HONG KONG, June 17 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese government decided to lift the COVID-19 state of emergency for nine prefectures including Tokyo from Monday, as New Zealand announced the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan for the general population on Thursday.
The state of emergency is currently set to end for all prefectures in Japan except Okinawa on Sunday.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said citizens aged over 60 will be offered vaccination from July 28 and those aged over 55 from Aug. 11.
The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over 45 years old to receive vaccine invitations from mid to late August, those over 35 years old from mid to late September, and everyone else being eligible from October, Ardern told a press conference.
New Zealand reported two cases of COVID-19 in managed isolation and no new cases in the community.
India's COVID-19 tally rose to 29,700,313, with 67,208 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours, said the federal health ministry. Meanwhile, 2,330 more patients died since Wednesday morning, taking the death toll to 381,903.
Sri Lankan authorities said the highly transmissible B.1.617.2 variant found in India had been detected for the first time from the community in capital Colombo.
Director of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of Sri Jayewardenepura University Dr. Chandima Jeewandara said this variant was detected in five samples obtained from the Dematagoda area in Colombo.
Thailand has administered 7,003,783 doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far, as the nation accelerates its vaccination to fight against the spread of the coronavirus.
Over 2.9 million doses of the vaccines have been given since the country launched its mass inoculation campaign 10 days ago, according to the data released by the Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
About 63 percent of residents in southern Thailand's Phuket island have received their first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine as the island is scheduled to reopen on July 1, said a senior government official.
Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has advised that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine be administered to people aged 60 and over, rather than those aged 50 and over as was previously recommended.
Locally acquired COVID-19 cases increased in Australia's largest city of Sydney after a man tested positive on Wednesday.
The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported 6,637 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Southeast Asian country, bringing the total tally to 1,339,457. The death toll rose to 23,276 with 155 more deaths recorded from the coronavirus epidemic, the DOH said.
The death toll resulting from COVID-19 in the Maldives has crossed 200, local media reported. The country's death toll from COVID-19 reached 200 on Wednesday, according to data from the Health Protection Agency (HPA). This includes 183 Maldivian nationals and 17 expatriates.
Pakistan on Wednesday confirmed 1,119 new COVID-19 cases, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) said, as the country's number of overall cases had risen to 945,184.
South Korea reported 540 more cases of COVID-19 as of midnight Wednesday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 149,731. The daily caseload was slightly down from 545 on the prior day, staying above 500 for two days. The daily average caseload for the past week was 490.
Fiji recorded 121 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, including 61 cases linked to existing clusters and two newly identified clusters, according to the Ministry of Health.
The ministry's permanent secretary James Fong said the majority of new cases are within known clusters in areas already under a lockdown or are individuals under home quarantine.
The Bangladeshi government has extended the countrywide COVID-19 restrictions on public movement and transport for a month from Thursday. The ongoing restrictions, which are to expire Wednesday midnight after having been extended several times, will now run through the midnight of July 15. Enditem