The latest:

South Korean officials are expressing cautious hope that COVID-19 transmissions are beginning to slow, after battling the country’s worst wave of infections for weeks.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Tuesday reported the country’s lowest daily jump in about two weeks at 1,372 cases.

Officials have been enforcing the strongest physical distancing restrictions short of a lockdown in the capital of Seoul and other large population centres, including banning private social gatherings of three or more people after 6 p.m.

A senior health ministry official pleaded for citizens to remain vigilant ahead of next month’s Chuseok holidays, the Korean version of Thanksgiving, when millions usually travel across the country to meet relatives.

Less than 30 per cent of South Korea’s population has been fully vaccinated.

-From The Associated Press, last updated at 7 a.m. ET

What’s happening across Canada WATCH | COVID-19: Preparing kids for back-to-school mental health challenges: COVID-19: Preparing kids for back-to-school mental health challengesAs children return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic, a psychiatrist answers questions about the mental health challenges they may face and how to help them manage. 5:33 What’s happening around the world Children hold a cord to maintain social distance in a kindergarten, as in-person classes return after over a year of online lessons in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (Jose Luis Gonzalaez/Reuters)

As of early Tuesday morning, more than 217.1 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracking tool. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.5 million.

In the Americas, Brazil recorded 10,466 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, along with 266 deaths from COVID-19, the Health Ministry said late Monday.

In Europe, the president of the European Union’s executive arm said the 27-nation bloc has reached its goal of getting 70 per cent of the adults in the EU fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by the end of the summer. In a message posted Tuesday on Twitter, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen thanked people for making this “great achievement possible” but noted that more needs to be done.

Yvonne Willmann draws up a syringe with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in a special train on Berlin public transport in which shots were offered on Monday. (Christophe Gateau/dpa/The Associated Press)

In the Middle East, Israel’s Health Ministry reports that the country has set a new daily record for diagnosed coronavirus cases as the delta variant surges. The Israeli government registered 10,947 new cases on Monday, two days before 2.4 million students are scheduled to return to school this week. The country’s previous pandemic record of 10,118 new cases was set on Jan. 18.

Israel is home to one of the world’s fastest vaccination programs. The country is offering third booster shots to its entire eligible population, requiring masks indoors and promising better enforcement of safety measures. Nearly six million of Israel’s 9.3 million people have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Nearly 2.2 million have received a third shot.

Volunteers supporting local workers during the COVID-19 pandemic hand out food and drink packages in Bangkok on Tuesday ahead of the relaxation of some of Thailand’s restrictions on Sept. 1. (Jack Taylor/AFP/Getty Images)

In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia said it has reached a deal with Singapore to acquire 500,000 doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine next week in return for delivering the same number of shots to Singapore in December. Half of Australia’s population is locked down due to an outbreak of the delta variant of the coronavirus that began in Sydney in June.

In Africa, South African scientists have detected a new coronavirus variant with multiple mutations but are yet to establish whether it is more contagious or able to overcome the immunity provided by vaccines or prior infection.

-From The Associated Press, Reuters and CBC News, last updated at 7:30 a.m ET

Source From CBC News

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