(Reuters) - Several European countries have reintroduced lockdown measures and other restrictions as new COVID-19 infections surge across the continent, with France, Italy and Russia seeing a record rise in daily cases.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* The World Health Organization is looking at biosecurity around mink farms across the world to prevent further "spillover events" after Denmark ordered a national mink cull due to an outbreak of coronavirus infections in the animals.
* Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the increase in coronavirus cases to a daily high of 20,582 was alarming and that authorities would take action depending on how the situation developed.
* Cases in France and Italy rose by a record 60,486 and 37,809, respectively.
* New COVID-19 infections in England have stabilised at around 50,000 a day, the Office for National Statistics said, indicating a levelling off in the steep rise of cases even before England was pushed into a second national lockdown.
* Austria warned that all its COVID-19 intensive care beds could be full within two weeks because of the "much stronger, more serious" second wave of infections.
* Romania will impose a nationwide nighttime curfew and close all schools for 30 days from Monday, while Hungary said it would try to avoid closing schools as long as possible, but some medical operations will have to be rescheduled as hospital beds are filling up.
* The U.S. mission in Geneva urged World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to invite Taiwan to a major meeting the body is hosting next week expected to focus on the pandemic.
* Cases in the United States surged by at least 120,276 on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally, the second consecutive daily record rise.
* Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said she had discussed coronavirus controls and economic relief measures with mainland Chinese officials and that the central government has welcomed her proposals.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The pandemic is having a knock-on effect on other vital health services in Africa as countries are forced to redirect already stretched resources, a regional head of WHO said.
* Painkiller aspirin will be evaluated as a possible treatment for COVID-19 in one of Britain's biggest trials, which will assess whether it might reduce the risk of blood clots in people with the disease.
* Humanigen Inc said it had entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense for testing its drug candidate as a potential COVID-19 treatment.
* Novartis's canakinumab failed to help COVID-19 patients survive without invasive ventilation compared with standard therapy, the Swiss drugmaker said.
* Oil fell below $40 a barrel as drawn-out vote counting in the U.S. presidential election kept markets on edge and new lockdowns in Europe to halt surging COVID-19 infections sparked demand concerns.
* U.S. employers likely hired the fewest workers in five months in October, in what would be clearest indication yet that the end of fiscal stimulus and exploding new infections were sapping momentum from the economic recovery.
* Japan's household spending slumped in September from a year earlier and real wages slid for the seventh straight month, data showed.
* Germany agreed to offer more aid to its airports to try to save jobs and preserve infrastructure.
(Compiled by Linda Pasquini, Devika Syamnath and Vinay Dwivedi; Edited by Shailesh Kuber, Louise Heavens and Shounak Dasgupta)