Coronavirus latest: Biden cautious on timing of vaccine rollout

US president-elect Joe Biden plans to name a task force to deal with the coronavirus pandemic before he takes office as he tries to get a grip on the more than 100,000 new cases a day reported nationwide. He is expected on Monday to announce a 12-member team to tackle the virus.

Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, contracted Covid-19 just weeks after US president Donald Trump came down with the virus. Mr Meadows, a former North Carolina congressman, was diagnosed one day after the November 3 election, according to a former senior White House official.

Growth in China’s exports jumped to its highest level in more than a year and a half in October. Exports from the world’s second-biggest economy beat analysts’ expectations to rise 11.4 per cent year-on-year during the month, official data showed on Saturday, the strongest growth rate since March 2019.

The number of Canadians with severe forms of Covid-19 continues to rise, according to its chief medical officer. Theresa Tam said at the weekend that 1,200 people with Covid-19 were being treated in hospitals in the week ending November 5, up from 1,107 the previous week and 1,010 the week before.

Online fashion retailer Farfetch has clinched $1.1bn in investment from Chinese tech giant Alibaba and Swiss watch and jewellery group Richemont, in a sign that the pandemic is accelerating the shift of the industry’s centre of gravity to Asia and making digital selling much more important.

Pret A Manger, Hugo Boss and the UK’s largest independent toy retailer have been threatened with legal action by shopping centre landlord Westfield over unpaid rent as England enters a second lockdown. “It’s … not a reasonable action for a landlord to take,” said Gary Grant, chairman of The Entertainer, a toy chain.

Thai competition authorities have approved CP’s $10.6bn takeover of Tesco’s south-east Asian operations. The British supermarket group plans to return £5bn to investors via a special dividend, a payout likely to prove controversial, given both its size and the backdrop of the UK’s coronavirus pandemic.

Uber missed Wall Street forecasts as the pandemic weighed on the company’s ride-sharing revenues. The company narrowed its third-quarter losses to $1.09bn, marginally worse than analysts’ estimates of $1.02bn, according to S&P Capital IQ data. Overall revenue fell 18 per cent, worse than expected.

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