Oct 27 (Reuters) - Here's what you need to know about the
coronavirus right now:
Cases surge in eastern Europe
Poland reported 8,361 daily COVID-19 cases and 133 deaths on
Wednesday, with the number of new infections reaching the
highest level since late April.
Bulgaria's tally of infections has risen by 6,813 in the
last 24 hours, a record daily increase as the European Union's
least vaccinated country grapples with a fourth wave of the
The Czech Republic reported 6,274 new cases, almost doubling
in a week.
Hungary reported a jump in daily cases to 3,125, its highest
daily tally since April, as the government urged people to take
up vaccines that are widely available.
Ukraine's health minister urged more people to get their
COVID-19 shots as coronavirus deaths hit a daily record of 734
on Tuesday, with hospitalisations up more than a fifth on the
China's growing outbreak tests vulnerable border towns
China has reported nearly 250 locally transmitted cases of
COVID-19 since the start of the current outbreak 10 days ago,
with many infections in remote towns along porous international
borders in the country's northwest.
China had 50 new local cases for Oct. 26, the highest daily
count since Sept. 16, official data showed on Wednesday.
U.S. FDA advisers back Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for children
An expert panel on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to recommend
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorize the Pfizer and
BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, saying the
benefits of the shot outweigh the risks.
An authorisation for that age group would be would be an
important regulatory step toward reaching about 28 million
children for innoculation, most of them back in school for
Australia to lift outbound travel ban for vaccinated
All fully-vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent
residents will be able to leave the country without a special
exemption from Nov. 1, authorities said on Wednesday, as
Australia eases coronavirus restrictions amid a rise in
Australians have been unable to travel abroad for more than
18 months without a government waiver, while thousands of
fully-vaccinated residents living abroad have been unable to
return due to a cap on arrivals.
Merck signs pact to broaden generic manufacturing of
Merck & Co has signed a licensing agreement with the United
Nations-backed Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) that will allow more
companies to manufacture generic versions of its experimental
oral antiviral COVID-19 treatment, the U.S. drugmaker and the
organization announced on Wednesday.
Merck said the royalty-free license would apply to 105 low-
and middle-income countries. It allows manufacturers selected by
MPP to make generic versions of molnupiravir, the antiviral pill
Merck has developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
(Compiled by Linda Noakes; editing by Barbara Lewis)