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Coronavirus: Free to read

Coronavirus: Week of Aug. 29 to Sept. 4, Australia's New South Wales sets new record for cases

New Zealand reports first death from delta variant; Ho Chi Minh proposes economic restart from Sept.15

Health care workers speak with members of the public at a Bondi Beach drive-through COVID-19 testing center during a lockdown to curb an outbreak in Sydney on Sept. 1.   © Reuters

Nikkei Asia is tracking the spread of the coronavirus that was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Cumulative global cases have reached 219,822,508, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The worldwide death toll has hit 4,553,726.

For more information about the spread of COVID-19 and vaccination progress around the world, please see our interactive charts and maps.

-- Global coronavirus tracker charts

-- Status of vaccinations around the world

-- World map of spreading mutated strains

-- Distribution, duration, safety: challenges emerge in vaccine race

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UPDATES CLOSED

Saturday, Sept. 4 (Tokyo time)

12:00 p.m. New Zealand reports its first death from the delta variant of COVID-19, and 20 more infections, all in Auckland, the epicenter of the outbreak. The woman who died was in her 90s and had a number of underlying health conditions, health officials said in a statement. It is the first coronavirus-related death in the country since mid-February.

10:27 a.m. Mainland China reported 28 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, unchanged from a day earlier, with one local transmission and the rest coming from overseas. The National Health Commission said in its daily bulletin that the local infection was identified in Dehong in the southwestern province of Yunnan. The total of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Mainland China now stands at 94,982, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,636.

10:09 a.m. Australia's most populous state of New South Wales reports a record 1,533 locally acquired COVID-19 infections, topping the previous high of 1,431 cases a day earlier. Four more people have died in the current outbreak of the highly transmissible delta variant, which began in the state in mid-June. There are currently 1,041 people hospitalized with the virus, with 173 patients in intensive care, the state's health authorities said on Twitter.

Friday, Sept. 3

11:43 p.m. Singapore will start giving a booster vaccine shot to people aged 60 and older as well as immunocompromised people this month to better protect them against the coronavirus. The move comes as infections with the highly contagious delta variant are increasing, even though the country has fully inoculated at least 80 percent of the population since vaccinations began in late December.

5:30 p.m. Tokyo reports 2,539 new cases, down from 3,099 from a day earlier, as the capital's daily tally continues its downwards trajectory. The seven-day average of new infections in Tokyo is 2,898, down 30.7% from a week ago.

4:20 p.m. Ho Chi Minh City, the epicenter of Vietnam's COVID-19 outbreak, is proposing to ease a strict lockdown and resume economic activities, starting Sept.15, as it shifts from a "zero-COVID-19" strategy to living with the virus, according to a draft proposal, Reuters reports. The city of 9 million people is targeting a phased reopening of its economy and full vaccination of its citizens by the end of the year, according to the the draft, which has yet to be endorsed.

1:39 p.m. India reports 45,352 new infections in the last 24 hours, slightly down from 47,092 the previous day, pushing the country's cumulative caseload to 32.9 million. Deaths rose by 366 to 439,895.

1:30 p.m. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says he has decided not to run in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's leadership race and wants to focus instead on fighting the pandemic. "Running in the race and handling coronavirus countermeasures would have required an enormous amount of energy," he told reporters. The winner of the party leadership contest is all but assured of being premier because of the LDP's majority in the lower house.

A women walks past a sign urging COVID precautions in Seoul: South Korea extended its strictest social distancing rules in Greater Seoul for another four weeks on Sept. 3.   © AP

1:00 p.m. Australia has secured 4 million doses of Pfizer vaccines in a swap deal with Britain, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says, as he looks to convince states and territories to stick to a national COVID-19 reopening plan. The extra doses should reach Australia this month, doubling the available Pfizer supply for September, he said, speeding up the country's efforts to come out of economically damaging coronavirus lockdowns.

11:18 a.m. South Korea extends its strictest social distancing rules in Greater Seoul for another four weeks. But health authorities will allow up to eight family members to gather during the Chuseok holidays later this month, if four or more of them have completed their inoculations.

10:30 a.m. New Zealand reports 28 new cases, down from 49 a day earlier and 75 on Wednesday, as authorities say the country is breaking the chain of transmission of the highly infectious delta variant. Of the cases reported on Friday, 27 were in Auckland and one was in Wellington.

5:30 a.m. The U.S. plans to invest $3 billion in the vaccine supply chain as it continues to work to position itself as a leading supplier of vaccines for the world, White House COVID adviser Jeffrey Zients says. The funding, which will start being distributed in the coming weeks, will focus on manufacturers of the inputs used in COVID-19 vaccine production, as well as facilities that fill and package vaccine vials, he said. Areas of focus will include lipids, bioreactor bags, tubing, needles, syringes, and personal protective equipment.

The U.S will invest $3 billion in the vaccine supply chain in a drive to become a top global supplier of vaccines, focusing on things such as needles, syringes, and personal protective gear.   © Reuters

2:30 a.m. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says there is no urgent need for booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the fully vaccinated, citing data on the effectiveness of shots.

The comments follow a similar statement from the European Medicines Agency last month that more data is needed to recommend using booster shots.

1:30 a.m. Cases of breakthrough infections are extremely rare among fully vaccinated people and their risk of experiencing lingering symptoms in what is known as "long COVID" is reduce by almost half, a new study finds.

The study, published in Lancet Infectious Diseases on Wednesday, covered nearly 1 million fully vaccinated British adults.

The study suggests that vaccinations not only protect people against severe COVID-19 symptoms and reduce the risk of hospitalization, but also significantly reduce the likelihood of experiencing lingering symptoms after an infection.

Thursday, Sept. 2

5:45 p.m. Vaccinated travelers will no longer need to quarantine upon arrival in Abu Dhabi from Sunday, the government tweets.

5:40 p.m. Thailand's Health Ministry says its COVID-19 vaccine regimen of administering China's Sinovac as a first shot followed by a British-developed AstraZeneca jab was safe and successfully boosted immunity among the first 1.5 million recipients.

Thailand in July became the first country to mix a Chinese vaccine with one developed in the West as cases and deaths in the country surged and the government struggled to get supplies.

Thailand says its vaccine regime of administering a Sinovac shot first, followed by an AstraZeneca one, has worked in the first 1.5 million receipients.   © Reuters

1:30 p.m. India logs 47,092 new cases in the last 24 hours, up from 41,965 the previous day, pushing the cumulative total to 32.86 million. The southern state of Kerala, currently the worst hit, accounted for about 70% of the new infections. Deaths rose by 509 nationwide, bringing the total number of fatalities to 439,529.

12:30 p.m. Bank of Japan board member Goushi Kataoka says the pandemic may weigh on the economy longer than initially expected, warning of heightened risks to the central bank's forecast of a moderate, export-driven recovery.

11:30 a.m. A former foreign minister who is challenging Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to be the chief of the country's ruling party calls for tens of trillions of yen (tens of billions of dollars) in stimulus spending. Fumio Kishida says the pump-priming is needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The party leader contest is slated for Sept. 29, and the government is considering a plan to hold a general election on Oct. 17.

11:00 a.m. Australia's trade surplus in July hit a record high as exports of iron ore, coal and liquefied natural gas made sharp gains, a surprisingly upbeat result that bodes well for mining profits and tax receipts. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the trade surplus climbed to 12.1 billion Australian dollars ($8.91 billion) in July, from an already high AU$11.1 billion in June, beating forecasts of AU$10.2 billion.

COVID, COVID-19, coronavirus, vaccines, Foxconn, TSMC Taiwan receives its first supplies of the BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Sept. 2, 2021.   © Reuters

10:40 a.m. Taiwan on Thursday received its first batch of about 930,000 BioNTech jabs purchased and donated by two of its largest tech companies -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Foxconn Technology Group -- as well as by the religious Tsu Chi Foundation. The joint-procurement effort marked the first deal by private companies and organizations to buy vaccines since Taiwanese officials accused China of interfering in its procurement of jabs, an accusation Beijing denies.

TSMC and Foxconn in early July said they had signed $350 million worth of contracts to buy 10 million jabs from a Chinese distributor to help the government ramp up its inoculation drive amid a surge in local cases.

10:30 a.m. New Zealand reports a drop in new cases for Thursday, allowing authorities to say a nationwide lockdown is limiting the spread of the infectious delta variant. Authorities reported 49 new cases on Thursday, all in the epicenter of Auckland, taking the total number of cases in this outbreak to 736.

7:30 a.m. Moderna asks the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to allow third "booster" doses of its COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA is considering booster shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine but so far has allowed only people with weakened immune systems to receive third doses of either. The FDA said a group of its advisers will meet to discuss Pfizer's booster shot application on Sept. 17; it is not clear whether they will discuss Moderna's.

12:22 a.m. Vials of coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna contained particles of stainless steel, the U.S. drugmaker says in a statement with Japanese distributor Takeda Pharmaceutical on why roughly 1.6 million doses in Japan were withdrawn last week.

The particles do "not pose an undue risk to patient safety," according to the statement.

Wednesday, Sept. 1

10:28 p.m. North Korea rejects offer of around 3 million Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine doses, saying that they should go to severely affected countries, according to UNICEF.

North Korea has not reported any COVID cases and has imposed strict anti-virus measures, including border closures and domestic travel curbs.

China's Sinovac Biotech takes part in the Covax facility for lower-income nations, which is managed by the U.N. children's agency.

5:41 p.m. India next month is expected to begin inoculating 12- to 18-year-olds with a domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine that is also the world's first DNA-based anti-coronavirus jab. Ahmedabad-based producer Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D vaccine, developed in partnership with the Indian government's Department of Biotechnology, is administered in three needle-free doses. It showed primary efficacy of 66.6% for symptomatic COVID cases, according to interim results from the vaccine's Phase-III clinical trials conducted among over 28,000 volunteers.

5:00 p.m. Japanese automaker Subaru says it will suspend operations at its three domestic factories that produce finished vehicles for four days, starting Sept. 7. The spread of COVID-19 in Southeast Asia has hampered the procurement of parts, it says. The current plan to produce 990,000 vehicles globally in the fiscal year ended March 2022 will remain unchanged.

Japan had 2,092 COVID-19 patients in serious condition as of Sept. 1, down by 18 from a day earlier, dropping for the first time since July 20, but hospitals in Tokyo remain under pressure.   © Reuters

2:00 p.m. Japan has 2,092 COVID-19 patients in serious condition, down by 18 from a day earlier, dropping for the first time since July 20. While the number of new infections in Tokyo, the hot spot, has been on a downward trend, there remains heavy stress on area hospitals.

1:32 p.m. India posts 41,965 new infections for the past 24 hours, up from 30,941 the previous day, pushing the country's cumulative caseload to 32.8 million. Deaths rose by 460 to 439,020. Meanwhile, the country has administered a record 13.3 million vaccine doses since Tuesday morning, bringing the total number to over 654 million.

11:50 a.m. New Zealand reports 75 new cases, up from 49 a day earlier. Of the cases, 74 were confirmed in Auckland, which is still under a strict lockdown, and one was in Wellington. The daily tally rose again after having fallen for two days in a row, driven by the highly infectious delta variant. The total cases from the current outbreak rose to 687, nearly all in Auckland.

Auckland's central business district on Aug. 27: New Zealand reported more than 75 new coronavirus cases on Sept. 1 despite a strict lockdown.   © AP

11:30 a.m. South Korea reports 2,025 new cases, up from 1,371 a day earlier and registering the daily caseload of more than 2,000 for the first time in a week.

11:00 a.m. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says he doesn't plan a snap election that would delay the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's leadership race. He told reporters, "Considering the situation of coronavirus infections, we are not in a position to dissolve the Diet. I am not thinking about postponing the LDP's presidential election."

10:45 a.m. Australia's economy was already slowing in the June quarter before widespread coronavirus lockdowns slammed everything into reverse, government data shows. The country's gross domestic product rose 0.7% in the June quarter. That was a slowdown from 1.9% in the March quarter, but did at least top forecasts of 0.5% growth and avoided analysts' worst fears of a contraction.

9:00 a.m. Capital spending by Japanese companies rose 5.3% in the April to June quarter from a year earlier, government data shows. Investment by all nonfinancial sectors for purposes such as building factories and adding equipment totaled 10.15 trillion yen ($92 billion). It was the first increase in five quarters and followed a 7.8% year-on-year decline in the January to March quarter.

4:00 a.m. The virus behind COVID-19 continues to evolve, with scientists in South Africa reporting "mutations of concern" in a new variant first identified in May.

The so-called C.1.2 lineage has been detected across most South African provinces and in seven other countries spanning Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania, the researchers write in an early version of a paper. They do not yet know whether the mutations make the virus more contagious or more resistant to immunity from vaccines or infection, Reuters reports.

3:45 a.m. New Zealand has announced checkpoints on the outskirts of Auckland, the nation's largest city, to question drivers in the name of preventing nonessential movement between regions. Auckland remains on the country's highest alert level, even as other areas have moved down to the second-highest level.

 A woman receives a dose of Pfizer's vaccine in Valencia, Spain.    © Reuters

3:15 a.m. The European Union says more than 256 million adults have been fully vaccinated, amounting to 70% of its adult population.

"But we must go further!" European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweets. "We need more Europeans to vaccinate. And we need to help the rest of the world vaccinate, too."

After the target of 70% by summer was announced in January, it was interpreted to mean that percentage in each EU member, drawing complaints from many, Reuters reports. The EU-wide figure also papers over differences of tens of percentage points in countries' vaccination rates.

Tuesday, Aug. 31

5:10 p.m. Tokyo reports 2,909 new cases, significantly lower than the 4,220 recorded last Tuesday. The seven-day average of new cases in the capital is now 3,520, down 24.1% from a week ago. The number of new cases in Tokyo has been on a downward trend after having seemingly peaked at 5,773 on Aug. 13.

Britain's GSK and America's Vir Biotechnology say their experimental COVID-19 antibody therapy can reduce hospitalization and deaths by 85%.   © Reuters

3:30 p.m. South Korea's SK Bioscience and Britain's GSK say they have begun a late-stage trial of their vaccine candidate to assess immune response when compared with AstraZeneca's approved shot. The trial will enroll around 4,000 candidates globally and test SK's vaccine candidate, GBP510, in combination with GSK's vaccine booster following positive early-stage data this month. Results from the SK-GSK study are expected in the first half of next year

1:40 p.m. India reports 30,941 new cases in the last 24 hours, down from 42,909 the previous day, pushing the country's total to 32.77 million. Fatalities rose by 350 to 438,560. Meanwhile, the country has vaccinated nearly 6 million people since Monday morning, bringing the total number of doses administered nationwide to 640.5 million.

12:15 p.m. Australia will receive 500,000 doses of Pfizer's vaccine from Singapore this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says, with Canberra returning the same quantity later in the year. The vaccine swap will allow Australia, which is struggling to contain a new outbreak, to accelerate its vaccination program.

Singapore will provide Australia with 500,000 doses of Pfizer's vaccine to help contain a new outbreak, and will receive a like number back later this year.   © Reuters

12:00 p.m. Australia's Canberra extends its hard lockdown until at least Sept. 17 as the nation's capital fights to contain a surge in the delta variant. Canberra has been in lockdown for three weeks after a spate of cases believed to have spread from New South Wales, the epicenter of Australia's COVID outbreak. On Tuesday, Canberra reported 13 new cases in the past 24 hours.

11:45 a.m. South Korea unveils an aggressive spending increase in the final annual budget of President Moon Jae-in's five-year term, squashing any hope of achieving a balanced budget amid a worsening fiscal deficit. The country plans to spend a record 604.4 trillion won ($518.4 billion) next year -- 8.3% more than this year's budget before two emergency spending measures were drafted to help households.

10:30 a.m. New Zealand reports 49 new cases, decreasing for the second day in a row since the latest outbreak forced the country into a strict lockdown earlier this month. The total number of cases in the outbreak stands at 612, with 597 in Auckland and 15 in Wellington.

A spike in cases of the delta variant has disrupted auto parts supplies in Japan and the rest of Asia.

9:30 a.m. Japan's industrial output shrank in July as car production took a hit from a coronavirus resurgence in Asia. A spike in cases of the highly contagious delta variant has forced governments in Asia to impose lockdowns and curbs, which are causing disruptions in parts supplies across the region. Factory output dropped 1.5% in July from the previous month, official data shows, hit by declines in the production of cars as well as electrical machinery and communications equipment.

3:00 a.m. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says no deaths have been reported in young adults due to a rare heart inflammation known as myocarditis, a known side effect of COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna. So far, 2,574 preliminary cases of heart inflammation have been reported in the country, out of which 1,282 occurred after the Pfizer shots, and 557 after the Moderna vaccine.

1:00 a.m. European Union governments agree to remove the U.S. and five other countries from the bloc's safe-travel list, meaning that visitors from these states will likely face tighter controls, such as testing and quarantines.

The other five are Kosovo, Israel, Montenegro, Lebanon and North Macedonia. The list seeks to unify travel rules across the bloc but is not binding on individual EU members.

The new restrictions would only apply to unvaccinated travelers. The European Council already recommends that all visitors who have been fully inoculated with an EU-approved vaccine be allowed in.

Monday, Aug. 30

6:00 p.m. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has instructed the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's powerful secretary general, Toshihiro Nikai, to compile a stimulus package as soon as possible. In addition to measures aimed at combatting the spread of the coronavirus, the main pillars of the plan are expected to be policies aimed at promoting decarbonization and the digital economy. After the meeting with Suga, Nikai said, "We need to do something drastic," urging the government to deploy funds from its emergency budget reserves.

The development of Universal Studios' Beijing resort was announced back in 2014, and is now set to open on Sept. 20 following delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.   © Reuters

5:30 p.m. Universal Studios' Beijing resort will officially open on Sept. 20, China's state broadcaster CCTV says, citing the theme park. The park, a joint venture between Comcast's Universal Parks & Resorts and state-owned Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment, will begin trial operations on Sept. 1. Universal Studios announced the development of the resort -- the world's fifth Universal Studios-branded theme park -- in 2014. Its opening date has been postponed for several months due to the pandemic, local media said.

5:22 p.m. The Philippines reports a record 22,366 new infections, bringing the total cases to 1.976 million, of which 148,594 are active. An additional 222 new fatalities were also recorded, taking the death toll to 33,330.

5:00 p.m. Tokyo reports 1,915 new cases, down from 3,081 a day earlier and posting below 2,000 cases for the first time since July 26. The seven-day average of new infections in the capital is 3,708, down 20.4% from a week ago.

Ismail Sabri Yaakob heads to a meeting with the king in Kuala Lumpur on Aug. 19 before becoming Malaysia's prime minister.   © Reuters

3:50 p.m. Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob is under quarantine following close contact with a COVID-19 patient, his office says. The office did not say how long he would be in quarantine or whether he had been tested for the coronavirus. Ismail Sabri was sworn in as prime minister earlier this month, succeeding Muhyiddin Yassin, who had resigned after failing to hold onto a narrow majority in parliament.

1:45 p.m. India reports 42,909 new cases for the past 24 hours, taking the total to 32.74 million. Deaths rose by 380 to 438,210.

1:30 p.m. New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, will stay under an alert level 4 lockdown for another two weeks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. The country reported 53 new cases, all in Auckland, taking the total number of active cases in the latest community outbreak to 562.

1:00 p.m. The number of COVID-19 patients in serious condition in Japan rose by five to 2,075 as of Sunday, hitting a record high for an 18th straight day. The recent surge, led by the delta variant, has added stress on the nation's hospitals.

12:00 p.m. South Korea reports 1,487 new cases, down from 1,619 a day earlier and taking the cumulative total to 250,051. Deaths from COVID-19 rose by five to 2,284.

A New Zealand woman has died of heart trouble after getting the Pfizer vaccine, although other medical issues may be relevant to her death.   © Reuters

10:30 a.m. New Zealand reports its first recorded death linked to the Pfizer vaccine. The health ministry released the information following a review by an independent COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring board of the death of a woman after receiving the vaccine. The ministry's statement did not give her age. The board considered that her death was due to myocarditis, a known but rare side effect of the Pfizer vaccine. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle that can limit the ability to pump blood and cause changes in heartbeat rhythms. The board noted that other medical issues may have influenced the outcome following vaccination.

10:20 a.m. Australia's state of New South Wales reports 1,290 cases in the past 24 hours, up from 1,218 a day earlier and a record one-day rise in new cases as the nation struggles to contain the highly infectious delta variant. Sydney, the capital of the country's most populous state, has been under lockdown for weeks.

9:30 a.m. Australia's Victoria state reports 73 new cases, a day after Premier Dan Andrews said he would extend lockdown measures as daily infections reached the highest level in a year. Victoria, including state capital Melbourne, had been due to end a five-week lockdown on Thursday.

Parents take their children to school in Tampa, Florida, on the first day of classes Aug. 10 amid a worsening pandemic.   © Reuters

1:51 a.m. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said on Sunday that he supports COVID-19 vaccine mandates for children attending schools as the highly contagious delta variant continues to fuel a surge in cases nationwide.

"I believe that mandating vaccines for children to appear in school is a good idea," Fauci told CNN's "State of the Union" program. "We've done this for decades and decades, requiring polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis" vaccinations.

Currently, children under the age of 12 are ineligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Sunday, Aug. 29

10:26 p.m. Israel has begun offering a COVID-19 booster to children as young as 12. So far, 2 million people out of a population of 9.3 million have received three doses. "There are already results: The increase in severe morbidity has begun to slow," Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement. "But we have to complete third doses for all of our citizens. I call on those age 12 and up to go out and immediately take the third shot.

4:55 p.m. Thailand will allow some domestic flights to and from Bangkok and other high-risk areas for COVID-19 to resume from Sept. 1, the country's aviation authority says, to help boost economic activity. Local fights can fly at up to 75% capacity, and passengers will have to follow travel conditions at destinations such as presenting proof of vaccinations and COVID-19 testing results, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand says in a statement.

2:47 p.m. Australia logs a record 1,323 local COVID-19 cases amid a debate on whether the country should start living with the coronavirus in the community, after initially being successful in suppressing its spread. Australia's most populous state, New South Wales, the epicenter of the nation's delta-fueled outbreak, reports 1,218 cases as authorities there are poised to slightly ease restrictions after nine weeks of lockdown. The lockdown is scheduled to last until the end of September.

12:57 p.m. India reports 45,083 new coronavirus infections, according to data from the health ministry, driven by surging cases in the southern state of Kerala. The country's total number of COVID-19 cases stands at about 32.7 million, with deaths rising by 460 to 437,830 in the last 24 hours, data shows.

11:11 a.m. Singapore has fully inoculated 80% of its 5.7 million people against COVID-19, the health minister says, becoming the world's most vaccinated country and setting the stage for a further easing of curbs.

Saturday, Aug. 28

5:00 p.m. New cases in the Philippines hit a record 19,441, the Health Ministry says. In a bulletin, it says confirmed cases rise to more than 1.93 million, while deaths rise by 167 to 33,008.

3:15 p.m. Two people died after receiving Moderna vaccine shots that were among batches later suspended following the discovery of contaminants, according to Japan's Health Ministry.

The men in their 30s died this month within days of receiving their second Moderna doses, the ministry says. Each had a shot from one of three manufacturing lots suspended on Thursday. The cause of the deaths is still being investigated.

2:16 p.m. Australia reports a record 1,126 coronavirus infectious, the vast majority in New South Wales, the epicenter of the delta-fueled outbreak.

1:00 p.m. India reports 46,759 new coronavirus infections, the most in nearly two months, as cases surged in the southern state of Kerala after a big festival.

The new infections raise the country's total COVID-19 to nearly 32.7 million and deaths increase by 509 to 437,370 in the last 24 hours, government data shows. Kerala accounts for 70% of the new cases.

12:15 p.m. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte lengthens the second-highest level of coronavirus restrictions in the capital region and some provinces until Sept. 7, his spokesperson says.

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To catch up on earlier developments, see the last edition of latest updates.

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