LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) – What you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Japan COVID cases hit 1 million as infections spread beyond Tokyo
Japan reached the milestone of one million coronavirus cases on Friday, domestic media reported, as infections soared in Olympics host Tokyo and other urban areas.
New cases in Tokyo hit 4,515, the second highest after Thursday’s record 5,042, while the neighbouring, populous prefecture of Kanagawa saw its cases soaring to more than 2,000, quadrupling in less than two weeks.
The total number of cases since the pandemic began last year is now above one million, tarnishing the country’s early success in containing the disease. read more
Japan decided this week to expand COVID-19 curbs to more than 70% of its population, but in contrast to stringent lockdowns elsewhere, authorities are relying mainly on requests for self-restraint and peer pressure. read more
South Korea to compensate nurse paralysed after COVID shot
A South Korean nursing assistant who was paralysed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine was recognised as a victim of an industrial accident, making her eligible for government benefits and compensation.
The nursing assistant, who has not been identified, received AstraZeneca’s shot on March 12 and later suffered from double vision and paralysis and was diagnosed with acute encephalomyelitis, the state-run Korea Workers’ Compensation & Welfare Service said on Friday.
The service said in a statement the woman did not have underlying conditions and there seemed to be a “a reasonable causal link between the side effects and the vaccination”.
AstraZeneca, asked about the case, did not refer to it directly but said patient safety was of the utmost importance for it and regulators around the world. read more
U.S. daily cases jump to 6-month high; focus on booster shots
Daily new COVID-19 cases have climbed to a six-month high in the United States, with more than 100,000 infections reported nationwide as the Delta variant ravaged Florida and other states with lower vaccination rates.
“We’re seeing terrifying #COVID19 trends in our hospitals,” County Judge Lina Hidalgo wrote on Twitter. She is the top official of Harris County, the most populous county in Texas and home to the city of Houston.
“At this point, if you’re unvaccinated by choice, you’re complicit in this crisis.” read more
The United States is working to give COVID-19 booster shots to Americans with compromised immune systems as quickly as possible, top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday.
It will join Chile, Germany, France and Israel in giving booster shots, ignoring a plea by the World Health Organisation to hold off until more people around the world can get their first shot. read more
High daily case count in China, Sydney
China on Friday reported its highest daily count for new coronavirus cases in its current outbreak, fuelled by a surge in locally transmitted infections, with 124 new confirmed cases, up from 85 a day earlier. read more
Australian officials warned Sydney residents on Friday to brace for a surge in COVID-19 cases after the country’s largest city logged a record 279 locally acquired infections for the second straight day despite a weeks-long lockdown to stamp out an outbreak of the Delta variant. read more
J&J seeks emergency use nod for COVID-19 vaccine in India
Johnson & Johnson has applied for emergency use approval of its coronavirus vaccine in India, the U.S. pharmaceutical giant said on Friday, moving a step closer to supplying the first single-dose COVID-19 shot to the country.
The application comes at a time when legal wrangles have held up U.S. vaccine donations to India, which has not met requests for granting foreign manufacturers indemnity from lawsuits.
Only about 495.3 million people from a population of more than 1.3 billion had received at least one dose of a vaccine as of Friday, according to the Indian health ministry data. read more
Compiled by Karishma Singh and Nick Macfie
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