Japan marks record 415 COVID-19 deaths

A person wearing a protective mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus stands in front of a public awareness notice for COVID-19 protection in Shinjuku district on July 14, 2022, in Tokyo. (EUGENE HOSHIKO / AP)

NEW DELHI / VIENTIANE / BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN / SINGAPORE / HANOI / MANILA / TOKYO / KUALA LUMPUR – Japan on Wednesday recorded 415 COVID-19 deaths, the highest-ever count for a single day, health ministry data showed.

The country counted 216,219 newly confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, up 4 percent from a week earlier, the data also showed, approaching the record high of some 260,000 a day in August.

In the past seven days, Japan had the world's largest confirmed COVID-19 infections and the second-most deaths after the United States, according to a tally by the World Health Organization.

Workers wearing protective suits spray disinfectant at Suri Seri Begawan Raja Pengiran Anak Damit Mosque in an effort to counter the spread of the COVID-19 in Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei on March 17, 2020. (PHOTO / AFP)


Brunei logged a daily average of 255 new COVID-19 cases in the past week compared to 332 cases per day the week before, official statistics released on Tuesday showed.

According to the health ministry's weekly briefing, 32,354 Antigen Rapid Test (ART) results were uploaded to the government platform within one week, with 5.3 percent of them being positive.

Currently, one hospitalized case is held in the intensive care unit and one case requires oxygen assistance, the health ministry said.

A health worker administers Covishield vaccine for COVID-19 at a vaccination center in Hyderabad, India on July 15, 2022. (MAHESH KUMAR A. / AP)


India reported 188 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, with the active caseload standing at 3,468.

No COVID-19-related death has been reported across the country during the past 24 hours.

Separately, India's vaccine maker Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) announced the price of newly-developed COVID-19 nasal vaccine iNCOVACC on Tuesday, saying the vaccine would be rolled out from the fourth week of January 2023.

The vaccine would be made available on CoWin, an Indian government's web portal for COVID-19 vaccination registration. Owned and operated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it displays booking slots of COVID-19 vaccine available in nearby areas.

The nasal vaccine is being described as a booster dose for those aged above 18 years and already receiving two doses of vaccines. "As a needleless vaccination, iNCOVACC will be India's first such booster dose," the company said.

BBIL had earlier developed a vaccine named COVAXIN, doses (two per individual) of which were widely administered to Indians and other countries' nationals staying in the country.

ALSO READ: India approves nasal vaccine for COVID-19

The company said the intranasal vaccine would be priced at 325 Indian rupees ($3.92) at the government-run hospitals or clinics, but at a price tag of 800 Indian rupees at private hospitals or clinics.

This vaccine candidate was evaluated in phases I, II and III clinical trials with successful results, it said.

Earlier this month, BBIL received approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) for the use of heterologous booster doses of the nasal vaccine.

Meanwhile, India's Hetero said that its generic version of Paxlovid, an antiviral treatment for COVID-19 developed by Pfizer Inc, was added to the World Health Organization's prequalification list, which serves as a benchmark for procurement of medicines by developing countries.

Hetero said it had entered into a licensing agreement with the United Nations-backed Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) to manufacture and sell the generic version of the drug in low- and middle-income countries.

The treatment bundles two nirmatrelvir pills and one ritonavir pill and will be manufactured at Hetero's plants in India, where the drug has emergency use authorization from the country's drugs controller general.

The global health agency has strongly recommended the use of Pfizer's Paxlovid for treating high-risk patients with mild and moderate COVID, while expressing concerns regarding its access in low- and middle-income countries.

A man receives a dose of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Vientiane, Laos, June 17, 2021. (PHOTO / XINHUA)


Lao government has announced the cancellation of required results in 48 hours of Antigen Test Kit (ATK) or Rapid Antigen Test for people entering Laos.

In addition, travelers entering Laos are no longer required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to a report issued on Tuesday from the Center of Information and Education for Health under the Lao Ministry of Health, the announcement aims to facilitate local residents and foreigners who want to depart from Laos or enter the Southeast Asian country.

In May, the Lao government announced the reopening of all international border crossings after a lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

ALSO READ: WHO chief says many reasons for hope in 2023


Malaysia recorded 423 new COVID-19 infections as of midnight Tuesday, bringing the total tally to 5,024,422, according to the health ministry.

There are two imported cases, with 421 cases being local transmissions, data released on the ministry's website showed.

Another six new deaths have been reported from the pandemic, taking the death toll to 36,841.

A man shops for face masks in Divisoria, a local shopping district in Manila on May 17, 2022. (JAM STA ROSA / AFP)


The Philippines reported 289 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, pushing the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 4,062,511.

The Department of Health (DOH) said the number of active cases dropped to 14,695, while 21 more patients died from COVID-19 complications, raising the country's death toll to 65,283.

Metro Manila, the capital region with over 13 million people, tallied 115 new cases.

A notice warning people not to gather in groups larger than five persons as part of restrictions to hald the spread of the coronavirus is displayed at Raffles Place financial business district in Singapore on Jan 4, 2022. (ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP)


Singapore reported 606 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total tally to 2,197,690, according to the Ministry of Health.

A total of 105 cases are currently warded in hospitals, with four of them held in intensive care units, according to statistics released by the ministry.

No new deaths from COVID-19 were reported on Tuesday, leaving the total death toll unchanged at 1,711.

A man passes walks past a billboard on the coronavirus in Ho Chi Minh City on Dec 4, 2021. (NHAC NGUYEN / AFP)


Vietnam recorded 211 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, up 48 from Monday, according to its ministry of health.

All the new cases were locally transmitted, said the ministry.

The new infections brought the total tally to 11,524,647. The Southeast Asian country reported no new deaths from the pandemic on Tuesday, with the total fatalities staying at 43,184.