| FACTBOX | Melbourne emerges from lockdown: Here’s the latest on the spread of the coronavirus | FACTBOX | Melbourne emerges from lockdown: Here’s the latest on the spread of the coronavirus
  • The EU will announce the results of its review of Moderna’s booster shot.
  • Rising vaccinations have given India an economic boost.
  • Kuwait lifted restrictions for vaccinated people.

Melbourne residents flocked to the city’s pubs, restaurants and hair salons in the early hours of Friday after the world’s most locked-down city emerged from its latest spate of restrictions designed to combat the spread of Covid-19.

READ | Covid-19: More than 21 million vaccine jabs administered in South Africa


* Ukraine attained a second successive daily record of new coronavirus infections and deaths, the health ministry said, despite tighter curbs last month as infections have risen for weeks among the population of 41 million.

* The European Union’s drug regulator expects to announce the results of its review of Moderna’s Covid-19 booster vaccine next week and also to start a rolling review of Merck’s antiviral oral pill.

* Moscow will reintroduce Covid-19 lockdown measures from 28 October, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said, with supermarkets and pharmacies the only shops allowed to stay open in an effort to cut soaring infections and deaths.

* People in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv queued in their hundreds for Covid-19 vaccinations after a surge in daily cases and related deaths past previous highs led authorities to tighten pandemic restrictions.

A nurse fills up a syringe with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site at a senior center on March 29, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas

Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine are prepared to be administered to front-line health care workers under an emergency use authorization at a drive up vaccination site from Renown Health in Reno, Nevada on December 17, 2020.


* The US CDC on Thursday recommended the Covid-19 vaccine boosters for recipients of the Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson shots, and said Americans can choose a different shot from their original inoculation as a booster.

* The White House called on all World Trade Organisation members to support an intellectual property waiver for Covid-19 vaccines.


* India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said economic growth was getting a boost from rising vaccinations across the country and urged citizens to purchase locally manufactured products over the upcoming festive season.

* The Covid-19 pandemic has unexpectedly helped Japan’s nursing homes and information technology companies overcome years of labour shortages, as job cuts at restaurants and hotels have prompted workers to look for new careers.

* Hong Kong authorities prevented a Royal Caribbean cruise ship from departing the city’s terminal as a crew member was suspected to have Covid-19 after routine testing, the government and the cruise operator said.

* New Zealand will end its strict coronavirus lockdown measures and restore more freedoms only when 90% of its eligible population is fully vaccinated, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

* Thailand will let vaccinated visitors from 46 countries forgo Covid-19 quarantine from next month, up from 10 previously announced.

Middle East and Africa

* Kuwait has lifted all restrictions for vaccinated people, the Gulf country’s prime minister told a news conference.

Medical developments

* A booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech SE was 95.6% effective against the coronavirus when compared to a vaccinated group that did not get the third shot, data from a large study released by the companies showed.

* The Serum Institute of India, the world’s biggest vaccine maker, has nearly quadrupled its monthly capacity of AstraZeneca shots to as many as 240 million doses and is prepared to export “large volumes” from January, its CEO told Reuters.

Economic impact

* Tech stocks climbed in Asia on Friday, following US peers higher, while Chinese property stocks rallied following a surprise interest payment by debt-ridden property developer China Evergrande Group.

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