JAPAN is leaning towards allowing domestic spectators at the Olympics despite the pandemic, media reports said, while Australia’s second-largest city Melbourne will exit a hard lockdown as planned tomorrow.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals for a case tracker and summary of news
* The European Union’s executive body urged caution in the face of calls for a public-private scheme for insuring companies against economic lockdowns in future pandemics.
* Some Russian drugmakers say they will only manufacture the single-dose Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccine for the time being because it is easier to make than Sputnik V, which combines two separately produced shots.
* Singapore has reported its 34th death due to COVID-19, taking its toll from the pandemic beyond the 33 casualties recorded during the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak.
* Thailand’s parliament is debating a bill to allow the government to borrow an additional 500 billion baht ($16 billion) to help deal with its latest and biggest coronavirus outbreak so far.
* President Joe Biden’s Indo-Pacific policy chief said he was “relatively confident” about meeting the target for the production of a billion vaccine doses for the region by the end of 2022, despite the crisis in India, where they are due to be made.
* A Mexican health official said the government has not agreed to donate vaccines to Honduras after the country’s president thanked Mexico for offering 100,000 doses.
* Brazil will receive the first batch of 3 million doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the next few days.
* Ecuador has secured $550 million in financing to carry out its coronavirus vaccination.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The International Monetary Fund has approved $650 million in aid to Senegal to support the West African country’s COVID-19 recovery.
* Uruguay has released real-world data on the impact of Sinovac Biotech’s vaccine among its population that showed it was over 90% effective in preventing intensive care admissions and deaths.
* World Bank President David Malpass said the bank does not support waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines at the World Trade Organization out of concern that it would hamper innovation in the pharmaceuticals sector.
* World stock prices held near record highs on Wednesday, while U.S. bond yields flirted with their lowest levels in a month, as investors bet the Federal Reserve is some way off from tapering its economic stimulus.
* China’s factory gate prices rose at their fastest annual pace in over 12 years in May, driven by surging commodity prices.
* Australia’s central bank sees good prospects for growth and an eventual increase in wages and prices, though inflation is unlikely to be sustainably within its target range until 2024 at the earliest.