(Reuters) - Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
India reported 78,512 new novel coronavirus infections on Monday, slightly fewer than its record set the previous day when it posted the biggest, single-day tally of infections of any country in the pandemic. On Sunday, India's total of 78,761 new cases exceeded the previous record of 77,299 in the United States on July 16, a Reuters tally of official data showed.
Despite the surging case numbers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been pushing for a return to normalcy to lessen the economic pain of the pandemic, having earlier imposed strict lockdowns of the country's 1.3 billion people.
U.S. cases of the novel coronavirus surpassed 6 million on Sunday as many states in the Midwest reported increasing infections, according to a Reuters tally. While the United States has the most recorded infections in the world, it ranks tenth based on cases per capita.
More than eight months into the pandemic, the United States continues to struggle with testing. The number of people tested has fallen in recent weeks. Public health officials believe the United States needs to test more frequently to find asymptomatic coronavirus carriers to slow the spread of the COVID-19 disease.
Mutation found in Indonesia
A more infectious mutation of the new coronavirus has been found in Indonesia, the Jakarta-based Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology said on Sunday, as the Southeast Asian country's caseload surges.
The "infectious but milder" D614G mutation of the virus has been found in genome sequencing data from samples collected by the institute, deputy director Herawati Sudoyo told Reuters, adding that more study is required to determine whether that was behind the recent rise in cases.
The strain, which the World Health Organization said was identified in February and has been circulating in Europe and the Americas, has also been found in neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia.
Vaccine approval and use underway in China
Sinovac Biotech Ltd's coronavirus vaccine candidate CoronaVac was approved for emergency use as part of a programme in China to vaccinate high-risk groups such as medical staff, a person familiar with the matter said.
China National Biotec Group (CNBG), a unit of state-owned pharmaceutical giant China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), also said it had obtained emergency use approval for a coronavirus vaccine candidate in social media platform WeChat last Sunday. CNBG, which has two vaccine candidates in phase 3 clinical trials, did not say which of its vaccines had been cleared for emergency use.
China has been giving experimental coronavirus vaccines to high-risk groups since July, though officially it has given little details on which vaccine candidates have been given to high-risk people under the emergency use programme and how many people have been vaccinated.
Lighter traffic in Seoul; masks on in Auckland
Private tuition centres shut for the first time and traffic was lighter in South Korea's capital on Monday, the first working day of tighter social-distancing rules designed to halt a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks.
The decision came after earlier restrictions on movement failed to prevent a second wave of coronavirus infections from erupting at churches, offices, nursing homes and medical facilities.
Meanwhile in Auckland, schools and businesses reopened on Monday after the lifting of a lockdown in New Zealand's largest city to contain the resurgence of the coronavirus, but face masks were made mandatory on public transport across the country. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was confident the new measure would be taken up across New Zealand, adding that "a bit of smiling with the eyes behind the mask" and kindness to Aucklanders in particular, would help get the country through the latest outbreak.
(Compiled by Karishma Singh; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)