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Oct 29 (Reuters) - Britain resisted pressure on Thursday to impose a second nationwide lockdown after France and Germany ordered sweeping restrictions on social life to contain a surge in coronavirus infections that has pushed health services to their limits.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread of COVID-19, open here in an external browser.
* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals here for a case tracker and summary of news.
* France’s new national lockdown may have to be extended beyond its initial Dec. 1 deadline, a government scientific adviser said.
* German intensive care units risk being overwhelmed in a few weeks due to a surge in cases, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
* Britain should act sooner rather than later if it is going to follow Germany and France and take nationwide steps to slow a second wave, a British COVID researcher said.
* Poland reported another daily record of infections and deaths, as massive protests sweep the country following a ruling that introduced a near total ban on abortions.
* Sweden, which has shunned lockdowns, reported the third record number of new daily cases in a matter of days.
* President Putin said Russia did not plan to impose a national lockdown, while the Kremlin said the healthcare system was under “maximum” pressure.
* The White House coronavirus task force is warning of COVID-19 spreading in the western half of the United States and its members urged aggressive mitigation measures.
* Less than a week before Election Day, President Trump held a pair of in-person campaign rallies despite surging cases and criticism he is prioritising his re-election above supporters’ health.
* Colombia will extend a so-called selective quarantine until the end of November, its president said.
* Mexico’s death toll passed 90,000 on Wednesday, after its health ministry said on Sunday the true death toll may be around 50,000 higher.
* India crossed a grim milestone of 8 million cases on Thursday, as experts warn the current festival season could bring another spike.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Cases are accelerating in some parts of Africa and governments should step up preparations for a second wave, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said.
* Saudi Arabia will open the Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca for Muslims from other countries from Nov. 1, Saudi media reported.
* Tunisia banned internal travel, suspended schools and public gatherings and extended a curfew, as it tried to contain a rapid surge with hospitals nearly full.
* Moderna is on track to report early data from a late-stage trial of its vaccine candidate next month, it said, offering the clearest timeline yet on when the world will know whether the vaccine is effective.
* President Putin said Russia was facing challenges scaling up production of its main COVID-19 vaccine due to problems with equipment availability, but hoped to start mass vaccinations by the year’s end.
* A vaccine scheme co-led by the World Health Organization is setting up a compensation fund for people in poor nations who might suffer any side-effects from COVID-19 vaccines.
* European stocks and commodity markets fell again on Thursday, after a return to national lockdowns in some of the region’s biggest economies triggered the worst global selloff in months.
* Germany can finance a $11.8 billion aid package for November without asking parliament for more money, its finance minister said.
* Panama’s National Assembly modified the law that limits the fiscal deficit to adjust for the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, its finance ministry said.
Compiled by Sarah Morland; Editing by Barbara Lewis
Nuestros Estándares: Los principios Thomson Reuters.