Coronavirus live news: China pledges more vaccine support for south-east Asia | World news
China today pledged further assistance to Southeast Asian nations in battling the pandemic, the Associated Press reports.
The country’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, told his Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) counterparts that China had already delivered 100 million doses of vaccine to Asean nations along with other materials and technical help.
Wang said China would “urgently implement” the China-Asean Public Health Cooperation Initiative, continue to support the Asean Emergency Medical Materials Reserve and strengthen regional public health capacity-building. “China will work with Asean to overcome the outbreak as soon as possible,” Wang told a meeting of ministers.
He said the sides should explore establishing an expert panel to strengthen cooperation throughout the vaccine process, from research to use, and work to build production and distribution centres to help make vaccines affordable and accessible in the region.
Though Covid-19 was first detected in China in late 2019, the nation has largely stamped out domestic transmission, although it has been accused of insufficient transparency or even seeking to conceal the origins of the pandemic.
Beijing has been building influence with Asean, despite frictions with some members of the bloc over competing territorial claims in the South China Sea.
Welcome to another day of the pandemic, and our continuing global coverage of the latest developments.
Below are some of the key updates from the last day.
- Canada is preparing to ease birder restrictions for vaccinated travellers, Bloomberg reports.
- A top Japanese virologist and government adviser has warned of the risks of spreading infections during the Tokyo Olympics.
- Australia’s state of Victoria is on track to ease restrictions on residents, currently in a lockdown to deal with an outbreak of the Delta variant, authorities said.
- India’s government will provide free vaccinations for all adults, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, as the capital New Delhi and financial hub Mumbai ease lockdowns on falling infection levels.
- A new coronavirus antibody drug appears to show promise in mouse studies, according to a study published in Nature.
- The Czech Republic has announced it will reopen its borders to EU and Serbian citizens on June 21.
- Just days before the start of the Euros, Spain’s football players and staff have returned negative Covid-19 tests after captain Sergio Busquets had to go home and quarantine.
- There was “delight across Ireland” as the country reopened pubs, restaurants and leisure facilities.
- Central Park is to host an “all-star” concert in August to mark New York’s comeback after the pandemic.
- New York governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the state’s remaining coronavirus restrictions will be lifted when 70% of residents have had at least one vaccine dose.