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What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

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Japan to extend state of emergency
Japan is set to extend a state of emergency in Tokyo and other regions for another month on Tuesday, seeking to curb a COVID-19 outbreak even as daily case numbers begin to edge down.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected later in the day to formally announce an extension until March 7 following a recommendation from an expert coronavirus response panel.

Japan has reported a total of just under 392,000 cases, including just over 5,800 deaths. Tokyo reported 556 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

Moderna proposes filling vials with extra doses
Moderna said on Monday it was proposing filling vials with additional doses of the vaccine as the company approaches the manufacturing of almost a million doses a day.

Moderna's president, Stephen Hoge, said the additional doses would help address capacity constraints, noting that "beyond the amount of drug product available, is how many vials you can fill in a given period of time".

China's new cases drop to lowest in a month
China reported the fewest new COVID-19 infections in a month as imported cases overtook local ones, suggesting the country's worst wave since March 2020 is being stamped out ahead of a key holiday.

A team of investigators led by the World Health Organization (WHO) arrived on Tuesday at an animal health facility in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in the search for clues about the origins of the pandemic.

UK begins door-to-door testing
Britain begins door-to-door testing of 80,000 people on Tuesday in an effort to stem the spread of a new highly infectious variant of the coronavirus believed to originate in South Africa.

Public Health England said it had identified a total of 105 cases of the South African variant since Dec. 22, and to contain new outbreaks, residents in eight areas of the country would now be tested to see whether they have symptoms, a process known as "surge testing".

There are about 10,000 people in each area.

Australia falls back to zero cases
Fears of a new cluster of cases in Australia eased on Tuesday, as the city of Perth maintained a strict lockdown and no new cases were detected across the country for a second day.

Australia ended two weeks without any local cases on Sunday when a security guard working in hotel quarantine in the Western Australian state capital tested positive.

Dubai to start vaccinations
Dubai will start vaccinating people with the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot, the state media office said on Tuesday, as the United Arab Emirates battles its biggest outbreak since the pandemic begun.

The first shipment has arrived from India, the state media office said in a tweet. India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar tweeted: "Made in India vaccines reach Dubai. A special friend, a special relationship."
(Reuters)

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