(Reuters) -Japan is set to expand quasi-emergency measures to 10 regions on Friday as a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases spreads, casting more doubt on whether the Summer Olympics can be held in Tokyo in less than 100 days.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS * Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals here for a case tracker and summary of news.
* Britain’s health ministry said there were no plans to halt rapid testing, after the Guardian newspaper reported the programme may be scaled back in England because of concerns about false positives.
* Finland’s health minister said the Nordic country was initiating talks with Russia over buying its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.
* Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease doctor, hopes U.S. regulators will make a quick decision to lift a pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and get that vaccine “back on track,” he said in an interview with Reuters.
* The United States is preparing for the possibility that a booster shot will be needed between nine to 12 months after people are initially vaccinated against COVID-19.
* Colombian President Ivan Duque ruled out a prompt reopening of his country’s border with Venezuela, citing a high-level of COVID-19 infections.
* Brazil’s hospitals were running out of drugs needed to sedate COVID-19 patients, with the government urgently seeking to import supplies amid reports of the seriously ill being tied down and intubated without effective sedatives.
* Chile’s health authorities said they believed a dip in the record case numbers seen over the past week represents a “stabilisation” of a second COVID-19 wave.
* After gifting and selling tens of millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses abroad, India suddenly finds itself short of shots as the country reported a record daily increase of 217,353 COVID-19 infections over the last 24 hours.
* Australia will consider a staggered reopening of its international borders to allow residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel abroad first, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
* Japan’s inability to contain the pandemic means that plans to hold the Olympics in Tokyo should be reconsidered, health experts wrote in a commentary.
* South Korea’s Huons Global Co Ltd said it will lead a consortium to produce 100 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine per month as Moscow ramps up production for supplies abroad.
* Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said the government can take over hotels and turn them into isolation facilities as surging COVID-19 infections put a strain on the overstretched healthcare sector.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The coronavirus is killing one person every four minutes in Iran, state TV reported.
* German biotech firm CureVac said it has seen the number of requests for its experimental vaccine increase over the past few days, as concerns over rare side effects have hit some other coronavirus shots.
* A batch of Chinese and U.S. economic data helped underpin global stocks near record highs on Friday, as investors priced in a solid global recovery from the coronavirus-induced slump. [MKTS/GLOB]
Compiled by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Ramakrishnan M.; Edited by Anil D’Silva and Shounak Dasgupta
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