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Coronavirus: Free to read

Coronavirus: Week of July 11 to July 17, Thailand reports record daily cases and deaths

Indonesia logs record daily COVID deaths; Philippines detects first delta cases

A boy undergoes a free COVID-19 test at a rapid antigen mass testing station in Bangkok on July 15.    © 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 189,434,091, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The worldwide death toll has hit 4,073,985.

For more information about the spread of COVID-19 and the progress of vaccination 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



Saturday, July 17 (Tokyo time)

10:25 a.m. Thailand reports a new daily record of 10,082 cases and 141 new deaths. Authorities are considering imposing tighter restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. The total number of recorded infections in the country has reached 391,989, with 3,240 fatalities. 

6:01 a.m. The U.S. sent 2 million doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine to Ukraine via the COVAX international vaccine-sharing program, a White House official says, and plans to send 3.5 million Moderna doses to Bangladesh over the weekend.

12:56 a.m. Namibia, whose COVID-19 inoculation program was halted by a lack of vaccines, receives 250,000 Sinopharm doses bought from China, reports Reuters.

Friday, July 16

11:56 p.m. Leaders of Asia-Pacific nations pledge to increase coronavirus vaccine output and distribution against a COVID-19 resurgence. Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden joined the APEC leaders meeting.

7:10 p.m. Singapore's Health Ministry says it will retighten some restrictions on social gatherings next week, including allowing only two people to dine in at restaurants, to curb a recent rise in infections, Reuters reports. However, at restaurants with sufficient checks in place, fully vaccinated individuals will still be able to eat inside in groups of up to five.

6:52 p.m. Indonesia reports its deadliest day so far in the pandemic with 1,205 new deaths in the past 24 hours, up from 982 the day before. Daily cases are 54,000, down from 56,757. Indonesia has reported a total of 2,780,803 cases including 71,397 fatalities.

Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas says the government is banning mass prayers during the Islamic day of sacrifice, Idul Adha, next Tuesday, in all regions within "red and orange zones." He also tells Muslims not to crowd livestock slaughtering sites that commonly pop up in Indonesian neighborhoods during festivities.

Health Minister Budi Sadikin says Indonesia is running out of some COVID-19 medications -- namely remdesivir, tocilizumab and intravenous immunoglobulin -- and is currently negotiating with China and India to secure supplies.

Workers prepare coffins for those who had died from COVID-19 as cases surge in South Tangerang on the outskirts of Jakarta.   © Reuters

5:15 p.m. With Tokyo under a renewed state of emergency in the final runup to the Olympic Games, the city reports 1,271 new COVID-19 infections -- slightly down from the 1,308 yesterday. However, the seven-day average of new cases in the capital is 946 -- up 37.8% from last week.

3:30 p.m. Hungary will offer the option of taking a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine from Aug. 1 and will make vaccines mandatory for all healthcare workers, Prime Minister Viktor Orban says. Doctors will decide which vaccine people should take as a third dose, and it should come at least four months after the second shot.

Hungary has been among the fastest countries in the European Union to inoculate the public, as the only EU state to widely deploy Russian and Chinese vaccines before they received approval from the bloc's regulator. It has also used Western-made shots from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

2:00 p.m. Malaysia's Health Ministry has granted conditional approval for emergency use to the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by China's Sinopharm. The Sinopharm vaccine was registered by pharmaceutical company Duopharma.

1:00 p.m. India reports 38,949 new cases over the last 24 hours, down from 41,806 a day earlier and taking the nationwide tally above 31 million.

A woman receives her first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine during a house-to-house inoculation drive in Manila on May 21.   © Reuters

12:10 p.m. The Philippines reports 16 new delta variant cases -- 11 local cases and five from Filipinos returning from overseas -- bringing the total number of delta cases to 35. Following the detection of the first local cases, authorities will intensify detection and isolation while ensuring that health care capacity is ready for a surge, Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire said. Relevant government agencies are also "on high alert" to implement stricter border control measures, Vergeire added.

11:00 a.m. South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum says more limits on private gatherings may be needed as authorities reported 1,536 new cases. He asked local governments to standardize gathering limits to no more than four people to avoid confusion in non-metropolitan areas, where cases have been surging, after imposing a partial lockdown in the greater Seoul area.

10:40 a.m. A foreign athlete is in quarantine after testing positive in Tokyo yesterday, according to the organizing committee's COVID tracker. The athlete is now under a 14-day quarantine. A non-resident Games official and four contractors, all residents of Japan, also tested positive yesterday. The total number of Olympics-related infections is now 26.

10:00 a.m. Thailand reports a daily record of 9,692 infections, up from 9,186 a day earlier and taking total cases to 381,907, as authorities struggle to stem the country's biggest wave of infections so far. The country's COVID-19 task force also reported 67 new coronavirus deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 3,099.

People wait to be tested for COVID-19 in Bangkok as Thailand experiences a new wave of infections.   © Reuters

9:20 a.m. China reports 36 new cases for Thursday, up from 28 a day earlier. All the cases were imported, meaning there were no new local transmissions. China also reported 23 new asymptomatic cases, compared with eight a day earlier. China does not classify asymptomatic infections as confirmed cases.

7:00 a.m. Los Angeles County says it is reimposing an indoor masking mandate as coronavirus cases surge. Until now, it had only recommended mask-wearing indoors. The mandate will take effect at 11:59 p.m. local time Saturday. Customers at such public establishments as stores and restaurants will have to mask up. Indoor dining will continue, but patrons will have to put their masks on when not eating or drinking.

Thursday marked a seventh consecutive day that the number new coronavirus cases in the California county exceeded 1,000. The day's 1,537 new cases were the most it has seen since early March.

Thursday, July 15

10:00 p.m. Vietnam abruptly reports 69 COVID-19 deaths in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday evening, which translates to a 50% jump in the country's death toll for the entire pandemic. The increase was a sum of "sporadic deaths that occurred from June 7 to July 15," the Ministry of Health said.

As a result, the figure reached 207 on Thursday from 138 on the previous day.

7:41 p.m. Vietnam has approved the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine of Johnson & Johnson for emergency use, the sixth brand to be endorsed in the Southeast Asian country, as it seeks to expedite the country's inoculation program amid its worst outbreak so far.

7:28 p.m. Malaysia's health minister on Thursday said the country will stop administering the COVID-19 vaccine produced by China's Sinovac once its supplies end, as it has a sufficient number of other vaccines for its program.

Malaysia will increasingly use the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccines, Minister Adham Baba told a news conference. The Southeast Asian country has secured 12 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine so far, enough to cover 18.75% of the population.

6:22 p.m. Indonesia's daily confirmed infections have set new records for four straight days. There have been 56,757 new cases in the past 24 hours and 982 deaths, bringing the aggregates to 2,726,803 known infections and 70,192 fatalities.

Indonesia's Food and Drug Monitoring Agency on Thursday issues an emergency use authorization for local use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after the country recently secured the drugmaker's commitment to deliver 50 million doses by the end of this year.

Indonesia welcomes a second shipment of the Moderna vaccine from the US through the WHO-backed COVAX facility, amounting to 1.5 million doses, bringing the Moderna total to 4.5 million doses. Indonesia on Thursday also receives a second batch of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, a donation from the Japanese government of 1.16 million doses to adding to the 1 million already sent by Tokyo.

Heavily masked people queue with oxygen cylinders at a free filling station in Jakarta. Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia have set records for four days running. (Antara Foto/M Risyal Hidayat)   © Reuters

In total, Indonesia has now secured over 140 million vaccine doses, mostly China's Sinovac.

6:00 p.m. Changshin Vietnam, a South Korean-owned shoemaker that makes shoes for Nike, has suspended production at three of its factories in Dong Nai Province due to a coronavirus outbreak, the Vietnamese government says. The factories, which employ nearly 42,000 workers, will remain shut until July 20.

5:50 p.m. AstraZeneca has asked Thailand to extend the timeline for delivery of 61 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine by five months, a deputy minister says, a move likely to further disrupt the country's sluggish vaccine rollout. The reported request points to a slow production ramp-up at its local manufacturing partner, which has had production and delivery issues, even as AstraZeneca gave assurances that it would be back on track this month to meet its supply commitments to Thailand and other Southeast Asian nations.

5:10 p.m. Tokyo reports 1,308 new infections, up from 1,149 a day earlier. The seven-day average of new cases in the capital is 882, up 32.9% from a week ago, raising concerns over an explosive outbreak of the delta variant ahead of the Olympic Games, which open July 23.

5:00 p.m. The Australian state of Victoria has been ordered into a five-day lockdown following a spike in COVID-19 infections, joining Sydney as the country's two main population hubs battling an outbreak of the highly contagious delta variant. From midnight, the state of 6.6 million people was told to stay home except for grocery shopping, essential work, exercise, health care and getting vaccinated.

Sinovac vaccinations in Malaysia where COVID infections are soaring   © Reuters

4:30 p.m. Malaysia reports 13,215 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, up from 11,618 from a day earlier and marking a record for a third straight day. Health authorities have reported 880,782 cases in total in Malaysia.

2:09 p.m. India reports 41,806 new infections in the last 24 hours, up from 38,792 the previous day, bringing the country's cumulative caseload to nearly 31 million. Deaths jumped by 581 to 411,989.

12:15 p.m. Thailand's economy is forecast to grow 2.2% this year, down from the 3.4% projected earlier, due to the impact of a third wave of COVID-19 infections and weak tourism, the World Bank says, as the country battles its biggest outbreak yet. Thailand's tourism-reliant economy contracted 6.1% last year, its deepest slump in over two decades, with the tourism sector devastated by the impact of the pandemic.

12:00 p.m. Senior Indonesian minister Luhut Pandjaitan warns that COVID-19 cases may continue to rise but says authorities hope daily infections will not top 60,000. Luhut also says vaccine efficacy is weaker against the delta variant, which accounted for most infections on Java, but urges people to get inoculated to help prevent serious illness and death. Indonesia on Wednesday reported a record 54,000 infections, up more than tenfold on the number of cases at the start of June.

A boy gets a shot during a mass vaccination program for students in Makassar, South Sulawesi Province, on July 14 as coronavirus cases surge in Indonesia, (Antara Foto/Arnas Padda)   © Reuters

11:45 a.m. South Korea reports 1,600 new cases, a slight drop from the record number the previous day, as it battles to contain an outbreak on a military anti-piracy vessel operating overseas. The country tightened social distancing rules across most of the country on Wednesday, when it reported 1,615 infections, to tackle its worst-ever outbreak.

11:30 a.m. Singapore reports its highest number of local coronavirus cases in 10 months, after the discovery of a cluster among hostesses and customers of KTV karaoke lounges. Of the 56 new community infections, 42 were linked to the KTV outbreak. The health ministry has been investigating infections among what it said were Vietnamese hostesses who frequented KTV lounges or clubs.

11:00 a.m. China's gross domestic product growth slowed to 7.9% in the April-to-June quarter after plateauing at 18.3% in the previous three months, signaling a halt to the V-shaped recovery from the pandemic. Thursday's figure, published by the National Bureau of Statistics, beat the median 7.7% expansion forecast by 29 economists in a Nikkei poll.

10:10 a.m. Thailand reports a daily record of 98 coronavirus deaths, taking total fatalities to 3,032 since the pandemic began last year. The country's COVID-19 task force also reported 9,186 new coronavirus cases, bringing total infections to 372,215.

9:40 a.m. China reports 28 new cases for Wednesday, up from 24 a day earlier. Of the new infections, five were locally transmitted, all in southwestern Yunnan Province. That compares with one local case nationwide a day earlier. China reported eight new asymptomatic cases, which it does not classify as confirmed infections, compared with nine a day earlier.

8:50 a.m. Australian authorities are rushing to track close contacts of several positive COVID-19 cases in Victoria linked to Sydney's delta variant outbreak amid concerns of a major flare-up in infections and further tough restrictions. Dozens of new venues in Melbourne -- including a shopping center, two public transport routes and a sporting club -- were listed late on Wednesday as virus-exposed locations, adding pressure on authorities to tighten restrictions.

4:45 a.m. Authorities in Thailand are considering limiting exports of AstraZeneca vaccine doses produced there amid a wave of cases driven by the highly infectious delta variant of the coronavirus. The country is slated to export doses to other Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines and Malaysia, as well as Taiwan. About 5% of Thailand's population is fully vaccinated.

12:30 a.m. Vietnam says Pfizer will provide an additional 20 million doses of its COVID-19 shot as the country tries to shore up supplies at a time of a record number of new infections. The additional vaccines will be used for those 12 to 18 years old. The announcement came a day after Vietnam said it would offer the vaccine as a second-dose option for people inoculated with one shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Wednesday, July 14

11:18 p.m. Myanmar reports a daily record 7,089 new cases and 145 deaths as the country faces its most severe wave of infections so far.

Relatives of a 59-year-old woman who passed away with COVID-19 mourn at a graveyard in Jakarta provided by the government for pandemic victims.    © Reuters

6:38 p.m. Indonesia reports a record 54,517 cases in one day along with 991 deaths. The country has so far aggregated 2,670,046 confirmed cases with 69,210 deaths. These are by far the highest tallies in Southeast Asia, but Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous country with over 273 million people.

6:15 p.m. The Philippines will ban travelers from Indonesia from July 16 through July 31. It also extended an existing ban on travelers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates and Oman until July 31.

5:23 p.m. The Tokyo metropolitan government reports 1,149 daily coronavirus cases, topping 1,000 new infections for the first time since May 13. The capital, under a fourth COVID-19 state of emergency, has been facing a resurgence of the virus ahead of the opening of the Tokyo Olympics next week.

1:48 p.m. A plane carrying about 50 Japanese expatriates and family members leaves Indonesia amid a surge of the highly contagious delta variant. The All Nippon Airways aircraft is to arrive at Narita airport, near Tokyo, later in the day, according to Japanese government and Shimizu Corp. sources. The major general contractor decided to charter the plane as Indonesia is experiencing a shortage of hospital beds and medical-use oxygen. The company plans to provide vaccine shots to those who want them once the employees and their families are back in Japan.

1:04 p.m. India reports 38,792 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, with daily deaths rising by 624. The country's cumulative number of cases reaches 30.95 million, with the death toll at 411,408.

12:52 p.m. Singapore's tourism board says a cruise ship operated by Genting Cruise Lines has returned to the city-state after a 40-year-old passenger was suspected to have contracted COVID-19. "On July 13, the passenger was identified as a close contact of a confirmed case on land, and was immediately isolated as part of onboard health protocols," the tourism board said in a statement. It said the passenger tested positive to a PCR test onboard and had been conveyed to a hospital for further testing.

12:34 p.m. South Korea confirms a record-high number of daily COVID-19 cases as coronavirus variants spread quickly among young adults despite strict social distancing restrictions around Seoul. Health authorities report 1,615 new cases, soaring from 1,150 a day earlier. Total infections reach 171,911, with 2,048 deaths.

Chairs are stacked on tables inside a restaurant serving takeaway but closed for dine-in during a lockdown in Sydney on July 12. A COVID-19 lockdown will remain in place until July 30 as an outbreak affects Sydney.   © Reuters

10:15 a.m. Authorities will extend the lockdown of Australia's most populous city, Sydney, by two weeks after reporting a rise in new COVID-19 cases as the country battles an outbreak of the highly contagious delta variant. The state of New South Wales, whose lockdown in Sydney had been scheduled to end on July 16, reported 97 new cases of the virus in the past 24 hours, up from 89 the previous day. "We need to extend the lockdown at least a further two weeks, from Friday [the] 16th of July to Friday the 30th," said state Premier Gladys Berejiklian at a televised news conference.

9:46 a.m. China reports 24 new coronavirus cases on the mainland on July 13, down from 29 a day earlier. One of the cases was a local transmission in the southwestern province of Yunnan, which has imposed strict controls after a new outbreak in the border city of Ruili last week. As of July 13, China has recorded 92,119 COVID-19 cases, with total deaths unchanged at 4,636.

9:11 a.m. The Singaporean economy rebounds 14.3% on the year in the April-June quarter, continuing a steady recovery from the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest figure is the highest jump since the second quarter of 2010, when the city-state posted an 18.6% surge in gross domestic product after the global financial crisis. Still, due to last year's deep slump, the economy is still below where it was two years ago. GDP did decline 2.0% from the first quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis as an uptick in local coronavirus infections prompted tighter restrictions for four weeks from May to June.

1:15 a.m. Vietnam will offer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as a second-dose option for people first inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The country's inoculation campaign is in its early stages, with fewer than 300,000 people fully vaccinated so far. The AstraZeneca vaccine has been used so far, with 97,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arriving last week.

Several countries, including Canada, Spain and South Korea, have approved such dose mixing due to concerns about rare and potentially fatal blood clots linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Tuesday, July 13

A Japan Airlines plane at Narita Airport, near Tokyo: The Japanese government will support special evacuation flights out of Indonesia.   © Reuters

7:15 p.m. The Japanese government will support special flights for citizens wishing to return home from Indonesia, where infections are surging, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato tells reporters.

"From the viewpoint of protecting Japanese nationals, we have decided to take measures ... so that Japanese people who wish to return can return to Japan as soon as possible, and as many people as possible," he says.

Kato says some Japanese residents of Indonesia are set to fly home on Wednesday on a special flight arranged by a Japanese carrier, backed by the government. "After that, we plan to make similar efforts in response to requests from Japanese residents," he adds.

Indonesia registered 47,899 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, a daily record. It also reported 864 new deaths. Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Indonesia's health minister, said at a parliamentary hearing before the number was announced that cases were expected to "spike" today due to increased testing.

6:32 p.m. Serum Institute of India is expected to start production of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine in September, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is promoting the shot globally, said in a statement announcing the cooperation between the two sides. "The parties intend to produce over 300 million doses of the vaccine in India per year," it added. SII, the world's largest vaccine producer, also makes AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, known locally as Covishield.

5:10 p.m. Malaysia reports 11,079 new infections, the most number of cases recorded in a single day since the start of the pandemic. The previous daily record was 9,353 cases on July 10.

A vaccination center in Malaysia has been ordered to close for sanitization after more than 200 volunteers and workers there tested positive for the virus over the weekend.   © Reuters

4:30 p.m. A COVID-19 vaccination center in Malaysia has been ordered to close for sanitization after more than 200 volunteers and workers there tested positive for the virus over the weekend, the country's science minister says. Those inoculated from July 9-12 at the center, about 25 km from Kuala Lumpur, are advised to self-isolate for 10 days. The facility has a capacity of about 3,000 doses daily. Of the 453 workers and volunteers screened, 204 tested positive.

3:33 p.m. The Japanese government will expand the number of countries it is asking to ease entry restrictions for holders of its COVID-19 vaccination certificates as it seeks to make its "vaccine passport" a convenient travel document for its residents.

2:30 p.m. India reports 32,906 new cases in the last 24 hours, down from 37,154 a day earlier, while registering 2,020 new deaths.

1:00 p.m. Japan will send a third batch of COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan this week, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi says in a show of support for the island, which is now ramping up inoculations. Motegi told reporters that about 1 million doses of AstraZeneca shots would be sent on Thursday, which would bring Japan's total donations to Taiwan to nearly 3.4 million doses. The first batch was sent in June and a second earlier this month. Japan will also donate 1 million additional doses each to Indonesia and Vietnam, he said.

Workers unload AstraZeneca vaccine from Japan at Taoyuan International airport in Taiwan on July 8.   © Reuters

11:10 a.m. South Korea reports 1,150 new cases, topping the 1,000 mark for a seventh consecutive day, as residents and businesses in Seoul on Monday fell under the toughest COVID curbs to date.

10:45 a.m. China reports 29 new cases for Monday, up from 27 a day earlier. Of the new infections, two were locally transmitted, with one in Jiangsu Province and the other in Yunnan Province. This compares with nine local cases a day earlier. The country also reports 22 new asymptomatic cases, which are not classified as confirmed infections, up from 15 a day earlier.

10:31 a.m. The Olympic Village on Tokyo Bay opens ahead of the games starting July 23, keeping thousands of athletes and staff in a bubble as the capital remains under a state of emergency. The village opened without ceremony in order to avoid a large gathering that could ignite infections.

10:20 a.m. New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, reports 89 locally acquired cases, down from 112 a day earlier, as officials fight to contain an outbreak in the state capital Sydney, which is in the third week of its latest lockdown.

9:30 a.m. New Zealand says 13 more crew members of a fishing boat quarantined in the capital Wellington have tested positive for COVID-19. Two crew members of the Viking Bay, a Spanish-flagged deep-sea fishing vessel that arrived in New Zealand last week, had previously been reported as having the virus. All 15 affected crew members have been transferred to an onshore quarantine facility in the city.

9:15 a.m. U.S. health officials, after meeting with vaccine maker Pfizer, reiterated that Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need to get a booster shot, a spokesperson for the Health and Human Services Department says. Pfizer said last week it planned to ask U.S. regulators to authorize a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, based on evidence of greater risk of infection six months after inoculation and the spread of the delta variant.

Data suggests there is an increased risk of a neurological disorder in the six weeks after inoculation with the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.   © Reuters

6:36 a.m. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration adds a warning to the fact sheet for Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine saying that data suggests there is an increased risk of a rare neurological disorder in the six weeks after inoculation. In a letter to the company, the FDA classifies the chances of getting Guillain-Barre syndrome after vaccination as being "very low." Still, it says J&J vaccine recipients should seek medical attention if they have symptoms including weakness or tingling sensations, difficulty walking, or difficulty with facial movements.

6:00 a.m. Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo plans to begin Phase 3 clinical trials for its coronavirus vaccine this autumn with the aim of bringing it to the public in 2022, finally pushing forward Japan's effort to locally develop COVID-19 shots.

5:00 a.m. Rich countries should not be ordering booster shots for their populations while other countries have yet to receive COVID-19 vaccines, the World Health Organization says. "The global gap in COVID-19 vaccine supply is hugely uneven and inequitable," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. "Some countries and regions are actually ordering millions of booster doses before other countries have had supplies to vaccinate their health workers and most vulnerable."

Monday, July 12

10:40 p.m. South Korea's pro baseball league suspends its season after five players from two teams test positive for COVID-19. Games already were to pause for three weeks starting July 20 to let players participate in the Tokyo Olympics, so Monday's decision means a week of games will be canceled.

Mass testing helped South Korea suffer lower COVID-19 death rates than other developed nations last year. But the country has set records for new cases in recent weeks, including three consecutive days of peaks leading up to 1,378 new infections on Friday. South Korea's toughest anti-coronavirus curbs yet took effect in Seoul and neighboring areas Monday, including a ban on gatherings of more than two people after 6 p.m.

10:22 p.m. Chinese drugmakers Sinopharm and Sinovac will provide up to 550 million COVID-19 vaccines to the COVAX program through mid-2022 under purchase deals with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. GAVI, which runs the global vaccine sharing scheme COVAX with the World Health Organization, did not immediately provide details of which countries would receive the doses.

"The agreements, which come at a time when the delta variant is posing a rising risk to health systems, will begin to make 110 million doses immediately available to participants of the COVAX Facility, with options for additional doses," GAVI says.

6:20 p.m. Thailand says it will use AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine as a second dose for those who received Sinovac as their first to increase protection against the delta variant. Thailand and neighbors like Indonesia have reported breakthrough infections among medical and frontline workers inoculated with Sinovac's inactivated virus vaccine.

5:30 p.m. Tokyo reports 502 new cases, down from 614 a day earlier, as the fresh state of emergency in the capital starts. The seven-day average of new cases in Tokyo stands at 756, up from 585 a week ago.

5:05 p.m. Indonesia's central bank has cut its forecast for 2021 economic growth to 3.8% based on early assessment of the impact of recent coronavirus restrictions, from a previous forecast of 4.6%, its governor says.

3:40 p.m. People are rushing to secure oxygen cylinders in Yangon for treating COVID patients as Myanmar's Ministry of Health and Sports reported more than 3,400 cases on Sunday. The country's military authorities said they will ensure that oxygen plants operate at full capacity, according to Reuters.

3:00 p.m. Thailand starts its toughest coronavirus restrictions in more than a year in Bangkok and surrounding provinces. Authorities have urged people in the region to work from home and have set up 145 checkpoints in 10 high-risk provinces to curb non-essential travel. The restrictions, initially for two weeks, include a curfew, mall closures and a five-person limit on gatherings, after a period of record or near-record deaths and infections.

1:55 p.m. India reports 37,154 new infections in the last 24 hours, down from 41,506 the previous day, bringing the country's total cases to 30.87 million. Deaths rose by 724 to 408,764.

11:30 a.m. As the country's toughest anti-COVID curbs take effect in Seoul, South Korea reports 1,100 new cases for the day before, the highest Sunday total so far, government data shows. The figure falls short of the three consecutive days of peaks that led up to 1,378 cases on Friday. The country's totals are now at 169,146 infections and 2,044 deaths.

10:30 a.m. New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, reports 112 locally acquired cases, its biggest daily rise this year, as Sydney endures a hard lockdown for the third week to contain an outbreak of the delta variant. Of the cases, at least 34 people spent time in the community while infectious.

Sydney Harbor Bridge in the morning during the current lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.   © Reuters

9:35 a.m. Japan's blue-chip Nikkei Stock Average index jumped on Monday morning, at one point rising over 600 points, or 2.3%, following a rally on Wall Street last week that had all three major benchmarks close at record highs on Friday as investor concern over a potential slowdown in U.S. economic growth eased.

9:10 a.m. Japan's core private-sector machinery orders rose 7.8% in May from April, up for the third straight month, underpinned by strong demand from manufacturers for semiconductor-producing equipment amid a global chip crunch, government data shows. The orders, which exclude those for ships and from electricity utilities due to their volatility, totaled 865.7 billion yen ($7.9 billion) and follow a 0.6% rise in April.

9:00 a.m. Taiwan's Foxconn and TSMC say they have reached deals to buy 10 million doses of BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, putting the total cost of the highly politicized deal at around $350 million. BioNTech's Chinese sales agent, Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical, said on Sunday that an agreement had been signed, though the German company has yet to comment and no details of a delivery timeframe have been revealed.

5:05 a.m. Tokyo enters its fourth state of emergency as the Olympics nears. All bars and restaurants in the city are to halt serving alcoholic drinks and close by 8 p.m. until Aug. 22. The previous emergency declaration was lifted only three weeks ago. The Summer Games, which will open July 23 and end Aug. 8, will be held behind closed doors at almost all venues.

Tokyo is facing another surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases.   © Kyodo

Sunday, July 11

10:29 p.m. China's Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group, the Chinese sales agent for Germany's BioNTech SE, said it had signed a deal to provide 10 million doses of vaccine to Taiwan. The company has agreed to provide the vaccines via its Hong Kong subsidiary to Taiwan chipmaker TSMC and the charity foundation of Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of contract electronics maker Foxconn.

9:21 p.m. Vietnam reports 1,953 infections, a record daily high. Most of the cases were recorded in Ho Chi Minh City, the epicenter of the country's outbreak, which on Friday began 15 days of movement restrictions.

7:00 p.m. Thailand's health ministry says more than 600 medical workers who received two doses of China's Sinovac vaccine have been infected with COVID-19, as authorities weigh giving booster doses to raise immunity. Of the 677,348 medical personnel who received two doses of Sinovac, 618 became infected, health ministry data from April to July showed. A nurse has died and another medical worker is in critical condition.

4:46 p.m. Australia reports its first locally contracted COVID-19 death of the year on Sunday and a yearly high of 77 new cases in the state of New South Wales, which is battling an outbreak of the highly infectious delta variant.

2:22 p.m. Japan will start accepting applications for so-called vaccine passports from July 26 for people who have been fully inoculated against COVID-19 to travel internationally, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said during a TV program on Sunday. The government will also consider whether to use such certificates for domestic economic activities in response to a request by business circles.

1:09 p.m. India reports 41,506 new COVID-19 cases and 895 deaths due to the virus in the last 24 hours, according to data from the health ministry, with active cases at 454,118.

2:25 a.m. New coronavirus variants and poor access to vaccines in developing countries threaten the global economic recovery, warn the finance ministers of the world's 20 largest economies.

The final communique from the Venice meeting noted the improved global economic outlook since G-20 talks in April thanks to the rollout of vaccines and economic support packages, while acknowledging the threat from variants like the fast-spreading Delta.

"The recovery is characterized by great divergences across and within countries and remains exposed to downside risks, in particular the spread of new variants of the COVID-19 virus and different paces of vaccination," the communique stated.

Saturday, July 10

9:15 p.m. Vietnam receives 2 million doses of the Moderna vaccine donated by the U.S. government, the American embassy in Hanoi says, as the Southeast Asian country battles its worst outbreak of the pandemic.

The shipment, delivered via the COVAX sharing facility, is part of the 80 million vaccine doses that President Joe Biden committed from U.S. vaccine supplies to support global needs, the embassy says.

The shipment arrives as the Health Ministry reports 1,853 new infections, the sixth straight day of more than 1,000 cases, and exceeding Friday's record of 1,625. Vietnam has recorded 27,863 total infections and 112 deaths, figures that are still low compared with some European nations, India and the United States.

9:00 p.m. Israel says it will begin offering a third dose of Pfizer's vaccine to adults with weak immune systems but it was still weighing whether to make the booster available to the general public. The rapid spread of the delta variant has sent vaccination rates in Israel back up as new infections have risen over the past month from single digits to around 450 a day, and the country has moved to fast-track its next Pfizer shipment.

5:36 p.m. There will be no spectators at Olympics matches in Fukushima, Tokyo 2020 organizers announce at a news conference. The prefecture will host baseball and softball games, including the opening matches where Japan will play against the Dominican Republic and Australia, respectively. The decision, a reversal of a position announced two days earlier, was made due to the concern over rising COVID-19 infections.

5:03 p.m. The United Arab Emirates will ban entry for travelers coming from Indonesia and Afghanistan as of July 11, except for transit flights heading to both countries, the official news agency WAM reports. The decision, linked to coronavirus concerns, also includes suspending the entry of travelers who were in these countries in the 14 days before coming to the UAE.


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

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