What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
(Reuters) - Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Sydney records deadliest day of pandemic
Australia's biggest city Sydney recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic on Monday as troops and police set up roadblocks to limit the movement of people, while Melbourne faced a nightly curfew and a further two weeks of lockdown.
Sydney, which is in its eighth week of lockdown, is the epicentre of Australia's third wave of COVID-19 that threatens to push the country's A$2 trillion ($1.5 trillion) economy into its second recession in as many years.
New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said seven people in Sydney had died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, surpassing the state's previous record daily toll.
China's new local infections fall for sixth day
New local infections in China declined for a sixth day, official data showed on Monday, as most regions got the latest outbreak under control, while others kept up vigilance by adding mass testing or delaying the reopening of schools.
China reported 13 new domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases for Sunday, its lowest daily tally since July 24, the data from the National Health Commission showed.
Hong Kong said it would upgrade 15 overseas places including the United States, Spain and France to "high risk" from "medium risk" by Aug. 20, meaning international arrivals from those countries will face lengthened quarantine.
Taiwan rejects vaccine candidate
Taiwan has rejected an emergency use application for UBI Pharma's vaccine candidate, the government said on Monday, though the president said she would get a different domestic shot in a show of support for the drive to develop a local vaccine.
Although Taiwan has ordered millions of Moderna and AstraZeneca shots, developing a local vaccine has been a major goal and it is due next week to start administering its first domestic vaccine, made by Medigen Vaccine Biologics.
Explaining the rejection of the request for emergency use authorisation, the health ministry said the antibodies triggered by UBI's candidate did not match up with those of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Main Cuban oxygen plant fails
Cuba's public health minister said on Sunday that efforts were underway to restart the country's main oxygen factory which has broken down just as a Delta-driven surge in cases and deaths swamped some provincial health services.
Minister Jose Angel Portal's appearance on the state's midday news broadcast came after the death toll in Cuba from COVID-19 hit 98 on Saturday, equal to the pandemic record.
Daily cases are averaging between 8,000 and 9,000 with fatalities at nearly 1% of cases, low by international standards but high for Cuba which had a death rate of 0.67% last year.
Emergency summit needed to help Africa, says UK ex-PM
British, Italian and U.S. leaders must hold an emergency summit before the U.N. General Assembly to end vaccine inequality and send more shots to Africa and other low-income nations, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said.
Brown, prime minister from 2007 to 2010, has been leading a push for richer countries to share more of the cost of vaccinating people in developing countries, many of which have low inoculation rates and rising cases.
(Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by David Clarke)
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