FACTBOX-Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus
(Updates with new developments)
Oct 28 (Reuters) - Germany and France prepared to announce restrictions approaching the extent of strict lockdowns earlier this year as COVID-19 deaths across Europe rose almost 40% in a week.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants state premiers on Wednesday to agree to close all restaurants and bars from Nov. 4 but keep schools and nurseries open, a draft resolution seen by Reuters showed.
* Swiss hospitals are scrambling to cope with a surge in COVID-19 patients, bringing back retired staff to replace sick frontline workers and closing other wards as officials say they could reach breaking point in about 10 days.
* Russia will send army medics to a region in the Urals hit by a surge in COVID-19 cases, after doctors there made a public plea to President Vladimir Putin for help.
* Poland reported a record 18,820 new infections and 236 deaths, the health ministry said, as hospitals faced shortages, in some cases turning patients away, while mass protests against an abortion ruling continued.
* Nearly half a million people have contracted COVID-19 in the United States over the last seven days, according to a Reuters tally, as new cases and hospitalizations set records in the Midwest.
* The United Nations canceled all in-person meetings at its New York headquarters after five people in Niger's U.N. mission were infected.
* India reported 43,893 new cases in the last 24 hours, data from the federal health ministry showed, while health authorities in one of the country's most populous states faced a big test with the first state assembly election being held since the epidemic began, despite calls to postpone it.
* Mainland China reported 42 new COVID-19 cases on Oct. 27, the highest daily toll in more than two months due to a rise in infections in the northwestern Xinjiang region.
* Melbourne's shops, restaurants and hotels opened for business after a four-month lockdown.
* Thailand's cabinet agreed to extend a state of emergency until the end of November.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* A first-of-its-kind study using satellite images to count fresh graves and analyze burial activity in Yemen has estimated the death toll there from COVID-19 or COVID-related causes is far higher than official government figures suggest.
* South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has gone into quarantine after a guest at a charity dinner he attended tested positive for COVID-19, his office said.
* The woman in charge of procuring possible COVID-19 treatments for Britain said a fully effective vaccine might never be developed, and that any early versions that do get approved might not work at all for some people.
* The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has submitted applications to the World Health Organization for an Emergency Use Listing and prequalification of its coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V.
* Shares around the world fell on Wednesday as coronavirus infections grew rapidly in Europe and the United States, igniting fears of possible strict lockdown measures that could damage already fragile economic recoveries.
* U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged that a coronavirus economic relief deal would likely come after the Nov. 3 election, with the White House unable to bridge differences with fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate as well as congressional Democrats.
(Compiled by Linda Pasquini, Vinay Dwivedi and Amy Caren Daniel; Editing Shounak Dasgupta, Sriraj Kalluvila and Barbara Lewis)
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