(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Over 30 million cases in South Asia
Coronavirus infections in the South Asia region surpassed 30 million on Friday, according to a Reuters tally of official data, led by India which is struggling with a second COVID-19 wave and a vaccine shortage across the region.
India reported on Friday 186,364 new coronavirus infections during the previous 24 hours, its lowest daily rise since April 14, while 3,660 more people died.
COVID-19 guidelines for each Olympic competition
Japan is looking to extend a state of emergency in Tokyo and other areas by about three weeks to June 20, a cabinet minister said on Friday, prolonging anti-coronavirus curbs to just over one month before the Summer Olympics are due to open.
Coronavirus guidelines are being drawn up for each separate sports competition, a Tokyo 2020 senior official said on Friday. Olympic organisers have released coronavirus prevention measures, which have been criticised by some as insufficient.
On first day of lockdown in Victoria, far fewer cases
Australia’s Victoria state reported fewer new local COVID-19 cases on Friday, the first day of a one-week hard lockdown imposed to contain a highly-infectious outbreak which authorities said could become uncontrollable.
Four new locally acquired cases were reported in the last 24 hours, down from 12 a day earlier, taking the total infections in the latest cluster to 30. Still, officials urged people to remain cautious and follow lockdown rules.
U.S. urges WHO to carry out 2nd phase of virus origin study
The United States called on Thursday for the World Health Organization to carry out a second phase of its investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, with independent experts given full access to original data and samples in China.
The two main prevailing, competing theories are that the virus jumped from animals, possibly originating with bats, to humans, or that it spread from a virology laboratory in Wuhan, China.
Japan to consider sharing COVID-19 vaccines
Japan said on Friday it would consider sharing its COVID-19 vaccines with other countries as a ruling party committee urged it to provide a portion of its AstraZeneca Plc vaccine stock to Taiwan.
Taiwan is battling a spike in domestic infections and has vaccinated only about 1% of its population, while Japan has secured more than 400 million doses, double what it needs for its adult population.
Get vaccinated, win cash in California
California will offer $116.5 million in cash and gift cards to residents who get COVID-19 vaccinations before June 15, the latest – and most lucrative – incentive by U.S. states desperate to persuade laggards and vaccine-sceptics to get the injection.
The move by Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom comes as the state prepares to fully reopen its economy on June 15. Ten Californians who become inoculated before that date stand to win lottery-style prizes of $1.5 million apiece; another 30 will each win $50,000; and from Thursday, the first two million to be vaccinated will each win $50 gift cards for cash or groceries.
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