The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) urged countries to scale up clinical trials to address Covid-19, while United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for $35 billion more for WHO’s a programme to back vaccines, treatments and diagnostics.
* Marseille hospitals are back in emergency mode as France faces the sharpest accelerations in new infections in Western Europe since mid-July.
* The French government will discuss on Friday whether to impose new, local lockdowns to try to tackle rising Covid-19 cases while keeping economic and social activities going.
* Authorities in Spain’s Basque Country region said they had shut down a primary school after several teachers tested positive for Covid-19, the first to be closed entirely in the week classrooms reopened across the country.
* About 400 owners of bars and restaurants in Croatia’s northern Adriatic halted work for an hour in an appeal to the authorities to help them survive the coming months.
* Doctors in Indonesia’s capital warned the pandemic is “not under control” with Jakarta intensive care units nearing full capacity and the city ordering new lockdown measures amid a spike in infections.
* Myanmar increased lockdown measures in its biggest city after reporting another record daily rise in new cases.
* This year’s edition of the AFC Cup, Asia’s second-tier club competition, has been cancelled due to the pandemic, the continent’s governing body for soccer said.
* The U.S. government confirmed it will end enhanced screening of some international passengers and drop requirements that travellers coming from the targeted countries arrive at 15 designated U.S. airports, starting on Monday.
* The U.S. Senate was set to vote on Thursday on a Republican bill providing around $300 billion in new coronavirus aid, far below the $3 trillion Democrats insist is needed.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Uganda said it would reopen its sole international airport to commercial flights on Oct. 1, more than five months after its closure.
* Jordan confirmed the first three cases in the country’s largest camp for Syrian refugees, just a few days after discovering two cases in a smaller camp.
* International donors have raised $700 million - less than half the target - to purchase future coronavirus vaccines for poor countries, a WHO official said.
* AstraZeneca should still know by year-end whether its experimental vaccine protects people against the novel coronavirus, as long as it is cleared to resume trials soon, its chief executive said amid doubts over its rollout.
* Global equity benchmarks edged higher and U.S. government bond prices fell as investors weighed hopes of a rebound in U.S. technology stocks against the European Central Bank’s decision to leave its stimulus program unchanged. [MKTS/GLOB]
* The European Central Bank expects the euro zone to suffer a smaller recession this year than earlier feared but inflation is still likely to undershoot its target for years to come.
* The German government expects its tax revenues from 2020 until 2024 to come in 19.1 billion euros lower than previously projected as the pandemic continues to erode public finances.
* Revenue shortfalls in India are likely to force the government to borrow more, but it will only consider monetising its deficit as a last resort, sources familiar with discussions told Reuters.