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Coronavirus: Free to read

Coronavirus: Week of Oct. 11 to Oct. 17, Pfizer sees November end as earliest for vaccine

US budget deficit hit record $3.132tn; Wimbledon may not have spectators next year

A volunteer receives an experimental Chinese COVID-19 in Turkey. U.S. drugmaker Pfizer says it is nearing " an important data"  readout its own coronavirus vaccine program.   © Reuters

Nikkei Asia is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Follow the latest updates

Global cases have reached 39,206,895, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The worldwide death toll has hit 1,102,146.

To see how the disease has spread, view our virus tracker charts:



Saturday, October 17 (Tokyo time)

10:06 a.m. China reported 13 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for Oct. 16, compared with 24 cases a day earlier, the health commission said on Saturday. As of Friday, mainland China had 85,659 confirmed coronavirus cases, the health authority said. The COVID-19 death toll stands at 4,634.

7:51 a.m. Ratings agency Moody's cut the United Kingdom's debt rating to "Aa3" from "Aa2" on Friday over the huge economic hit from the coronavirus crisis, Brexit and the lack of clear budget plans from Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government.

6:31 a.m. Europe's tiny Andorra formally joined the International Monetary Fund on Friday, becoming the crisis lender's 190th member state as the tourism and trade-dependent principality struggles with the coronavirus pandemic.

5:20 a.m. Guitar sales have taken off in the U.S. during the pandemic. Homebound Americans seem to be putting more time and money into online music lessons.

Fender CEO Andy Mooney says the maker of the Stratocaster and other venerable models expects sales this year to grow by double digits to a record high. Many of the buyers are young beginners, and half of them are women and girls, Mooney says.

4:07 a.m. Total U.S. coronavirus cases have topped 8 million, with daily new infections approaching a peak set in July. The virus is spreading notably in battleground states for next month's presidential election.

3:58 a.m. The U.S. budget deficit hit a record $3.132 trillion during fiscal 2020, more than triple the 2019 shortfall due to massive coronavirus rescue spending, the U.S. Treasury said on Friday.

3:02 a.m. The U.S. government has signed agreements with pharmacy chains CVS Health and Walgreens Boot Alliance to administer COVID-19 vaccines to residents of long-term care facilities whenever a safe and effective vaccine is authorized, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says. Residents and staff of all long-term care facilities like nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential care homes and adult family homes across the country can get vaccinated at no out-of-pocket cost.

2:45 a.m. U.S. retail and food service sales grew 1.9% in September from the previous month, reaching around $550 billion and marketing a second month about pre-pandemic levels, the Commerce Department reports.

Sales of autos were notably strong. The data suggests a release of pent-up spending demand during March to May.

1:00 a.m. Pfizer says its application for approval of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate will not come until at least late November.

"Let me be clear, assuming positive data, Pfizer will apply for Emergency Authorization Use in the U.S. soon after the safety milestone is achieved in the third week of November," CEO Albert Bourla writes in an open letter on the American drugmaker's website.

That would put the availability of the potential immunization past the Nov. 3 U.S. election day. President Donald Trump has expressed hope for having a vaccine ready for the public before voting day.

Friday, October 16

11:00 p.m. Global COVID-19 cases have topped 39 million, with the death toll nearing 1.1 million, according to Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center.

9:30 p.m. Even as telework catches on in Japan, two of the country's top trading houses are telling employees to come back to the office, at least sometime.

Marubeni wants about 3,000 workers in Japan to report for work in person once a week. Sojitz requires almost its entire domestic workforce to work at the office half of the week.

7:36 p.m. The Wimbledon tennis tournament could be held next year without spectators amid the coronavirus pandemic, organizers of the grass court Grand Slam event say.

7:29 p.m. Malaysia reports 629 new infections, raising its cumulative tally to 18,758. The Southeast Asian country, which has imposed targeted lockdowns this month to rein in a new surge in cases, also records six deaths, bringing total fatalities to 176.

6:02 p.m. Christmas is coming, but Rovaniemi, Santa's home village in northern Finland, may not see the flocks of tourists who usually start to make merry there this year due to the pandemic, Reuters reports. Finland has adopted some of the strictest travel restrictions in Europe and most foreigners cannot enter the country.

Santa Claus talks to visitors behind a plexiglass screen at Santa Claus Village in the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, Finland, on Oct. 11. The normal flock of overseas tourists may be unable to visit the site in the months before Christmas this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.   © Reuters

5:15 p.m. Indonesia reports 4,301 cases, bringing the country total to 353,461 -- the highest in Southeast Asia. The country also reports 79 deaths, sending total fatalities to a region-high of 12,347.

5:00 p.m. The Philippines reports 3,139 cases and 34 deaths, bringing the country total to 351,750 infections and 6,531 deaths.

4:00 p.m. Tokyo reports 184 cases, down from 284 a day earlier, bringing the capital's total to 28,604.

3:45 p.m. The eastern Chinese city of Jiaxin is offering Sinovac Biotech's experimental vaccine to essential workers and other high-risk groups for about $60, Reuters reports. City health authorities said on WeChat that the recommended two doses of the vaccine candidate will cost 200 yuan ($29.75) per dose.

3:00 p.m. An outbreak in the Chinese city of Qingdao was traced to two infected dock workers, who had examinations at a local hospital that was found to be contaminated due to insufficient disinfection and protection measures, a city health official said. In response, Qingdao launched a city-wide test for the virus on Oct. 12, and expects to complete testing of all 9 million residents by Friday.

Vietnam's first Formula One race was scheduled to take place in April but has been canceled.   © Reuters

2:00 p.m. Vietnam's first Formula One grand prix is officially canceled. "This has been an extremely difficult but necessary decision to reach in view of the continued uncertainty caused by the global coronavirus pandemic," Vietnam Grand Prix Corp. says. The race was originally scheduled to take place in April.

1:11 p.m. India reports 63,371 new cases for the past 24 hours, down from 67,708 the previous day, bringing the country tally to 7.37 million. The death toll jumped by 895, to 112,161.

12:12 p.m. Japan will reduce airport landing fees by a record 45% on domestic flights through February as airlines struggle amid the pandemic. Transport Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said the decision was made due to an unprecedented fall in travel, and in an effort to help the country's air travel sector.

11:42 a.m. Fujifilm Holdings says it has applied for approval in Japan for its anti-influenza drug Avigan as a COVID-19 treatment. The company said last month a late-stage study of Avigan had shown reduced recovery times for patients with moderate symptoms. The application could be approved in November, according to industry sources.

9:50 a.m. Mining corporation Rio Tinto warns a resurgence of the pandemic is threatening a global recovery, as it posted a 4.6% drop in third-quarter shipments due to maintenance at Australia's Dampier Port. Several countries have imposed lockdowns amid a resurgence in COVID-19. "Data suggests that the rate of recovery in growth is slowing in most economies, with pent-up demand dissipating, and the rise of renewed lockdowns threatening recovery," Rio said.

9:20 a.m. China reports 24 cases for Thursday, compared with 10 a day earlier. All of the new infections were imported. There were also 10 asymptomatic patients, compared with 23 a day earlier.

8:24 a.m. U.S. cases topped 8 million on Thursday, rising by 1 million in less than a month. The country reported 60,000 infections on Wednesday, the highest since Aug. 14, with rising cases in every region, especially the Midwest. Since the pandemic started, over 217,000 people have died in the U.S. from COVID-19.

The drug remdesivir, one of the first treatments for COVID-19, was recently used to treat U.S. President Donald Trump's coronavirus infection.   © Reuters

8:17 a.m. Gilead's remdesivir had little or no effect on COVID-19 patients' length of hospital stay or survival, a trial by the World Health Organization has found. The organization's Solidarity trial evaluated the effects of four drugs -- remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, anti-HIV drug combination lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon -- in patients across more than 30 countries. Earlier this month, data from a U.S. study of remdesivir by Gilead showed the treatment cut COVID-19 recovery time by five days compared with patients who received a placebo in a trial with 1,062 patients.

2:55 a.m. Kirin Brewery will resume tours of its Yokohama brewery, but suds aficionados will not be able to watch the the process in which beer is put into cans due to precautionary measures. The tour time is also being cut back from 80 minutes to 60 minutes.

12:34 a.m. Panasonic will boost production of its air purifiers by 200% now that it expects sales of the products to reach roughly $100 million in the current fiscal year. Japanese A/C giant will start making air purifiers at home, and Sharp continue to ramp up production. All expect continued strong demand on growing awareness of the possibility of indoor infections from the coronavirus.

Thursday, October 15

9:00 p.m. Clinical trials of an experimental vaccine developed by France's Sanofi and the U.S. biotech firm Translate Bio are on track to begin before the end of the year after positive results in tests on animals, both companies said in a statement. The results from pre-clinical trials showed two doses of the MRT5500 vaccine induced a "favorable" immune response in mice and monkeys.

8:30 p.m. The World Health Organization's European director, Hans Kluge, urged European governments to impose strict measures to prevent infections. "It's time to step up. The message to governments is: don't hold back with relatively small actions to avoid the painful damaging actions we saw in the first round" in March and April, Kluge told an online media briefing.

7:52 p.m. Japan's Fast Retailing, which operates the Uniqlo chain, said Thursday it expects its earnings to hit a record high in the fiscal year ending in August 2021, after the coronavirus pandemic dragged down numbers this year.

7:24 p.m. Malaysia reports 589 new coronavirus cases, raising its cumulative tally to 18,129, the health ministry says. The country has imposed targeted lockdowns this month to rein in a new surge in infections. It has also recorded three deaths, bringing total fatalities to 170.

6:11 p.m. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. expects a 30% jump in revenue this year thanks to pandemic-driven demand for digital solutions and aggressive 5G smartphone launches. It expects revenue for the final quarter of 2020 to come in between $12.4 billion and $12.7 billion, TSMC says on Thursday.

Mask-wearers waiting to cross a railway line in Indonesia which now has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia.    © Reuters

6:00 p.m. Indonesia reports 4,411 new infections, taking its tally to 349,160, surpassing the Philippines to become the country in Southeast Asia with the highest number of cases. Indonesia also reports 112 new COVID-19 deaths, with total fatalities reaching 12,268.

5:05 p.m. The Philippines records 2,261 new infections and 50 additional deaths. Its total confirmed cases have risen to 348,698, while deaths reached 6,497, second only to Indonesia for the most COVID-19 deaths in Southeast Asia.

4:20 p.m. Hong Kong and Singapore will set up a travel bubble, the two cities announced, as they move to reestablish overseas travel links and lift the barrier of quarantines for visiting foreigners. Hong Kong's Commerce Secretary Edward Yau and Singapore's Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said travelers under the scheme would need to have tested negative for COVID-19 and travel on dedicated flights.

2:30 p.m. The Czech Republic reports 9,544 new cases, its highest one-day tally since the pandemic started, Health Ministry data shows. The number of cases detected since the outbreak has nearly doubled in October alone, to 139,290, as the country of 10.7 million people faces one of the world's largest surges in infections.

2:00 p.m. The Chinese city of Qingdao says it has suspended the head of its health commission and fired a hospital director following an outbreak of coronavirus infections that ended China's run of about two months without reporting a local case. The northeastern coastal city has reported 13 recent infections, most of them linked to the Qingdao Chest Hospital, where infected travelers arriving from overseas had been treated in an isolation area.

China's domestic aviation market has bounced back to where it was before the pandemic.   © Reuters

1:30 p.m. The number of passenger flights in China last month topped year-earlier levels, official data shows, with passenger numbers coming close to 2019 levels. There were 371,000 domestic passenger flights in September, up 3.5% from a year earlier, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China. Domestic passenger numbers reached 47.75 million, or 98% of the year-earlier level.

1:17 p.m. India reports 67,708 new cases in the past 24 hours, up from 63,509 the previous day, pushing the country total over 7.3 million. The death toll jumped by 680 to 111,266.

12:59 p.m. China and the Philippines have agreed to set up a fast-track lane for essential personnel exchanges, the Chinese embassy in Manila says. The lane will facilitate the movement of personnel involved in trade, infrastructure, logistics, production and technical services.

11:40 a.m. Germany posts a record daily increase in coronavirus infections, adding 6,638 cases and bringing the total to 341,223, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases shows. Germany's previous record daily increase was 6,294 on March 28.

10:50 a.m. China's producer price index fell 2.1% in September versus a year earlier, government data shows, compared with a 2.0% drop in August. Meanwhile, the consumer price index rose 1.7% from a year earlier in September, compared with a 2.4% rise in August.

10:45 a.m. Australia's jobless rate ticked up to 6.9% in September from 6.8% in August, official data shows, in a sign the virus-hit economy is still struggling despite massive stimulus. Employment fell by 29,500 in September, after jumping by a solid 111,000 in August.

10:24 a.m. South Korea confirms 110 new cases, up from 84 a day ago. It infection count has reached 24,988, with 439 deaths.

9:40 a.m. China reports 11 new cases on Wednesday, down from 20 a day earlier. The National Health Commission said 10 of the cases were infections originating from overseas, compared with 14 a day earlier. One new local infection was reported in Qingdao, where the city government is seeking to test every person this week due to recent cases linked to a hospital treating imported infections.

5:50 a.m. German Chancellor Angela Merkel urges young people to do their part to halt the spread of the coronavirus after private parties were repeatedly blamed for localized outbreaks in German cities. "We must call especially on young people to do without a few parties now in order to have a good life tomorrow or the day after," Merkel said.

5:30 a.m. French President Emmanuel Macron orders a curfew Wednesday for a third the French population to tackle a second wave of coronavirus infections. The curfew will take effect on Saturday and run nightly from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following morning. On Wednesday, France reported 22,591 new cases, the third time in six days the daily COVID tally has breached 20,000.

5:15 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump's 14-year-old son Barron has tested positive for COVID-19 but exhibited no symptoms, after both of his parents contracted the virus, first lady Melania Trump said Wednesday. "Luckily he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms," Melania Trump said in a statement.

4:00 a.m. Japan Tobacco will sell its 35-story Tokyo tower building to Sumitomo Realty & Development in a deal worth tens of billions of yen. The sale has drawn attention as the pandemic clouds the prospects for future demand for office buildings.

3:20 a.m. The parent of the Straits Times, Singapore Press Holdings, reports its first net loss of 83.7 million Singapore dollars ($61.6 million) for the financial year ended Aug. 31 as COVID-19 took a big bite out of all its business segments.

3:10 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump promises to ready 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year in a speech delivered virtually to the Economic Club of New York and other economic clubs.

"Under operation warp speed we are on track to deliver at least 100 million doses of a vaccine before year's end -- with hundreds of millions more to quickly follow," Trump says.

3:00 a.m. Financial leaders from the Group of 20 major economies agree to give a six-month extension for debt repayments by emerging economies struggling with the economic impact of the pandemic.

2:43 a.m. France declares a public health state of emergency, giving officials greater powers to impose measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

1:19 a.m. The head of the World Bank calls for $25 billion in additional financing to help the world's poorest countries cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

David Malpass tells finance ministers and central bank governors of the G20 major economies that he will propose the package later this month.

Wednesday, October 14

The IMF predicts total government debt will equal global economic output this year due to the pandemic.   © Reuters

10:20 p.m. Massive government spending to battle the coronavirus pandemic will push the world's public debt to a record of nearly 100% of global economic output this year, the International Monetary Fund says.

But the fund says the run-up will be a one-off event if growth rebounds next year,

"What we see is a one off, jump up of debt in 2020, then stabilization after 2021, and even a slight downward trend in 2025," IMF Fiscal Affairs Director Vitor Gaspar tells Reuters.

8:23 p.m. Moscow says Russia will resume flights to Japan, Cuba and Serbia. The government has authorized three flights a week to Tokyo.

7:32 p.m. Malaysia reports 660 new coronavirus cases and four more deaths, as the capital tightens restrictions on movement for two weeks. More than half the new infections are in Sabah, a state under lockdown.

6:08 p.m. SoftBank has teamed with logistics company Nippon Express on a truck-fleet management service for small freight operators, Nikkei has learned. The service is seen as helping Japan as it deals with a chronic driver shortage.

An Aeroflot Airbus A320-200 plane lands at Sheremetyevo International Airport outside Moscow on March 4.   © Reuters

5:21 p.m. Indonesia reports 4,127 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, bringing its total number of cases to 344,749, data from its COVID-19 task force show. The country has also recorded 129 new deaths, the highest daily increase since Sept. 30.

5:19 p.m. The Philippines records 1,910 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the lowest number in more than three weeks, and 78 more fatalities. In a bulletin, the health ministry said the country's confirmed infections had climbed to 346,536, while its death toll had risen to 6,449.

4:28 p.m. Malaysia's royal palace postpones all meetings for two weeks in response to new coronavirus curbs, likely putting off a decision on a bid by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to form a new government. Anwar met King Al-Sultan Abdullah on Tuesday to try to show he has a "convincing" parliamentary majority to form a government, sparking a fresh bout of political wrangling just months after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin took office.

3:32 p.m. Thai biopharmaceutical company Siam Bioscience signs an agreement to partner with U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca to produce and supply potential COVID-19 vaccine AZD1222, developed by the University of Oxford, for Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia.

3:07 p.m. Tokyo reports 177 new coronavirus infections, up from 166 a day earlier, bringing the Japanese capital's total to 28,136.

1:00 p.m. India's official coronavirus infection count rose by 63,509 in the last 24 hours, reaching 7.24 million on Wednesday, according to the health ministry. Deaths from COVID-19 rose by 730 to 110,586, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund forecasts the country's gross domestic product will shrink 10.3% this year, revising its June forecast for a 4.5% drop down sharply. However, it expects the economy to bounce back next year, predicting growth of 8.8%.

12:44 p.m. Several coronavirus clusters have emerged in Australia's two most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria, officials said on Wednesday, prompting New South Wales, which includes Sydney, to delay easing some restrictions.

10:29 a.m. South Korea confirms 84 new coronavirus cases, down from 102 a day earlier. The country's total infections have reached 24,889, with 438 deaths.

9:42 a.m. South Korea's central bank keeps its policy rate steady at an all-time low of 0.5% on Wednesday as it seeks to keep a lid on red-hot property prices even as the coronavirus-hit economy continues to suffer.

9:06 a.m. Singapore's economy shrank 7% on the year in the July to September period, preliminary data showed on Wednesday, marking a third consecutive quarter of contraction due to the coronavirus pandemic.

8:25 a.m. The World Bank says its executive board approved on Tuesday $12 billion in new funding for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments. The financing plan is a part of $160 billion in total funding that the multilateral development lender has pledged to developing countries through June 2021 to help them fight the coronavirus pandemic.

5:57 a.m. Malaysia will be one of the priority recipients of China-made coronavirus vaccines currently under development, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Tuesday during a visit to Kuala Lumpur.

5:21 a.m. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki tests negative for COVID-19, a government spokesman says on Twitter. He had gone into quarantine earlier after contact with an infected individual.

4:12 a.m. Dustin Johnson, the world's No. 1 golf player, has tested positive for COVID-19, the PGA Tour says.

Eli Lilly's offices in San Diego, California.   © Reuters

3:50 a.m. Eli Lilly's U.S.-government-sponsored clinical trial of a COVID-19 antibody treatment has halted for a "potential safety concern," The New York Times reports, citing emails from government officials.

1:55 a.m. Global economic losses from COVID-19 will total up to $28 trillion in the six years to 2025, compared with pre-pandemic trends, the International Monetary Fund projects in its latest World Economic Outlook.

The IMF now expects the global economy to shrink 4.4% in 2020, a 0.8 percentage point upgrade from its June estimate. Fiscal spending by nations worldwide has helped cushion the impact of the pandemic, but this year's projected contraction is still far worse than the 0.1% drop in 2009 during the global financial crisis.

Tuesday, October 13

11:45 p.m. Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, captain of the Portuguese national team and one of the world's highest-paid athletes, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the local soccer body.

9:55 p.m. Vaxart says it had begun an early-stage study testing its oral tablet COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which the drug developer hopes would be a viable alternative to injectable vaccines, reports Reuters. VXA-CoV2-1 is a room temperature stable oral tablet unlike some rival vaccine candidates including the one by Moderna, which requires exceptional cold storage.

8:45 p.m. The latest world leader to have a brush with COVID-19 is Poland's prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, who says he has gone into quarantine after contact with an infected individual, Reuters reports. The same day, the country logs over 5,000 new cases in a 24-hour period for the second time since the pandemic began.

A migrant worker waits for COVID-19 test results in Singapore: For the first time since March, dorms for such workers have produced no new cases.   © Reuters

7:50 p.m. Singapore confirms four new cases -- all imported -- with no additional infections within the community or from migrant worker dormitories. This is the first time since March 25 that the dorms have produced no new cases. The facilities, known for their cramped quarters, are responsible for the vast majority of the city-state's 57,884 cases.

6:00 p.m. Indonesia reports 3,906 new infections, up from 3,267 a day earlier, bringing the country's total to 340,622. It also reports 92 new deaths, pushing the tally to 12,027, the region's highest number.

5:05 p.m. The Philippines reports 1,990 new infections, the lowest number in three weeks, and 40 additional deaths. Total confirmed cases in the country have risen to 344,713, the highest number in Southeast Asia, while deaths total 6,372.

4:40 p.m. Russia's infections rose by 13,868, a new daily record, pushing the total number to 1,326,178. The previous high of 13,634 new cases was registered on Sunday. The country also reports a record daily increase of 244 deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the total to 22,966.

3:30 p.m. Automobile sales in China rose 12.8% in September from the same month a year earlier for the sixth straight monthly increase. Sales reached 2.57 million vehicles last month, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers' data. Auto insiders refer to "Golden September, Silver October," regarding those months as the high season for China sales as drivers venture out to make purchases after staying away during the stifling summer.

1:07 p.m. India reports 55,342 new cases for the past 24 hours, the lowest daily count in nearly two months, bringing the country total to 7.18 million. The death toll jumped by 706 to 109,856.

12:35 p.m. China's imports grew at their fastest pace this year in September, while exports extended their strong gains as more trading partners lifted coronavirus restrictions, customs data show. Imports surged 13.2%, returning to growth from a slump of 2.1% in August. Exports rose 9.9% from a year earlier, up from a solid 9.5% increase in August.

11:00 a.m. Malaysia's government has approved a 1 billion ringgit ($242 million) loan as a lifeline to budget carrier AirAsia Group as it struggles to contain the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Nikkei Asia has learned.

11:00 a.m. South Korea reports 102 cases, marking the first triple-digit increase in six days. Daily infections had mostly fallen into the double digits over the past two weeks, prompting the government to relax social distancing rules this week.

10:20 a.m. U.S. multinational Johnson & Johnson has paused clinical trials for its vaccine due to an unexplained illness in a participant. The ailment is being evaluated by an independent monitoring board as well as its own physicians, the company said in a statement.

10:10 a.m. China reports its first locally transmitted infections in nearly two months, as Qingdao launched a city-wide testing drive after discovering cases linked to a hospital treating imported cases. The National Health Commission said 13 infections were reported on Oct. 12, down from 21 a day earlier. Seven of the cases originated overseas, while all six local infections were from the province of Shandong, where Qingdao is located.

9:30 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail on Monday since being diagnosed with COVID-19, appearing at an outdoor rally without a mask. Trump talked about his recovery. "I went through [the disease] now. They say I'm immune. I feel so powerful," he told supporters standing shoulder to shoulder, most without masks.

6:39 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump tests negative for COVID-19 and is not infectious to others, his White House physician says. In a memo, Dr. Sean Conley said Trump had tested negative on consecutive days using an Abbott Laboratories antigen card. The doctor said the tests and other data "indicate a lack of detectable viral replication."

6:00 a.m. Japan's first clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine is underway inside Osaka University Hospital. Some of the small-scale results, along with those from another university, are expected within the next month or so and will determine whether a larger trial can be held in November involving 500 people.

4:09 a.m. India announces new measures to boost domestic demand by about 730 billion rupees ($9.95 billion) as Asia's third-largest economy continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

2:52 a.m. Spain has reported nearly 28,000 new coronavirus cases since Friday, bringing the cumulative total to 888,968, reports Reuters, citing health ministry data.

12:20 a.m. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposes a tiered system of further restrictions on parts of England including closing some pubs as the COVID-19 outbreak accelerates.

Johnson's three-tier system, announced in parliament, is an attempt to standardize a patchwork of often complicated and confusing restrictions imposed across England.

Monday, October 12

8:15 p.m. Thailand's Ministry of Public Health and Siam Bioscience have agreed to manufacture and supply AstraZeneca's experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the Southeast Asian country, the British government says.

7:48 p.m. Malaysia imposes a two-week restriction on movement in the largest city, Kuala Lumpur, the seat of government, Putrajaya, and the state of Selangor, effective Oct. 14. The orders come in response to a spike in coronavirus cases in the country, with the total reaching nearly 16,000.

Passengers wait to board a bus in Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 2: Malaysia will impose restrictions on movement starting Oct. 14, as COVID-19 cases surge.   © Reuters

4:40 p.m. Russia reports 13,592 new cases, near a single-day day record and pushing the official tally to 1,312,310. Officials also said 125 people had died in the previous 24 hours, raising the death toll to 22,722.

3:06 p.m. Tokyo reports 78 new infections, down from 146 a day earlier, bringing the capital's total to 27,793.

2:00 p.m. South Korean drugmaker Celltrion says it has received approval for Phase 3 clinical trials of an experimental COVID-19 treatment. This comes as the company plans to seek conditional approval for its CT-P59 antibody drug for emergency use by the end of this year. The trials will involve about 1,000 asymptomatic patients and those who have come into close contact with infected individuals.

1:14 p.m. India reports 66,732 cases in the last 24 hours, down from 74,383 the previous day, bringing the country total to 7.12 million. The death toll jumped by 816 to 109,150.

12:20 p.m. New Zealand signs a deal to buy 1.5 million vaccine doses from Pfizer and BioNTech, with delivery scheduled for as early as the first quarter of 2021. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the government's first vaccine purchase will cover 750,000 people. Officials said talks were underway with other drug companies for more vaccines to cover the country's entire population of 5 million.

11:15 a.m. The Chinese city of Qingdao will test its entire population of 9 million over five days, after new cases appeared linked to a hospital, Reuters reports. The city reported six new infections and six asymptomatic cases as of Sunday night. Most were linked to Qingdao Chest Hospital. The central government's reporting of 21 new cases for Oct. 11 was published after Qingdao's announcement, but did not include the city's infections. It is not clear why this was done.

10:30 a.m. The new coronavirus can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers say. In a study published in Virology Journal, researchers at Australia's national science agency said that at a temperature of 20 C, SARS-COV-2 remained infectious on smooth surfaces.

10:24 a.m. South Korea reports 97 cases, up from 58 a day ago, bringing the country total to 24,703 and 433 deaths. The government loosened social distancing rules from today, reopening ballparks capped at 30% of capacity as well as lifting a ban on nightclubs and bars.

9:40 a.m. Singapore and Indonesia agree to reopen borders to each other for business and official travel. Indonesia has recorded over 333,000 cases -- the second-highest in Southeast Asia -- and its capital Jakarta has been under strict social curbs. Singapore is reporting only a few infections daily. Travelers will be subject to pre- and post-travel tests, both countries said in a joint statement.

9:36 a.m. China reports 21 new cases for Sunday, matching the number of new cases a day earlier. All of the new cases were imported infection that originated from overseas. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not count as confirmed cases, rose to 32 from 23 a day earlier.

8:53 a.m. Japan's core machinery orders unexpectedly rose in August from the previous month, posting a second straight month of gains, government data shows. Core machinery orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as an indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, grew 0.2% in August after a 6.3% rise in July.

U.S. President Donald Trump takes off his face mask as he emerges onto a White House balcony to speak to supporters in Washington on Oct. 10.   © Reuters

2:09 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump says he is fully recovered from COVID-19 and will not be a risk to others. "I beat this crazy, horrible China virus," he told Fox News, adding "it seems like I'm immune."

Sunday, October 11

7:55 p.m. Japan's cumulative case total reached 90,099, including about 700 from the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship that was quarantined near Tokyo in February, according to Kyodo. On Sunday, 437 cases were reported while the death toll climbed to 1,643.

7:22 p.m. Malaysia reports 561 cases, the bulk of them in the state of Sabah, which has already seen infections surge over the past few weeks. This brings the country total to 15,657 cases and 157 deaths.

5:04 p.m. Indonesia reports 4,497 cases and 79 deaths, the fewest daily fatalities since Sept. 27. This brings the country total in Southeast Asia's biggest economy to 333,449 cases and 11,844 deaths.

4:20 p.m. South Korea said on Sunday it will begin relaxing social distancing rules today, allowing the reopening of night entertainment businesses and sports facilities, as cases have been decreasing in recent weeks. The new rules mean that nightclubs and karaoke bars can reopen and limited audiences will be allowed at sports events, such as the country's top baseball league. But stricter rules will be maintained in the heavily populated Seoul region and for high-risk activities, including religious gatherings and door-to-door sales.

3:26 p.m. Jakarta will kick off a two-week "transition" period of eased coronavirus curbs from Monday, Gov. Anies Baswedan said. The capital of Indonesia reimposed tougher social restrictions from mid-September. The new policy allows employees of nonessential businesses to work from offices, but at half capacity. Restaurants must limit eat-in diners to 50% of capacity.

3:06 p.m. India reports topping 7 million cases after seeing 74,383 infections in the last 24 hours, even as the spread eased in western states such as Maharashtra. Deaths rose 918 over the same period to reach 108,334.

10:15 a.m. China reports 21 cases for Oct. 10, up from 15 a day earlier. All new cases were imported infections involving overseas travelers. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed, fell to 23 from 39 a day earlier, all of which were imported.

6:29 a.m. Brazil reports 26,749 cases and 559 deaths over the last 24 hours, bringing the country total to 5,082,637 cases and 150,198 deaths.

Saturday, October 10

11:23 p.m. Myanmar reports 2,158 cases -- a record daily high -- and 32 deaths. A total of 26,064 cases and 598 deaths have been reported in the country, the vast majority since a second wave began in mid-August.

7:33 p.m. Malaysia reports 374 cases -- slightly up from the previous day -- as officials ramp up contact tracing in the state of Sabah, which has seen a surge over the past few weeks. This brings the country total to 15,096 cases and 155 deaths.

5:18 p.m. Indonesia reports 4,294 cases, bringing the country total to 328,952. The country also reports 88 deaths -- the lowest daily number in a week -- bringing the total number of deaths to 11,765.

5:06 p.m. The Philippines reports 2,249 cases and 87 deaths, bringing the country total to 336,926 infections -- the most in Southeast Asia -- and 6,238 deaths.

To catch up on earlier developments, see last week's latest updates.

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