Scott Morrison – Coronavirus latest: Tokyo under 700 cases for 1st time this year
Nikkei Asia is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
Global cases have reached 99,177,542, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The worldwide death toll has hit 2,129,134.
To see how the disease has spread, view our virus tracker charts:
Monday, Jan. 25 (Tokyo time)
5:30 p.m. Drugmaker Pfizer has submitted an application seeking approval for its coronavirus vaccines to be used in South Korea, authorities say. The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety says it aims to reach a decision within 40 days after cutting its previous deliberation period of up to 180 days to fast-track the approval and speed up the vaccination process.
3:38 p.m. Japanese motor maker Nidec reports a 24% year-on-year increase in operating profit for the nine months through December on the back of strong demand for home appliances and personal computers as well as a global shift to electric vehicles. Amid the pandemic, the company’s nine-month operating profit came to 115.5 billion yen ($1.1 billion) as sales rose 2.2% to 1.18 trillion yen.
3:20 p.m. Japan is not likely to reach 75% inoculation, a benchmark for herd immunity to COVID-19 through mass immunization, until around October, about two months after the Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to close, according to London-based forecaster Airfinity, Reuters reports. “Japan looks to be quite late,” Rasmus Bech Hansen, the founder of the British research firm, said. “America needs 100 million more Pfizer vaccines to be on the safe side to reach their goals, and a lot of those 100 million would come from the Japan pile.”
3:10 p.m. Tokyo reports 618 new infections, down from 986 a day earlier, as Japan’s capital battles the pandemic under a state of emergency. The daily tally marks the first time for Tokyo to come in under 700 since Dec. 28.
2:18 p.m. India reports 13,203 cases in the last 24 hours, down from 14,849 the previous day, bringing the country total to 10.67 million. Deaths jumped by 131 to 153,417.
1:50 p.m. Turkey receives an additional 6.5 million doses of China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine, according to media reports. The shipment, part of a second consignment that will total 10 million doses, arrived in Istanbul early this morning, according to state broadcaster TRT Haber. An initial 3 million doses previously arrived in Turkey, and the country has so far vaccinated about 1.25 million people, mostly health workers and the elderly.
1:45 p.m. Thailand reports 187 cases and two deaths, bringing the country total to 13,687 cases and 75 deaths. The latest cases include 10 imported infections.
12:30 p.m. Tata Medical & Diagnostics is said to be discussing with Moderna the co-launch of the U.S. company’s vaccine in India, the Economic Times reports. Tata could team up with India’s Council of Scientific & Industrial Research to carry out clinical trials of Moderna‘s vaccine candidate.
12:00 p.m. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says he has tested positive for COVID-19 amid an intense second wave of the pandemic that has nearly overwhelmed the country’s health care system. The 67-year-old president, who has resisted wearing a face mask, said in a tweet that his symptoms were light and he was receiving treatment.
10:10 a.m. Hong Kong lifted a lockdown in the Kowloon district early Monday morning after testing about 7,000 people to curb an outbreak in the densely populated area. The government set up 51 temporary testing stations on Saturday and found 13 confirmed cases in the restricted area, which contains many old, subdivided flats in which the disease could spread quickly.
10:00 a.m. South Korea confirms 437 new cases, up from 392 a day ago. Total infections reach 75,521 with 1,360 deaths.
9:40 a.m. China reports 124 cases for Sunday, up from 80 a day earlier. Of the new cases, 117 were local infections. Jilin Province in the northeast accounted for 67 cases, all but three of which were previously asymptomatic but were later reclassified as confirmed. Heilongjiang Province reported 35 cases and Hebei Province 11. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, fell to 45 from 92 a day earlier.
9:30 a.m. New Zealand confirms it is investigating one case reported on Sunday, the first domestic case in months. The infection in a 56-year-old woman who returned to New Zealand on Dec. 30 was of the South African variant, according to Chris Hipkins, the country’s COVID-19 response minister.
8:40 a.m. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the country’s medical regulator has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The vaccine had been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s for Australians aged 16 years and over, Morrison told reporters. He noted it has been a year since the first coronavirus case was detected in the country. Vaccination of priority groups is expected to begin in late February, at 80,000 doses per week, Health Minister Greg Hunt told reporters.
6:05 a.m. Greece detects 32 cases of the British variant of COVID-19, health authorities said Sunday, with 17 of the positive samples coming from Athens. The country reports 334 new COVID-19 cases overall and 24 related deaths Sunday, bringing Greece’s cumulative totals to 151,980 infections and 5,646 fatalities.
5:43 a.m. President Joe Biden will reimpose an entry ban Monday on nearly all non-U.S. travelers who have been in Brazil, the UK., Ireland and 26 European countries that allow travel across open borders. South Africa was added to the restricted list Saturday to contain the spread of a new COVID-19 variant, a senior U.S. health official told Reuters.
The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will sign a separate order Monday requiring masks on all airplanes, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis and ride-share vehicles for travelers 2 and older. New CDC rules take effect Tuesday requiring all international air travelers 2 and older to present a negative coronavirus test taken within three calendar days of travel or proof of recovery from COVID-19 to enter the U.S.
5:40 a.m. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it has administered 21,848,655 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Sunday morning. The tally covers both Moderna‘s shot and one by Pfizer and German partner BioNTech. The agency says 18.5 million people have received at least one dose, while 3.2 million have gotten the second dose.
Sunday, Jan. 24
9:26 p.m. Taiwan will more than double the number of people who must quarantine at home to over 5,000 as it seeks to contain a rare domestic cluster of COVID-19 connected to a hospital, the health minister says. The island has kept the pandemic under control thanks to early and effective prevention, with the large majority of its 890 infections being imported cases. But since Jan. 12, Taiwan has dealt with a small number of domestic transmissions at a hospital.
2:24 p.m. Australia reports no new local coronavirus cases on Sunday. The country’s first batch of the Pfizer vaccine is due to arrive in February.
“We have the virus under control here in Australia, but we want to roll out the vaccine,” federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg tells reporters. Residents can apply to get the vaccine starting Monday.
1:41 p.m. Thailand reports 198 new coronavirus cases Sunday, taking total confirmed infections to 13,500.
10:30 a.m. Mainland China reports 80 new COVID-19 cases for Saturday, down from 107 a day earlier, the National Health Commission says Sunday. The commission says 65 of the new cases are local infections. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, falls to 92, from 99 a day earlier.
9:52 a.m. New Zealand health officials investigate a probable community coronavirus case. The country last recorded a community transmission Nov. 18. New Zealand has had only a total of 1,927 confirmed cases so far. On Sunday, there were eight new infections, all returning travelers who are being quarantined at the border.
4:19 a.m. Egypt starts coronavirus vaccinations Sunday, beginning with medical staff, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi says in recorded comments. On Friday, Egypt recorded 748 new cases and 52 deaths. But health officials say the real numbers are likely far higher because of the relatively low rate of coronavirus testing and the exclusion of private test results.
Egypt received its first shipment of vaccine developed by China’s Sinopharm in December. Egypt will get 40 million vials via the Gavi vaccine alliance for 20 million people, or 20% of its 100 million population, the health minister said last week.
3:44 a.m. COVID-19 vaccinations in Iran will begin in the coming weeks, President Hassan Rouhani says. “Foreign vaccines are a necessity until local vaccines are available,” he says in televised remarks, without giving details of what foreign vaccines would be used.
Cuba said this month that it signed an accord with Tehran to transfer the technology for its most advanced vaccine candidate and carry out last-stage clinical trials of the shot in Iran. Iran is also participating in the COVAX scheme, which aims to secure fair access to COVID-19 vaccines for poorer countries.
Iran has recorded nearly 1.37 million cases and about 57,300 deaths.
Saturday, Jan. 23
7:23 p.m. Malaysian health authorities report 4,275 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily total so far, raising the total number of confirmed infections to 180,455. Seven new fatalities are reported, bringing the total number of deaths to 667.
4:24 p.m. The death toll from the novel coronavirus in Japan surpasses 5,000 as the country struggles to curb a third wave of infections, health authorities say.
11:08 a.m. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden plan to meet next month, the prime minister’s office said on Friday, following a call between the two leaders in which they agreed to join forces to combat coronavirus in North America.
10:36 a.m. Hong Kong’s government locked down an area of the Kowloon peninsula on Saturday, saying people there must stay home until all residents have been tested for the new coronavirus and results largely determined.
9:00 a.m. More than 50 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered in over 50 countries and regions, according to an independent tally by Nikkei and the Financial Times. Find out more from the charts here.
6:00 a.m. The World Health Organization says it has reached a deal with U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech for 40 million doses of their coronavirus vaccine, much of which will go to low-income countries. Vaccinations under the WHO’s COVAX program are expected to begin by the end of February, according to the health body. Rich countries’ direct deals with drugmakers have been blamed for delaying the flow of COVID-19 vaccines to poor nations.
2:30 a.m. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces findings that the so-called UK. variant of the coronavirus may lead to higher deaths from COVID-19 compared with the main form.
To catch up on earlier developments, see the last edition of latest updates.