Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus
(Reuters) - There were just over 59,000 COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the United States on Monday, the country's highest number ever of in-patients being treated for the disease, with new infections at record levels for the sixth consecutive day. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS * For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread of COVID-19, open https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/ in an external browser. * Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news
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(Reuters) - There were just over 59,000 COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the United States on Monday, the country's highest number ever of in-patients being treated for the disease, with new infections at record levels for the sixth consecutive day.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread of COVID-19 , open https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/ in an external browser.
* Eikon users, see COVID-19 : MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.
* The COVID-19 death toll in Europe was set to pass 300,000 and authorities feared that despite hopes for a new vaccine, fatalities and infections would continue to rise.
* The European Commission will discuss on Wednesday the adoption of a contract for the supply of the vaccine being developed by Pfizer
* A criminal investigation into whether the public officials who orchestrated France's response to the COVID-19 crisis committed offences including manslaughter and endangering lives will be split into four inquiries, the public prosecutor said.
* Spain will get the first vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech in early 2021, its health minister said, while Italy expects to receive an initial 3.4 mln shots in January.
* Poland will conduct coronavirus tests among its farmed minks and check whether farm workers and their families have been infected, following the findings of a mutated virus among the animals in Denmark.
* An apparent breakthrough in a coronavirus vaccine weakens the case for another large U.S. fiscal stimulus bill, but relief is still needed for struggling businesses, investors said.
* The United States said that the terms under which a WHO-led team of experts is to investigate the origins of the new coronavirus were not transparently negotiated or in line with the mandate agreed by member states.
* An unhappy Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged premiers of the country's 10 provinces to take stricter measures against a rapidly-spreading second wave of the coronavirus .
* Australia is considering opening its borders to Asian countries, including parts of China, as Canberra seeks to revive an economy.
* Nepal will provide free COVID-19 tests and treatment, an aide to the prime minister said, as the total number of infections was set to cross the 200,000 mark.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Lebanon ordered a full lockdown for around two weeks to stem a rise in infections and allow a badly strained health sector to bolster capacity.
* Botswana signed an agreement with the global vaccine distribution scheme co-led by the WHO, giving it the option to buy coronavirus vaccines for 20% of its population.
* Iran plans to more than double the number of tests it carries out daily to 100,000, as its total number of detected cases surpassed 700,000.
* The severe adverse event which caused the Brazilian health regulator to suspend trials of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by China's Sinovac
* The World Health Organization's (WHO) chief said it hopes to have a COVID-19 vaccine by year-end and that Pfizer's
* BioNTech is planning to price the two-shot vaccination regimen below "typical market rates" and would differentiate pricing between countries or regions.
* Johnson & Johnson's
* The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq lost ground and crude oil prices extended the previous session's surge as encouraging prospects of an effective COVID-19 vaccine led investors away from market leaders and toward cyclical stocks associated with economic recovery. [MKTS/GLOB]
* News of a breakthrough in the race to find a COVID-19 vaccine sparked one of the heaviest trading days since the height of the pandemic crisis, with nearly $2 trillion changing hands on Monday.
* Brazil might spend a further 4% of gross domestic product on emergency support measures next year if there is a second wave, economy minister said.
(Compiled by Anita Kobylinska and Milla Nissi; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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