Factbox-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians walk at the city centre during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, as Austria
FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians walk at the city centre during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, as Austria's government imposed a general lockdown from Monday, in Salzburg, Austria, November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Lukas Barth

(Reuters) - The busiest land crossing from the United States to Canada remained shut on Tuesday after Canadian truckers blocked lanes on Monday to protest their government's pandemic control measures.


* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.


* Italy's government lifted an obligation to wear masks outdoors under most circumstances in response to an improving coronavirus situation, and said it aimed to raise attendance limits at stadiums.

* A quarter of British employers have cited long COVID as a main cause of long-term sickness absences, a survey by a professional body found, adding it raised questions over how workers with the condition were being supported in their jobs.

* Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said he had tested positive for the coronavirus but was continuing to work remotely.


* The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stands by its mask-wearing guidance for public K-12 schools with COVID-19 cases still high nationwide, even as some states plan to relax masking rules, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told Reuters.

* Protests in Canada that have blocked a key bridge to the United States have broadened beyond their original focus on vaccine requirements, the White House said.


* Norway's Heidi Weng will not travel to Beijing to compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19 before the Games, the cross-country skier confirmed.

* Japan reported 159 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, a daily record, Kyodo news agency said.

* Hong Kong announced stringent new coronavirus restrictions and record new infections on Tuesday, while a shortage of vegetables added to the misery as truck drivers who tested positive for COVID-19 were unable to bring them from mainland China.

* Hundreds of people protesting vaccine mandates and pandemic restrictions blocked streets outside New Zealand's parliament with trucks and campervans, inspired by similar demonstrations in Canada.

* Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi defended his government's efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic over the last two years, saying they led to high economic growth and middling inflation, unlike the situation in some advanced economies.


* Uganda is preparing legislation to make COVID-19 jabs mandatory in a country with low levels of vaccination, a senior health official said.


* Johnson & Johnson quietly shut down the only plant making usable batches of its COVID-19 vaccine late last year.

* The European Union's drug regulator launched a review to evaluate whether the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine can be used as a third booster shot in adolescents aged 12 to 15, even after several countries in the region have already started such a campaign.


* Big Tech gave major U.S. stock indexes a boost and European shares ended largely unchanged as rising bond yields pressured technology stocks and a sharp fall in oil prices took the shine off bumper profits from oil company BP. [MKTS/GLOB]

(Compiled by Shailesh Kuber and Krishna Chandra Eluri; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Anil D'Silva)

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