Oct 22 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a new lockdown is not on the cards, while Russia reported a fourth straight daily record of COVID-19 deaths. read more
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* The UK Health Security Agency designated a Delta subvariant called AY.4.2 as a "Variant Under Investigation", saying there was some evidence that it could be more transmissible than Delta. read more
* Germany's seven-day incidence rate rose sharply over the past week. read more
* Norway will hold off giving children aged 12-15 a second dose of a vaccine until it has gathered more research, partly due to a rare side effect involving inflammation of the heart. read more
* Americans can choose a booster shot that is different from their original inoculation but the recommendation is to stick with the vaccine they got first if it is available, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
* Canada has scrapped an official advisory urging its citizens to shun non-essential foreign travel, given the successful campaign to inoculate people against COVID-19. read more
* Walgreens Boots Alliance and Walmart's U.S. pharmacies started administering booster shots from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, in addition to the previously authorized Pfizer-BioNTech booster.
* A new COVID-19 outbreak has spurred parts of China to increase restrictions on movement, with the capital Beijing sealing off some areas. read more
* Sri Lanka's president ordered frontline workers and tourism staff to be given a third booster shot next month, part of a bid to reopen the travel industry and revive the economy. read more
* Tens of millions of Indian adults are unlikely to be fully vaccinated by the end of 2021, due to an unusually large gap between the doses of the most widely-used vaccine and growing complacency as cases fall.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Mass Friday prayers resumed in Iran's capital Tehran after a 20-month hiatus, state TV reported. read more
* Two studies in major medical journals added to evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are safe before and during pregnancy. read more
* Finance ministers from Asia-Pacific trade group APEC agreed to step up efforts to expand COVID-19 vaccine manufacture and supply, and support global vaccine sharing, host nation New Zealand said.
* Global stock indexes were mostly flat to higher on Friday, with financial shares providing some support to the S&P 500 index in early trading, while the U.S. dollar slipped against a basket of currencies.
* Growth in euro zone business activity slowed this month as firms faced soaring costs due to supply-chain constraints, a survey showed. read more
* Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the U.S. central bank should start the process of reducing its support of the economy by cutting back on its asset purchases, but should not yet touch the interest rate dial.
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