Australia announces US$941m in additional COVID-19 funding

Medical staff transport a patient from the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Melbourne on Oct 9, 2021, as Victoria state recorded 1965 new COVID-19 cases, its highest daily infection number since the start of the pandemic, putting more pressure on the state's struggling health system. (WILLIAM WEST / AFP)

HANOI / MANILA / SINGAPORE / YANGON / CANBERRA / WELLINGTON / NEW DELHI / SEOUL / ISLAMABAD – The Australian government on Monday extended funding for coronavirus testing and protocols in high-risk settings.

Health and Aged Care Minister Mark Butler said the federal government would spend an additional A$1.4 billion ($941 million) over the next three months on preventing the spread of COVID-19 in aged and disability care and hospitals.

Federal funding for coronavirus testing and protocols was due to end on Sept 30, but Butler said the extension would ensure vulnerable Australians remain protected.

"This action will provide Australians with effective testing, medical care and treatments to protect themselves and those most vulnerable in the community," he said.

"These investments also provide ongoing support and protection for our frontline health and aged care workers, and people living in residential aged care homes, as well as those people supporting the most vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19."

According to the Department of Health of the Australian government, average COVID-19 infections in Australia are still running at more than 7,000 each day.

The majority of the additional funding – A$840 million – will go towards the Aged Care Support Program, including A$35 million on onsite polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing at aged care facilities.

A further A$235 million will boost the National Medical Stockpile to guarantee supply of personal protection equipment (PPE) and testing equipment for aged care, primary care, disability care and First Nations health services and frontline healthcare workers.

More than A$100 million will be spent on rapid antigen tests (RATs) for workers and care recipients over the next three months.

ALSO READ: COVID-19 cases surpass 10 million in Australia

People wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus walk through a market in New Delhi, India, Aug 11, 2022. (ALTAF QADRI / AP)


India's daily COVID-19 caseload decreased to 4,858, officials said on Monday.

According to the health ministry data released on Monday morning, 4,858 new cases of COVID-19 were reported during the past 24 hours, taking the total tally to 44,539,046 in the country.

The cases reported on Monday mark a decrease in comparison to the daily caseload of Sunday 5,664.

With the reporting of fresh cases, India's active caseload currently stands at 48,027.

The country also logged 18 COVID-19-related deaths during the past 24 hours, pushing the overall death toll to 528,355 since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, the ministry said.


Malaysia reported 1,639 new COVID-19 infections as of midnight Sunday, bringing the country's national total to 4,818,890, according to the health ministry.

There are nine new imported cases, with 1,630 cases being local transmissions, data released on the ministry's website showed.

Another four deaths have been reported, pushing the death toll to 36,312.

A woman receives a shot of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine in Yangon, Myanmar, Aug 29, 2021. (PHOTO / XINHUA)


Myanmar confirmed 234 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total tally to 618,898, according to the Ministry of Health on Sunday.

The ministry said in a statement that health authorities tested 9,533 people for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, and the daily positivity rate was 2.45 percent.

The death toll from COVID-19 rose to 19,446 on Sunday as two new deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, the ministry said.

New Zealand

New Zealand recorded 9,606 new community cases of COVID-19 and 22 more deaths in the last week, the Ministry of Health said on Monday.

On average, new cases per day reached 1,369 over the last week. The country has seen the number of daily cases going down steadily from over 10,000 cases nationwide in early July.

With the fresh cases, New Zealand has reported 1,752,613 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,972 COVID-19-related deaths since the pandemic hit the country in early 2020, the ministry said.


Pakistan recorded 72 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, with the COVID-19 positivity rate standing at 0.54 percent, according to its ministry of health on Monday.

The new infections were detected after diagnostic testing was performed on 13,311 samples.

With the new infections, the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen to 1,571,894 in the South Asian country, showed the data released by the ministry.


The Philippines reported 2,367 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 3,920,693.

The Department of Health (DOH) said the number of active cases rose to 26,401, while 35 more patients died from COVID-19 complications, pushing the country's death toll to 62,549.

Metro Manila, the capital region with over 13 million people, tallied 1,080 new cases.

Singapore Airlines stewardesses walk past a giant lollipop candy display at Changi International Airport in Singapore on April 1, 2022, as Singapore reopened its land and air borders to travelers fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. (ROSLOAN RAHMAN / AFP)


Singapore reported 1,528 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total tally to 1,875,275.

Of the new cases, 154 cases were detected through PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and 1,374 through ART (antigen rapid test) tests, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Health.

Among the PCR cases, 145 were local transmissions and nine were imported cases. Among the ART cases with mild symptoms and assessed to be of low risk, there were 1,270 local transmissions and 104 imported cases.

No new deaths were reported from COVID-19 on Sunday, leaving the death toll unchanged at 1,607, the ministry said.  

ALSO READ: Singapore relaxes tight COVID-19 social curbs from Monday

People wearing face masks cross a road in the rain near a subway station in Seoul, South Korea on July 13, 2022. (AHN YOUNG-JOON / AP)

South Korea

South Korea reported 19,407 new COVID-19 cases as of midnight Sunday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 24,413,873, the health authorities said on Monday.

The daily caseload was down from 34,764 in the previous day and lower than 36,923 tallied a week earlier, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

For the past week, the daily average number of confirmed cases was 53,172.

Thirty-nine more deaths were confirmed, leaving the death toll at 27,867. The total fatality rate was 0.11 percent.

ALSO READ: S. Korea registers 35,620 breakthrough COVID-19 cases

Passengers wait for transportation outside the arrival hall of Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on March 15, 2022, as Vietnam announced the return of a visa exemption policy for 13 countries in an effort to kickstart its tourism sector. (NHAC NGUYEN / AFP)


Vietnam recorded 1,891 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, down by 588 from Saturday, according to its ministry of health.

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

The newly reported infections brought the country's total tally to 11,458,499.

Vietnam reported a new death from the pandemic in the northern Thai Nguyen province on Sunday, bringing the total fatalities to 43,139.