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North Korea said on Friday that all of its fever patients have recovered since the pandemic broke out in the isolated economy, according to state media KCNA.

Mortality and infections

* Click on COVID-19: MacroVitals for Icon Users, Case Tracker and News Summary.

Asia Pacific

* Macau’s government said it will resume ferry services with the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen on Aug. 8, as authorities try to ease strict COVID-19 restrictions in the world’s biggest gambling hub.

* Mainland China reported 539 coronavirus cases as of Aug. 4, including 222 symptomatic and 317 asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said.

* Australia’s COVID-19 winter outbreak, fueled by new Omicron sub-variants BA.4/5, has peaked early, Health Minister Mark Butler said on Thursday, with hospitals reporting a steady drop in admissions over the past week.

Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine linked to death in South Africa, health regulator reports

Europe

* The European Medicines Agency recommends Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine carry a warning about the possibility of two types of heartburn, an added burden for a shot that has so far failed to gain widespread adoption.

The J&J vaccine recently came under fire after the FDA linked it to a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome.

The J&J vaccine recently came under fire after the FDA linked it to a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome.
(REUTERS/Dado Ruvik/Illustration)

Americas

* US President Joe Biden will remain in isolation until he tests negative for COVID-19, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said on Thursday.

* Novak Djokovic has pulled out of next week’s US Open tune-up event in Canada because he cannot enter the country without being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, tournament organizers said, handing Andy Murray one of four wildcards.

Middle East and Africa

* South Africa’s health regulator on Thursday reported a causal link between one person’s death and Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, the first such direct link in the country.

Medical development

* A small study suggests that the Omicron variant is more effective at infecting children through the nose than earlier versions of the coronavirus.

The BA.5 OMICRON variant may lead to a higher risk of reinfection and severe outcomes compared to other variants.

Economic impact

* Australia’s central bank warned on Friday that inflation could hit a three-decade high, necessitating further increases in interest rates, which would slow growth sharply and make it harder to keep the economy “in balance”.

* The Reserve Bank of India raised the key policy repo rate by 50 basis points on Friday, the third hike in as many months to cool stubbornly high inflation.

* Indonesia’s economic growth accelerated in the April-June quarter amid an export boom fueled by rising commodity prices, official data showed on Friday, but monetary tightening, rising inflation and the risk of a global recession threaten the outlook.

* Japanese households increased spending in June for the first time in four months as demand for travel services rose in a positive sign of broader recovery prospects.