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Coronavirus: Free to read

Coronavirus: Week of Sept. 5 to Sept. 11, Daily cases in New Zealand more than double

Vietnam approves UAE-made Chinese jab Hayat-Vax; Toyota cuts production goal

A medical worker administers a COVID-19 test at a testing clinic in Auckland on Aug. 26.    © 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 223,790,289, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The worldwide death toll has hit 4,616,142.

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

-- Global coronavirus tracker charts

-- Status of vaccinations around the world

-- World map of spreading mutated strains

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

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UPDATES CLOSED

Saturday, Sept. 11 (Tokyo time)

11:30 a.m. New Zealand says the country has detected 23 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours. The new infections, all in the epicenter of Auckland, were up from the 11 cases detected a day earlier, according to Reuters.

Friday, Sept. 10

11:30 p.m. The world's poorest countries ask for more help to meet requirements and costs tied to vaccinations and quarantines so they can take part in next month's global climate conference in Scotland.

Around 20 nations such as Ethiopia, Haiti and Bangladesh are on Britain's coronavirus "red list," which means their delegates must quarantine in a hotel for up to 10 days before attending the COP 26 talks. Britain has said it will pay the quarantine costs of delegates from red list countries, and has cut the time to five days from 10 for those who are vaccinated.

"Our countries and our people are among the worst affected by climate change," says Sonam Phuntsho Wangdi of Bhutan, chair of the group of the 46 Least Developed Countries. "We must not be excluded from talks deciding how the world will deal with this crisis, determining the fate of our lives and livelihoods."

11:18 p.m. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says clinical trials testing COVID-19 vaccines for children are expected to include a monitoring period of at least two months after half the participants get the shots to ensure safety, reports Reuters.

6:00 p.m. Vietnam has approved the Hayat-Vax coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, the seventh to be endorsed in the country, the government says. The vaccine, which is identical to the Sinopharm jab from China, is manufactured in the United Arab Emirates.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in March display the Sinopharm vaccine, which the Middle Eastern country now produces as Hayat-Vax.

4:50 p.m. Taro Kono, Japan's popular coronavirus vaccination minister, announces his candidacy to lead the ruling party and, by extension, become the next prime minister, highlighting his image as an outspoken reformer with a conservative streak. Kono becomes the third candidate to throw their hat in the ring for the leadership of the Liberal Democratic Party, along with former foreign minister Fumio Kishida and former internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi.

4:10 p.m. Toyota Motor cuts its annual production target by 300,000 vehicles as a slowdown at pandemic-hit parts factories in Vietnam and Malaysia added to the pain of a global shortage of auto chips. "It's a combination of the coronavirus and semiconductors, but at the moment it is the coronavirus that is having the overwhelming impact," said Kazunari Kumakura, an executive at the automaker, after the company revised its production target. Toyota now expects to build 9 million vehicles in the year to March 31, rather than 9.3 million.

3:11 p.m. Japan's blue-chip Nikkei Stock Average index rose over 370 points, or 1.25%, on Friday to close at its highest in seven months. The benchmark ended higher after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday that the government plans to relax some COVID restrictions starting in autumn, including allowing restaurants to serve alcohol. Hopes for economic stimulus also continue to support the market as the country heads into election season.

Resorts on the Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc will reopen for a six-month trial period starting in October.   © Reuters

2:00 p.m. Vietnam plans to reopen the resort island of Phu Quoc to foreign tourists from October, as the country tries to revive an economy suffering from extended lockdowns. The island, 10 km off the coast of Cambodia, is expected to open for a trial period of six months. Fully vaccinated tourists with a negative COVID test will be eligible to visit Phu Quoc and can fly there on chartered or commercial flights.

1:30 p.m. Malaysia's industrial production fell more than expected to 5.2% in July from a year earlier, government data shows. Industrial production during the month was expected to dip 1.9%, according to 12 economists surveyed in a Reuters poll. In June, the index was up 1.4%.

12:00 p.m. New Zealand reports 11 cases, all in its biggest city Auckland, which is still under lockdown, as the country tries to limit spread of the delta variant. Daily infections were down from the 13 recorded on Thursday and the lowest this week, bringing the total number of cases during the current outbreak that started in mid-August to 879.

Sydney's Central Station stands mostly empty during the state capital's lockdown on Sept. 9.   © Reuters

11:00 a.m. Australia's New South Wales state, home to Sydney, reports 1,542 locally acquired cases -- its biggest single-day rise. Meanwhile, Victoria state reports 334 locally acquired cases in its biggest single-day rise this year, with the majority of cases confirmed in Melbourne. Officials have announced plans to end the lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne in the coming weeks, despite infections continuing to rise in the country's two biggest cities.

10:00 a.m. China reports 17 cases for Thursday, down from 28 a day earlier. None of the new infections were locally transmitted. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, stood at 21, all of which were imported from abroad.

4:30 a.m. Moderna says it is developing a single vaccine that combines a booster dose against COVID-19 with an experimental flu shot. The drugmaker already has several influenza vaccine candidates in development. The new vaccine combines an experimental flu shot that is furthest along in development with its COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna hopes to eventually offer vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus and other respiratory diseases as an annual shot.

Moderna has a number of flu vaccines under development, one of which it hopes to combine with its COVID-19 vaccine.   © Reuters

4:00 a.m. People arriving in European Union destinations from Japan and five other countries face the prospect of tighter coronavirus controls after the nations were removed from the bloc's safe travel list. EU member states agreed to drop Japan, along with Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brunei and Serbia, the European Council says. EU members can determine their own policies for handling travelers from these countries, including COVID-19 tests and quarantines. Twelve countries are now on the safe list, including Australia and Saudi Arabia, with Hong Kong and Macao also considered safe.

2:30 a.m. Microsoft has shelved tentative plans to fully reopen its Redmond headquarters on Oct. 4, citing the murky outlook for the coronavirus.

"Given the uncertainty of COVID-19, we've decided against attempting to forecast a new date for a full reopening of our U.S. work sites in favor of opening U.S. work sites as soon as we're able to do so safely based on public health guidance," according to an entry in a company blog.

Thursday, Sept. 9

6:00 p.m. Japan is extending the COVID-19 state of emergency again for Tokyo and many other areas as hospitals remain stretched despite a falling number of infections. The state of emergency covering 21 of Japan's 47 prefectures had been slated to end Sunday but will remain in place through Sept. 30 for 19 prefectures, including Hokkaido, Aichi, Osaka and Fukuoka.

Thai consumer confidence hit a record low in August as COVID continues to spread in the country amid anti-government protests.   © Reuters

4:00 p.m. Thai consumer confidence dropped to a record low of 39.6 in August, hurt by stricter coronavirus containment measures that slowed economic activity, according to a survey by the Thai Chamber of Commerce. The restrictions were imposed in July and August but have been eased from this month as the country tries to support a struggling economy.

The August number was down from July's 40.9, as political uncertainty amid growing anti-government protests dented consumer confidence.

2:00 p.m. India reports 43,263 new cases in the last 24 hours, up from 37,875 the previous day, pushing the cumulative total to 33.14 million. Deaths rose by 338 to 441,749.

12:10 p.m. Sydney's cafes, restaurants and pubs are set to reopen in the second half of October after months of strict COVID-19 lockdown, according to an exit road map published by New South Wales state officials. They said bars, eateries and gyms will be able to reopen at reduced capacity within days of the state reaching a 70% double-vaccination target, now expected around mid-October. Stay-at-home orders for the fully vaccinated will be lifted on Monday after the target is achieved, the officials said.

Sydney's bars, eateries and gyms will be able to reopen at reduced capacity within days of New South Wales reaching a 70% double-vaccination target, now expected around mid-October.   © Reuters

The plans come as daily infections linger near record levels in New South Wales amid a spread of the highly transmissible delta variant, with the state registering 1,405 new local cases on Thursday, down from 1,480 a day earlier. Five new deaths were recorded.

11:00 a.m. China's factory gate inflation hit a 13-year high in August, as commodity prices remained elevated despite Beijing's attempts to cool them. The producer price index, or PPI, rose 9.5% from a year earlier in August, the government says -- faster than the 9.0% increase tipped in a Reuters poll and the 9.0% reported in July. That was the fastest pace since August 2008.

10:30 a.m. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the government has reached a deal with Spain to receive more than 250,000 additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The doses will arrive in Auckland on Friday, she said. Meanwhile, the country reports 13 new cases, bringing the total number in the latest delta outbreak to 868.

1:12 a.m. Low-income countries are ready to run effective COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, and it is up to manufacturers and rich countries to deliver the pledged doses, the World Health Organization says. WHO aims for every country to vaccinate at least 40% of its people by the end of 2021, but the global program providing vaccines to poor countries is on track to fall nearly 30% short of its previous goal of 2 billion shots this year.

Prices for commodities such as copper remain high in China despite efforts to lower them.   © Reuters

About 80% of the 5.5 billion doses administered globally have gone to high- and upper-middle-income countries, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tells reporters.

"We have heard excuses from manufacturers and some high-income countries about how low-income countries cannot absorb vaccines," he says, adding almost all low-income countries have demonstrated an ability to run large-scale immunization campaigns for polio, measles and other diseases.

12:20 a.m. Europe's medicines regulator adds an extremely rare nerve-damaging disorder, Guillain-Barre syndrome, as a possible side effect of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine. The agency says a causal relationship between GBS and the AstraZeneca shot known as Vaxzevria is "a reasonable possibility" after 833 cases were reported out of 592 million doses given worldwide by July 31.

The regulator categorizes the side effect as "very rare" -- the lowest frequency -- and emphasizes that the benefits of the shot outweigh the risks.

12:11 a.m. The COVAX program providing coronavirus vaccines to poor countries cuts the target for this year to 1.425 billion doses, down from 2 billion, as it is on track to fall nearly 30% short of its earlier goal. The reduction is blamed on factors including export restrictions on the Serum Institute of India, a major supplier.

12:01 a.m. Japan looks to shorten quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers entering the country from two weeks to 10 days as early as this month, opening the door to easier business travel. The reduced isolation period would apply only to those who have received vaccines accepted for use in Japan: the Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca shots. The change will be included in a set of measures due out Thursday designed to ease coronavirus-related restrictions as Japan's inoculation campaign makes headway.

Wednesday, Sept. 8

3:05 p.m. Japan's blue-chip Nikkei Stock Average climbs 0.9%, closing above the 30,000 mark at its highest level in almost six months. The benchmark advanced for eight consecutive trading sessions -- the longest stretch since November 2020 -- buoyed by economic stimulus hopes as the country heads into election season. The yen weakened against the U.S. dollar, prompting investors to buy shares of exporters such as automakers.

1:31 p.m. India reports 37,875 new infections in the last 24 hours, up from 31,222 the previous day, pushing the country's cumulative caseload to 33.1 million. Deaths rose from 290 a day before to 369, bringing the total number of fatalities to 441,411.

1:06 p.m. Singapore opens a new travel corridor that allows people who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus to enter the country without undergoing quarantine, a move the government sees as a crucial step to its economic recovery. The new scheme, called the Vaccinated Travel Lane, will first cover travelers from Germany and Brunei. Most arrivals are expected to be from the European country, given the size of its economy. Germany was chosen first due to its high vaccination rate, relatively stable COVID situation and connections to the city-state.

12:21 p.m. Indonesia's consumer confidence index fell further in August to 77.3, from 80.2 the previous month, as consumers' perception of the economy weakened despite some relaxation of COVID-19 curbs, a central bank survey showed on Wednesday. A reading below 100 indicates pessimism.

12:08 p.m. Three-quarters of people over the age of 16 in Australia's New South Wales have now had at least their first vaccination dose, the state reported on Wednesday. Australia has locked down Sydney and Melbourne, its largest cities, after outbreaks of the highly infectious delta variant in June ended months of little or no community transmission. Australia now aims to live with, rather than eliminate, the virus once the country achieves broad vaccine coverage of about 70% of its adult population of 20.6 million, a goal it expects to reach by early November based on current rates.

10:54 a.m. Japan's blue-chip Nikkei Stock Average climbs 0.6% in early morning trade, at one point reaching a five-month high. The benchmark has topped the 30,000 mark for two consecutive days, buoyed by economic stimulus hopes as the country heads into election season. The yen weakened against the U.S. dollar, prompting investors to buy shares of exporters such as automakers.

10:13 a.m. Australia's New South Wales reports 1,480 locally acquired cases, up from 1,220 a day earlier, as first-dose vaccination rates among the state's adult population topped 75%. Nine new deaths were reported, including a man in his 20s, bringing total fatalities in the latest outbreak to 148. A total of 1,136 people are hospitalized, with 194 people in intensive care, 78 of whom require ventilation. Meanwhile, Victoria reports 221 locally acquired cases, down from the year's record high of 246 a day earlier.

8:30 a.m. Singapore reports 328 cases for Sept. 7, the highest daily number of new infections in more than a year. The city-state has been recording more than 100 cases daily over the past two weeks as it removes most restrictions as part of its phased reopening. The number is the most since the record 904 seen in early August 2020. Singapore has fully vaccinated more than 80% of its 5.7 million population as of Monday, one of the highest rates in the world.

2:19 a.m. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns against travel to Sri Lanka, Jamaica and Brunei because of the rising number of COVID-19 cases, reports Reuters. The CDC also eased its ratings for the Netherlands, Malta, Guinea-Bissau and United Arab Emirates from "Level 4: Very High" to "Level 3: High." Australia was raised from "Level 1: Low" to "Level 2: Moderate."

12:10 a.m. The European Union is expected to remove Japan and Brunei from its safe travel list, along with other countries, which means travelers could face coronavirus quarantines, Reuters reports, citing diplomats. A decision could be made by the end of this week, Reuters reports.

Tuesday, Sept. 7

5:30 p.m. Tokyo reports 1,629 new cases, with the seven-day average in the nation's capital falling to 2,231, down around 36% from a week ago. The daily tally was up from 968 on Monday, but significantly lower than the 2,909 recorded last Tuesday. New cases tend to be lower on Mondays due to fewer tests being administered over the weekend.

CanSino Biologics's headquarters in Tianjin. A new study has found that a shot of the Chinese company's vaccine offers a much stronger antibody response than a Sinovac booster.   © Reuters

4:40 p.m. A booster shot of CanSino Biologics' vaccine after one or two doses of Sinovac Biotech's vaccine yields a much stronger antibody response than a Sinovac booster, according to one of the first analyses in China on combining different COVID-19 vaccines. Participants who received a CanSinoBIO booster three to six months after a second Sinovac shot showed an average seventyeightfold jump in neutralizing antibody levels two weeks later, according to a paper published on Monday before peer review.

1:54 p.m. India has administered 11.35 million vaccine shots since Monday morning -- the third time in the last 11 days that the single-day coverage crossed the 10 million mark -- bringing the total number of doses administered nationwide to over 699 million. About 57% of the country's 940 million adult population has received at least one dose, with 17.5% fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, the country reports 31,222 infections in the last 24 hours, down from 38,948 the previous day.

1:00 p.m. China's exports in August rose at a faster-than-expected rate of 25.6% from a year earlier, as global demand offset pressure on the country's economy that was hit by rising domestic COVID cases and supply bottlenecks. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast growth of 17.1%. Imports increased 33.1% year on year in August, beating an expected 26.8% gain in the Reuters poll.

The Novavax COVID jab may see use in Japan early next year.   © Reuters

12:00 p.m. Japan secures 150 million doses of a vaccine developed by U.S. biopharmaceutical Novavax, the government says. The company signed a contract with Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical, which will handle local production and supply. Japan expects to receive the vaccine in early 2022, pending regulatory approval. So far, Japan has administered jabs by Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca. About 60% of Japan's population has been inoculated at least once, with 48% twice.

10:40 a.m. New Zealand reports a slight rise in locally acquired cases ahead of relaxing restrictions in all regions outside Auckland, its largest city. The country detected 21 new local cases, all in Auckland, up from 20 a day earlier.

10:30 a.m. Australia's state of Victoria reports 246 locally acquired cases, the same number as a day earlier, as authorities struggle to contain an outbreak of the delta variant. Of the new cases, 90 are linked to the current outbreak. Meanwhile, the state of New South Wales, where Sydney is located, reports 1,220 locally acquired cases compared with 1,281 a day earlier, as officials look to increase vaccinations in a bid to ease lockdown restrictions.

Medical workers administer COVID-19 tests at a drive-through testing center in Melbourne on the first day of a seven-day lockdown on May 28, 2021.   © Reuters

9:50 a.m. China reports 36 cases for Monday, up from 18 a day earlier. None of the new infections were locally transmitted. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, stood at 10, all of which were imported from abroad.

9:30 a.m. Japan's blue-chip Nikkei Stock Average hits the 30,000 mark in early morning trade for the first time in five months on hopes of more economic stimulus after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga last week announced plans to step down. As the country heads into election season, many contenders are expected to present economic packages aimed at jump-starting Japan's sluggish economy. The recent downward trend in new infections also raised investor expectations for economic recovery.

2:00 a.m. A man in Vietnam has been sentenced to five years in prison for "spreading infectious diseases" after being accused of starting a chain of COVID-19 cases that led to one death, the state-run Vietnam News Agency reports.

Le Van Tri, from the southern city of Ca Mau, was accused of disobeying a coronavirus isolation rule.

Monday, Sept. 6

11:58 p.m. Tourist sites in Java will reopen gradually and diners can stay for an hour in a restaurant under the latest easing of COVID-19 mobility restrictions that take effect Tuesday across the densely populated Indonesian island.

The government says only small parts of Java -- where over half of Indonesia's 270 million people live -- remain under the strictest PPKM Level 4 emergency curbs, reflecting continued declines in coronavirus cases and deaths in recent weeks after a surge driven by the delta variant. Read more here.

9:00 p.m. The Japan Business Federation has put forward a set of proposals aimed at normalizing the nation's economic activity now that vaccinations have made steady progress.

One of the group's proposals is to exempt fully vaccinated travelers from Japan's mandatory 14-day quarantine. If the proposal is adopted, it could increase travel to Japan and help boost economic activity. Read more.

5:10 p.m. Tokyo reports 968 new cases, dropping below 1,000 for the first time since mid-July. The downward trend in the capital appears to be underscored by the seven-day average for new infections falling to 2,414, down around 35% from a week ago.

4:59 p.m. The Philippines reports a record 22,415 daily infections, bringing the total to 2.1 million cases, of which 159,633 are active. Fatalities rose by 103 to 34,337.

3:30 p.m. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says nationwide coronavirus curbs will be lifted on Wednesday, apart from in the biggest city of Auckland, as the country gets on top of an outbreak of the delta variant. New Zealand had been largely virus-free until an infected traveler from Australia seeded an outbreak that prompted Ardern to impose the national lockdown last week.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is stepping down this month after failing to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.   © Reuters

3:15 p.m. Japan's blue-chip Nikkei Stock Average continues to rally, at one stage rising over 570 points, or 2.0%, before closing at its highest in over four months. Last week, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced plans to step down this month after failing to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. As the country heads into election season, many contenders are expected to compile economic packages aimed at jolting Japan's lackluster economy. That has boosted market sentiment as more investors hope for stronger economic growth and better pandemic control measures. The broader Topix index also climbed over 1% to close at its highest level since the collapse of the nation's bubble economy in the early 1990s.

2:18 p.m. India's total cases top 33 million as the country posts 38,948 new infections for the past 24 hours, down from 42,766 the previous day. Deaths rose by 219, to 440,752.

1:00 p.m. Taiwan could get up to 9 million doses of BioNTech's vaccine this year, says Terry Gou, the founder of Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn. Taiwan had blamed China for nixing an original order from the German firm this year -- accusations Beijing has denied. Taiwan's government then allowed Foxconn, along with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, to negotiate on its behalf for the doses. The first batch of BioNTech shots arrived last week.

The first batch of BioNTech shots arrived In Taiwan last week.   © Reuters

10:55 a.m. A World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina was suspended amid chaotic scenes after local health officials walked onto the pitch on Sunday to remove three players who didn't comply with coronavirus restrictions. The soccer match was stopped in the seventh minute because of the extraordinary interruption. The referee eventually suspended the game with the score at 0-0. Brazil's health agency said three of Argentina's Britain-based players should have been in quarantine instead of playing in the match. FIFA will have to determine what happens next with the qualifier.

12:30 a.m. South Korea reports 1,375 new cases, down from 1,490 a day earlier and taking the country's total to 261,778 cases. Deaths from COVID-19 rose by six to 2,327.

10:30 a.m. Australia's state of New South Wales, the epicenter of the country's latest coronavirus outbreak, reports 1,281 locally acquired cases, down from 1,485 a day earlier. Five new deaths have been reported, taking the total deaths in the latest outbreak to 131.

10:20 a.m. New Zealand reports 20 new cases for a third day in a row, ahead of a decision on whether coronavirus restrictions should be eased in most of the country. All new cases were in Auckland and took the total number of infections to 821.

9:40 a.m. Around 4.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Australia overnight, officials say, the first batch of a swap deal with Britain that Australia is using to speed up its inoculation program. Australia is trying to contain a third wave of infections that has locked down its two major cities, Sydney and Melbourne, and its capital Canberra, putting more than half its 25 million population under strict stay-home restrictions. Just over 38% of Australia's adult population has been fully vaccinated.

Sunday, Sept. 5

10:33 p.m. Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi must vaccinate all adult residents with at least one shot by Sept. 15, the Vietnamese Health Ministry says. Ho Chi Minh City, the country's business hub, accounts for half of Vietnam's 520,000 infections and 80% of its 13,000 related fatalities.

Government data shows 88% of Ho Chi Minh City's 6.97 million adults have received at least one shot, along with 53% of Hanoi's 5.75 million adults. But only 3.3% of the 98 million people nationwide have been fully inoculated with two shots.

The ministry also sets a Sept. 15 deadline for the southern industrial provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Long An to vaccinate all of their adult populations.

1:00 p.m. Australia reports 1,684 new coronavirus cases as authorities race ahead with vaccinations in a bid to end lockdowns on the populous southeastern coast in the hope of making Christmas as close to normal as possible.

4:19 a.m. Former British prime minister Gordon Brown accuses rich countries of committing a "moral outrage" by stockpiling vaccine doses while poor countries struggle to get supplies.

Brown, who is a U.N. special envoy, calls on U.S. President Joe Biden and other Group of Seven leaders to urgently ship vaccines from warehouses in America and Europe to Africa.

Western countries are hoarding nearly 300 million shots while only 70 million people in Africa have so far been vaccinated, Brown says in an opinion piece published in the Sunday Mirror newspaper, citing research by data firm Airfinity.

2:11 a.m. Japan will issue online COVID-19 vaccination certificates starting in December. The government plans to issue the certificate via a QR code through a smartphone app. The code will be scanned to process vaccination information.

Saturday, Sept. 4

10:15 p.m. Authorities in Bahrain authorize a booster shot of the Sputnik V vaccine, the first time the Russian jab has been approved for a third dose, the state-run Bahrain News Agency reports.

The booster shot is approved for use among all people over 18 at least six months after receiving their second dose of the Sputnik V vaccine. Bahrain and fellow Gulf state the United Arab Emirates have already approved third booster shots using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

8:50 p.m. Poland will donate 400,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Taiwan, the foreign ministry says. While a relatively small domestic coronavirus outbreak is well under control in Taiwan, only about 5% of its 23.5 million population are fully vaccinated.

6:36 p.m. Malaysia appoints former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin as chairman of a council that will focus on economic recovery from the pandemic, the government chief secretary says.

Muhyiddin stepped down as prime minister in August after losing majority support in parliament.

3:40 p.m. Another 10 people associated with the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics test positive for COVID-19, the Games' organizing body says, with the cumulative total reaching nearly 300 in three weeks.

Of the 297, those tested positive for COVID-19 were mostly contractors. As for the daily count, the committee said no athletes tested positive for the fourth straight day, and nine of the 10 were contractors.

2:11 p.m. The Philippines will lift a ban on travelers from 10 countries including India, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia, the presidential spokesperson says.

The ban, introduced in April then expanded to more countries in July to prevent the spread of the more contagious delta variant, will be lifted on Monday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says.

Travelers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the UAE, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia will have to spend 14 days in quarantine upon arrival.

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

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

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