Coronavirus: Latest from around the globe - Thursday, September 17

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will lay out on Wednesday (US Time) how he plans if elected to develop and distribute a safe coronavirus vaccine, seeking to draw a contrast with President Donald Trump's approach to combating the pandemic.

The US government meanwhile said it will start distributing a COVID-19 vaccine immediately after regulators authorize it.

According to Worldometers, 29.8 million people have been infected with COVID-19 and nearly 942,000 have died.

Europe

Britain will boost coronavirus testing to 500,000 tests a day by the end of October, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

Staff at around 20 health testing clinics in southern France have gone on strike, saying that the COVID-19 outbreak had left them overworked and at risk without being properly compensated.

The number of new infections in the Netherlands increased by 1,542 on Wednesday, the biggest daily jump on record.

The Madrid region is to introduce targeted lockdowns and other restrictions on movement on Friday in areas with high COVID-19 cases.

Americas

Everyone in the New York City mayor's office, including the mayor himself, will be furloughed for one week beginning October 1 to close a budget shortfall created by the pandemic.

Brazil on Tuesday registered 1,113 new deaths, the highest number since September 2, while Mexico reported 4,771 new cases and 629 additional fatalities.

Asia-Pacific

India's cases surged past 5 million, the second country to do so after the United States, piling pressure on hospitals grappling with unreliable supplies of oxygen needed to treat tens of thousands of critical patients.

A hospital in India has deployed a customer-service robot to patrol wards, connecting patients to friends and relatives.

Indonesia reported its biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections with 3,963 new cases on Wednesday.

Myanmar authorities are racing to build a field hospital in Yangon to cope with a surge of infections that doctors fear threatens to overwhelm the country's fragile health system.

Middle East and Africa

A spate of corruption scandals has further fuelled some South Africans' frustration with the ruling party, as reports of suspect deals between state officials and businesses providing medical equipment and food aid sparked outrage amid a deepening recession and some 650,000 reported cases.

Medical developments

Eli Lilly and Co said interim trial data showed its experimental antibody treatment reduced the need for hospitalization and emergency room visits for patients with moderate COVID-19.

Russia's sovereign wealth fund said it will supply India's Dr. Reddy's Laboratories with 100 million doses of the Sputnik-V vaccine once regulators approve it there.

Turkey began final Phase III trials of an experimental Chinese coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday, Turkish media reported, while China and the UAE have seen some positive results in their Phase III trials.

Applied DNA Sciences plans to initiate clinical trial of one of its five LineaDNA vaccine candidates for veterinary use to prevent coronavirus infections in domestic cats.

Serum Institute has received Indian regulatory approval to resume local clinical trials of AstraZeneca's experimental vaccine, a source said.

Economic impact

Shares rose, the dollar fell and risk appetite was broadly up on Wednesday as investors waited for the US Federal Reserve meeting and new economic projections which will assess the outlook for the world's largest economy.

The European Union's chief executive on Wednesday painted a sober picture of the bloc grappling with a pandemic and the deepest recession in its history, but laid out ambitious goals to make the 27 nations more resilient for future crises.

The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to cost club football $14 billion this year worldwide, around one third of its value, a leading official at global soccer body FIFA said.

Reuters