What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Indonesia crisis grows
The number of Indonesian children contracting the coronavirus has almost tripled since May, with infant deaths from COVID-19 rising sharply as the country suffers its most severe wave of infections so far, a senior paediatrician said on Wednesday.
Indonesia has been hit by a surge in cases this month, with new records on six days since June 21 including a daily high of over 21,807 on Wednesday, putting pressure on the government to impose tighter measures.
Dr Aman Pulungan, head of Indonesia’s paediatric society, said weekly child deaths from COVID-19 rose to 24 last week from 13 in the previous week, many under five years old.
Lockdown measures extended in Australia
Australian officials extended lockdown and social distancing measures to more of the country on Wednesday, with four major cities already under a hard lockdown in a race to contain an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant.
Around one in two Australians are under stay-at-home orders, with millions of others subjected to movement curbs and mandatory mask-wearing amid COVID-19 flare-ups in several locations.
With more than five million residents of greater Sydney under a two-week lockdown until July 9, New South Wales state reported 22 new locally transmitted cases on Wednesday, all linked to prior infections.
North Korea’s Kim says ‘great crisis’ caused by pandemic lapse
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the failure to implement measures to tackle the coronavirus had caused a “great crisis” and he chastised ruling party officials for risking the safety of the country and people, state media reported on Wednesday.
The report by state news agency KCNA did not elaborate on the nature of the crisis or how it put people at risk.
North Korea has not officially confirmed any COVID-19 cases, a position questioned by South Korean and U.S. officials. But the reclusive country has imposed strict anti-virus measures, including border closures and domestic travel curbs.
Seoul delays relaxation of social distancing
South Korea’s capital Seoul and its neighbouring regions will delay by a week the relaxation of social distancing rules due to a sudden increase in COVID-19 cases, authorities said.
The government had said it would relax social distancing and allow private gatherings of up to six people in the greater Seoul area, from the current four, starting July 1 as the country’s inoculation drive has been picking up speed.
While the number of daily new infections have remained below 700 since early this month, South Korea reported 794 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday.
Heart inflammation after COVID-19 shots higher than expected
Members of the U.S. military who were vaccinated against COVID-19 showed higher-than-expected rates of heart inflammation, although the condition was still extremely rare, according to a study released on Tuesday.
The study found that 23 previously healthy males with an average age of 25 complained of chest pain within four days of receiving a COVID-19 shot. The incident rate was higher than some previous estimates would have anticipated, it said.
All the patients, who at the time of the study’s publication had recovered or were recovering from myocarditis – an inflammation of the heart muscle – had received shots made by either Pfizer and BioNTech or Moderna.
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