaccine.

* Brazil's Air Force delivered emergency supplies of oxygen in the early hours of Friday to the jungle state of Amazonas, which is being overwhelmed by a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

* A Brazilian variant of the coronavirus is significant enough to justify stopping flights from South America as a precaution, British Transport Minister Grant Shapps said.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* South Africa's mining companies will support government in the rollout of vaccines as the nation battles a surge in infections, the industry body said.

* Millions of vaccine doses secured by the African Union (AU) will be allocated according to countries' population size, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

* Turkey has vaccinated more than 500,000 people in the first two days of administering COVID-19 shots developed by China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd, health ministry data showed.

* Lebanon's parliament approved a law that paves the way for the government to sign deals for coronavirus vaccinations as it battles a steep increase in infections.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* The European Commission is working on a vaccine certificate, dubbed "Vaxproof", that could help restore cross-border travel, EU officials said.

* Canada said that Pfizer's decision to temporarily cut shipments of some COVID-19 vaccines was unfortunate but should not hit its inoculation programme.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Global shares stumbled on Friday as hopes of a fiscal boost from a $1.9 trillion U.S. stimulus plan were smothered by the prospect of stricter lockdowns in France and Germany and a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in China.

* Small businesses, from restaurants to nightclubs and wedding planners to beauty parlours, won the right to insurance payouts after Britain's highest court ruled their policies should cover losses caused by coronavirus lockdowns.

(Compiled by Charles Regnier and Veronica Snoj; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Shailesh Kuber, Alison Williams and Alex Richardson)