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Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

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China’s tough zero-COVID measures remain essential to defeat the pandemic and buy time to improve vaccination rates and develop new treatments, senior health advisers wrote in recently published reports.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals for a case tracker and summary of news.

EUROPE

* Two years into the pandemic, health officials in some countries are questioning the merits of repeated, mass testing when it comes to containing infections, particularly considering the billions it costs.

AMERICAS

* Joe Biden’s fellow Democrats and Republicans said they supported more aid for Ukraine and would approve emergency funding quickly, but it was delayed by disputes between the parties over whether additional funding for COVID-19 relief or stiffer immigration controls should be included. ASIA-PACIFIC

* It will be “very difficult” for Taiwan to get an invite to a major World Health Organization meeting this month, but efforts are continuing, Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said on Monday. Taiwan is excluded from most global organizations because of objections from China.

AFRICA AND MIDDLE EAST

* The World Health Organization and its COVID-19 vaccine partner Gavi have no immediate plans to buy shots made by Aspen Pharmacare, the two bodies said, dealing a blow to Africa’s efforts to develop its own vaccine production capacity.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Patients diagnosed with cancer more than a year before contracting COVID-19 and those not receiving active treatment may be no more vulnerable to worse COVID outcomes than those without cancer, according to a new study.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Growing fears of recession and a slowdown in China dragged down commodity-linked currencies and oil prices, though safety flows kept the dollar near 20-year highs.

* A measure of Australian business conditions rose strongly in April as hard-hit services finally enjoyed a recovery from the lagged effect of the coronavirus, while cost pressures remained intense across industries.

* Japan’s household spending fell in March for the first time in three months, though the 2.3% drop was smaller than expected, as consumers remained cautious despite some easing of COVID-19 curbs.

* Chinese investors are shunning equity funds and piling into bonds, deposits and money market products, as stocks tumble and a gloomy economic outlook saps demand for risky assets.

* British shoppers, feeling the hit from surging inflation, cut their spending for the first time since early 2021 when the country was under a coronavirus lockdown, according to a survey published on Tuesday.

(Compiled by Sherry Jacob-Phillips; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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SourceReuters

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