* Ukraine registered 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. People in the capital Kiev queued in their hundreds for vaccinations.
* 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 lockdown measures from October 28, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said, with supermarkets and pharmacies the only shops allowed to stay open in an effort to cut soaring infections and deaths.
* The US CDC on Thursday recommended COVID-19 vaccine boosters for recipients of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots, saying Americans can choose a different shot from their original inoculation.
* The White House called on all World Trade Organization 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 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.
* Thailand will let vaccinated visitors from 46 countries forego 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.
* A booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was 95.6 per cent 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.
* 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.
Global case figures from Johns Hopkins University data