Factbox-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

(Reuters) – China’s commercial capital of Shanghai was dealt a blow on Monday as authorities reported 58 new COVID-19 cases outside areas under strict lockdown, while Beijing pressed on with testing millions of people on a May Day holiday few were celebrating.

FILE PHOTO: Dr Michelle Chester from Northwell Health prepares to administer a Pfizer coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, U.S., December 14, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

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

EUROPE

* Poland has no “coherent rationale” to invoke force majeure in an existing contract in order to stop paying for more COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, a European Commission official told Reuters.

* Greece lifted COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday for foreign and domestic flights, its civil aviation authority said, ahead of the summer tourism season that officials hope will see revenues bouncing back from the pandemic slump.

AMERICAS

* U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has tested negative for COVID-19 on a rapid antigen test and will return to in-person work on Tuesday, her spokesperson said in a statement.

* Deputy U.S. Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo on Monday called on state, local and tribal governments to use more of their shares of a $350 billion COVID-19 relief fund to address a severe shortage of affordable housing.

* An effort by U.S. Senate Democrats to move forward on President Joe Biden’s nominees for the Federal Reserve and Federal Trade Commission appeared headed for a second week of delay on Monday, after another Democratic lawmaker tested positive for COVID-19.

* Giant online retailer Amazon.com Inc will end its paid time-off policy for employees with COVID-19 from May 2, the company told U.S.-based staff.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* South Korea has loosened rules requiring masks to be worn outdoors as COVID-19 cases drop, but many people are not taking them off yet due to pervasive Omicron infections.

* The Philippines is considering donating to Myanmar five million doses of Sputnik V COVID vaccine that are close to expiry, a senior health official said on Monday.

* The protracted lockdown in Shanghai is slowing China’s normally booming meat trade, with stringent COVID-19 measures causing logistics logjams across the food industry in a sign of the broadening disruptions to business.

AFRICA AND MIDDLE EAST

* U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday urged debt relief for African countries and more investment to help their economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and weather the impacts of the Ukraine war.

* Africa’s first COVID-19 vaccination plant, touted last year as a trailblazer for an under-vaccinated continent frustrated by sluggish Western handouts, risks shutting down after receiving not a single order, a company executive said.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* The U.S. Food & Drug Administration declined to approve two China-tested cancer treatments on Monday, saying one of the companies – Hutchmed Ltd – needs to test its drug for the U.S. population in a diverse multi-regional trial.

* Moderna Inc’s chief medical officer said on Sunday the company’s vaccine for children under 6 years old will be ready for review by a Food and Drug Administration panel when it meets in June.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* U.S. factory activity grew at its slowest pace in more than 1-1/2 years in April amid a rise in workers quitting their jobs, and manufacturers are becoming more anxious about supply over the summer because of China’s zero tolerance COVID-19 policy.

* A shift toward private flying that more wealthy Americans saw as a necessary luxury during COVID-19 is now showing signs of becoming something else: a pricey but sought-after alternative to a premium ticket on a commercial flight.

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