(Reuters) – India reached the grim milestone of 400,000 deaths from the coronavirus on Friday, half of them during a second wave in the past few months that overwhelmed the healthcare system and crematoriums.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* The Euro 2020 soccer tournament was blamed for a surge in cases as fans have flocked to stadiums, bars and spectator zones across Europe to watch the action while the pandemic still raged.
* Spain reported 12,345 new coronavirus infections and eight deaths on Thursday, with health ministry data showing daily increases this week at their highest levels since mid-April, in part due to the more contagious Delta variant.
* A night-time curfew will be imposed in several Portuguese municipalities, including the capital Lisbon and the city of Porto, the government said.
* Indonesia will increase spending on social assistance and healthcare in response to a spike in COVID-19 cases and to soften the blow on the economy with tougher restrictions set to take effect this week, its finance minister said.
* Australia will halve the number of arrivals from overseas as its coronavirus hotel quarantine system creaks under pressure from outbreaks of the highly transmissible Delta variant, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
* Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, reported 31 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 on Friday.
* Indonesia has authorised the COVID-19 vaccine made by Moderna for emergency use, Penny K. Lukito, the chief of the country’s food and drug agency, said.
* South Korea’s daily count of coronavirus cases topped 800 on Thursday, the highest in nearly six months, due to new cluster infections and the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, officials said.
* Thailand reported on Friday the third straight day of record coronavirus deaths, with 61 fatalities.
* Taiwan has chosen to get the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine via the COVAX global sharing scheme for lower income countries, the company said on Friday, which would add much needed additional shots to the island’s immunisation programme.
* The White House said on Thursday it would send out special teams to hot spots around the United States to combat the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant amid rising case counts in parts of the country where vaccination rates remain low.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The United Arab Emirates announced a travel ban on citizens to India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Namibia, Zambia, Congo, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, South Africa and Nigeria, state news agency WAM reported.
* The South African Medical Association threatened to take the government to court because scores of new junior doctors cannot find work placements despite staff shortages during the pandemic.
* Johnson & Johnson said its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine showed strong promise against the Delta variant and other emerging strains and also provided durable protection against the infection more broadly.
* Chinese shares dropped on Friday, a day after China’s Communist Party celebrated its centenary, while other regional markets held firm following Wall Street’s ascent to record highs ahead of U.S. jobs data due out later in the global day. [MKTS/GLOB]
(Compiled by Devika Syamnath and Amy Caren Daniel; Edited by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shounak Dasgupta)