Here's the latest on the pandemic from around the world overnight.
Australia's most populous state reported its first locally acquired coronavirus infection in more than a month on Wednesday, with health authorities working to track down the source and the variant involved.
The first local infection in southeastern New South Wales since March 31 strengthens prospects for a resumption of social distancing curbs, many of which had been eased as cases dwindled.
Although Australia has largely eradicated COVID-19, a man in his 50s with no known links to hotels used to quarantine people who have arrived from overseas tested positive on Tuesday, the state's health ministry said in a statement.
India accounted for nearly half of the COVID-19 cases reported worldwide last week, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, as the country's coronavirus deaths rose by a record 3780 during the last 24 hours. Daily infections in the country rose by 382,315 on Wednesday.
A top scientific adviser to the Indian government warned on Wednesday the country would inevitably face further waves of the coronavirus pandemic.
With hospitals scrabbling for beds and oxygen in response to a deadly second surge in infections, the World Health Organization said in a weekly report that India accounted for nearly half the coronavirus cases reported worldwide last week and a quarter of the deaths.
"Phase 3 is inevitable, given the high levels of circulating virus," K VijayRaghavan told a news briefing. "But it is not clear on what timescale this phase 3 will occur... We should prepare for new waves."
The Indian cricket board faces losing about $270 million in revenue after its lucrative and star-studded Indian Premier League was halted by the COVID-19 crisis in the country, a senior official told Reuters on Wednesday.
Nepal is being overwhelmed by a COVID-19 surge as India's outbreak spreads across South Asia, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said on Wednesday. Nepal is now recording 57 times as many cases as a month ago.
Japan is considering extending a state of emergency in the capital, Tokyo, and other major urban areas, sources said on Wednesday, a move that could cast doubt on the planned Summer Olympics.
Workers at an Indonesian pharmaceutical firm have been arrested over 'reused' COVID swabs. They allegedly washed, repackaged and sold them to passengers required to take a test at an airport.
Brazil's former health minister told a Parliamentary inquiry on Tuesday that President Jair Bolsonaro's right-wing government knew full well that the treatment they were advocating for COVID-19 patients had no scientific basis.
"I warned Bolsonaro systematically of the consequences of not adopting the recommendations of science to fight COVID-19," Luiz Henrique Mandetta, who was fired last April by Bolsonaro for not agreeing to push the malaria drug chloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment, testified. "The government was aware that it was prescribing chloroquine without any scientific evidence."
COVID-19 has killed more than 408,000 Brazilians.
COVID-19 infections continue to spread fast across the Americas as a result of relaxed prevention measures and intensive care units are filling up with younger people, the director of the Pan American Health Organization said on Wednesday.
In Brazil, mortality rates have doubled among those younger than 39, quadrupled among those in their 40s and tripled for those in their 50s since December, Carissa Etienne said.
Hospitalization rates among those under 39 years have increased by more than 70 percent in Chile and in some areas of the United States more people in their 20s are now being hospitalised for COVID-19 than people in their 70s.
Americans had the lowest number of babies in more than four decades last year, mirroring a slump in European birth rates, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced more people to take care of sick family members or deal with job losses.
A federal judge on Wednesday threw out the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's nationwide moratorium on evictions, delivering a setback to Americans hit hard financially by the coronavirus pandemic.
Italy reported 267 coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday against 305 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections rose to 10,585 from 9116.
India's entire delegation to the Group of Seven summit in London is self-isolating after two of its members tested positive for COVID-19, the British government said on Wednesday.
"The meeting had been enabled by a strict set of COVID protocols, including daily testing of all delegates," a British official said.
Sweden, which has shunned lockdowns throughout the pandemic, registered 7041 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, health agency statistics showed.
The country of 10 million inhabitants registered 60 new deaths, taking the total to 14,151.
France reported another 26,000 cases and 244 deaths.
Middle East and Africa
A variant of COVID-19 first diagnosed in India has been detected in Kenya, days after the same variant was detected in neighbouring Uganda.
UN chief Antonio Guterres believes vaccine makers should allow other companies to produce versions of their COVID-19 shots, a UN spokesman said on Wednesday, as the World Trade Organisation discussed waiving patent rights to boost supply to developing countries.
"The Secretary-General has often called for technology transfers and sharing of know-how and voluntary licensing or sharing of licensing," spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
The Canadian province of Alberta reported its first death of a patient from a rare blood clot condition after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, its chief medical officer said.
The Alberta case, of a woman in her 50s, marks the second case of blood clots, and the only death after more than 253,000 doses of AstraZeneca were administered in the province, Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr Deena Hinshaw said in a statement on Tuesday.
"While any death is tragic, it is important to remember that the risks of dying or suffering other severe outcomes from COVID-19 remain far greater than the risk following AstraZeneca vaccine," Hinshaw said.
AstraZeneca did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for a comment.
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorise the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds very soon, US health officials said on Wednesday.
The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech SE does not damage sperm, according to a study by Israeli researchers.
Germany's CureVac is on track to file for European approval of its COVID-19 vaccine as early as this month because high infection rates among trial participants are bringing a read-out on efficacy within closer reach.
The COVID-19 vaccine produced by China's Sinovac Biotech is efficacious in preventing COVID-19 in adults under 60, but some quality data on the risk of serious adverse effects is lacking, World Health Organization experts have found.
Reuters / Newshub.