(Reuters) - Global COVID-19 cases hit 60 million on Wednesday, while millions of Americans traveled for Thanksgiving, turning a blind eye to official warnings, record hospitalizations and a surging death toll.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
- For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread of COVID-19, open https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/ in an external browser.
- Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.
- Germany reported a record 410 deaths over 24 hours just before federal state leaders and Chancellor Angela Merkel were due to discuss an extension of pandemic-related restrictions into December and for the Christmas and New Year holidays.
- Spain's prime minister said his government was considering limiting Christmas celebrations to gatherings of six people.
- The Americas reported more than 1.5 million cases in the last seven days, the highest weekly number since the start of the pandemic, the WHO regional branch PAHO said.
- Panama's government said it has signed an agreement with drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech to purchase 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.
- Researchers led by the WHO would like to go back to a wholesale food market in Wuhan in China to follow up initial cases which emerged in the city and investigate how the virus probably first spread from bats.
- Tokyo will urge shorter working hours for bars and restaurants and ask residents to stay indoors as much as possible.
- Singapore, which once had the highest COVID-19 rate in Southeast Asia, said it was nearly virus-free.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
- Turkey, which announced asymptomatic case numbers for the first time since July, has signed a contract to buy 50 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from China's Sinovac Biotech.
- COVAXX, a unit of United Biomedical Inc, has received purchase commitments totaling $2.8 billion to deliver more than 140 million doses of its potential vaccine to developing countries, including Brazil, Peru and Ecuador.
- Dutch researchers are preparing for a potential "human challenge" COVID-19 vaccine trial, advocacy group 1Day Sooner said.
- Stocks edged back from record highs on Wednesday as Wall Street bumped up against underwhelming economic data, while oil continued to rise and the dollar weakened ahead of comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve.[MKTS/GLOB]
- The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits increased further last week, while a Labor Department report showed that those receiving unemployment benefits under pandemic programs set to expire the day after Christmas continued to rise in early November.
- Britain will borrow almost 400 billion pounds this year to pay for the massive coronavirus hit to its economy, and pause pay rises for public sector workers except those in the health service and on lower incomes, finance minister Rishi Sunak said.
(Compiled by Devika Syamnath and Milla Nissi; Edited by Gareth Jones and Sriraj Kalluvila)