* Coronavirus infections broke records in parts of Europe on Wednesday, with the continent once again the epicentre of a pandemic that has prompted new curbs on movement and seen health experts push to widen the use of booster vaccination shots.
* Portugal, one of the world's most vaccinated nations, will give COVID-19 booster shots to a quarter of its population by the end of January, the health secretary said.
* Russia said it planned to export a nasal form of its Sputnik vaccine, which President Vladimir Putin said he had taken as a booster.
* Russia is expecting a specialist team from the World Health Organization to visit in December to work on a review of its Sputnik V vaccine for possible WHO emergency use listing, the head of the RDIF fund that markets the vaccine said.
* Poland will have to tighten restrictions if it does not see daily cases decreasing in the near future, the health minister said.
* Slovakia's government has followed the example of neighbouring Austria and ordered a two-week lockdown to quell the world's fastest rise in COVID-19 cases.
* Italy tightened the screw on people unwilling to take an anti-COVID vaccine, sharply restricting access to an array of services and making vaccines mandatory for a wider group of public sector workers.
* The Dutch government will announce new measures on Friday to tackle a surge in infections that is putting pressure on hospitals, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said.
* Ecuador will administer booster shots to the general population starting January 2022, the government said.
* Colombia will seek to vaccinate more than 80 per cent of its population, up from a previous target of 70 per cent, as it looks to cut the risk posed by further waves of the pandemic, Health Minister Fernando Ruiz said.
* A total of 92 per cent of US federal workers have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, in compliance with the administration's mandate, the White House Office of Management and Budget said.
* New cases have jumped 23 per cent in the Americas in the last week, mostly in North America where the United States and Canada are reporting increasing infection rates, the Pan American Health Organization said on Wednesday.
* Singapore and Malaysia will launch a quarantine-free travel lane next week at their land border crossing for the fully vaccinated.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Egypt will activate within days a plan to offer vaccine booster shots for senior citizens, people with chronic diseases and healthcare workers.
* The SARS-CoV-2 virus will continue to spread intensely as societies return to the social mixing and mobility of the pre-pandemic period, the WHO's emergency director Mike Ryan said.
Australian Associated Press