(Reuters) – The European Commission said it would contribute 400 million euros ($475 million) to an initiative led by the World Health Organization to buy COVID-19 vaccines, but did not clarify whether EU states would acquire shots through the WHO scheme.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.
* For a U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, open https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T in an external browser.
* Eikon users, see MacroVitals (cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?navid=1592404098) for a case tracker and summary of news.
* Private tuition centres shut for the first time in South Korea’s capital on Monday and traffic was light on the first working day of tighter social-distancing rules aimed at halting a second wave of infections.
* Hong Kong will resume face-to-face school classes from Sept. 23 as authorities aim to wind back restrictions.
* India reported 78,512 infections on Monday, more than any other country but fewer than the previous day when it posted the world’s biggest single-day tally, as authorities looked to open more sectors of the economy.
* A more infectious mutation of the novel coronavirus has been found in Indonesia, the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology said.
* Paris will make free COVID-19 testing available in all of the capital’s 20 districts, as authorities battle against signs of a re-emergence of the virus in France.
* British finance minister Rishi Sunak is considering a sweeping set of tax increases to help fix the huge hole in the public finances, two newspapers said.
* Coronavirus-hit Turkish Airlines will sharply cut wages of its crews and groundstaff but will avoid layoffs under a union-agreed deal, a union official said.
* The Danish government proposed significantly boosting state spending next year to help its coronavirus-hit economy and secure access to a future vaccine.
* U.S. cases surpassed 6 million on Sunday, according to a Reuters tally.
* Canada reached an agreement in principle on Monday with both Novavax Inc and Johnson & Johnson for millions of doses of their experimental coronavirus vaccines, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.
* Total cases in Colombia surpassed 600,000 on Sunday, ahead of the end to more than five months of lockdown.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Following a five-month lockdown, South Africa is easing domestic travel restrictions, allowing hotels to reopen.
* Schools in Nigeria’s commercial hub of Lagos will reopen next month.
* High-profile COVID-19 vaccines developed in Russia and China share a potential shortcoming: they are based on a common cold virus that many people have been exposed to, potentially limiting their effectiveness, some experts say.
* Germany expects the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic this year to be slightly less severe than originally feared, but it will revise downward its growth forecast for next year, two sources told Reuters.
* China’s largest state-owned banks are readied for rising bad debt and increased margin pressure in the months ahead as forbearance policies designed to give borrowers breathing space during the coronavirus crisis expire.
* The share of German companies that have implemented short-time work plans declined to 37% in August from 42% in July, a poll by German economic institute Ifo showed.
(Compiled by Milla Nissi, Uttaresh.V and Vinay Dwivedi; Editing by Giles Elgood and Maju Samuel)