Coronavirus cases worldwide surpassed 200 million on Wednesday, while a White House official told Reuters the Biden administration is developing a plan to require nearly all foreign visitors to be fully vaccinated.
* The European Commission has approved a supply contract with US firm Novavax for the purchase of up to 200 million of its potential COVID-19 vaccine.
* Britain will offer all 16- and 17-year-olds their first dose of Pfizer vaccine.
* Britain said fully-vaccinated travellers returning to England from France will no longer have to quarantine.
* Japan warned infections were rising at an unprecedented pace as new cases hit a record high in Tokyo, overshadowing the Olympics and adding to doubts over the government's handling of the pandemic.
* China reported on Wednesday the highest number of new locally transmitted cases since January.
* Indonesia recorded a grim milestone of more than 100,000 deaths from COVID-19.
* South Korea posted a sharp increase in cases as it struggled to tame its fourth wave of infections.
* The World Health Organisation is calling for a halt on vaccine boosters until at least the end of September, as the gap between vaccinations in wealthy and poor countries widens.
* The Delta variant is "highly worrisome" as the mutation has spread to nearly two dozen countries across the Americas, officials with the Pan American Health Organization told reporters.
* Brazil's cases crossed 20 million.
* The US Food and Drug Administration aims to give full approval for the Pfizer vaccine by early September, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Dubai's state airport operator expects a surge in passenger traffic over the coming weeks and months, after the United Arab Emirates announced an easing of travel restrictions from African and Asian countries.
* Israel warned against travel to the United States and other countries and said it would tighten quarantine measures for inbound travellers.
* In vaccinated patients with "breakthrough" COVID-19 infections, the disease may not affect the lungs as much as in unvaccinated patients, new data from India suggests.
* All patients undergoing non-emergency surgeries or medical procedures should get a PCR test for COVID-19 before getting operated, irrespective of their vaccination status, according to guidance from the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
* Stocks, Treasuries and other major markets were mixed on Wednesday, after July data showed that US jobs growth slowed but demand for services increased, all as Federal Reserve officials signaled a likely pullback in market support.
* Outbreaks of the Delta variant in Southeast Asia have crippled its factory sector, disrupting global supplies of goods such as rubber gloves, semiconductors and SUVs and threatening the region's recovery.
Australian Associated Press