Here are some significant developments:
- Australian officials in Sydney extended the city’s lockdown by another four weeks Wednesday, citing a growing outbreak of the more contagious delta variant that first flared in June. The stay-at-home order will apply to Sydney, the capital of New South Wales state, and other regional centers.
- A decision Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend mask-wearing indoors for vaccinated people brings the United States back in line with the World Health Organization and some foreign governments. The WHO currently advises all people, vaccinated or not, to continue wearing masks when around others.
- Thailand reported another record number of new infections Wednesday, registering more than 16,500 cases mostly in the capital, Bangkok, as an outbreak also flared in Phuket, one of the Southeast Asian nation’s most popular tourism spots.
- Amid widespread vaccine hesitancy, Russia has warned that workers who refuse to get inoculated could be suspended without pay as the immunization rate lags at 16 percent despite a third pandemic wave.
- New daily coronavirus cases in Tokyo reached more than 3,000 for the first time, local media reported Wednesday, citing a government source. Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics also said Wednesday that sixteen more people associated with the games tested positive for the virus. None of those who were infected are athletes, the organizers said.