Japan will hold the Summer Olympics regardless of the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, Tokyo 2020’s President said as the government prepared to extend a state of emergency.
* Britain begins door-to-door testing of 80,000 people in a bid to stem the spread of a new highly infectious so-called South African variant of coronavirus.
* France’s vaccines chief said he hoped the AstraZeneca vaccine could be rolled out there by mid-February.
* The European Union tightened its rules for visitors from outside the bloc, specifying they would only be allowed in freely from countries with very few coronavirus cases and almost none of the more transmissible variants.
* Japan needs to link up private testing with public databases to get a firmer grip on the extent of the pandemic, health experts said.
* Malaysia’s government extended a lockdown and broad movement restrictions by two weeks as a surge in infections has pushed the cumulative total past 200,000.
* Johnson & Johnson is seeking Thailand’s approval for its vaccine.
* China reported its fewest new cases in a month as imported cases overtook local infections, official data showed on Tuesday, suggesting its worst wave since March 2020 is being stamped out ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.
* The US government promised undocumented migrants the same access to vaccines as other civilians and said inoculation centres would be immigration enforcement-free zones.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Dubai will start vaccinating people with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the state media office said, after receiving its first shipment from India.
* Zimbabwe will have access to a Chinese vaccine soon, China’s ambassador in Harare said, as Beijing ramps up its availability to developing nations.
* EU curbs on exports of vaccines could delay Japan’s inoculation drive, the minister in charge of the campaign said.
* A team of investigators led by the World Health Organization arrived at an animal health facility in China’s Wuhan in the search for clues about the origins of the pandemic.
* Moderna said it is proposing filling vials with additional doses of its vaccine to ease a crunch as the company approaches the manufacturing of almost a million doses a day.
* Chinese syringe makers are warning they may only be able to fulfil some orders as late as June, while South Korea is considering supporting syringe manufacturers to boost production, capacity and export of special syringes for coronavirus vaccines.
* Global stock markets gained for a second day on Tuesday, spurred by increased optimism about economic stimulus and global recovery.
* In Spain, the number of people registering as jobless rose for the fourth month in a row in January to 3.96 million as restrictions to contain new outbreaks of the pandemic continued to limit activity.
* After meeting with Republican senators at the White House on Monday, US President Joe Biden appeared ready to push forward with his $US1.9 trillion ($A2.5 trillion) COVID-19 relief plan even if it fails to draw Republican support.