What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

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Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

A woman wearing a face mask waits at a Delhi metro train platform, on the first day of the restart of their operations, amidst the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi, India, September 7, 2020. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Cases rising in 22 U.S. states

Coronavirus cases are rising in 22 of the 50 U.S. states, according to a Reuters analysis, a worrying trend on a Labour Day holiday weekend traditionally filled with family gatherings and parties to mark the end of summer.

As little as three weeks ago, cases were increasing in only three states, Hawaii, Illinois and South Dakota, according to an analysis comparing cases for the two-week period of Aug. 8-22 with the past two weeks.

Most of the 22 states where cases are rising are in the less-populated parts of the Midwest and South.

On a percentage basis, South Dakota had the biggest increase over the past two weeks at 126%, reporting over 3,700 new cases.

Surging infections in India

India’s coronavirus infections surged past 4.2 million on Monday as it overtook Brazil to become the country with the second-highest number of cases. India, with a daily record 90,802 cases on Monday, also has the fastest-growing case load. The United States, with more than 6 million cases, remains the worst-affected country.

Deaths in India have been relatively low, but it has posted more than 1,000 for each of the last five days. On Monday, India’s health ministry said 1,016 people died of COVID-19, taking total deaths to 71,642.

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Malaysia sees sharpest spike in new cases in three months

Malaysia’s health authorities reported 62 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the sharpest spike since early June, just as the government began barring long-term immigration pass holders from countries with high infection numbers.

From Monday, Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy imposed a ban on pass holders from 23 countries that have reported more than 150,000 COVID-19 cases, in a bid to clamp down on imported cases. Countries on the ban list include the United States, Britain and France.

Of the new cases reported on Monday, 50 were detected in an existing cluster in Sabah state on Malaysian Borneo, stemming from the detention of two undocumented migrants two weeks earlier, the health ministry said.

Sinovac employees and families administered vaccine

About 90% of Sinovac Biotech employees and their families have taken an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chinese firm under the country’s emergency use programme, its chief executive said on Sunday.

The extent of inoculations under the emergency programme, which China launched in July but has released few details about, points to how actively it is using experimental vaccines in the hopes of protecting essential workers against a potential COVID-19 resurgence, even as trials are still underway.

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Sinovac, whose CoronaVac is in Phase 3 clinical trials and has been included in the emergency scheme, offered the candidate vaccine to approximately 2,000 to 3,000 employees and their families on a voluntary basis, CEO Yin Weidong, who with his wife and parents has been inoculated, told Reuters.

Australian firm announces vaccine manufacturing plans

Australian biotech giant CSL said on Monday it would manufacture two different COVID-19 vaccine candidates, with the earliest doses due to reach the market early next year, sending its shares nearly 3% higher.

CSL said it expects to supply 30 million doses of a vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University to the Australian government if trials prove successful, with the first doses to be available in early 2021.

The company also said it had agreed with the Australian government to manufacture and supply 51 million doses of its own vaccine being developed with the University of Queensland, with mid-2021 likely to be the earliest the vaccine will be delivered.

Compiled by Karishma Singh and Linda Noakes, editing by Ed Osmond

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