Coronavirus - 24 February


• AstraZeneca to deliver <50% of contracted vaccines to the EU in Q2
• Portugal to send 5% of its vaccines to former African colonies
• Switzerland to lift lockdown from 1 March
• J&J vaccine 66% effective at preventing moderate and severe illness
• Hong Kong residents to receive HK$5,000

World news

• AstraZeneca has told the European Union it expects to deliver less than half the vaccines it was contracted to supply in the second quarter.

• Ukraine is to begin its coronavirus vaccination programme today.

• Greece has delayed lifting lockdown restrictions in the wider Athens area on March 1 as previously planned.

• Denmark will ease some shopping restrictions and allow schools in parts of the country to reopen on March 1, the government said today.

• Sweden will ease restrictions on elderly residents of care homes who have been vaccinated, the country’s top epidemiologist said today.

• Ghana has today received the world’s first Covax shipment, 600,000 doses of the AstraZenea vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute of India.

• Ireland is to start reopening some schools next week, but is extending other lockdown restrictions until April.

• Hong Kong permanent residents are to receive HK$5,000 in consumption coupons.

• The number of patients treated in intensive care units for the virus in France has reached a 12-week high.

• Spain has extended its ban on arrivals from Britain, Brazil and South Africa until 16 March

• Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez has unveiled a package worth €11bn to boost small and mid-sized businesses.

• Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine is about 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe forms of the virus, and is safe to use, according to an analysis by US regulators.

• Egypt has approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.

• Portugal will send 5% of its vaccine doses to Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, and Sao Tome and Principe.

• Switzerland is to start easing out of its lockdown from 1 March. Preliminary plans are to open shops, museums and libraries and allow outdoor gatherings of up to 15 people.

Company news


 Heathrow Airport – “Passenger numbers collapsed to 22.1m, more than half of whom travelled in January and February. Overall revenue fell 62% to £1.2bn and adjusted EBITDA fell to £270m. Government policies over recent months have effectively closed borders. We have had no government support, other than furlough, and have not been given relief from business rates, unlike other airports, retail and hospitality businesses. The March Budget is the key opportunity for the Chancellor to support the sector by providing 100% business rates relief, extending the furlough scheme and reversing the tourist tax. The 28% decline in cargo volumes shows the cost to the economy of shutting down aviation.”