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Hospitals in Sydney have begun setting up treatment units in tents to treat an influx of COVID patients. Meanwhile, Japan has halted use of over 1 million vaccine doses over contamination concerns. Follow DW for more.
The Australian state of New South Wales topped 1,000 daily COVID cases for the first time since the pandemic began Thursday, reporting 1,029 cases over the past 24 hours. The vast majority were reported in the greater Sydney area.
The previous record of 919 cases had been set just one day earlier.
Two big hospitals in Sydney's west, the epicenter of Australia's recent COVID outbreak, set up emergency outdoor tents to deal with the number of patients seeking hospitalization because of the virus.
The makeshift units are meant to avoid delays since the two big hospitals have had to redirect ambulances to other hospitals, the Australian Paramedic Association said.
Sydney, Australia's largest city, has been battling a surge in cases in spite of being in a hard lockdown for the last two months. The surge has been driven by the delta variant.
Despite the surge, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced a slight easing of lockdown restrictions for fully vaccinated persons beginning next Monday, albeit outside of Sydney's hotspots, where tight restrictions are to remain in place.
Here are the major developments on coronavirus from around the world:
Health officials in the US state of Tennessee said that children now accounted for 36% of the total COVID cases being reported.
The state has seen 14,000 pediatric cases in the last seven days. The percentage of children affected by COVID had historically been in the 10-15% range, according to the health commissioner.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul revised the state's official COVID death toll, adding 12,000 more deaths on her first day in office on Tuesday.
Her office reported that 55,400 people had died of COVID in New York. Former Governor Andrew Cuomo's office had reported 43,400 deaths as of Monday evening, Cuomo's last day at work. Cuomo has been criticized for cherry picking data.
US carrier Delta Airlines will charge employees an additional $200 (Є170) every month for their company-sponsored healthcare plan if they choose not to get vaccinated against COVID. The measure goes into effect November 1 onwards, the airline's chief executive said. It is the latest push by corporate America to get employees vaccinated.
Japan said it will suspend use of 1.63 million doses of Moderna's COVID vaccine following reports of contamination, drugmaker Takeda and the Health Ministry said on Thursday.
Takeda, in charge of sales and distribution of Moderna shots in Japan, said it received reports that "foreign substances" had been found inside unopened vials from specific lots.
Moderna said the issue could be related to "particulate matter" in a batch produced in Spain, adding that "no safety or efficacy issues" are connected with the particles in the doses.
Around 43% of Japan's population has been fully-vaccinated but the country is currently battling a surge in cases driven by the delta variant.
South Korea reported 20 COVID deaths on Wednesday, the highest daily count this year.
While total case mortality rates remain low at below 1%, South Korea is currently battling its worst wave of infections that began in July.
New Delhi reported zero COVID cases for the fifth day in a row on Wednesday. India's capital city made headlines earlier this year for failing to adequately tackle a devastating surge in cases and deaths during the second wave of the coronavirus in April and May.
Germany's new cases increased by 12,626 and deaths by 21 over the past 24 hours. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at 3,901,799 and deaths at 92,082.