July 30 (Reuters) - Here's what you need to know about the
coronavirus right now:
Japan expands state of emergency as COVID-19 surge shadows
Japan decided on Friday to expand states of emergency to
three prefectures near Olympic host Tokyo and the western
prefecture of Osaka, as COVID-19 cases spike in the capital and
around the country, overshadowing the Summer Games.
Tokyo, already under its fourth state of emergency since the
pandemic began, on Friday announced 3,300 new cases, after a
record 3,865 the day before. The surge is beginning to strain
the medical system, with 64% of Tokyo's hospital beds available
for serious COVID-19 cases already filled as of mid-week.
Japan has avoided a devastating COVID-19 outbreak, but is
now struggling to contain the highly transmissible Delta
variant, with daily cases nationwide topping 10,000 for the
first time on Thursday.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Olympics organizers have
denied there is any link between the Summer Games and the recent
sharp spike in cases.
Unlike the voluntary restrictions and low vaccination rates
elsewhere in Japan, the Olympic village in Tokyo for athletes
and coaches boasts more than 80% vaccination, testing is
compulsory and movement is stringently curtailed.
Philippines to place Manila area in lockdown to curb Delta
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday approved the
imposition of lockdown measures in the capital region in a bid
to contain the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant and to
shield the country's medical system.
The Manila capital region, a sprawl of 16 cities home to
more than 13 million people, will be placed under the tightest
quarantine curbs from Aug. 6 to 20.
The highly transmissible Delta variant, first detected in
India, has spread rapidly across much of Southeast Asia.
Vietnam's health ministry issued an urgent appeal on Friday
for private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients as the country
battles a surge in infections.
Mixing Russia's Sputnik V, AstraZeneca shots proves safe in
small trial -RDIF
Trials mixing a first dose of the Russian-made Sputnik V
vaccine with AstraZeneca's shot revealed no serious side
effects and no subsequent cases of coronavirus among volunteers,
the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on Friday.
The trial involved 50 people and began in Azerbaijan in
February, RDIF, which is responsible for marketing Sputnik V
vaccine abroad, said in a statement.
China's CanSino Biologics meanwhile
may start a clinical trial using Sputnik V followed by a shot of
its own COVID-19 vaccine as early as next month.
Australia PM wants 80% of adults vaccinated before border
Australia will have to vaccinate 80% of its adults against
COVID-19 before it can consider reopening its border, Prime
Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday.
Australia has handled the coronavirus crisis much better
than many other developed countries. But that has been achieved
largely by sealing its border to all but a trickle of people
since the pandemic began.
India's Serum Institute ties up with industry in push to
vaccinate rural areas
The Serum Institute of India said on Friday it had partnered
with an industry body to expand the reach of COVID-19 shots in
India's countryside as it had "plenty of supply" of the
While some 452 million vaccine doses have been administered,
the pace of inoculations in rural areas, where two-thirds of
India's 1.35 billion people live, has lagged that of urban
(Compiled by Joe Bavier; Editing by Giles Elgood)