Latest on worldwide spread of coronavirus

Turkey's new COVID-19 cases have doubled in just over two weeks to 9586, its highest since May 19.
Turkey's new COVID-19 cases have doubled in just over two weeks to 9586, its highest since May 19.

EUROPE

* Looking to counter the increasing menace of the coronavirus Delta variant, a growing number of European countries are raising their defences and trying to pressure more people to get vaccinated to stay safe.

* Germany is classifying Spain and the Netherlands as areas with a high incidence of coronavirus, which means that unvaccinated travellers returning from those countries will have to quarantine for at least five days.

* Spaniards who took one of the biggest hits from COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic are now among some of the keenest when it comes to getting vaccines, figures show.

* A dispute over blood tests has raised questions about an Italian study that suggested the coronavirus was circulating outside China much earlier than expected, highlighting the challenges of trying to determine when the virus emerged.

* Cases of COVID-19 have increased in Sweden's main cities with the more contagious Delta having emerged as the dominant variant in the country, health authorities said, though it added infection levels nationally remained low.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Vietnam will extend a lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City until August 1 and impose stricter restrictions in the capital Hanoi from Saturday, as the Southeast Asian country battles its worst wave of COVID-19 infections.

* Tokyo Olympics organisers are grappling with a shortage of testing kits needed for their daily testing program, broadcaster NHK reported.

* Vaccinated people accounted for three-quarters of Singapore's infections in the last four weeks, government data showed.

AMERICAS

* Pfizer and German partner BioNTech said on Friday the US government has purchased 200 million additional doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to help with paediatric vaccination as well as possible booster shots, if they are needed.

* The Kremlin said Russia would resolve delays in deliveries of the Sputnik V vaccine to Argentina, but that its priority was to satisfy domestic demand.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Turkey's new cases have doubled in just over two weeks to 9586 on Thursday, its highest since May 19, according to an official tally.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine could become the second shot okayed for adolescent use in the European Union after regulators on Friday recommended approving it for 12- to 17-year-olds ahead of US authorities.

* A longer gap between doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine leads to higher overall antibody levels than a shorter gap, a British study found, but antibody levels are not sustained for long after the first dose.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* The S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes hit record highs on Friday after a rocky week in which investors fretted over rising COVID-19 cases, spurred by the more contagious Delta variant, while US Treasury yields rose before a Federal Reserve meeting next week.

GLOBAL

CASES 193,831,698

DEATHS 4,157,199

RECOVERED 175,973,596

Australian Associated Press