What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

·3-min read
Mass COVID-19 vaccination rollout starts in Bangkok

(Reuters) - Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

India re-opens major cities

Key Indian cities reopened for business on Monday, with long queues for buses in the financial hub of Mumbai while traffic returned to the roads of New Delhi after a devastating second wave of coronavirus that killed hundreds of thousands.

The 100,636 new infections of the past 24 hours were the lowest in the world's second most populous nation since April 6, and well off last month's peaks of more than 400,000, allowing authorities to reopen parts of the economy.

"We have to save ourselves from infection but also bring the economy back on track," Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Twitter.

Taiwan to extend COVID-19 curbs

Taiwan will extend its COVID-19 restrictions for another two weeks until June 28 and schools will remain shut until the summer vacation, the government said on Monday, adding that its outbreak has not yet stabilised.

After months of relative safety, Taiwan has been dealing with a spike in domestic infections and is at its second-highest alert level, with gatherings restricted, entertainment venues shut and students shifted to online learning.

Around 3% of Taiwan's 23.5 million people have received at least one vaccine shot so far. The government is preparing to ramp up vaccinations, although it is still awaiting delivery of millions more doses.

Australia's Victoria logs biggest rise in cases in a week

Australia's Victoria state on Monday reported its biggest rise in new locally acquired cases in nearly a week as authorities scramble to track the source of the highly infectious Delta variant found among infections.

Authorities reported 11 new cases, up from just two a day earlier, but noted that all were linked to existing clusters, as residents of state capital Melbourne wait to hear if an extended snap lockdown will end as planned on Thursday night.

"Nothing is on or off the table," Victoria state Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton told reporters in Melbourne, when asked if some areas of the city could remain locked down while other areas start to ease curbs.

Thailand starts vaccination drive

Thailand kicked off a long-awaited mass vaccination campaign on Monday as the country battles its third and worst wave of the epidemic.

The government aims to administer 6 million doses of locally-made AstraZeneca and imported Sinovac vaccines this month, hoping to assuage worries about the slow roll-out and supply shortages.

Officials reported 2,419 new COVID-19 cases and 33 deaths on Monday, bringing the total to 179,886 and 1,269 fatalities.

Former leaders urge G7 to vaccinate poor

One hundred former presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers have urged the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations to pay for global coronavirus vaccinations to help stop the virus mutating and returning as a worldwide threat.

The leaders made their appeal ahead of a G7 summit in England which begins on Friday, when U.S. President Joe Biden will meet the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan.

In their letter to the G7, the former world leaders said global cooperation had failed in 2020, but that 2021 could usher in a new era.

(Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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