FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus

(Adds new developments)

Sept 18 (Reuters) - The European Union has agreed to buy a potential COVID-19 vaccine from Sanofi and GSK in its second such deal to secure supplies, as a deadline for signing up to the World Health Organization's vaccine purchase program looms.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.

* For a U.S.-focused tracker with a state-by-state and county map, open https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T in an external browser.

* Eikon users, see MacroVitals cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.

EUROPE

* Britain's health minister said that the novel coronavirus was accelerating across the country, with hospital admissions doubling every eight days, but refused to say if another national lockdown would be imposed next month.

* The city of Nice on the French Riviera will ban gatherings of more than 10 people in public spaces.

* The Czech Republic's new infections accelerated as it reported more than 3,000 cases in a single day for the first time.

* The Premier League has urged the British government to stay committed to its plans for a controlled return of fans into stadiums from Oct. 1.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Financial leaders from China, Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia vowed to redouble their efforts to help the region's economies recover.

* Thailand reported its first coronavirus death in more than 100 days, after an infected Thai citizen had returned from abroad earlier this month.

* Australia said it would increase the number of citizens allowed to return home each week to 6,000 as it manages to get new infections under control.

* Mainland China reported 32 new cases on Thursday, marking the highest daily increase in more than a month.

AMERICAS

* The major Canadian province of Ontario will clamp down on social gatherings in response to "reckless careless people" who are spreading the coronavirus at illegal parties.

* Several Latin American countries have informed the World Health Organization (WHO) they would seek more time to sign up for its global COVID-19 vaccine allocation plan known as COVAX.

* With only four days' notice, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday delayed in-person learning at public schools for a second time for most students.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Israel will enter a second nationwide lockdown on Friday at the onset of the Jewish high-holiday season.

* A senior Iranian health official has declared a coronavirus red alert covering the entire country.

* Jordan announced on Thursday jail sentences of up to a year for anyone organizing weddings, parties, funerals or social gatherings for more than 20 people.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Europe's health regulator has endorsed using dexamethasone to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients with breathing difficulty, paving the way for the steroidal medication to possibly become the region's second approved medication for the illness.

* A British COVID-19 test known as DnaNudge that gives results in just over an hour and which requires no laboratory was accurate in almost all cases.

* Russia has approved R-Pharm's Coronavir treatment for outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19 infections and the antiviral drug could reach pharmacies in the country as soon as next week.

* Researchers plan to start a clinical trial for an additional dose of a coronavirus vaccine candidate co-developed by China's CanSino Biologics Inc and a military-backed research unit.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Stocks struggled on Friday as worries about a resurgence in coronavirus cases and lingering disappointment that central banks merely affirmed their monetary support this week, without promising new stimulus, kept investors wary.

* Around 5 million British jobs remained fully or partly on furlough at the end of July, down from a peak of just under 9 million, while British shoppers spent more last month, taking sales further above pre-COVID levels.

(Compiled by Anita Kobylinska and Ramakrishnan M.; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Tomasz Janowski)

09/18/2020 11:38

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