Coronavirus - 15 March


• China’s January-February industrial production up 35.1% YoY
• Portugal extends ban on flights to UK
• DVT after vaccine lower than background rate, AstraZeneca
• Germany, Netherlands and Indonesia suspend AZ vaccine
• Singapore and Australia are discussing an air travel bubble

World news

• China’s industrial production rose by 35.1% YoY in January-February. Retail sales also rose by 33.8% YoY over the same period, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

• Portugal has extended a ban on flights to and from Britain and Brazil by another two weeks to 31 March, with only humanitarian and repatriation flights allowed.

• Northern Ireland’s department of health has asked the UK’s medicines regulator for an update on the AstraZeneca vaccine roll-out in light of the Republic of Ireland’s suspension of the vaccine. Link

• In Wales hairdressers and barbers can reopen for appointments only from today.

• Punch Taverns founder Hugh Osmond and Greater Manchester’s nighttime economy adviser, Sacha Lord, have threatened to take the government to court over its plans to release England from lockdown.

• £16m is being made available for the return of grassroots football at the end of this month through a joint initiative set up by the Premier League, the Football Association and the government’s Football Foundation.

• Christian Karagiannidis, director of Germany’s intensive-care register, said he and his colleagues “would argue strongly to return immediately to a lockdown”.

• Bahrain eased some of its coronavirus restrictions on Sunday, including allowing eating inside restaurants and reopening educational institutions.

• France’s government has said today it plans to evacuate around 100 patients from intensive care units in the Paris region this week as hospitals ease pressure on beds.

• Dutch police have been using water cannon to disperse anti-lockdown protesters in The Hague.

• Protests have erupted across many of Jordan’s cities and provincial towns against the government restrictions.

• Singapore and Australia are discussing an air travel bubble with each other to eliminate the need for quarantine.

• International deliveries of arms were flat in the period 2016-20, ending more than a decade of increases, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) as countries “reassess their arms imports for the coming years after the economic impact of the virus.”

AstraZeneca vaccine developments

• Thailand is to resume using the AstraZeneca vaccine after pausing its use last week.

• Germany has suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine following advice from its national regulator.

• The Netherlands has suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a precaution.

• Indonesia has suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

• Firemen in France’s southern Bouches-du-Rhone region have suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for their staff.

• Italy’s northern region of Piedmont has said it would temporarily suspend AstraZeneca vaccine use and prosecutors have seized a batch of 393,600 doses.

• The Danish Medicines Agency has released a statement clarifying information around the death that has been linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine. “The disease picture is highly unusual and is currently being thoroughly investigated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the other European Medicines Agency.” Link

Company news


AstraZeneca – has released a statement about the safety of its vaccine after Ireland and the Netherlands paused the use of the vaccine in their programs. “So far across the EU and UK, there have been 15 events of DVT and 22 events of pulmonary embolism reported among those given the vaccine, based on the number of cases the Company has received as of 8 March. This is much lower than would be expected to occur naturally in a general population of this size and is similar across other licensed Covid-19 vaccines.” Link