The resurgence of the coronavirus in Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands has warned the world that the pandemic has yet to be suppressed. Here are the latest developments.
* Germany’s health minister called for new restrictions to contain a “dramatic” increase in cases as the country’s infection rate hit an all-time high and the United States advised against going there.
* The Netherlands has started transporting COVID-19 patients across the border to Germany to ease pressure on Dutch hospitals struggling to cope with a high number of coronavirus cases.
* The situation remains “very difficult” in Guadeloupe, where unrest erupted last week due to COVID-19 restrictions imposed by Paris, the French interior minister said.
* French Prime Minister Jean Castex, who is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, has tested positive and is isolating himself.
* Health Minister Roberto Speranza said it would be possible for Italians to receive a vaccine booster five months after completing the first round of vaccination.
* The European Union’s medicines regulator has said it is evaluating data on Johnson & Johnson’s booster doses of the vaccine and that a decision could be made “in a few weeks” under a quick review.
* Britain will review its COVID-19 travel rules in January and consider reforming its airport slot system as part of a new, broader aviation strategy, Minister Robert Courts said.
* The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State Department have advised against travel to Germany and Denmark due to an increasing number of cases in those countries.
* U.S. health officials are not currently recommending any lockdowns or economic restrictions to curb the increase in cases, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
* Canada is ending its pandemic-era policy of turning back asylum seekers who attempt to cross the country between ports of entry, according to a revised policy document released on Sunday.
* Thailand has ordered an additional 30 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said, with delivery scheduled to begin in the first quarter of next year.
* India’s resumption of supply of COVID-19 vaccines to the global COVAX vaccine sharing platform after eight months was delayed on Monday when Nepal requested a postponement, two sources told Reuters.
* The IMF will audit $ 1.4 billion in additional funding it provided to Pakistan in April 2020 to help the economy weather the COVID-19 shock, the Pakistani government’s financial adviser said.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* A Kenyan government directive that residents must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination by December 21 to access services was welcomed by some companies on Monday but criticized by others, who said the low rates vaccination made it unrealistic.
* Israel began rolling out Pfizer / BioNtech vaccines for 5 to 11 year olds on Monday.
* Pfizer said its vaccine offered strong long-term protection against the virus in an advanced study of adolescents aged 12 to 15.
* Stock markets fell sharply and the dollar held onto its recent gains on Tuesday as investors positioned themselves for interest rate hikes in 2022 following the appointment of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for a second term .
* Eurozone business growth accelerated unexpectedly this month, but another wave of infections and new restrictions, alongside pricing pressures, is likely to dampen expansion of December, according to a survey.