Factbox-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus
(Reuters) - Australian officials extended lockdown and social distancing measures to more of the country on Wednesday, with four major cities already under a hard lockdown in a race to contain an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* Greece will allow people fully vaccinated against the coronavirus inside restaurants without masks, the government said, as part of measures to boost inoculation rates.
* Russia will fail to vaccinate 60% of its population by the autumn as planned due to sluggish demand for the shots, the Kremlin said, after the country recorded its highest number of daily deaths from the virus.
* Japan is considering an extension of its coronavirus prevention measures in Tokyo and other areas by two weeks to a month, Japanese media said, with less than a month to go until the Tokyo Summer Olympics are set to open.
* North Korean leader Kim Jong Un chastised top ruling party officials for failures in anti-epidemic work that led to an unspecified "great crisis" and put the safety of the country and people at risk, state media reported on Wednesday.
* Health Canada said it has recommended that people with a history of capillary leak syndrome not be vaccinated with drugmaker AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine.
* The U.S. Supreme Court left in place the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's ban on residential evictions imposed last year to combat the spread of COVID-19 and prevent homelessness during the pandemic.
* Guatemalan Health Minister Amelia Flores said on Tuesday that the government had asked Russia to return money already paid for doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine because of non-delivery.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The Tunisian government on Tuesday extended the hours of night curfew in an effort to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19, as the North Africa country reached a daily record of cases since the start of the pandemic last year.
* Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday imposed a dusk to dawn curfew, banned inter-city travel and cut business hours with immediate effect in response to increasing coronavirus infections.
* Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine showed promise against the Delta variant first identified in India in a lab study, while Indian drugmaker Cipla received regulatory approval to distribute the shot in the country.
* Asian shares rose and a gauge of global equities hovered near record highs on Wednesday after rising consumer confidence in economic recovery boosted the Nasdaq index to its highest-ever closing level. [MKTS/GLOB]
* Growth in China's June factory activity dipped to a four-month low on higher raw material costs, a shortage of semiconductors and a COVID-19 outbreak in the major export province of Guangdong, amid wider supply chain disruptions in Asia.
* Japan's industrial output posted the biggest monthly drop in a year in May, as a sharp fall in car production threatened to undermine the country's economic recovery just weeks before Tokyo is set to host the Olympic Games.
* The World Bank said it approved a $300 million loan for Costa Rica to help support the Central American nation's efforts to recover from the pandemic fallout.
(Compiled by Amy Caren Daniel; Edited by Shounak Dasgupta)
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