Factbox-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus
(Reuters) - China is on high alert at its ports of entry as strict policies on travel in and out of the country are enforced to reduce COVID-19 risks amid a fresh outbreak, less than 100 days out from the open of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* COVID-19 prevalence in England rose to its highest level on record in October, Imperial College London said on Thursday, led by a high number of cases in children and a surge in the south-west of the country.
* Christmas may be difficult as the pandemic is not over, England's deputy chief medical officer said, urging people to behave with caution and come forward for booster shots.
* Turkey will begin administering boosters to people who have received two shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.
* The chair of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee plans an oversight hearing on the airline industry after she asked the major carriers in July to explain worker shortages despite receiving billions in pandemic bailout.
* China reported 104 new confirmed coronavirus cases for Nov. 3 compared with 109 a day earlier, the country's health authority said on Thursday.
* The World Economic Forum said it was postponing its event planned for later this month in the Chinese city of Tianjin due to the outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the country.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* West and Central Africa could see a rise in HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths in a few years due to disruptions in health services because of the pandemic, the executive director of the U.N. AIDS agency said.
* Russia's one-dose Sputnik Light vaccine had a good safety profile and induced strong immune responses especially in people who had already encountered COVID-19, according to the results of phase I and II trials.
* The Bank of England will deliver its most hotly awaited policy decision in years on Thursday, when it will either raise borrowing costs from an all-time low or say it is waiting to ensure the post-lockdown economy is ready for a rate hike.
* Asia's gradual easing of international travel curbs is proving a welcome relief for the region's hard-hit tourism operators slowly opening up to visitors from around the world, with one giant exception, China.
* Thai consumer confidence rose for a second straight month in October, hitting a five-month high, due to an easing of coronavirus curbs and a larger reopening of the country's troubled tourism sector, a survey showed.
* More than half of small British manufacturers feel under pressure to pay staff more because of labour shortages caused by the pandemic and Brexit, a survey showed on Thursday.
* Share markets firmed after the U.S. Federal Reserve engineered an orderly start to unwinding its massive stimulus programme, though doubts about the inflation outlook did push up longer-dated bond yields. [MKTS/GLOB]
* Australian retail sales tumbled in the third quarter as coronavirus lockdowns shut shops in Sydney and Melbourne, though a rebound is now underway as high rates of vaccination allow the economy to reopen.
* Gaining a full understanding of how job market dynamics have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will take some time, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said.
* Japan's services sector activity grew for the first time in 21 months in October as consumer sentiment picked up after the pandemic subsided, giving a broad-based boost to demand.
(Compiled by Sherry Jacob-Phillips; Edited by Shounak Dasgupta)
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