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What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

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Australia finds highly infectious Delta variant in Melbourne
Australia's Victoria state authorities said on Friday they had detected the highly infectious Delta Covid-19 virus variant for the first time in the latest outbreak in Melbourne, stoking concerns of a major spike in cases.

The Delta variant was detected in two members in a family who travelled to neighbouring New South Wales (NSW) two weeks ago while likely infectious and visited several popular tourist locations in the state's south.

Fauci asks China to release medical records of Wuhan lab workers
Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has called on China to release the medical records of nine people whose ailments might provide vital clues into whether Covid-19 first emerged as the result of a lab leak, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

The origin of the virus is hotly contested, with U.S. intelligence agencies still examining reports that researchers at a Chinese virology laboratory in Wuhan were seriously ill in 2019 a month before the first Covid-19 cases were reported.

Delta variant dominant in UK, may increase risk of hospitalisation
The Delta variant of concern first identified in India is now dominant in Britain and might have an increased risk of hospitalisation compared to the Alpha variant, Public Health England said on Thursday.

The Delta variant is also thought to be more transmissible than Alpha, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that it could derail plans for lockdown restrictions in England to end on June 21.

Covid-19 far more widespread in Indonesia than official data show
Covid-19 is many times more prevalent in Indonesia than shown by official figures in the world's fourth most populous country, authors of two new studies told Reuters. The results of Indonesia's first major seroprevalence studies - which test for antibodies - were revealed exclusively to Reuters.

One nationwide study between December and January suggested 15% of Indonesians had already contracted Covid-19 - when official figures at the end of January had recorded infections among only around 0.4% of people. Even now, Indonesia's total positive infections are only around 0.7% of the population.

Malaysia warns of rising number of Covid-19 deaths, cases among children
Malaysian health authorities have raised concerns about a growing number of coronavirus deaths and serious cases involving children, after a surge in overall infections forced the Southeast Asian nation into a strict lockdown.

Malaysia recorded the deaths of three children aged below five due to the coronavirus in the first five months of this year, the same number recorded over the whole of 2020, according to Health Ministry director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah. A total of 27 children, including 19 below the age of five, also had to be treated in intensive care between January and May after contracting the virus, up from eight cases last year.

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