(Reuters) - Germany announced plans to shut down large swathes of public life for a month on Wednesday, while France prepared to tighten controls further as COVID-19 surged across Europe and financial markets tumbled at the likely cost of a second lockdown.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz is planning to take on “much more debt” than initially planned next year to finance new coronavirus aid measures and help companies survive the second wave of the pandemic, a government source said on Wednesday.
* Public transport in Italy is increasingly seen by experts and policymakers as one of the places where the risk of contracting COVID-19 is highest, as cases surge to a record high.
* Switzerland tightened nationwide restrictions to contain the country’s rising wave of COVID-19 cases, ordering dance clubs to be closed from Thursday, halting in-person university classes starting early next month, and placing new limits on sporting and leisure activities.
* Canada will continue spending heavily to combat a coronavirus pandemic but the government’s response is limited and temporary, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said.
* Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador blasted European countries for adopting strict lockdowns to stem the spread of coronavirus, suggesting they smacked of authoritarianism.
* India reported 43,893 new cases in the last 24 hours, data from the federal health ministry showed, while health authorities in one of the country’s most populous states faced a big test with the first state assembly election being held since the epidemic began, despite calls to postpone it.
* Mainland China reported 42 new COVID-19 cases on Oct. 27, the highest daily toll in more than two months due to a rise in infections in the northwestern Xinjiang region.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Ghana’s Finance Ministry revised up its 2020 growth forecast on Wednesday and forecast a rebound to 5.9% next year as the economy recovers from its first contraction in almost four decades due to the pandemic.
* One person is dying from COVID-19 every three minutes in Iran, state television said on Wednesday, as the health ministry reported a record daily toll of 415 fatalities.
* Belgian clinical studies to examine the effectiveness of blood plasma for people recovering from COVID-19 are at risk of being suspended because of low plasma stocks, doctors said, prompting a call for more blood donors to come forward.
* The woman in charge of procuring possible COVID-19 treatments for Britain said a fully effective vaccine might never be developed, and that any early versions that do get approved might not work at all for some people.
* The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has submitted applications to the World Health Organization for an Emergency Use Listing and prequalification of its coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V.
* Stocks sank across the globe on Wednesday on concerns that rising COVID-19 cases in Europe, the United States and elsewhere will get in the way of fragile economic recoveries, while the U.S. dollar rose on safe-haven bids.
* Prices of copper and other industrial metals fell on Wednesday as surging coronavirus infections raised fears that new lockdowns will stifle economic recovery.
* Canada’s initial rebound from the COVID-19 economic crisis was stronger than expected, but the second wave is poised to cause a “more pronounced” near-term slowing in the recuperation phase, the Bank of Canada said on Wednesday.
Compiled by Anna Rzhevkina, Linda Pasquini, Amy Caren Daniel and Vinay Dwivedi; Editing by Chris Reese and Maju Samuel
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