Several European countries have reported records in new coronavirus infections as the continent's worst COVID-19 hotspot Madrid is set to go into lockdown and Moscow's mayor has ordered employers to send at least 30 per cent of their staff home.
* Italy's prime minister will ask parliament to extend the country's state of emergency to the end of January as the government tries to avoid the kind of surge in cases seen in other European countries.
* France called for 25,000 volunteers to enrol in a series of large-scale clinical trials aimed at evaluating the safety and efficacy of several vaccine candidates.
* The UK's health minister introduced more restrictions across a wider area of England including the northern city of Liverpool.
* Poland's health minister expects daily cases to continue peaking above 2000 during the following week after the country reported another record with 1967 new cases.
* Serbia will review records since the start of the pandemic to check the death rate and rectify any irregularities after its leading epidemiologist questioned the figures.
* US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were expected to try again on Thursday to reach a deal on COVID-19 relief, while the House of Representatives stood ready for a second day to move a Democratic bill if talks fail.
* New cases of COVID-19 rose in 27 out of 50 US states in September compared with August, led by an increase of 111 per cent in Wisconsin, according to a Reuters analysis.
* Mexican president said his country should in coming days have 10 billion pesos ($A634 million) in funds available to pay for advances on COVID-19 vaccines.
* Malaysian authorities warned of a new wave of coronavirus after a spike in new infections following an election in the country's second largest state Sabah.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Traffic through South Africa's main airport was minimal on Thursday despite international flights resuming after a six-month ban, with last-minute government curbs leaving many would-be tourists unable to enter the country.
* The United Arab Emirates recorded its highest daily total of infections for the second day in a row, with 1158 new cases.
* The European health regulator has started a rolling review of the experimental vaccine from AstraZeneca and Oxford University in a move aimed at speeding up any future approval process.
* The US Food and Drug Administration broadened its investigation of a serious illness in AstraZeneca's vaccine study and will look at data from earlier trials of similar vaccines developed by the same scientists.
* Enlivex Therapeutics Ltd reported positive results in a clinical trial of the immunotherapy firm's Allocetra treatment in COVID-19 patients in severe or critical condition.
Australian Associated Press