(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Japan’s inoculations off to snail-pace start
Japan’s COVID-19 inoculation campaign is moving at a glacial pace, hampered by a lack of supply and a shortage of speciality syringes that underscore the enormous challenge it faces in its aim to vaccinate every adult by the year’s end.
Since the campaign began three weeks ago, just under 46,500 doses had been administered to frontline medical workers as of Friday.
At the current rate, it would take 126 years to vaccinate Japan’s population of 126 million. By contrast, South Korea, which began its vaccinations a week later than Japan, had administered nearly seven times more shots as of Sunday.
India’s richest state has half of new, active cases
India’s richest state of Maharashtra accounts for more than half of both new and total active infections, health ministry data showed on Monday, although a team of experts said the state’s current wave might be “less virulent”.
Experts say India’s relatively low hospitalisation and fatality rates suggest the pandemic is approaching its next phase of largely manageable local outbreaks, such as those being seen in the western industrialised state.
India’s tally of 11.23 million infections is the world’s highest after the United States, with the state accounting for 11,141 of the 18,599 new cases reported in the past 24 hours.
Fauci upbeat on vaccinations for U.S. teens by autumn
High school students in the United States should be able to receive COVID-19 vaccinations by the autumn, with younger students likely to be cleared for vaccinations in early 2022, top U.S. infectious disease official Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday.
Fauci said he expected the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue relaxed guidelines for people who have already been vaccinated within “the next couple of days”, but urged continued vigilance on mitigation measures for the more than 80% of Americans still awaiting shots.
“We’re going in the right direction. We just need to hang in there a bit longer,” Fauci told CBS.
Thailand to reduce quarantine for vaccinated travellers
Thailand will from next month reduce its mandatory quarantine from 14 to seven days for foreigners arriving in the country who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, its Health Minister said on Monday.
Vaccinations must be administered within three months of the travel period and visitors will still be required to show negative COVID-19 test results within three days of their departure, Anutin Charnvirankul told a news conference.
Those not yet inoculated but with coronavirus-free certificates would be quarantined for 10 days.
East Timor imposes first lockdown
The tiny Southeast Asian nation of East Timor will put its capital city on a lockdown for the first time, its government said on Monday, amid fears it could be facing its first local outbreak.
A “sanitary fence and mandatory confinement” will be imposed in Dili for seven days from midnight Monday with residents asked to stay home unless necessary to leave, the country’s council of ministers said in statement.
A former Portuguese colony with a population of 1.2 million, East Timor has detected just 122 cases, most of which were imported.
(Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Alex Richardson)