What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
South Korea reports highest daily increase in cases
South Korea on Thursday reported another daily record of 1,842 coronavirus cases, as it struggles to tame its worst-ever wave of outbreaks amid rising infections nationwide fuelled by the more contagious Delta variant.
The latest numbers include at least 270 sailors on an anti-piracy navy destroyer patrolling the waters off Africa who were flown home on Tuesday after being infected.
Authorities are considering expanding the restrictions imposed for the capital Seoul and neighbouring areas last week, as small clusters continue to emerge nationwide.
WHO urges tougher restrictions in Indonesia
The World Health Organization on Thursday urged Indonesia to implement a stricter and wider lockdown to combat surging infections and deaths, just days after the country's president flagged the easing of restrictions.
Indonesia has become one of the epicentres of the pandemic in recent weeks, with positive cases leaping fivefold in the past five weeks. This week, daily deaths hit record highs over 1,400, among the highest tolls in the world.
In its latest situation report, the WHO said strict implementation of public health and social restrictions were crucial and called for additional "urgent action" to address sharp rises in infections in 13 of Indonesia's 34 provinces.
China rejects WHO plan for study of Covid-19 origin
China rejected on Thursday a World Health Organization plan for a second phase of an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, which includes the hypothesis it could have escaped from a Chinese laboratory, a top health official said.
The WHO this month proposed a second phase of studies into the origins of the coronavirus in China, including audits of laboratories and markets in the city of Wuhan, calling for transparency from authorities.
China's capital Beijing has fully vaccinated nearly 91% of its adult residents against Covid-19, data from the municipal government showed, as the country expands its nationwide vaccination efforts.
Australian PM apologises for vaccine delays
Australia's prime minister apologised for a sluggish vaccination programme on Thursday, while the country's most populous state reported its biggest one-day spike in infections in 16 months and warned cases would likely rise further.
Australia was widely lauded for containing the pandemic in 2020, but it has struggled this year to slow the spread of the Delta variant even with more than half its 25 million population under a weeks-long lockdown.
The curbs, which Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said was costing the economy about A$300 million ($220 million) daily, and the likelihood that they will stay in place with less than 15% of the adult population fully vaccinated have stoked public anger.
'Pingdemic' grips Britain as fears of food shortages grow
Britain's supermarkets, wholesalers and hauliers were struggling on Thursday to ensure stable food and fuel supplies after an official health app told hundreds of thousands of workers to isolate after contact with someone with Covid-19.
Coronavirus cases in Britain have been broadly rising for a month, with more than 44,000 recorded on Wednesday.