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Coronavirus: Free to read

Coronavirus: Week of July 25 to July 31, Sydney police cordon off downtown as cases surge

Thailand reports daily record cases and deaths; Japan expands COVID emergency

A lone cyclist rides through a deserted Martin Place in the center of Sydney on July 28 during a lockdown to curb the COVID-19 outbreak.    © 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 197,270,918, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The worldwide death toll has hit 4,207,124.

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

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UPDATES CLOSED

Saturday, July 31 (Tokyo time)

12:10 p.m. New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, reports 210 locally acquired cases of COVID-19. About 1,000 police officers have been deployed around Sydney to prevent an unauthorized demonstration against the lockdown, and the police have been issuing prohibition notices to taxi and rideshare services banning them from taking passengers to demonstrations, according to Reuters. Protests last weekend resulted in a series of arrests and clashes with police.

9:54 a.m. Thailand reports 18,912 new infections and 178 new deaths. Both figures are daily records for the country. Total infections are now at 597,287 and total fatalities reached 4,857. 

Buddhist monks wait to receive AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at a temple in Bangkok on July 30.    © Reuters

1:27 a.m. Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, will undergo a partial lockdown starting Saturday through Aug. 9 to curb the spread of the coronavirus delta variant.

Restrictions will focus on the retail industry in the city, with essential services to remain open.

Friday, July 30

6:28 p.m. Responding to a dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declares an expanded state of emergency in the capital's neighboring Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, as well as Osaka.

6:00 p.m. Israeli President Isaac Herzog has received a third shot of coronavirus vaccine, kicking off a campaign to give booster doses to people aged over 60 as part of efforts to slow the spread of the highly contagious delta variant. Herzog, 60, received a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv. He said he was proud to launch the booster vaccination initiative "which is so vital to enable normal circumstances of life as much as possible in this very challenging pandemic".

5:10 p.m. Tokyo reports 3,300 new cases, slightly down from the record high 3,865 a day earlier but still well above the 3,000 mark, as Japan's capital hosts the Olympics without spectators under a state of emergency.

2:01 p.m. India posts 44,230 new cases in the last 24 hours, up from 43,509 the previous day, pushing the country total to 31.57 million. The southern state of Kerala accounted for half of the country's fresh infections -- 22,064. Meanwhile, deaths jumped by 555 nationwide to 423,217.

1:00 p.m. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte approves the imposition of lockdown measures in the capital region in a bid to contain the spread of the delta variant. The Manila region, an urban sprawl of 16 cities home to more than 13 million people, will be placed under the tightest quarantine curbs from Aug. 6 to 20. The lockdown will prevent people from leaving their homes except for essential shopping, and both indoor and al fresco dining are banned.

People wait to be vaccinated in Manila on July 21.   © Reuters

11:45 a.m. Japan's government has proposed states of emergency through Aug. 31 in three prefectures near the Olympic host city of Tokyo and the western prefecture of Osaka as COVID-19 cases spike to records, overshadowing the Summer Games. Existing states of emergency for Tokyo and Okinawa in the south should also be extended to Aug. 31, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is spearheading Japan's pandemic response, told a panel of experts in announcing the proposed expansion.

11:30 a.m. South Korea reports 1,710 new cases, up from 1,674 a day earlier, bringing the cumulative total to 196,806. The daily tally was above 1,000 for a 24th straight day as the government battles an outbreak fueled by the delta variant.

11:10 a.m. China reports 64 new cases for Thursday, up from 49 a day earlier. Of the new infections, 21 were local cases, compared with 24 the previous day. A majority of the local cases were reported in Jiangsu Province. The province's capital city of Nanjing is currently facing an outbreak of the delta variant that surfaced earlier this month.

10:47 a.m. Japan's blue-chip Nikkei Stock Average falls in morning trade, at one point dropping over 400 points, or 1.6%, as investors grow concerned over the country's increasing number of coronavirus infections and the possible economic impact from an extended state of emergency in the capital, which the government is looking to announce later today.

9:00 a.m. Millions in Sydney begin their harshest lockdown of the pandemic as cases spiked to record levels in Australia's largest city. State and national leaders were set to meet to discuss the country's reopening plans. With Sydney, the capital of New South Wales state, struggling under a record surge of cases, officials toughened curbs across eight local council areas where most new infections were being reported, and sought the military's help to enforce lockdown rules.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the pace of coronavirus vaccinations at the White House on July 29.   © Reuters

6:00 a.m. U.S. President Joe Biden urges local governments to pay people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and has set new rules requiring federal workers to provide proof of vaccination or face regular testing, mask mandates and travel restrictions. The measures are Biden's latest attempt to spur reluctant Americans to get vaccinated as the delta variant of the coronavirus surges nationwide, infecting unvaccinated people in particular.

The U.S. Treasury Department said state, local and U.S. territorial governments will be able to dip into $350 billion in coronavirus aid to provide $100 payments to every newly vaccinated American to boost COVID-19 inoculation rates.

Thursday, July 29

9:22 p.m. Singapore Airlines faces an uneven road to recovery as the more contagious delta variant of the new coronavirus and a persisting pandemic threaten to upend the resumption of mass travel worldwide. The Singapore Exchange-listed company reported a net loss of 409 million Singapore dollars ($302 million) for the April-to-June quarter -- the first in its new financial year, after racking up an annual net loss of SG$4.27 billion the year before.

6:30 p.m. Japan's daily total of COVID-19 cases top 10,000 for the first time, with Tokyo experiencing surging infections, casting a pall over the Olympics.

Commuters in Tokyo, which reported a single-day high in infections for the third straight day.

5:00 p.m. Tokyo reports 3,865 new cases -- up from 3,177 a day earlier and a single-day record for the third straight day -- as the Olympic host struggles to stop the rapid infection rise led by the delta variant. The seven-day average of new cases in the capital is 2,224, 61.9% higher than a week ago.

3:00 p.m. Shigeru Omi, Japan's top medical adviser, warns that the government needs to send a "clearer and stronger message" about the growing COVID-19 risk as the Tokyo daily cases topped 3,000 for the first time, led by the delta variant, even as the Olympics continue in the city. "The biggest crisis is that society does not share a sense of risk," Omi told a parliamentary panel.

1:30 p.m. India logs 43,509 new infections in the last 24 hours, slightly down from 43,654 the previous day, pushing the cumulative caseload to over 31.5 million. Fatalities jumped by 640 to 422,662. Meanwhile, the country has vaccinated about 4.4 million people since Wednesday morning, bringing the total number of doses administered nationwide to 450.7 million.

1:20 p.m. Cambodia is set to launch a lockdown in eight provinces bordering Thailand from midnight on Thursday, in a bid to prevent the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus. Prime Minister Hun Sen signed an order late on Wednesday for the lockdown, which bans people from leaving their homes, gathering in groups and conducting business, except for those involved in operating airlines.

Protesters and mounted police clash at Sydney Town Hall during an anti-lockdown rally on July 24: Authorities have stepped up police powers to shut businesses not complying with the lockdown.   © AP

11:35 a.m. The COVID-19 delta outbreak in Sydney grew by 239 cases, the highest daily rise yet, leading authorities to increase police powers to shut down businesses not complying with lockdown measures. More than 2 million residents in eight Sydney hot spots will now be required to wear masks outdoors and must stay within 5 km of their homes. Australia's biggest city is in its fifth week of an extended nine-week lockdown, which is scheduled to end Aug. 28.

11:30 a.m. China reports 49 new cases, down from 86 a day earlier amid an outbreak of the highly contagious delta variant in the eastern city of Nanjing. Local infections accounted for 24 of the cases detected on Wednesday, down from 55 the previous day. Most of the local cases were reported in the eastern province of Jiangsu, where Nanjing is the provincial capital. Three other locally transmitted cases were in the western province of Sichuan, and one was in the capital, Beijing.

10:10 a.m. Thailand reports a daily record of 17,669 new infections, bringing the total number of cases to 561,030. The country also reported a record 165 COVID-19 deaths, also a daily record, bringing the total number of fatalities to 4,562.

9:00 a.m. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says vaccinations alone will not bring an end to a COVID-19 lockdown in Sydney, as residents of the city face another month under tough curbs to stamp out an outbreak of the delta variant. "I mean, it can certainly help ... the low rates (of vaccination) we have had there need to lift and that will certainly help the efforts with the lockdown, but on its own it won't stop the lockdown," Morrison told Nine News on Thursday.

8:40 a.m. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it has agreed with Johnson & Johnson that its COVID-19 vaccine's shelf life can be extended to six months from four and a half months when stored at 2-8 C.

The  U.S. Food and Drug Administration has agreed with Johnson & Johnson that its COVID-19 vaccine's shelf life can be extended to six months from four and a half months when stored at 2-8 C.   © Reuters

7:30 a.m. With 70% of people over 65 having received their second vaccine shot as of Tuesday, the bulk of severe COVID-19 cases in Tokyo has shifted to those in their 40s and 50s. Now people in their 40s and 50s account for 50% of severe cases in Japan's capital, according to the health ministry's advisory board.

4:00 a.m. Google will require employees who work in its offices to be fully vaccinated and is postponing the start date of reporting back to the office, the tech giant says.

Google workers will now have to start reporting back to the office on Oct. 18, instead of the beginning of September.

In a note sent to employees, CEO Sundar Pichai says the company has seen high vaccination rates among its employees and is comfortable with bringing workers back into the office.

12:20 a.m. Japan's health ministry is considering using the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca for inoculating people in their 40s and 50s, government sources say. This marks a shift from an earlier plan to use the vaccine for those in their 60s and older as localities run out of doses for their inoculation campaigns.

As Japan reports record numbers of daily infections, an increasing number of those in their 40s and 50s are becoming seriously ill, making it imperative to give shots to people in this age group.

Wednesday, July 28

11:40 p.m. Fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. and European Union will be allowed to enter England without quarantining upon arrival starting Aug. 2, British authorities say.

"We're helping reunite people living in the U.S. and European countries with their family and friends in U.K.," Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says in a tweet.

10:30 p.m. Pfizer raises its full-year sales forecast for the COVID-19 vaccine it developed with Germany's BioNTech by 29% to $33.5 billion, as nations stock up on doses for the rest of the year.

The company also says it could apply for an emergency use authorization for a potential booster dose as early as August, reiterating that a third shot likely will be needed to enhance protection amid a resurgence of infections in many countries.

10:00 p.m. Japan's daily total of COVID-19 cases tops 9,000 for the first time, with a surge in infections in Tokyo casting a pall over the Olympics.

Commuters in Tokyo on July 28, when daily infections in the Olympic host city hit a record high for a second straight day, topping 3,000 for the first time since the pandemic began.   © Reuters

4:46 p.m. Daily infections in Tokyo hit a record high for a second straight day, topping 3,000 for the first time since the pandemic began as the Olympic Games go on without spectators in Japan's capital under a state of emergency. The number of daily cases in the city jumped to 3,177 from 2,848 a day earlier, the latest sign that the delta-variant-led outbreak appears to be getting out of hand.

4:20 p.m. Malaysia reports 17,405 new cases, a daily record, bringing the country's total number of cases to 1,061,476.

3:08 p.m. India reports 43,654 new cases in the last 24 hours, significantly up from 29,689 the previous day, pushing the cumulative total to 31.48 million. Fatalities rose from 415 a day before to 640, bringing the total to 422,022.

2:55 p.m. Honda has suspended motorbike production at its three plants in Vietnam due to a parts supply shortage triggered by the resurgence of COVID-19 in the country and in neighboring nations where restrictions on movement have been placed. The suspension started on July 26 and will continue to July 30. The Japanese automaker is also suspending car production in Malaysia due to a prolonged COVID lockdown.

Honda has suspended motorbike production at its three plants in Vietnam until July 30 due to a supply shortage triggered by the resurgence of COVID-19, and is also suspending car production in Malaysia due to a prolonged lockdown.   © Reuters

12:50 p.m. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike urges young people to get vaccinated as the number of daily cases in Japan's capital hit a record high amid the Olympic Games, led by the highly infectious delta variant. While more than 80% of the city's residents who are over 65 years old have received at least one shot, the number remains about 30% for its total population. "More relatively younger people are showing moderate and severe COVID-19 symptoms," Koike warned.

11:05 a.m. Tokyo Olympics organizers report 16 new COVID-19 cases among people involved in the Games. That brings the total to 169. No athletes are included among the new positives.

10:45 a.m. Australia's state of New South Wales extends a COVID-19 lockdown in the state capital, Sydney, for another month after weekslong curbs failed to contain an outbreak of the highly infectious delta variant. Lockdown rules were due to end on Friday but restrictions will now run until Aug. 28, state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters. A total of 177 new locally acquired cases were detected in New South Wales, up from 172 a day earlier.

10:02 a.m. South Korea's daily cases hit a record high of 1,896 -- up from 1,365 a day ago -- pushing total infections to 193,427 with 2,083 deaths.

People wait at the Central Vaccination Center in Bangkok for their COVID-19 shot on July 26.   © Reuters

9:40 a.m. Thailand reports a daily record of 16,533 new infections, pushing the country's total number of cases to 543,361. The country's COVID-19 task force also reports 133 new deaths, bringing total fatalities to 4,397.

4:06 a.m. In an about-face, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that even fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in public "if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission" -- a description that fits much of the South and West. The CDC also recommends universal indoor mask-wearing in schools nationwide, from kindergartens through high schools.

3:53 a.m. England is expected to reopen its borders to tourists from the European Union and the U.S. who have received two vaccine doses, with no quarantine required, the Financial Times reports.

3:42 a.m. The actual number of cases in the U.S. may be more than double the reported number. As many as 60% of COVID-19 cases across the country have gone undetected, according to a statistical model developed by two University of Washington researchers and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Tuesday, July 27

A catholic church training center that has been turned into a self-isolation shelter for COVID-19 patients in Jakarta, Indonesia, where cases have reached a record high.   © Reuters

7:23 p.m. Indonesia's daily death toll from the coronavirus crosses the 2,000 mark for the first time with 2,069 fatalities in the past 24 hours -- with Central Java Province reporting the most deaths, followed by East and West Java. New infections surge to 45,203 from 28,228 on Monday. The country has now reported a total of 3,239,936 cases with 86,835 deaths.

4:58 p.m. Daily COVID-19 cases in Tokyo hit a record high, with 2,848 new infections, in a sign of a growing outbreak even as the Olympics take place in the Japanese capital despite a state of emergency.

2:10 p.m. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike says the Japanese capital is now asking hospitals to prepare more beds for COVID-19 patients as the Olympic host city grapples with spreading infections. On Monday, Tokyo reported 1,429 new cases, and the seven-day average of new cases in the city was 41% higher than a week ago. As only 26 people over 65 years old were confirmed to have been infected, Koike stressed, "It is important for young people to get vaccinated."

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike says she is asking hospitals to set aside more beds for COVID-19 patients as the Olympic host city grapples with spreading infections.   © Reuters

1:41 p.m. India reports 29,689 new cases in the last 24 hours, the lowest daily count in over four months, bringing the country total to 31.44 million. Deaths rose by 415 to 421,382.

12:50 p.m. China reports 71 new cases for Monday, as an outbreak of the delta variant threatens the eastern city of Nanjing. Local infections accounted for 31 of the new cases, down from 40 a day earlier. All the local cases were reported in the eastern province of Jiangsu, where Nanjing is located. Based on the genetic testing results of patients, the virus that caused Nanjing's outbreak was confirmed to be the delta strain, a city government official said.

11:00 a.m. New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, reports 172 new local cases -- its biggest daily rise of locally acquired cases for the year -- as total infections in the latest outbreak from the highly infectious delta variant neared 2,400. Meanwhile, the country's Victoria state says most restrictions imposed on July 15 will be removed from Wednesday after recording just 10 infections of people already in quarantine.

8:08 a.m. South Korea's economy grew 5.9% on year in the second quarter of 2021, the Bank of Korea says, as a recovery in private consumption and the government's aggressive spending led the way. The year-on-year figure for the April-June gross domestic product is the best in more than a decade, since the fourth quarter of 2010. Compared with the previous quarter, the economy expanded 0.7%.

A member of the New York Police Department receives a vaccine on Jan. 21.   © Reuters

6:00 a.m. New York City will require all of its municipal workers -- including teachers and police officers -- to get coronavirus vaccines by mid-September or face weekly COVID-19 testing, Mayor Bill de Blasio says. The rule is expected to affect about 340,000 city employees, making the city one of the largest employers in the U.S. to take such action.

4:15 a.m. Britain's government says it is expanding a pilot program for daily COVID-19 testing to a wider range of key employers, in a bid to reduce staff absence caused by an ongoing wave of the pandemic. Under current government guidance, close contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19 are strongly advised to self-isolate for 10 days, unless they can take part in daily COVID tests to confirm that they are not infected.

"In addition to critical staff working in prisons, defense and waste collection, people working in energy, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, chemicals, communications, water, space, fish, veterinary medicine and HMRC (tax office) will also be prioritized for the 1,200 new daily contact testing sites," the health ministry said in a statement.

Monday, July 26

A woman reacts to her COVID-19 shot during a mass vaccination program at a school in Jakarta on July 26. Indonesia reported its lowest new case count in three weeks the same day.   © Reuters

6:21 p.m. Indonesia reports 28,228 new cases, down from 38,679 on Sunday, the country's lowest daily infection count in three weeks. But the daily death toll, at 1,487, is the second-highest since the beginning of the pandemic, up from 1,266 on Sunday. Indonesia has now reported a total of 3,194,733 cases, with 84,766 deaths.

2:49 p.m. Mongolia has administered more COVID-19 shots, relative to its population, than any country in Asia, it also leads Asia in proportional rankings for new COVID-19 cases. As of July 12, the country had administered first doses to 2,103,485 people (64.7%) and second doses to 1,796,285 (55.2%). But daily COVID-19 infections have hovered between 1,500 and 2,500 since June, and surpassed 150,000 in total.

2:10 p.m. Thailand had 15,376 new coronavirus cases, a daily record for a second consecutive day in the nation of more than 66 million.

Malaysia, which has one of Southeast Asia's highest per capita infection rates, reported on Sunday 17,045 new cases, bringing the total to 1,013,438, and nearly 8,000 deaths despite being under a lockdown since June. Like many parts of the region of more than 650 million people, Malaysian hospitals and medical staffers have borne the brunt of the outbreak amid shortages of beds, ventilators and oxygen. Thousands of Malaysian contract doctors on Monday staged a walkout over the terms of their employment, though they pledged patients would not be affected by the protest.

Government contract doctors participate in a walkout at Kuala Lumpur Hospital on July 26 as Malaysian hospitals suffer from the COVID-19 outbreak.   © Reuters

1:52 p.m. India reports 39,361 cases in the last 24 hours, marginally down from 39,742 the previous day, pushing the cumulative total to 31.4 million. Deaths jumped by 416 to 420,967. Meanwhile, the national capital city of Delhi eased COVID curbs as the situation improved, allowing the Delhi Metro rail service to run with 100% seating capacity instead of the existing 50%, while movie theaters have been permitted to reopen with half capacity.

11:37 a.m. South Korea kicks off COVID-19 vaccinations for people ages 55 to 59 to speed up the pace of its inoculation campaign as the country battles a fourth wave of infections. The rollout of shots for people in their upper 50s had sputtered to a weeklong halt this month after a record-high number of new cases sparked a rush, exhausting available supplies and crashing an official reservation website. About 6.17 million people, or 84% of those in their 50s, signed up for vaccinations last week, and authorities switched from Moderna to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for some people in the group because of fluctuations in shipping schedules.

10:06 a.m. New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, reports 145 locally acquired cases of COVID-19, up from 141 a day earlier, as the state capital, Sydney, endures a five-week lockdown due to run until Friday. Of the new cases, at least 51 spent time in the community while they were infectious, state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.

9:49 a.m. China reports 76 new COVID-19 cases for Sunday, up from 32 a day earlier. Local infections accounted for 40 of the new cases, compared with only five a day earlier, the National Health Commission says. Thirty-nine of the local cases were in the eastern province of Jiangsu, and one in the northeastern province of Liaoning. Total confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China stand at 92,605, and the death toll remains at 4,636.

A medical staffer works at a nucleic acid testing laboratory in the Nanjing First Hospital on July 24 following citywide testing for COVID-19.   © Reuters

Sunday, July 25

11:03 p.m. Ho Chi Minh City residents will be barred from going out, except for medical treatment and food, for 12 hours from 6 p.m. Monday local time.

Members of households in high-risk areas cannot leave to buy food, and local authorities will supply them with necessities, Tuoi Tre News reports.

9:20 p.m. The International Olympic Committee is loosening COVID-19 protocols for victory ceremonies at all venues over the coming days, allowing gold, silver and bronze medalists to unmask for 30 seconds on the podium to be photographed with appropriate physical distancing.

"At no point during this limited time should the athletes be invited to join each other on the gold-medal platform," the IOC says. "They must remain on their dedicated platform respecting the original distance." They can then put their masks back on for other photos.

Not every athlete is being so careful. For example, the winners of the women's cycling road race on Sunday are photographed standing beside one another and touching while wearing their medals but no masks.

9:17 p.m. Indonesian restrictions that would have expired Sunday are being extended to Aug. 2, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo says. But he also announced some adjustments, such as allowing traditional markets that sell basic daily necessities to open as usual with strict health protocols.

7:30 p.m. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike have met to discuss the Olympics and COVID-19 countermeasures, with Koike saying they agreed the games are going "very smoothly."

In a nearly hourlong meeting at the prime minister's official residence, they agreed to hold a smooth Paralympics, Koike tells reporters.

5:10 p.m. Malaysia's cumulative cases reach 1,013,438, topping 1 million for the first time, after a record 17,045 new daily cases are reported.

5:05 p.m. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government reports 1,763 new daily cases as the Olympics continue. The state of emergency in Tokyo runs through Aug. 22 -- two weeks after the closing ceremony and two days before the Paralympics open.

2:04 p.m. India reports 39,742 new daily COVID-19 cases. The death toll rose by 535, with the total reaching 420,551, according to government data.

1:50 p.m. The Biden administration is thinking about donating more vaccines to Vietnam, its ambassador to the U.S. says, as the Southeast Asian country struggles to control the fast-spreading delta variant of the coronavirus. Vietnam has just taken delivery of 3 million Moderna doses shipped from the U.S., bringing to 5 million the number it has been given by Washington via the global COVAX vaccine-sharing program. After successfully containing the virus for much of the pandemic, Vietnam has been facing rapid outbreaks, with daily cases repeatedly hitting new highs.

1:21 p.m. Hanoi's Department of Transport has banned public transportation, including buses, taxis, and passenger and delivery services on ride-hailing apps, as part of a broader lockdown.

Exceptions include the transportation of passengers or "public missions" and the distribution of essential items, such as from supermarkets.

10:16 a.m. Australia's most populous state of New South Wales reports 141 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, down from 163 the day before. But there are fears of new infections following an anti-lockdown in protest in state capital Sydney that drew thousands of people, many of them without masks. "In relation to yesterday's protests, can I say how absolutely disgusted I was? It broke my heart," state Premier Gladys Berejiklian tells reporters.

2:44 a.m. French police fire teargas as clashes erupt during protests in central Paris against COVID-19 restrictions and a vaccination campaign.

Police try to push back protesters near the capital's Gare Saint-Lazare railway station after they had knocked over a police motorbike ridden by two officers, according to TV media reports. Images show a heavy police presence on the capital's streets. Scuffles between police and demonstrators also break out the Champs-Elysees thoroughfare, where traffic is halted.

1:50 a.m. New cases in Turkey jump to 12,381, the highest mark since mid-May and nearly triple the low that from earlier in the month, according to Health Ministry data. Fifty-eight deaths are also recorded.

Infections remain well down from a wave in April-May when new COVID-19 cases peaked above 60,000. They fell to 4,418 on July 4 in the wake of a stringent lockdown that ended in mid-May. Most of the last restrictions were lifted this month.

Saturday, July 24

9:41 p.m. Vietnam's health ministry reports 7,968 coronavirus infections, a record daily increase and up from Friday's record of 7,307. More than two-thirds of the cases are in Ho Chi Minh City, the ministry says. Meanwhile, Hanoi suspends motorbike delivery services in the capital city, including by companies such as ride-hailing firms Grab and GoJek, adding to its existing restrictions.

4:49 p.m. Tokyo reports 1,128 COVID-19 cases as Japan's capital kicks off the Olympic Games. Infections have been on the rise in recent weeks, reaching 1,979 on Thursday, the highest since January. The number tends to be lower on holidays and weekends due to less testing.

4:33 p.m. Malaysia's health ministry records the highest number of daily infections since the beginning of the pandemic with 15,902 new coronavirus cases being reported. This brings the cumulative number of cases in the country to 996,393.

12:10 p.m. Tokyo 2020 says they failed to hand out PCR test kits to some athletes this week at the Olympic Village due to a shortage. According to the "Playbook" guidelines, athletes are subject to daily tests. Organizers say that more test kits will be delivered today.

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

Japan's daily total of COVID-19 cases top 9,000 for the first time, with a surge in infections in Tokyo casting a pall over the Olympics.

Commuters in Tokyo on July 28, when daily infections in the Olympic host city hit a record high for a second straight day, topping 3,000 for the first time since the pandemic began.   © Reuters

4:46 p.m. Daily infections in Tokyo hit a record high for a second straight day, topping 3,000 for the first time since the pandemic began as the Olympic Games go on without spectators in Japan's capital under a state of emergency. The number of daily cases in the city jumped to 3,177 from 2,848 a day earlier, the latest sign that the delta-variant-led outbreak appears to be getting out of hand.

4:20 p.m. Malaysia reports 17,405 new cases, a daily record, bringing the country's total number of cases to 1,061,476.

3:08 p.m. India reports 43,654 new cases in the last 24 hours, significantly up from 29,689 the previous day, pushing the cumulative total to 31.48 million. Fatalities rose from 415 a day before to 640, bringing the total to 422,022.

2:55 p.m. Honda has suspended motorbike production at its three plants in Vietnam due to a parts supply shortage triggered by the resurgence of COVID-19 in the country and in neighboring nations where restrictions on movement have been placed. The suspension started on July 26 and will continue to July 30. The Japanese automaker is also suspending car production in Malaysia due to a prolonged COVID lockdown.

Honda has suspended motorbike production at its three plants in Vietnam until July 30 due to a supply shortage triggered by the resurgence of COVID-19, and is also suspending car production in Malaysia due to a prolonged lockdown.   © Reuters

12:50 p.m. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike urges young people to get vaccinated as the number of daily cases in Japan's capital hit a record high amid the Olympic Games, led by the highly infectious delta variant. While more than 80% of the city's residents who are over 65 years old have received at least one shot, the number remains about 30% for its total population. "More relatively younger people are showing moderate and severe COVID-19 symptoms," Koike warned.

11:05 a.m. Tokyo Olympics organizers report 16 new COVID-19 cases among people involved in the Games. That brings the total to 169. No athletes are included among the new positives.

10:45 a.m. Australia's state of New South Wales extends a COVID-19 lockdown in the state capital, Sydney, for another month after weekslong curbs failed to contain an outbreak of the highly infectious delta variant. Lockdown rules were due to end on Friday but restrictions will now run until Aug. 28, state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters. A total of 177 new locally acquired cases were detected in New South Wales, up from 172 a day earlier.

10:02 a.m. South Korea's daily cases hit a record high of 1,896 -- up from 1,365 a day ago -- pushing total infections to 193,427 with 2,083 deaths.

People wait at the Central Vaccination Center in Bangkok for their COVID-19 shot on July 26.   © Reuters

9:40 a.m. Thailand reports a daily record of 16,533 new infections, pushing the country's total number of cases to 543,361. The country's COVID-19 task force also reports 133 new deaths, bringing total fatalities to 4,397.

4:06 a.m. In an about-face, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that even fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in public "if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission" -- a description that fits much of the South and West. The CDC also recommends universal indoor mask-wearing in schools nationwide, from kindergartens through high schools.

3:53 a.m. England is expected to reopen its borders to tourists from the European Union and the U.S. who have received two vaccine doses, with no quarantine required, the Financial Times reports.

3:42 a.m. The actual number of cases in the U.S. may be more than double the reported number. As many as 60% of COVID-19 cases across the country have gone undetected, according to a statistical model developed by two University of Washington researchers and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Tuesday, July 27

A catholic church training center that has been turned into a self-isolation shelter for COVID-19 patients in Jakarta, Indonesia, where cases have reached a record high.   © Reuters

7:23 p.m. Indonesia's daily death toll from the coronavirus crosses the 2,000 mark for the first time with 2,069 fatalities in the past 24 hours -- with Central Java Province reporting the most deaths, followed by East and West Java. New infections surge to 45,203 from 28,228 on Monday. The country has now reported a total of 3,239,936 cases with 86,835 deaths.

4:58 p.m. Daily COVID-19 cases in Tokyo hit a record high, with 2,848 new infections, in a sign of a growing outbreak even as the Olympics take place in the Japanese capital despite a state of emergency.

2:10 p.m. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike says the Japanese capital is now asking hospitals to prepare more beds for COVID-19 patients as the Olympic host city grapples with spreading infections. On Monday, Tokyo reported 1,429 new cases, and the seven-day average of new cases in the city was 41% higher than a week ago. As only 26 people over 65 years old were confirmed to have been infected, Koike stressed, "It is important for young people to get vaccinated."

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike says she is asking hospitals to set aside more beds for COVID-19 patients as the Olympic host city grapples with spreading infections.   © Reuters

1:41 p.m. India reports 29,689 new cases in the last 24 hours, the lowest daily count in over four months, bringing the country total to 31.44 million. Deaths rose by 415 to 421,382.

12:50 p.m. China reports 71 new cases for Monday, as an outbreak of the delta variant threatens the eastern city of Nanjing. Local infections accounted for 31 of the new cases, down from 40 a day earlier. All the local cases were reported in the eastern province of Jiangsu, where Nanjing is located. Based on the genetic testing results of patients, the virus that caused Nanjing's outbreak was confirmed to be the delta strain, a city government official said.

11:00 a.m. New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, reports 172 new local cases -- its biggest daily rise of locally acquired cases for the year -- as total infections in the latest outbreak from the highly infectious delta variant neared 2,400. Meanwhile, the country's Victoria state says most restrictions imposed on July 15 will be removed from Wednesday after recording just 10 infections of people already in quarantine.

8:08 a.m. South Korea's economy grew 5.9% on year in the second quarter of 2021, the Bank of Korea says, as a recovery in private consumption and the government's aggressive spending led the way. The year-on-year figure for the April-June gross domestic product is the best in more than a decade, since the fourth quarter of 2010. Compared with the previous quarter, the economy expanded 0.7%.

A member of the New York Police Department receives a vaccine on Jan. 21.   © Reuters

6:00 a.m. New York City will require all of its municipal workers -- including teachers and police officers -- to get coronavirus vaccines by mid-September or face weekly COVID-19 testing, Mayor Bill de Blasio says. The rule is expected to affect about 340,000 city employees, making the city one of the largest employers in the U.S. to take such action.

4:15 a.m. Britain's government says it is expanding a pilot program for daily COVID-19 testing to a wider range of key employers, in a bid to reduce staff absence caused by an ongoing wave of the pandemic. Under current government guidance, close contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19 are strongly advised to self-isolate for 10 days, unless they can take part in daily COVID tests to confirm that they are not infected.

"In addition to critical staff working in prisons, defense and waste collection, people working in energy, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, chemicals, communications, water, space, fish, veterinary medicine and HMRC (tax office) will also be prioritized for the 1,200 new daily contact testing sites," the health ministry said in a statement.

Monday, July 26

A woman reacts to her COVID-19 shot during a mass vaccination program at a school in Jakarta on July 26. Indonesia reported its lowest new case count in three weeks the same day.   © Reuters

6:21 p.m. Indonesia reports 28,228 new cases, down from 38,679 on Sunday, the country's lowest daily infection count in three weeks. But the daily death toll, at 1,487, is the second-highest since the beginning of the pandemic, up from 1,266 on Sunday. Indonesia has now reported a total of 3,194,733 cases, with 84,766 deaths.

2:49 p.m. Mongolia has administered more COVID-19 shots, relative to its population, than any country in Asia, it also leads Asia in proportional rankings for new COVID-19 cases. As of July 12, the country had administered first doses to 2,103,485 people (64.7%) and second doses to 1,796,285 (55.2%). But daily COVID-19 infections have hovered between 1,500 and 2,500 since June, and surpassed 150,000 in total.

2:10 p.m. Thailand had 15,376 new coronavirus cases, a daily record for a second consecutive day in the nation of more than 66 million.

Malaysia, which has one of Southeast Asia's highest per capita infection rates, reported on Sunday 17,045 new cases, bringing the total to 1,013,438, and nearly 8,000 deaths despite being under a lockdown since June. Like many parts of the region of more than 650 million people, Malaysian hospitals and medical staffers have borne the brunt of the outbreak amid shortages of beds, ventilators and oxygen. Thousands of Malaysian contract doctors on Monday staged a walkout over the terms of their employment, though they pledged patients would not be affected by the protest.

Government contract doctors participate in a walkout at Kuala Lumpur Hospital on July 26 as Malaysian hospitals suffer from the COVID-19 outbreak.   © Reuters

1:52 p.m. India reports 39,361 cases in the last 24 hours, marginally down from 39,742 the previous day, pushing the cumulative total to 31.4 million. Deaths jumped by 416 to 420,967. Meanwhile, the national capital city of Delhi eased COVID curbs as the situation improved, allowing the Delhi Metro rail service to run with 100% seating capacity instead of the existing 50%, while movie theaters have been permitted to reopen with half capacity.

11:37 a.m. South Korea kicks off COVID-19 vaccinations for people ages 55 to 59 to speed up the pace of its inoculation campaign as the country battles a fourth wave of infections. The rollout of shots for people in their upper 50s had sputtered to a weeklong halt this month after a record-high number of new cases sparked a rush, exhausting available supplies and crashing an official reservation website. About 6.17 million people, or 84% of those in their 50s, signed up for vaccinations last week, and authorities switched from Moderna to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for some people in the group because of fluctuations in shipping schedules.

10:06 a.m. New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, reports 145 locally acquired cases of COVID-19, up from 141 a day earlier, as the state capital, Sydney, endures a five-week lockdown due to run until Friday. Of the new cases, at least 51 spent time in the community while they were infectious, state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.

9:49 a.m. China reports 76 new COVID-19 cases for Sunday, up from 32 a day earlier. Local infections accounted for 40 of the new cases, compared with only five a day earlier, the National Health Commission says. Thirty-nine of the local cases were in the eastern province of Jiangsu, and one in the northeastern province of Liaoning. Total confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China stand at 92,605, and the death toll remains at 4,636.

A medical staffer works at a nucleic acid testing laboratory in the Nanjing First Hospital on July 24 following citywide testing for COVID-19.   © Reuters

Sunday, July 25

11:03 p.m. Ho Chi Minh City residents will be barred from going out, except for medical treatment and food, for 12 hours from 6 p.m. Monday local time.

Members of households in high-risk areas cannot leave to buy food, and local authorities will supply them with necessities, Tuoi Tre News reports.

9:20 p.m. The International Olympic Committee is loosening COVID-19 protocols for victory ceremonies at all venues over the coming days, allowing gold, silver and bronze medalists to unmask for 30 seconds on the podium to be photographed with appropriate physical distancing.

"At no point during this limited time should the athletes be invited to join each other on the gold-medal platform," the IOC says. "They must remain on their dedicated platform respecting the original distance." They can then put their masks back on for other photos.

Not every athlete is being so careful. For example, the winners of the women's cycling road race on Sunday are photographed standing beside one another and touching while wearing their medals but no masks.

9:17 p.m. Indonesian restrictions that would have expired Sunday are being extended to Aug. 2, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo says. But he also announced some adjustments, such as allowing traditional markets that sell basic daily necessities to open as usual with strict health protocols.

7:30 p.m. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike have met to discuss the Olympics and COVID-19 countermeasures, with Koike saying they agreed the games are going "very smoothly."

In a nearly hourlong meeting at the prime minister's official residence, they agreed to hold a smooth Paralympics, Koike tells reporters.

5:10 p.m. Malaysia's cumulative cases reach 1,013,438, topping 1 million for the first time, after a record 17,045 new daily cases are reported.

5:05 p.m. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government reports 1,763 new daily cases as the Olympics continue. The state of emergency in Tokyo runs through Aug. 22 -- two weeks after the closing ceremony and two days before the Paralympics open.

2:04 p.m. India reports 39,742 new daily COVID-19 cases. The death toll rose by 535, with the total reaching 420,551, according to government data.

1:50 p.m. The Biden administration is thinking about donating more vaccines to Vietnam, its ambassador to the U.S. says, as the Southeast Asian country struggles to control the fast-spreading delta variant of the coronavirus. Vietnam has just taken delivery of 3 million Moderna doses shipped from the U.S., bringing to 5 million the number it has been given by Washington via the global COVAX vaccine-sharing program. After successfully containing the virus for much of the pandemic, Vietnam has been facing rapid outbreaks, with daily cases repeatedly hitting new highs.

1:21 p.m. Hanoi's Department of Transport has banned public transportation, including buses, taxis, and passenger and delivery services on ride-hailing apps, as part of a broader lockdown.

Exceptions include the transportation of passengers or "public missions" and the distribution of essential items, such as from supermarkets.

10:16 a.m. Australia's most populous state of New South Wales reports 141 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, down from 163 the day before. But there are fears of new infections following an anti-lockdown in protest in state capital Sydney that drew thousands of people, many of them without masks. "In relation to yesterday's protests, can I say how absolutely disgusted I was? It broke my heart," state Premier Gladys Berejiklian tells reporters.

2:44 a.m. French police fire teargas as clashes erupt during protests in central Paris against COVID-19 restrictions and a vaccination campaign.

Police try to push back protesters near the capital's Gare Saint-Lazare railway station after they had knocked over a police motorbike ridden by two officers, according to TV media reports. Images show a heavy police presence on the capital's streets. Scuffles between police and demonstrators also break out the Champs-Elysees thoroughfare, where traffic is halted.

1:50 a.m. New cases in Turkey jump to 12,381, the highest mark since mid-May and nearly triple the low that from earlier in the month, according to Health Ministry data. Fifty-eight deaths are also recorded.

Infections remain well down from a wave in April-May when new COVID-19 cases peaked above 60,000. They fell to 4,418 on July 4 in the wake of a stringent lockdown that ended in mid-May. Most of the last restrictions were lifted this month.

Saturday, July 24

9:41 p.m. Vietnam's health ministry reports 7,968 coronavirus infections, a record daily increase and up from Friday's record of 7,307. More than two-thirds of the cases are in Ho Chi Minh City, the ministry says. Meanwhile, Hanoi suspends motorbike delivery services in the capital city, including by companies such as ride-hailing firms Grab and GoJek, adding to its existing restrictions.

4:49 p.m. Tokyo reports 1,128 COVID-19 cases as Japan's capital kicks off the Olympic Games. Infections have been on the rise in recent weeks, reaching 1,979 on Thursday, the highest since January. The number tends to be lower on holidays and weekends due to less testing.

4:33 p.m. Malaysia's health ministry records the highest number of daily infections since the beginning of the pandemic with 15,902 new coronavirus cases being reported. This brings the cumulative number of cases in the country to 996,393.

12:10 p.m. Tokyo 2020 says they failed to hand out PCR test kits to some athletes this week at the Olympic Village due to a shortage. According to the "Playbook" guidelines, athletes are subject to daily tests. Organizers say that more test kits will be delivered today.

---

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

10: 00 p.m. Japan's daily total of COVID-19 cases top 9,000 for the first time, with a surge in infections in Tokyo casting a pall over the Olympics.

Commuters in Tokyo on July 28, when daily infections in the Olympic host city hit a record high for a second straight day, topping 3,000 for the first time since the pandemic began.   © Reuters

4:46 p.m. Daily infections in Tokyo hit a record high for a second straight day, topping 3,000 for the first time since the pandemic began as the Olympic Games go on without spectators in Japan's capital under a state of emergency. The number of daily cases in the city jumped to 3,177 from 2,848 a day earlier, the latest sign that the delta-variant-led outbreak appears to be getting out of hand.

4:20 p.m. Malaysia reports 17,405 new cases, a daily record, bringing the country's total number of cases to 1,061,476.

3:08 p.m. India reports 43,654 new cases in the last 24 hours, significantly up from 29,689 the previous day, pushing the cumulative total to 31.48 million. Fatalities rose from 415 a day before to 640, bringing the total to 422,022.

2:55 p.m. Honda has suspended motorbike production at its three plants in Vietnam due to a parts supply shortage triggered by the resurgence of COVID-19 in the country and in neighboring nations where restrictions on movement have been placed. The suspension started on July 26 and will continue to July 30. The Japanese automaker is also suspending car production in Malaysia due to a prolonged COVID lockdown.

Honda has suspended motorbike production at its three plants in Vietnam until July 30 due to a supply shortage triggered by the resurgence of COVID-19, and is also suspending car production in Malaysia due to a prolonged lockdown.   © Reuters

12:50 p.m. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike urges young people to get vaccinated as the number of daily cases in Japan's capital hit a record high amid the Olympic Games, led by the highly infectious delta variant. While more than 80% of the city's residents who are over 65 years old have received at least one shot, the number remains about 30% for its total population. "More relatively younger people are showing moderate and severe COVID-19 symptoms," Koike warned.

11:05 a.m. Tokyo Olympics organizers report 16 new COVID-19 cases among people involved in the Games. That brings the total to 169. No athletes are included among the new positives.

10:45 a.m. Australia's state of New South Wales extends a COVID-19 lockdown in the state capital, Sydney, for another month after weekslong curbs failed to contain an outbreak of the highly infectious delta variant. Lockdown rules were due to end on Friday but restrictions will now run until Aug. 28, state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters. A total of 177 new locally acquired cases were detected in New South Wales, up from 172 a day earlier.

10:02 a.m. South Korea's daily cases hit a record high of 1,896 -- up from 1,365 a day ago -- pushing total infections to 193,427 with 2,083 deaths.

People wait at the Central Vaccination Center in Bangkok for their COVID-19 shot on July 26.   © Reuters

9:40 a.m. Thailand reports a daily record of 16,533 new infections, pushing the country's total number of cases to 543,361. The country's COVID-19 task force also reports 133 new deaths, bringing total fatalities to 4,397.

4:06 a.m. In an about-face, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that even fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in public "if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission" -- a description that fits much of the South and West. The CDC also recommends universal indoor mask-wearing in schools nationwide, from kindergartens through high schools.

3:53 a.m. England is expected to reopen its borders to tourists from the European Union and the U.S. who have received two vaccine doses, with no quarantine required, the Financial Times reports.

3:42 a.m. The actual number of cases in the U.S. may be more than double the reported number. As many as 60% of COVID-19 cases across the country have gone undetected, according to a statistical model developed by two University of Washington researchers and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Tuesday, July 27

A catholic church training center that has been turned into a self-isolation shelter for COVID-19 patients in Jakarta, Indonesia, where cases have reached a record high.   © Reuters

7:23 p.m. Indonesia's daily death toll from the coronavirus crosses the 2,000 mark for the first time with 2,069 fatalities in the past 24 hours -- with Central Java Province reporting the most deaths, followed by East and West Java. New infections surge to 45,203 from 28,228 on Monday. The country has now reported a total of 3,239,936 cases with 86,835 deaths.

4:58 p.m. Daily COVID-19 cases in Tokyo hit a record high, with 2,848 new infections, in a sign of a growing outbreak even as the Olympics take place in the Japanese capital despite a state of emergency.

2:10 p.m. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike says the Japanese capital is now asking hospitals to prepare more beds for COVID-19 patients as the Olympic host city grapples with spreading infections. On Monday, Tokyo reported 1,429 new cases, and the seven-day average of new cases in the city was 41% higher than a week ago. As only 26 people over 65 years old were confirmed to have been infected, Koike stressed, "It is important for young people to get vaccinated."

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike says she is asking hospitals to set aside more beds for COVID-19 patients as the Olympic host city grapples with spreading infections.   © Reuters

1:41 p.m. India reports 29,689 new cases in the last 24 hours, the lowest daily count in over four months, bringing the country total to 31.44 million. Deaths rose by 415 to 421,382.

12:50 p.m. China reports 71 new cases for Monday, as an outbreak of the delta variant threatens the eastern city of Nanjing. Local infections accounted for 31 of the new cases, down from 40 a day earlier. All the local cases were reported in the eastern province of Jiangsu, where Nanjing is located. Based on the genetic testing results of patients, the virus that caused Nanjing's outbreak was confirmed to be the delta strain, a city government official said.

11:00 a.m. New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, reports 172 new local cases -- its biggest daily rise of locally acquired cases for the year -- as total infections in the latest outbreak from the highly infectious delta variant neared 2,400. Meanwhile, the country's Victoria state says most restrictions imposed on July 15 will be removed from Wednesday after recording just 10 infections of people already in quarantine.

8:08 a.m. South Korea's economy grew 5.9% on year in the second quarter of 2021, the Bank of Korea says, as a recovery in private consumption and the government's aggressive spending led the way. The year-on-year figure for the April-June gross domestic product is the best in more than a decade, since the fourth quarter of 2010. Compared with the previous quarter, the economy expanded 0.7%.

A member of the New York Police Department receives a vaccine on Jan. 21.   © Reuters

6:00 a.m. New York City will require all of its municipal workers -- including teachers and police officers -- to get coronavirus vaccines by mid-September or face weekly COVID-19 testing, Mayor Bill de Blasio says. The rule is expected to affect about 340,000 city employees, making the city one of the largest employers in the U.S. to take such action.

4:15 a.m. Britain's government says it is expanding a pilot program for daily COVID-19 testing to a wider range of key employers, in a bid to reduce staff absence caused by an ongoing wave of the pandemic. Under current government guidance, close contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19 are strongly advised to self-isolate for 10 days, unless they can take part in daily COVID tests to confirm that they are not infected.

"In addition to critical staff working in prisons, defense and waste collection, people working in energy, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, chemicals, communications, water, space, fish, veterinary medicine and HMRC (tax office) will also be prioritized for the 1,200 new daily contact testing sites," the health ministry said in a statement.

Monday, July 26

A woman reacts to her COVID-19 shot during a mass vaccination program at a school in Jakarta on July 26. Indonesia reported its lowest new case count in three weeks the same day.   © Reuters

6:21 p.m. Indonesia reports 28,228 new cases, down from 38,679 on Sunday, the country's lowest daily infection count in three weeks. But the daily death toll, at 1,487, is the second-highest since the beginning of the pandemic, up from 1,266 on Sunday. Indonesia has now reported a total of 3,194,733 cases, with 84,766 deaths.

2:49 p.m. Mongolia has administered more COVID-19 shots, relative to its population, than any country in Asia, it also leads Asia in proportional rankings for new COVID-19 cases. As of July 12, the country had administered first doses to 2,103,485 people (64.7%) and second doses to 1,796,285 (55.2%). But daily COVID-19 infections have hovered between 1,500 and 2,500 since June, and surpassed 150,000 in total.

2:10 p.m. Thailand had 15,376 new coronavirus cases, a daily record for a second consecutive day in the nation of more than 66 million.

Malaysia, which has one of Southeast Asia's highest per capita infection rates, reported on Sunday 17,045 new cases, bringing the total to 1,013,438, and nearly 8,000 deaths despite being under a lockdown since June. Like many parts of the region of more than 650 million people, Malaysian hospitals and medical staffers have borne the brunt of the outbreak amid shortages of beds, ventilators and oxygen. Thousands of Malaysian contract doctors on Monday staged a walkout over the terms of their employment, though they pledged patients would not be affected by the protest.

Government contract doctors participate in a walkout at Kuala Lumpur Hospital on July 26 as Malaysian hospitals suffer from the COVID-19 outbreak.   © Reuters

1:52 p.m. India reports 39,361 cases in the last 24 hours, marginally down from 39,742 the previous day, pushing the cumulative total to 31.4 million. Deaths jumped by 416 to 420,967. Meanwhile, the national capital city of Delhi eased COVID curbs as the situation improved, allowing the Delhi Metro rail service to run with 100% seating capacity instead of the existing 50%, while movie theaters have been permitted to reopen with half capacity.

11:37 a.m. South Korea kicks off COVID-19 vaccinations for people ages 55 to 59 to speed up the pace of its inoculation campaign as the country battles a fourth wave of infections. The rollout of shots for people in their upper 50s had sputtered to a weeklong halt this month after a record-high number of new cases sparked a rush, exhausting available supplies and crashing an official reservation website. About 6.17 million people, or 84% of those in their 50s, signed up for vaccinations last week, and authorities switched from Moderna to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for some people in the group because of fluctuations in shipping schedules.

10:06 a.m. New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, reports 145 locally acquired cases of COVID-19, up from 141 a day earlier, as the state capital, Sydney, endures a five-week lockdown due to run until Friday. Of the new cases, at least 51 spent time in the community while they were infectious, state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.

9:49 a.m. China reports 76 new COVID-19 cases for Sunday, up from 32 a day earlier. Local infections accounted for 40 of the new cases, compared with only five a day earlier, the National Health Commission says. Thirty-nine of the local cases were in the eastern province of Jiangsu, and one in the northeastern province of Liaoning. Total confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China stand at 92,605, and the death toll remains at 4,636.

A medical staffer works at a nucleic acid testing laboratory in the Nanjing First Hospital on July 24 following citywide testing for COVID-19.   © Reuters

Sunday, July 25

11:03 p.m. Ho Chi Minh City residents will be barred from going out, except for medical treatment and food, for 12 hours from 6 p.m. Monday local time.

Members of households in high-risk areas cannot leave to buy food, and local authorities will supply them with necessities, Tuoi Tre News reports.

9:20 p.m. The International Olympic Committee is loosening COVID-19 protocols for victory ceremonies at all venues over the coming days, allowing gold, silver and bronze medalists to unmask for 30 seconds on the podium to be photographed with appropriate physical distancing.

"At no point during this limited time should the athletes be invited to join each other on the gold-medal platform," the IOC says. "They must remain on their dedicated platform respecting the original distance." They can then put their masks back on for other photos.

Not every athlete is being so careful. For example, the winners of the women's cycling road race on Sunday are photographed standing beside one another and touching while wearing their medals but no masks.

9:17 p.m. Indonesian restrictions that would have expired Sunday are being extended to Aug. 2, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo says. But he also announced some adjustments, such as allowing traditional markets that sell basic daily necessities to open as usual with strict health protocols.

7:30 p.m. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike have met to discuss the Olympics and COVID-19 countermeasures, with Koike saying they agreed the games are going "very smoothly."

In a nearly hourlong meeting at the prime minister's official residence, they agreed to hold a smooth Paralympics, Koike tells reporters.

5:10 p.m. Malaysia's cumulative cases reach 1,013,438, topping 1 million for the first time, after a record 17,045 new daily cases are reported.

5:05 p.m. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government reports 1,763 new daily cases as the Olympics continue. The state of emergency in Tokyo runs through Aug. 22 -- two weeks after the closing ceremony and two days before the Paralympics open.

2:04 p.m. India reports 39,742 new daily COVID-19 cases. The death toll rose by 535, with the total reaching 420,551, according to government data.

1:50 p.m. The Biden administration is thinking about donating more vaccines to Vietnam, its ambassador to the U.S. says, as the Southeast Asian country struggles to control the fast-spreading delta variant of the coronavirus. Vietnam has just taken delivery of 3 million Moderna doses shipped from the U.S., bringing to 5 million the number it has been given by Washington via the global COVAX vaccine-sharing program. After successfully containing the virus for much of the pandemic, Vietnam has been facing rapid outbreaks, with daily cases repeatedly hitting new highs.

1:21 p.m. Hanoi's Department of Transport has banned public transportation, including buses, taxis, and passenger and delivery services on ride-hailing apps, as part of a broader lockdown.

Exceptions include the transportation of passengers or "public missions" and the distribution of essential items, such as from supermarkets.

10:16 a.m. Australia's most populous state of New South Wales reports 141 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, down from 163 the day before. But there are fears of new infections following an anti-lockdown in protest in state capital Sydney that drew thousands of people, many of them without masks. "In relation to yesterday's protests, can I say how absolutely disgusted I was? It broke my heart," state Premier Gladys Berejiklian tells reporters.

2:44 a.m. French police fire teargas as clashes erupt during protests in central Paris against COVID-19 restrictions and a vaccination campaign.

Police try to push back protesters near the capital's Gare Saint-Lazare railway station after they had knocked over a police motorbike ridden by two officers, according to TV media reports. Images show a heavy police presence on the capital's streets. Scuffles between police and demonstrators also break out the Champs-Elysees thoroughfare, where traffic is halted.

1:50 a.m. New cases in Turkey jump to 12,381, the highest mark since mid-May and nearly triple the low that from earlier in the month, according to Health Ministry data. Fifty-eight deaths are also recorded.

Infections remain well down from a wave in April-May when new COVID-19 cases peaked above 60,000. They fell to 4,418 on July 4 in the wake of a stringent lockdown that ended in mid-May. Most of the last restrictions were lifted this month.

Saturday, July 24

9:41 p.m. Vietnam's health ministry reports 7,968 coronavirus infections, a record daily increase and up from Friday's record of 7,307. More than two-thirds of the cases are in Ho Chi Minh City, the ministry says. Meanwhile, Hanoi suspends motorbike delivery services in the capital city, including by companies such as ride-hailing firms Grab and GoJek, adding to its existing restrictions.

4:49 p.m. Tokyo reports 1,128 COVID-19 cases as Japan's capital kicks off the Olympic Games. Infections have been on the rise in recent weeks, reaching 1,979 on Thursday, the highest since January. The number tends to be lower on holidays and weekends due to less testing.

4:33 p.m. Malaysia's health ministry records the highest number of daily infections since the beginning of the pandemic with 15,902 new coronavirus cases being reported. This brings the cumulative number of cases in the country to 996,393.

12:10 p.m. Tokyo 2020 says they failed to hand out PCR test kits to some athletes this week at the Olympic Village due to a shortage. According to the "Playbook" guidelines, athletes are subject to daily tests. Organizers say that more test kits will be delivered today.

---

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

10: 00 p.m. Japan's daily total of COVID-19 cases top 9,000 for the first time, with a surge in infections in Tokyo casting a pall over the Olympics.

Commuters in Tokyo on July 28, when daily infections in the Olympic host city hit a record high for a second straight day, topping 3,000 for the first time since the pandemic began.   © Reuters

4:46 p.m. Daily infections in Tokyo hit a record high for a second straight day, topping 3,000 for the first time since the pandemic began as the Olympic Games go on without spectators in Japan's capital under a state of emergency. The number of daily cases in the city jumped to 3,177 from 2,848 a day earlier, the latest sign that the delta-variant-led outbreak appears to be getting out of hand.

4:20 p.m. Malaysia reports 17,405 new cases, a daily record, bringing the country's total number of cases to 1,061,476.

3:08 p.m. India reports 43,654 new cases in the last 24 hours, significantly up from 29,689 the previous day, pushing the cumulative total to 31.48 million. Fatalities rose from 415 a day before to 640, bringing the total to 422,022.

2:55 p.m. Honda has suspended motorbike production at its three plants in Vietnam due to a parts supply shortage triggered by the resurgence of COVID-19 in the country and in neighboring nations where restrictions on movement have been placed. The suspension started on July 26 and will continue to July 30. The Japanese automaker is also suspending car production in Malaysia due to a prolonged COVID lockdown.

Honda has suspended motorbike production at its three plants in Vietnam until July 30 due to a supply shortage triggered by the resurgence of COVID-19, and is also suspending car production in Malaysia due to a prolonged lockdown.   © Reuters

12:50 p.m. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike urges young people to get vaccinated as the number of daily cases in Japan's capital hit a record high amid the Olympic Games, led by the highly infectious delta variant. While more than 80% of the city's residents who are over 65 years old have received at least one shot, the number remains about 30% for its total population. "More relatively younger people are showing moderate and severe COVID-19 symptoms," Koike warned.

11:05 a.m. Tokyo Olympics organizers report 16 new COVID-19 cases among people involved in the Games. That brings the total to 169. No athletes are included among the new positives.

10:45 a.m. Australia's state of New South Wales extends a COVID-19 lockdown in the state capital, Sydney, for another month after weekslong curbs failed to contain an outbreak of the highly infectious delta variant. Lockdown rules were due to end on Friday but restrictions will now run until Aug. 28, state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters. A total of 177 new locally acquired cases were detected in New South Wales, up from 172 a day earlier.

10:02 a.m. South Korea's daily cases hit a record high of 1,896 -- up from 1,365 a day ago -- pushing total infections to 193,427 with 2,083 deaths.

People wait at the Central Vaccination Center in Bangkok for their COVID-19 shot on July 26.   © Reuters

9:40 a.m. Thailand reports a daily record of 16,533 new infections, pushing the country's total number of cases to 543,361. The country's COVID-19 task force also reports 133 new deaths, bringing total fatalities to 4,397.

4:06 a.m. In an about-face, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that even fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in public "if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission" -- a description that fits much of the South and West. The CDC also recommends universal indoor mask-wearing in schools nationwide, from kindergartens through high schools.

3:53 a.m. England is expected to reopen its borders to tourists from the European Union and the U.S. who have received two vaccine doses, with no quarantine required, the Financial Times reports.

3:42 a.m. The actual number of cases in the U.S. may be more than double the reported number. As many as 60% of COVID-19 cases across the country have gone undetected, according to a statistical model developed by two University of Washington researchers and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Tuesday, July 27

A catholic church training center that has been turned into a self-isolation shelter for COVID-19 patients in Jakarta, Indonesia, where cases have reached a record high.   © Reuters

7:23 p.m. Indonesia's daily death toll from the coronavirus crosses the 2,000 mark for the first time with 2,069 fatalities in the past 24 hours -- with Central Java Province reporting the most deaths, followed by East and West Java. New infections surge to 45,203 from 28,228 on Monday. The country has now reported a total of 3,239,936 cases with 86,835 deaths.

4:58 p.m. Daily COVID-19 cases in Tokyo hit a record high, with 2,848 new infections, in a sign of a growing outbreak even as the Olympics take place in the Japanese capital despite a state of emergency.

2:10 p.m. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike says the Japanese capital is now asking hospitals to prepare more beds for COVID-19 patients as the Olympic host city grapples with spreading infections. On Monday, Tokyo reported 1,429 new cases, and the seven-day average of new cases in the city was 41% higher than a week ago. As only 26 people over 65 years old were confirmed to have been infected, Koike stressed, "It is important for young people to get vaccinated."

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike says she is asking hospitals to set aside more beds for COVID-19 patients as the Olympic host city grapples with spreading infections.   © Reuters

1:41 p.m. India reports 29,689 new cases in the last 24 hours, the lowest daily count in over four months, bringing the country total to 31.44 million. Deaths rose by 415 to 421,382.

12:50 p.m. China reports 71 new cases for Monday, as an outbreak of the delta variant threatens the eastern city of Nanjing. Local infections accounted for 31 of the new cases, down from 40 a day earlier. All the local cases were reported in the eastern province of Jiangsu, where Nanjing is located. Based on the genetic testing results of patients, the virus that caused Nanjing's outbreak was confirmed to be the delta strain, a city government official said.

11:00 a.m. New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, reports 172 new local cases -- its biggest daily rise of locally acquired cases for the year -- as total infections in the latest outbreak from the highly infectious delta variant neared 2,400. Meanwhile, the country's Victoria state says most restrictions imposed on July 15 will be removed from Wednesday after recording just 10 infections of people already in quarantine.

8:08 a.m. South Korea's economy grew 5.9% on year in the second quarter of 2021, the Bank of Korea says, as a recovery in private consumption and the government's aggressive spending led the way. The year-on-year figure for the April-June gross domestic product is the best in more than a decade, since the fourth quarter of 2010. Compared with the previous quarter, the economy expanded 0.7%.

A member of the New York Police Department receives a vaccine on Jan. 21.   © Reuters

6:00 a.m. New York City will require all of its municipal workers -- including teachers and police officers -- to get coronavirus vaccines by mid-September or face weekly COVID-19 testing, Mayor Bill de Blasio says. The rule is expected to affect about 340,000 city employees, making the city one of the largest employers in the U.S. to take such action.

4:15 a.m. Britain's government says it is expanding a pilot program for daily COVID-19 testing to a wider range of key employers, in a bid to reduce staff absence caused by an ongoing wave of the pandemic. Under current government guidance, close contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19 are strongly advised to self-isolate for 10 days, unless they can take part in daily COVID tests to confirm that they are not infected.

"In addition to critical staff working in prisons, defense and waste collection, people working in energy, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, chemicals, communications, water, space, fish, veterinary medicine and HMRC (tax office) will also be prioritized for the 1,200 new daily contact testing sites," the health ministry said in a statement.

Monday, July 26

A woman reacts to her COVID-19 shot during a mass vaccination program at a school in Jakarta on July 26. Indonesia reported its lowest new case count in three weeks the same day.   © Reuters

6:21 p.m. Indonesia reports 28,228 new cases, down from 38,679 on Sunday, the country's lowest daily infection count in three weeks. But the daily death toll, at 1,487, is the second-highest since the beginning of the pandemic, up from 1,266 on Sunday. Indonesia has now reported a total of 3,194,733 cases, with 84,766 deaths.

2:49 p.m. Mongolia has administered more COVID-19 shots, relative to its population, than any country in Asia, it also leads Asia in proportional rankings for new COVID-19 cases. As of July 12, the country had administered first doses to 2,103,485 people (64.7%) and second doses to 1,796,285 (55.2%). But daily COVID-19 infections have hovered between 1,500 and 2,500 since June, and surpassed 150,000 in total.

2:10 p.m. Thailand had 15,376 new coronavirus cases, a daily record for a second consecutive day in the nation of more than 66 million.

Malaysia, which has one of Southeast Asia's highest per capita infection rates, reported on Sunday 17,045 new cases, bringing the total to 1,013,438, and nearly 8,000 deaths despite being under a lockdown since June. Like many parts of the region of more than 650 million people, Malaysian hospitals and medical staffers have borne the brunt of the outbreak amid shortages of beds, ventilators and oxygen. Thousands of Malaysian contract doctors on Monday staged a walkout over the terms of their employment, though they pledged patients would not be affected by the protest.

Government contract doctors participate in a walkout at Kuala Lumpur Hospital on July 26 as Malaysian hospitals suffer from the COVID-19 outbreak.   © Reuters

1:52 p.m. India reports 39,361 cases in the last 24 hours, marginally down from 39,742 the previous day, pushing the cumulative total to 31.4 million. Deaths jumped by 416 to 420,967. Meanwhile, the national capital city of Delhi eased COVID curbs as the situation improved, allowing the Delhi Metro rail service to run with 100% seating capacity instead of the existing 50%, while movie theaters have been permitted to reopen with half capacity.

11:37 a.m. South Korea kicks off COVID-19 vaccinations for people ages 55 to 59 to speed up the pace of its inoculation campaign as the country battles a fourth wave of infections. The rollout of shots for people in their upper 50s had sputtered to a weeklong halt this month after a record-high number of new cases sparked a rush, exhausting available supplies and crashing an official reservation website. About 6.17 million people, or 84% of those in their 50s, signed up for vaccinations last week, and authorities switched from Moderna to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for some people in the group because of fluctuations in shipping schedules.

10:06 a.m. New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, reports 145 locally acquired cases of COVID-19, up from 141 a day earlier, as the state capital, Sydney, endures a five-week lockdown due to run until Friday. Of the new cases, at least 51 spent time in the community while they were infectious, state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.

9:49 a.m. China reports 76 new COVID-19 cases for Sunday, up from 32 a day earlier. Local infections accounted for 40 of the new cases, compared with only five a day earlier, the National Health Commission says. Thirty-nine of the local cases were in the eastern province of Jiangsu, and one in the northeastern province of Liaoning. Total confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China stand at 92,605, and the death toll remains at 4,636.

A medical staffer works at a nucleic acid testing laboratory in the Nanjing First Hospital on July 24 following citywide testing for COVID-19.   © Reuters

Sunday, July 25

11:03 p.m. Ho Chi Minh City residents will be barred from going out, except for medical treatment and food, for 12 hours from 6 p.m. Monday local time.

Members of households in high-risk areas cannot leave to buy food, and local authorities will supply them with necessities, Tuoi Tre News reports.

9:20 p.m. The International Olympic Committee is loosening COVID-19 protocols for victory ceremonies at all venues over the coming days, allowing gold, silver and bronze medalists to unmask for 30 seconds on the podium to be photographed with appropriate physical distancing.

"At no point during this limited time should the athletes be invited to join each other on the gold-medal platform," the IOC says. "They must remain on their dedicated platform respecting the original distance." They can then put their masks back on for other photos.

Not every athlete is being so careful. For example, the winners of the women's cycling road race on Sunday are photographed standing beside one another and touching while wearing their medals but no masks.

9:17 p.m. Indonesian restrictions that would have expired Sunday are being extended to Aug. 2, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo says. But he also announced some adjustments, such as allowing traditional markets that sell basic daily necessities to open as usual with strict health protocols.

7:30 p.m. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike have met to discuss the Olympics and COVID-19 countermeasures, with Koike saying they agreed the games are going "very smoothly."

In a nearly hourlong meeting at the prime minister's official residence, they agreed to hold a smooth Paralympics, Koike tells reporters.

5:10 p.m. Malaysia's cumulative cases reach 1,013,438, topping 1 million for the first time, after a record 17,045 new daily cases are reported.

5:05 p.m. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government reports 1,763 new daily cases as the Olympics continue. The state of emergency in Tokyo runs through Aug. 22 -- two weeks after the closing ceremony and two days before the Paralympics open.

2:04 p.m. India reports 39,742 new daily COVID-19 cases. The death toll rose by 535, with the total reaching 420,551, according to government data.

1:50 p.m. The Biden administration is thinking about donating more vaccines to Vietnam, its ambassador to the U.S. says, as the Southeast Asian country struggles to control the fast-spreading delta variant of the coronavirus. Vietnam has just taken delivery of 3 million Moderna doses shipped from the U.S., bringing to 5 million the number it has been given by Washington via the global COVAX vaccine-sharing program. After successfully containing the virus for much of the pandemic, Vietnam has been facing rapid outbreaks, with daily cases repeatedly hitting new highs.

1:21 p.m. Hanoi's Department of Transport has banned public transportation, including buses, taxis, and passenger and delivery services on ride-hailing apps, as part of a broader lockdown.

Exceptions include the transportation of passengers or "public missions" and the distribution of essential items, such as from supermarkets.

10:16 a.m. Australia's most populous state of New South Wales reports 141 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, down from 163 the day before. But there are fears of new infections following an anti-lockdown in protest in state capital Sydney that drew thousands of people, many of them without masks. "In relation to yesterday's protests, can I say how absolutely disgusted I was? It broke my heart," state Premier Gladys Berejiklian tells reporters.

2:44 a.m. French police fire teargas as clashes erupt during protests in central Paris against COVID-19 restrictions and a vaccination campaign.

Police try to push back protesters near the capital's Gare Saint-Lazare railway station after they had knocked over a police motorbike ridden by two officers, according to TV media reports. Images show a heavy police presence on the capital's streets. Scuffles between police and demonstrators also break out the Champs-Elysees thoroughfare, where traffic is halted.

1:50 a.m. New cases in Turkey jump to 12,381, the highest mark since mid-May and nearly triple the low that from earlier in the month, according to Health Ministry data. Fifty-eight deaths are also recorded.

Infections remain well down from a wave in April-May when new COVID-19 cases peaked above 60,000. They fell to 4,418 on July 4 in the wake of a stringent lockdown that ended in mid-May. Most of the last restrictions were lifted this month.

Saturday, July 24

9:41 p.m. Vietnam's health ministry reports 7,968 coronavirus infections, a record daily increase and up from Friday's record of 7,307. More than two-thirds of the cases are in Ho Chi Minh City, the ministry says. Meanwhile, Hanoi suspends motorbike delivery services in the capital city, including by companies such as ride-hailing firms Grab and GoJek, adding to its existing restrictions.

4:49 p.m. Tokyo reports 1,128 COVID-19 cases as Japan's capital kicks off the Olympic Games. Infections have been on the rise in recent weeks, reaching 1,979 on Thursday, the highest since January. The number tends to be lower on holidays and weekends due to less testing.

4:33 p.m. Malaysia's health ministry records the highest number of daily infections since the beginning of the pandemic with 15,902 new coronavirus cases being reported. This brings the cumulative number of cases in the country to 996,393.

12:10 p.m. Tokyo 2020 says they failed to hand out PCR test kits to some athletes this week at the Olympic Village due to a shortage. According to the "Playbook" guidelines, athletes are subject to daily tests. Organizers say that more test kits will be delivered today.

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

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