India approved https://www.reuters.com/world/india/india-committee-recommends-eua-mercks-covid-19-pill-two-other-vaccines-report-2021-12-28 the pill Merck’s COVID-19 and two other emergency vaccines as the world’s second most populous country brace for possible spike in cases, while research by South African scientists suggests Omicron could move the Delta https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/ safrica-study-suggest-omicron-enhance-neutralizing-immunity-against-delta-2021-12-28, because infection with the new variant strengthens immunity against the former. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for case tracking and a summary of ASIA-PACIFIC news
* Japanese officials in the western city of Osaka have confirmed a cluster of cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Kyodo news agency reported. * Bangladesh has started giving boosters of the coronavirus vaccine as the South Asian country tries to fend off the highly contagious variant of Omicron.
* Local coronavirus cases in China have risen for a fourth day, with the majority of infections reported from Xian, a northwestern city that has put its 13 million residents in detention. * Malaysia lifted a travel ban on eight southern African countries that were among the first to report the Omicron variant, citing the variant’s greater spread globally, and reduced the wait time for them. booster vaccine doses.
EUROPE * France will pay intensive care nurses an additional 100 euros per month from January to improve the working conditions of staff exhausted by the fight against COVID-19.
* Confirmed cases in Greece are expected to hit a new daily high on Tuesday, surpassing 15,000, after the country announced tighter restrictions a day earlier. AMERICAS
* Rising cases and inclement weather led airlines to cancel more than 1,000 flights within or outside the United States on Monday, as the spread of the Omicron variant prompted the largest US government expert in infectious diseases to suggest the government consider mandating vaccines for countries flights. * President Joe Biden has pledged to ease the COVID-19 testing shortage as the Omicron variant threatened to overwhelm hospitals and stifle travel plans.
MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA * The United Arab Emirates have approved emergency use of Sinopharm’s protein vaccine and it will be available to the public as a booster dose from January.
MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS * Chinese company Kintor suffered a temporary setback as interim analysis of a late-stage trial for its potential COVID-19 pill failed to provide sufficient data due to the lack of hospitalized cases.
ECONOMIC IMPACT * European and Asian stocks edged up, helped by another record-breaking day on Wall Street and after Britain and France refrained from imposing more COVID restrictions before year-end.
* Oil prices extended their gains, with prices trading near yesterday’s one-month high, in hopes that the Omicron variant will have a limited impact on fuel demand. (Compiled by Jagoda Darlak and Milla Nissi; edited by Shounak Dasgupta and Louise Heavens)
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)