(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Plasma treatment authorised
U.S. President Donald Trump hailed the Food & Drug Administration’s authorisation of a coronavirus treatment that uses blood plasma from recovered patients, a day after accusing the agency of impeding the roll-out of vaccines and therapeutics for political reasons.
The FDA, explaining its decision, cited early evidence suggesting blood plasma can decrease mortality and improve the health of patients when administered in the first three days of their hospitalization.
Equity markets gained for a second straight session on Monday as the news about the treatment boosted risk assets and markets geared up for the U.S. Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole meeting later in the week.
Seoul orders masks on, indoors and out
South Korea’s capital on Monday ordered people to wear masks in indoor and outdoor public places for the first time, as it battles a surge in coronavirus cases.
South Korea’s coronavirus battle has been complicated by a fight between President Moon Jae-in’s administration and the Sarang Jeil Church, the second religious group at the centre of a major cluster of cases.
The government accuses the church of obstruction by not providing complete lists of its members and spreading fake news. Church members say they are victims of a politically motivated witch-hunt.
Get children back to school, says British PM
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on parents to send their children back to school next month after the summer holidays.
“The risk of contracting COVID-19 in school is very small and it is far more damaging for a child’s development and their health and well-being to be away from school any longer,” Johnson said.
Schools shut their doors in March, except for the children of key workers, and reopened in June for only a small number of pupils.
Auckland lockdown extended
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern extended a coronavirus lockdown in the country’s largest city, Auckland, until the end of the week and introduced mandatory mask wearing on public transport across the nation.
Neighbouring Australia reported its lowest one-day rise in new coronavirus infections in almost two months on Monday, raising hopes that a deadly second wave is subsiding.
Australia’s Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and Western Australia states reported a combined 121 new cases over the past 24 hours, the lowest single-day rise since July 5.
Bali tourism plan on hold
The Indonesian island of Bali has postponed a plan to reopen its biggest tourism hub to international visitors on Sept. 11, due to the rising level of coronavirus cases, its governor said.
Tourism is Bali’s main source of income and travel restrictions have hammered the economy.
(Compiled by Linda Noakes and Karishma Singh; Editing by Andrew Heavens)