(Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said he and first lady Jill Biden would receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to boost their immunity, as his administration announced booster shots would be offered to Americans in September. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS * Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary […]
Factbox: Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus
(Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said he and first lady Jill Biden would receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to boost their immunity, as his administration announced booster shots would be offered to Americans in September.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news
* The European Commission said it had reached a temporary agreement with South Africa to use a plant there to bottle Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines that are being imported into the EU, after criticism of the arrangement.
* France has added Algeria and Morocco to its list of countries deemed high-risk COVID-19 zones as it battles a fourth wave of infections.
* New Zealand’s cases jumped, as questions grew about the government’s response to the pandemic given the slowest vaccination rate among developed countries and the economic pressures of prolonged isolation.
* The Hong Kong government said that it and the Singapore government had decided not to further pursue a bilateral air travel bubble due to the differences in the anti-epidemic strategies.
* Singapore will allow quarantine-free entry from next month to travellers from Germany and Brunei who are vaccinated against COVID-19, its aviation regulator said on Thursday, as part of a plan to gradually reopen its borders.
* The U.S. Transportation Department said it will limit some flights from Chinese carriers to 40% passenger capacity for four weeks after the Chinese government imposed similar limits on four United Airlines flights.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Iran’s death toll from COVID-19 exceeded 100,000 with 564 fatalities recorded in the past 24 hours, state TV said, as the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus spread through the Middle East’s worst-hit country.
* The World Health Organisation warned that on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, West Africa is facing new outbreaks of the viral haemorrhagic fevers Marburg and Ebola, risking huge strains on ill-equipped health systems.
* Israelis over 40 will now be eligible for a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the health minister said on Thursday, hoping an expansion of its booster campaign will fend off the coronavirus Delta variant.
* A British public health study has found that protection from either of the two most commonly used vaccines against the now prevalent Delta variant weakens within three months.
* Stocks were mixed while oil hit lows not seen since May as investors juggled ongoing concern about rising coronavirus cases and the prospect of the Federal Reserve easing back on stimulus later this year.
* In grim warnings this week, major carmakers including Toyota and Volkswagen offered fresh evidence that the auto industry remains firmly in the grip of an ongoing semiconductor chip shortage that shows no sign of abating.
(Compiled by Aditya Soni and Federico Maccioni; Edited by Jan Harvey and Arun Koyyur)