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Coronavirus: Free to read

Coronavirus: Week of June 27 to July 3, US promises 4m doses of Moderna to Indonesia

Jakarta reports daily case and fatality records; India's death toll crosses 400,000

A woman reacts as she receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine during the mass vaccination program at the Tangerang City Government Center, in Tangerang on the outskirts of Jakarta on June 30.   © 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 182,875,305, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The worldwide death toll has hit 3,959,251.

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 3 (Tokyo time)

5:40 a.m. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan speaks with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, telling her that Washington will donate 4 million Moderna vaccine doses to Indonesia for shipment via the World Health Organization-led COVAX initiative as soon as possible. Sullivan "highlighted the importance the Biden-Harris administration places on Indonesia, Southeast Asia and ending the pandemic more broadly and pledged continued support and high-level engagement," the National Security Council says in a statement.

5:10 a.m. Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama has tested positive for COVID-19 and withdrawn from this week's Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, the PGA Tour says.

4:11 a.m. At least 26,000 out-of-date AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered in Brazil, reports Reuters, citing a report in the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper based on Health Ministry data.

According to the report, the expired vaccines came from batches imported from India by the public Fiocruz biomedical institute, or acquired through the Pan American Health Organization.

12:15 a.m. President Joe Biden says U.S. job growth is a direct result of the COVID-19 rescue plan enacted earlier this year but that more work is needed to increase the rate of vaccination and get more people back to work.

President Joe Biden argues the U.S. jobs growth is a result of his COVID-19 rescue program.   © Reuters

Biden, speaking after the release of the Labor Department's closely watched employment report, said the nation must invest in infrastructure and other areas to continue its economic progress.

Friday, July 2

10:00 p.m. The U.S. economy added 850,000 jobs in June as the pace of recovery surged, the Labor Department reports, easing fears of more lasting harm from labor and supply shortages. The unemployment rate edged up to 5.9%.

The jobs numbers come after a report this week showing consumer confidence at the highest level since the pandemic's onset.

7:15 p.m. Indonesia's coronavirus numbers continue to surge, with 25,830 new cases and 539 deaths in the past 24 hours -- both record highs. The country has reported a total of 2,228,938 cases, with a death toll of 59,534.

People wait to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses in Tangerang, on the outskirts of Jakarta, on June 30.   © Reuters

5:50 p.m. Russia reports 679 COVID-19 deaths, the most confirmed in a single day since the pandemic began, amid a surge in cases that authorities blame on the delta variant. The government coronavirus taskforce also confirmed 23,218 new infections in the last 24 hours, including 6,893 in Moscow, pushing the national case total to 5,561,360.

5:40 p.m. Tokyo reports 660 new infections, slightly down from 673 a day earlier. The seven-day average of new cases in the capital stands at 537, up 18% from a week ago.

4:30 p.m. Cambodia reports 32 deaths from the coronavirus, a record daily increase, as authorities warn of the risk of a new wave of infections driven by the delta variant. The country has recorded one of the world's smallest virus caseloads, but an outbreak first detected in late February has driven up total cases to 52,350 with 660 deaths.

3:10 p.m. Taiwan reports 98 new domestic infections, as the government races to contain an outbreak at a Taipei food wholesale market through mass testing and quarantines. Health Minister Chen Shih-chung told reporters the market has been closed for three days, and there were likely to be more infections confirmed as the results of tests come through. The market is in Taipei's Wanhua district, a hot spot where many of the initial infections in May were first reported.

Family members mourn as a man who died from COVID-19 is cremated near Bangalore: India's has reported more than 400,000 COVID deaths, the third-highest globally after the U.S. and Brazil.   © Reuters

1:32 p.m. India's total fatalities cross 400,000 line as it reported 853 deaths in the last 24 hours. The death toll now stands at 400,312, the third-highest globally after the United States and Brazil. Meanwhile, the country reported 46,617 new infections since Thursday morning, down from 48,786 the previous day, bringing its total cases to 30.46 million.

11:30 a.m. The Australian state of New South Wales warns residents to brace for an increase in COVID-19 infections over the next few days as it reports 31 locally acquired cases -- the biggest daily rise recorded so far this year. Sydney, the state's capital, is halfway through a two-week lockdown imposed to contain the delta variant.

Country-wide, Australia is fighting outbreaks of the highly infections delta variant simultaneously in three state capital cities, meaning nearly half of all Australians are currently under strict orders to stay at home.

10:30 a.m. China reports 18 new cases for Thursday, up from 12 a day earlier. All the new infections were imported. The number of new asymptomatic infections, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, stood at 22, up from 19 a day earlier.

10:24 a.m. South Korea's new cases hit a six-month high at 826, up from 762 a day ago, raising the total number to 158,549, with 2,024 deaths. The delta variant is spreading among young people who are not vaccinated yet. "We're extremely concerned the virus will spread further as there are clear signs of increased outside activity among the people, and a rising number of cases of the strongly transmissible delta variant,"said Interior and Safety Minister Jeon Hae-cheol.

10:20 a.m. Thailand reports the third straight day of record coronavirus deaths, with 61 fatalities, as authorities struggle to tackle the country's latest wave of infections. The country has now recorded 2,141 deaths from the virus since the pandemic started. The COVID-19 task force also reports 6,087 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections to 270,921.

10:00 a.m. Johnson & Johnson says its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine showed strong promise against the delta variant and other emerging strains and also provided durable protection against the infection more broadly. Data showed that the durability of immune response for recipients of its vaccine lasted at least eight months, the healthcare company says, adding that its vaccine was 85% effective and could also help prevent hospitalization and death.

1:19 a.m. Dominican health authorities will begin distributing a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to protect against more contagious new variants of the coronavirus, reports Reuters.

Thursday, July 1

6:42 p.m. Indonesia's daily infections hit another new high with 24,836 new cases in the past 24 hours, up from the previous record of 21,807 cases the day before. The country also reports its deadliest day since the beginning of the pandemic with 504 new deaths. In total, Indonesia has reported 2,203,108 cases and 58,995 deaths from the coronavirus.

The WHO warned that Europe faces another COVID wave unless people maintain safety measures.   © Reuters

6:40 p.m. A new wave of infections in Europe is inevitable if people do not remain disciplined, says the Head of WHO in Europe Hans Kluge. Last week, the number of new cases rose by 10%, driven by increased mixing, travel, gatherings, and easing of social restrictions.

"This is taking place in the context of a rapidly evolving situation. A new variant of concern -- the delta variant -- and in a region where despite tremendous efforts by member states, millions remain unvaccinated," he said. "There will be a new wave in the WHO European region unless we remain disciplined."

5:30 p.m. Russia reports 672 coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday, the most confirmed in a single day since the pandemic began amid a surge in cases authorities blame on the Delta variant.

5:10 p.m. Tokyo reports 673 new infections, down from 714 a day earlier. The seven-day average of new cases in the capital stands at 523, up 19% from a week ago. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says it is "possible" the games might not have spectators, depending on the COVID-19 situation. "We will prioritize people's safety," Suga said.

The government coronavirus task force also confirmed 23,543 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the most since Jan. 17, including 7,597 in Moscow. That pushed the national case total to 5,538,142 since the start of the outbreak.

2:45 p.m. The head of Samoa's Olympic committee tells Reuters that only the country's weightlifters will not attend the Tokyo Games, amid reports suggesting the island nation's caretaker government planned to withdraw from participation altogether over COVID-19 fears.

2:30 p.m. President Joko Widodo says Indonesia will introduce emergency measures that will run until July 20 as it attempts to tame an exponential spike in coronavirus cases that has strained the country's medical system. The measures, which will start on Saturday, are intended to halve the current number of daily cases to below 10,000. They include tighter restrictions on people's movements and air travel, a ban on restaurant dining and the closures of nonessential offices, according to a government document.

1:33 p.m. India reports 48,786 cases for the past 24 hours, up from 45,951 the previous day, bringing the country total to over 30.4 million. Fatalities rose by 1,005 to 399,459 after remaining below 1,000 for three days. Daily recoveries outnumbered new cases for the 49th consecutive day, as 61,588 patients recovered since Wednesday morning, according to a health ministry statement.

11:10 a.m. Japan's land prices fell for the first time in six years in 2020, slipping 0.5% from a year earlier, the country's tax agency says, as the coronavirus crisis hurt demand for hotels and houses, especially in areas popular with tourists. Prior to the pandemic, low interest rates, a booming tourism industry and a building rush in the run-up to the Tokyo Summer Olympics, which were originally scheduled for 2020 but delayed to this year, had pushed up land prices.

10:30 a.m. Thailand reports a daily record of 57 deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the total number of fatalities to 2,080 since the pandemic started. The country also reports 5,533 new cases, up from 4,786 a day earlier and taking the total number of infections to 264,834. The report came on the same day that Thailand kicks off a program to revive tourism on Phuket, which has seen far fewer cases than the mainland after the country prioritized vaccinations for the population of the resort island.

10:15 a.m. China reports 12 new cases for Wednesday, up from nine a day earlier. All of the new infections were imported cases. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, stood at 19, up from nine a day earlier.

10:13 a.m. Australia's state of New South Wales reports 24 locally acquired cases as the state capital Sydney nears a week of a hard lockdown to contain an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant.

8:54 a.m. Business sentiment among Japan's large manufacturers has improved to the highest level since 2018, the Bank of Japan's latest Tankan survey shows. The improvement reflects strong external demand, as the U.S. and Chinese economies continue to recover steadily, boosting demand for Japanese autos and machinery. The headline diffusion index of sentiment among large manufacturers came to plus 14 in June, compared with plus 5 in March, marking a fourth straight quarter of improvement.

A health care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at the University of Santiago, Chile, on June 30, 2021.   © Reuters

7:00 a.m. The World Bank pledges to add $8 billion to a fund for COVID-19 vaccine purchases and deployment, raising the total to $20 billion, to help it meet demand from developing countries. The global development bank so far has provided more than $4 billion to 51 developing countries. It has billions more earmarked for 25 additional countries.

Wednesday, June 30

11:00 p.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin reveals he has received the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.

"I knew that I needed to be protected for as long as possible, so my decision was to get a Sputnik V jab," Putin says in a television appearance.

7:25 p.m. Indonesia's daily infections hit another record, with 21,807 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the country's total infections to 2,178,272. The country also reports 467 new deaths, the highest since late January, bringing total casualties to 58,024.

Indonesia on Wednesday receives 14 million new doses of Sinovac vaccines, but in bulk that requires further processing. This brings the total doses of vaccines that the country has received so far to 118.7 million. Over 13 million people have received their second vaccine jabs, and 29 million others their first, or roughly 5% and 11% of the population, respectively.

3:54 p.m. Brazil's heath minister says the country will suspend a $324 million contract for COVID-19 vaccine from India that has mired President Jair Bolsonaro in accusations of irregularities, following guidance from the federal comptroller, the CGU. The deal to buy 20 million doses of Indian Bharat Biotech's Covaxin vaccine has become a headache for Bolsonaro after whistleblowers went public with alleged irregularities. One Health Ministry official said he alerted the president about his concerns.

A soldier disinfects an area under enhanced lockdown in Kuala Lumpur on June 29: The country will accept 1 million doses of COVID vaccines each from Japan and the U.S. this week.   © Reuters

3:33 p.m. Malaysia will receive 1 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines donated by Japan on Thursday, Khairy Jamaluddin, the country's science minster, tells reporters. Malaysia will receive another 1 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine donated by the U.S. on Friday, Khairy said.

3:32 p.m. Myanmar is negotiating to buy 7 million doses of Russia's Sputnik COVID-19 vaccine, as authorities in the Southeast Asian country face a new wave of coronavirus infections. In an interview with Russia's RIA news agency, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing said after initially planning to buy 2 million doses, Myanmar was now looking to buy 7 million.

2:00 p.m. International tourist arrivals are forecast to be stagnant this year, except in some Western markets, causing up to $2.4 trillion in losses, a U.N. study says. The report adds that the industry is not expected to rebound fully until 2023. COVID-19 vaccinations and certificates are key to restoring confidence in foreign tourism, which provides a lifeline for many countries, especially small island states that rely heavily on the sector to provide jobs, it says.

1:28 p.m. Thailand's policy rate is very low and liquidity in the banking system is ample and not impeding economic recovery, the central bank governor says, as the country struggles with a recent spike in infections. Financial measures introduced so far have been sufficient and the central bank is ready to implement more if necessary, Gov. Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput says in a video clip posted on the Bank of Thailand's YouTube channel. The key rate has been at a record low 0.50% since the middle of last year.

1:27 p.m. India records 45,951 cases in the last 24 hours, up from 37,566 the previous day, bringing the country total to 30.36 million. Fatalities rose by 817 -- the lowest daily increase since April 10 and the third straight day with under 1,000 deaths -- to 398,454.

11:34 a.m. Australia's New South Wales, the worst-hit state in the country's latest coronavirus outbreak, reports 22 new locally transmitted cases as four major cities endure a hard lockdown to contain the Delta variant. Around one in two Australians are under stay-at-home orders with Sydney under a two-week lockdown until July 9, while Perth, Brisbane and Darwin are in snap lockdowns until later this week. Tough restrictions, including mandatory masks and curbs on gatherings, have been enforced in most other major cities.

A person walks near a train stop devoid of passengers during rush hour in Sydney on June 30.   © Reuters

10:47 a.m. South Korea reports its highest daily infection figure in two months with 794 new cases, up from 595 a day ago. Its total infections have reached 156,961, with 2,018 deaths. Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol asked people in their 20s and 30s to maintain social-distancing rules, as cases are increasing sharply among younger people.

10:08 a.m. Thailand reports 53 new deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the total number of fatalities to 2,023 since the pandemic started last year. The country's COVID-19 task force also reported 4,786 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections to 259,301.

9:59 a.m. Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine shows promise in a lab study against the delta variant first identified in India, with a modest decrease in response compared with the original strain, the drugmaker says. The vaccine provoked an antibody response against all the variants tested, according to Moderna, but one that remained inferior in all cases to the vaccine's neutralizing activity against the original coronavirus strain first found in China.

9:30 a.m. Brazil's health regulator, Anvisa, has canceled a request for emergency use authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by China's CanSino Biologics after the laboratory cut ties with its Brazilian representative. The move follows a wave of scrutiny in Brazil of vaccine contracts negotiated by intermediaries, a common local practice. Federal prosecutors and Senate investigators are probing a deal for an Indian vaccine, with one senator accusing President Jair Bolsonaro on Monday of turning a blind eye to alleged irregularities. The president and companies involved in those talks have denied any wrongdoing.

4:30 a.m. United Airlines is preparing for a post-pandemic recovery in the travel industry, with plans to buy 270 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft as the U.S. carrier makes the largest combined order in its history.

The airline envisions adding 500 new, narrow-body aircraft over the next several years and retrofitting other planes as it increases North American routes and seating capacity. The carrier intends to boost passenger amenities with technology upgrades and more premium seats.

United anticipates creating 25,000 unionized jobs by 2026 at hubs including Newark and San Francisco with its new aircraft order, as well as lowering carbon emissions per seat, the Chicago-based carrier said Tuesday local time. The company did not reveal the price of the aircraft orders.

Tuesday, June 29

Police officers inform people about a shortage of coronavirus vaccines outside a vaccination center in Ahmedabad, India, on June 29.   © Reuters

8:40 p.m. The Indian government has approved U.S. pharmaceutical company Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. Moderna had applied for permission through its Indian partner, Cipla.

"This potentially opens up a clear possibility ... of this vaccine being imported into India in the near future," V.K. Paul, India's top adviser on COVID-19, tells reporters. "Our vaccine basket is now richer [with] this addition," he says, adding the government has also held talks with Pfizer.

India has now given restricted-use permission, or emergency-use authorization, for four vaccines. The three others are Covishield, known elsewhere as AstraZeneca; indigenously developed Covaxin; and Russia's Sputnik V.

6:00 p.m. Tokyo reports 476 new infections, up from 317 from a day earlier. The seven-day average of new cases in Japan's capital stands at 494, up 21.9% from a week ago, raising concerns of a rebound in cases.

5:40 p.m. Data from Myanmar's health ministry shows clear signs of a new wave of COVID-19 infections in a country already in turmoil from the February coup and the subsequent crackdown on protesters, including many health care workers. The junta-controlled Ministry of Health and Sports announced on Monday 1,225 new cases, the highest number since mid-December last year.

4:45 p.m. The Tokyo Olympic torch relay will be taken off public roads in most parts of the Japanese capital during the first eight days after the segment begins next week, the metropolitan government says, amid signs of a rebound in COVID-19 infections. Organizers will not hold the relay on public roads in Tokyo, excluding its small island areas, between July 9 and 16.

3:30 p.m. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has prolonged restrictions on movement and businesses in Manila and nearby provinces until mid-July, and retained stricter COVID-19 curbs in central and southern areas. Entertainment venues, amusement parks and contact sports are prohibited in the capital region and nearby provinces, while restaurants, gyms and indoor tourist attractions are allowed to operate at up to 40% capacity.

3:15 p.m. Taiwan reports 54 new domestic infections, down from 60 a day earlier. It was the smallest rise in the daily figure since May 15, when the government raised the alert level for Taipei and neighboring New Taipei City in the wake of a sudden spike of 180 domestic cases, from just 29 on May 14.

1:43 p.m. India logs 37,566 new cases in the last 24 hours, dropping under 40,000 for the first time since March 19 and bringing the country's total to over 30.3 million. Deaths rose by 907 -- remaining below 1,000 for the second straight day -- to 397,637.

12:29 p.m. Hong Kong will ban all passenger flights from the U.K., starting Thursday, to prevent the spread of the highly infectious delta variant, the government says. Anyone who has spent at least two hours in the U.K. in the past three weeks will be prohibited from boarding a flight to the city.

Vietnam's health ministry has approved Moderna's vaccine for emergency use, and Taiwan is set to receive a further 410,000 doses.   © Reuters

12:00 p.m. A further 410,000 doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in Taiwan on Wednesday, Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen says, further boosting the island's efforts to fight a cluster of local infections. Only around 8% of Taiwan's 23.5 million people have received at least one shot in the two-shot regimen, and the government has been under pressure to speed up deliveries of the millions of doses it has on order.

11:50 a.m. Vietnam's health ministry has approved Moderna's vaccine for emergency use, making it the country's fifth vaccine to be approved as authorities seek to accelerate an inoculation program. Vietnam has previously approved the AstraZeneca vaccine, Russia's Sputnik V, China's Sinopharm vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

11:35 a.m. Vietnam's gross domestic product increased 6.61% on the year in the April-June quarter, illustrating the nation's economic recovery, the government says. The economy continues to grow on strong exports of smartphones and other products, despite successive COVID-19 outbreaks among factory workers in northern Vietnam.

11:20 a.m. The Australian city of Perth began a snap four-day COVID-19 lockdown at midnight Monday, joining Sydney and Darwin as authorities struggle to contain fresh outbreaks of the highly infectious delta virus variant. Residents of Perth, Western Australia's capital, and the neighboring Peel region must stay home except for urgent reasons after officials detected a third case, linked to the outbreak in Sydney. Brisbane, the Queensland state capital, will also enter a three-day snap lockdown from Tuesday evening.

A new Sydney lockdown left train stations mostly deserted during the morning commute hour on June 28.   © Reuters

11:00 a.m. Japan's unemployment rate worsened to 3.0% in May, the highest level in five months, as a state of emergency over the pandemic was extended to more of the country, government data shows. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate rose from 2.8% in April, up for the second straight month. It had stayed in the upper half of the 2% range since logging 3.0% in December.

10:00 a.m. China reports 18 new cases for Monday, up from 21 a day earlier. All the new infections were imported cases. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, stood at 30, up from 22 a day earlier.

6:00 a.m. The resort island of Bali will begin offering all visitors coronavirus vaccines in a bid to boost tourist traffic. While a start date has not been given, the vaccine program will take a two-pronged approach. Domestic travelers will have free access to shots made by China's Sinovac Biotech and the U.K.'s AstraZeneca as part of a national program launched in January. Tourists coming from abroad will be able to receive vaccines made by China's Sinopharm, among others, which will likely come with a fee.

12:47 a.m. Turkey has halted flights and all direct travel from Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka due to new variants of the coronavirus, the Interior Ministry says.

Monday, June 28

11:53 p.m. India waives visa fees for 500,000 foreign visitors and extends a federal guarantee on bank loans to health and tourism services, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says, as the country boosts support for the pandemic-hit economy. The loan guarantees to businesses will expand to 4.5 trillion rupees ($60.7 billion) from an earlier limit of 3 trillion rupees.

8:25 p.m. Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has announced an additional 150 billion ringgit ($36.2 billion) aid package to help see the country through a nationwide lockdown his government has extended indefinitely. The measures include cash handouts, wage subsidies, loan moratoriums, tax breaks and other assistance, Reuters reports, adding to several support packages introduced since last year.

Malaysia's COVID-19 lockdown had been due to end on Monday, but the government on Sunday decided to keep it in place until daily cases drop below 4,000. The country logged 5,218 infections on Monday.

Testing for COVID-19 in Cyberjaya, Malaysia: The government is stepping up aid to help the economy weather a prolonged lockdown.   © Reuters

6:00 p.m. Indonesia has recommended the COVID-19 vaccine made by China's Sinovac Biotech for children above 12, a spokesman for its COVID-19 task force says. Vaccination for children will start once the country's food and drug agency approves the vaccine for emergency use. Indonesia has experienced a surge in infections and is ramping up its inoculation program.

5:30 p.m. AstraZeneca says it is on schedule to meet its commitments to supply coronavirus vaccines in Southeast Asia, after some initial delays in regional production and delivery. Thailand, which is manufacturing its vaccine locally, will have received its agreed quota of 6 million doses within this month, while export to other Southeast Asian countries will start early July, the drugmaker says.

In a statement, AstraZeneca Thailand said partner Siam Bioscience, owned by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, will produce 180 million doses this year, just over a third for Thailand and two-thirds for elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

3:30 p.m. Taiwan reports 60 new domestic infections, down from 88 a day earlier. It was the smallest rise in the daily figure since May 15, when the government raised the alert level for Taipei and its neighboring city in the wake of a sudden spike to 180 domestic cases from just 29 on May 14.

1:39 p.m. India posts 46,148 new infections in the last 24 hours, down from 50,040 the previous day, bringing the country total caseload to 30.28 million. Deaths rose by 979 to 396,730. This is the first time since April 13 that daily fatalities fell below 1,000.

A woman receives a shot of Sinovac Biotech's vaccine in the Philippines on June 21.   © Reuters

1:07 p.m. The Philippines has administered a little over 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with 7.5 million people receiving their first shot and 2.5 million completing their second, equivalent to roughly 2% of the population. The country, which has the second-worst outbreak in Southeast Asia after Indonesia, also received 1 million additional doses of Sinovac Biotech jabs today, bringing its total supply of the Chinese-made jab to 12 million doses. Including other brands, the Philippines has received a total of about 17.5 million doses.

11:00 a.m. South Korea reports 501 new infections, down from 614 a day earlier and posting a daily count of under 600 for the first time in six days. The country's totals have reached 155,572 cases with 2,015 deaths.

9:40 a.m. China reports 21 new cases for Sunday, up from 14 a day earlier, saying all new cases were imported and were spread over seven provinces and municipalities. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, stood at 22, up from 21 a day earlier.

Pedestrians wear protective masks in the center of Sydney, Australia, on June 26, 2021, the first day of a two-week lockdown.    © Reuters

9:30 a.m. Australia's Queensland state reintroduces mandatory masks and limited home gatherings, adding to increasing social distancing restrictions around the country as it battles an outbreak of the coronavirus. Sydney, Australia's most populous city, and Darwin, in the north, were locked down over the weekend as officials grapple to contain outbreaks of the highly contagious delta variant.

3:42 a.m. South Africa is tightening its COVID-19 restrictions for 14 days because current measures to contain the disease are not adequately preventing a rise in infections, President Cyril Ramaphosa says. Under the measures, all gatherings will be prohibited and there will be a curfew from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., and the sale of alcohol will be banned.

3:08 a.m. The U.S. has administered 323,327,328 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Sunday morning and distributed 381,282,720 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Those figures are up from the 322,123,103 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by June 26 out of 381,276,030 doses delivered.

As of Sunday, 179,261,269 people in the U.S. have received at least one jab, while 153,028,665 are fully vaccinated. The CDC totals include two-dose vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech as well as Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine.

A woman receives a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as South Africa rolls out the vaccination to the elderly at the Munsieville Care for the Aged Centre outside Johannesburg. 

Sunday, June 27

8:08 p.m. Taiwan's UBI Pharma says it will seek emergency-use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate after trials showed it was safe and effective. The company says that phase-two tests reveal no major adverse effects for its vaccine candidate, having generated a good immune response. Authorization documents will be sent to the government before the end of June.

The island has ordered some 20 million shots from Moderna, AstraZeneca and the WHO-backed, global-sharing COVAX scheme for lower-income countries. However, only about 7% of Taiwan's 23.5 million people have received at least one shot, with further supplies held up by global production problems.

7:57 p.m. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, who was admitted to hospital in the capital last week due to severe fatigue, will remain there for a few more days, the metropolitan government says, less than a month before the Tokyo Olympics begin.

The Tokyo government says Koike is unlikely to return to work on Monday, with doctors determining that she needs to continue resting. Officials said last week she would take time off from work for the remainder of the week because she needed rest. Koike was admitted to hospital last Tuesday.

5:51 p.m. Sajid Javid has been named the new British health minister. Javid tells BBC News his priority is to oversee a return to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic. His predecessor Matt Hancock resigned this weekend after he had admitted breaking COVID-19 guidance by kissing and embracing an aide in his office.

1:08 p.m. Malaysia will extend a national lockdown beyond Monday to curb the spread of COVID-19, state news agency Bernama reports, citing Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Lockdown measures are set to end on Monday. But Muhyiddin says they will not be eased until daily cases fall below 4,000, Bernama says.

12:46 p.m. Sydney begins a two-week lockdown as a cluster of cases of the delta variant rises to 110 in Australia's largest city, while an outbreak in the northern city of Darwin prompted a two-day stay-at-home order. Australia has been more successful in managing the pandemic than many other advanced economies, but the rapid rise in cases and exposure sites led the state government to impose a lockdown in which people can only leave home for essential shopping, work, education, exercise and medical care.

10:19 a.m. Thailand is implementing new restrictions centered around its capital from Monday in a bid to tackle the country's worst coronavirus outbreak to date. The new measures include a ban on restaurant dine-in services in Bangkok and five surrounding provinces, according to a document published in the country's royal gazette. Shopping malls in Bangkok and the five provinces must be closed by 9 p.m., and parties or celebrations, or activities involving a gathering of more than 20 people, will be banned for the same duration, the document says.

2:20 a.m. Britain's health minister Matt Hancock has resigned after admitting to breaking COVID-19 guidance by kissing and embracing an aide in his office, angering colleagues and the public during lockdown. Downing Street on Saturday published Hancock's resignation letter to Boris Johnson and the prime minister's response, which stated he was sorry to receive it.

Saturday, June 26

6:18 p.m. Indonesia records its biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases on Saturday with 21,095 cases, taking the total tally to 2,093,962, according to data from the country's health ministry. The data shows 358 new deaths overnight, taking that total to 56,729.

4:24 p.m. Taiwan reports its first domestically transmitted case of the delta variant on Saturday, tightening controls in a southern part of the island where the cases are. Six people in Pingtung County have been confirmed to have the delta variant, including two who returned this month from Peru, where they are suspected of bringing the infection from, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung says.

1:19 p.m. Sydney will enter a hard two-week lockdown on Saturday night as authorities try to contain a fast-spreading outbreak of the delta variant in Australia's largest city, the state premier says.

11:40 a.m. The Australian state of New South Wales reports 29 cases of local transmission, with the authorities signaling more restrictions may be imposed on partially locked-down Sydney as exposure sites have risen. Saturday's data takes the number of infections linked to the Bondi outbreak to 80.

11:33 a.m. The U.S. drug regulator has added a warning to the literature that accompanies Pfizer Inc /BioNTech and Moderna COVID vaccine shots to indicate the rare risk of heart inflammation after its use.

4:35 a.m. The head of the World Health Organization chastises countries for their reluctance to share COVID vaccine doses with low-income nations.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the situation in Africa -- where new infections and deaths jumped by nearly 40% last week -- is "so dangerous" as the delta variant spreads globally.

"The difference is between the haves and the have nots which is now completely exposing the unfairness of our world -- the injustice, the inequality, let's face it," he said.

"The problem now is a supply problem, just give us the vaccines," Tedros said.


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

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