Coronavirus latest: US orders enough Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to inoculate 300m people

Ireland will compel people arriving in the country without a negative Covid-19 test to quarantine in a hotel for a fortnight, as the government sharpened travel curbs and extended a third lockdown until March 5. The move on Tuesday came despite signs that new infections are halving every 10 days.

Portugal has reported a record daily total of Covid-19 deaths as the country struggles to contain one of the world’s fastest-growing outbreaks of coronavirus. Health officials said 291 people died from the virus in the previous 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 11,012 in a country of 10.2m people.

Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, called for an international “new consensus” on economic policy in a virtual address to the Davos forum on Tuesday. He called for a policy that would not play down the role of the state and the public sector like the old “Washington consensus”, which favoured fiscal rectitude and privatisation.

Carlos Holmes, Colombia’s defence minister, died on Tuesday from complications related to coronavirus – the country’s highest-profile victim of the pandemic to date. Holmes, who was 69, fell ill in early January. As his situation deteriorated he was flown from Barranquilla to Bogotá’s military hospital.

A combination of two Eli Lilly antibody treatments – bamlanivimab and etesevimab – reduced hospitalisation and death from Covid-19 by 70 per cent, according to new data from its Phase 3 trial. The US drugmaker said that there were no deaths in the group taking the treatment, compared with 10 in the placebo group.

BioNTech is considering making some of its Covid-19 vaccines in China for the local rollout of the jab, which it developed in collaboration with US group Pfizer, according to Ryan Richardson, BioNTech’s chief strategy officer. BioNTech and Shanghai-based Fosun agreed to supply China with 100m doses.

DR Horton lifted its full-year outlook after the US homebuilder generated stronger sales than forecast in the December quarter, benefiting from low mortgage rates and robust demand from Americans looking for more space. The Texas-based company sold 45 per cent more homes compared with the same period a year earlier.

GE ended a tumultuous year of lay-offs, debt repayments and restructuring with far stronger cash flows than forecast. Improving orders in GE’s energy division drove industrial free cash flow to almost $4.4bn in the fourth quarter, compared with a target of $2.5bn. Shares rose more than 7 per cent to $11.80 in pre-market trading.

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