(Reuters) -India, South Korea and Thailand faced mounting infections, undermining cautious hopes that Asia might be emerging from the worst of the pandemic as safety worries threatened to delay vaccination drives.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS * Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.
* Britons should be confident that the system to monitor COVID-19 vaccines is working following a change in advice on giving young people the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, Britain's health secretary said.
* Poland's daily coronavirus-related deaths hit a new record of 954 on Thursday, though a health ministry spokesman said the figure included deaths from over the Easter weekend and did not represent a 24-hour period.
* Hungary expects to have more than 4 million people vaccinated by the end of April and to further ease restrictions in five or six days
* Travellers to Ireland from more European Union countries will be subjected to mandatory hotel quarantine in the coming days, Ireland's foreign minister said.
* This year's French Open tennis tournament has been postponed by a week to May 30
* Mexican and Brazilian health regulators said on Wednesday they would not limit use of AstraZeneca's shot after Britain's vaccine advisory committee recommended not using it for people under 30.
* A Brazilian Supreme Court judge suspended extensions of drug patents in the country, a preliminary decision that could lower costs for drugs critical to treating COVID-19 patients at the expense of pharmaceutical firms.
* Argentina tightened movement restrictions on Wednesday including curtailing the leisure industry and blocking non-essential workers from using public transport after the country hit record infections.
* The U.S. government will allot nearly 85% less Johnson & Johnson vaccines to states next week, data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed.
* India's COVID-19 cases have soared 13-fold in barely two months, in a vicious second wave propelled by open disregard for safety protocols in much of the vast country.
* Tokyo's governor said she would ask the central government to impose emergency measures in the capital region.
* Japan's government said it was currently not looking to prioritise vaccines for Olympic athletes, dismissing a media report that said it was weighing the option.
* Indonesia is in talks with China on getting as many as 100 million vaccine doses to plug a gap after AstraZeneca delays, its health minister said on Wednesday.
* The Philippines suspended use of AstraZeneca's vaccine for people below 60 years of age to investigate reports of blood clots from overseas.
* Hundreds of thousands of AstraZeneca vaccine doses were flown to Australia from Britain but the source was kept quiet to avoid controversy in the UK, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The African Union dropped plans to buy vaccines from the Serum Institute of India and is exploring options with Johnson & Johnson.
* Algeria will start producing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine in September in partnership with Moscow, and part of the production will be intended for African countries.
* Moderna's chief medical officer said the company should be able to provide a booster shot for protection against variants by the end of this year.
* The U.S. National Institutes of Health has begun a mid-stage study to determine the risk of allergic reactions to the Moderna and Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines.
* Asian share markets lagged behind on Thursday as U.S. stock futures hit new peaks after the Federal Reserve underlined its commitment to keeping policy super loose even as the economy enjoys a rapid recovery. [MKTS/GLOB]
(Compiled by Sarah Morland and Amy Caren Daniel; Editing by Gareth Jones)