- This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news and updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
- Top stories: Australia extends lockdown; WTO chief says COVAX struggling for vaccines; Russia records its highest daily death toll of the pandemic.
1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 187.7 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 4.04 million. More than 3.47 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.
Australian authorities extended a lockdown in Sydney on Wednesday by at least 14 days, after three weeks of initial restrictions failed to stamp out the biggest outbreak of COVID-19 this year in the country's largest city.
A Genting Cruise Lines' ship on a "cruise to nowhere" has returned to Singapore after a passenger was suspected of having contracted COVID-19. The nearly 3,000 passengers and crew on board have been confined to their cabins.
South Korea tightened social distancing rules across most of the country on Wednesday to tackle its worst-ever outbreak of coronavirus a day after new cases soared to a new daily peak of 1,615.
Tourism is not to blame for the surge of COVID-19 infections in Greece, the tourism minister said on Wednesday after the government reintroduced restrictions aimed at saving the summer season.
Face masks will remain compulsory on public transport in London, even after the requirement is lifted for the rest of England on Monday, 19 July.
France is marking Bastille Day with the traditional military parade down the Champs-Élysées in Paris. It was cancelled last year due to COVID-19.
2. COVAX struggling for vaccines, says WTO
The COVAX vaccine-sharing programme has struggled to meet vaccine delivery targets because some countries are able to pay more for scant supplies, the head of the World Trade Organization said on Tuesday.
"The supply scarcity is driving behaviour," Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said in an online interview with the Atlantic Council, without naming any countries.
"Many of them (countries) supported COVAX but many of them bid away vaccines from COVAX and that is why COVAX has been struggling to deliver what it should."
3. Russia reports record daily death toll
Russia reported 786 coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday, the most confirmed in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic, and 23,827 new cases nationwide.
Russia is facing a surge in cases that authorities have blamed on the more infectious Delta variant and a slow rate of vaccinations.
The government's coronavirus task force said the official national COVID-19 case tally stood at 5,857,002. It said the national death toll had risen to 145,278.
The federal statistics agency has kept a separate count and said Russia recorded around 290,000 deaths related to COVID-19 from April 2020 to May 2021.