Coronavirus digest: Tokyo set for state of emergency
Tokyo, July 08: Japan is set announce a state of emergency for Tokyo that will last through the duration of Olympics, a government official said Thursday. Organizers are considering banning spectators from the games.
Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is responsible for the government's coronavirus response, said the state of emergency will likely begin next week and last until August 22.
The Tokyo Games, scheduled from July 23 to August 8, are being held despite opposition from medical experts and the majority of the public.
The emergency plans will be formally announced by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga later Thursday.
The planned emergency, which comes amid fears of ongoing surge in infections, may ends chances of a local audience at the games.
Japan has already banned overseas spectators and set a cap on domestic viewers at 50% of capacity, up to 10,000 people.
Here's a rundown of the latest coronavirus news from around the world:
Australia's New South Wales state saw its biggest increase in daily cases of COVID-19 this year.
The spike in cases comes despite two weeks of hard lockdown in the state capital, Sydney where officials were considering a further extension in restrictions.
NSW reported 38 new cases on Thursday, compared to 27 a day earlier.
South Korea reported its highest-ever one-day spike in new COVID-19 cases, with officials looking at a possible lockdown in the capital Seoul.
The 1,275 new cases on Thursday exceed the previous one-day record increase of 1,240 seen on Christmas Day.
Around 80% of the cases were recorded in the greater Seoul area which has emerged as the epicenter of the latest outbreak in the country.
India reported 45,892 new cases in the last 24 hours, according to the country's health ministry. It also reported 817 additional deaths, taking the total fatalities to 405,028.
India's official death toll is widely believed to an undercount, with actually figures suspected to be several times higher.
UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak sympathized with the people in self-isolation after they have been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19.
He added that the health secretary was looking at the most appropriate balance for self-isolation.
"I appreciate people's frustration with this. It's part of what I and the Prime Minister call a balanced approach. We want to make sure we see an appropriate degree of caution," he told British network Sky News.
France's European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune advised French people to avoid Spain and Portugal for their summer holidays in light of the fast-spreading delta variant.
The highly contagious variant now represents around 40% of new infections in France, a government spokesman said.
Germany confirmed 970 new cases of the coronavirus, with 31 more deaths, taking the country's total infection to 3,733,519, while overall fatalities stood at 91,141, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.