What You Need To Know About The Coronavirus Right Now

What You Need To Know About The Coronavirus Right Now: Authorities in the Australian state of Victoria said plans to relax COVID-19 restrictions this week in the State capital of Melbourne remained on track as new and acquired cases dropped on Tuesday. On May 27 Victoria, Australia's second largest state, plunged into a week-long lockdown to contain the outbreak. It forced its 7 million residents to stay at home and to stay away from key businesses. The closure has been extended in Melbourne until June 10, after which restrictions will be eased in other regions of the state. 

What You Need To Know About The Coronavirus Right Now

What You Need To Know About The Coronavirus Right Now
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China's southern province of Guangdong, which was hit by rising infections in May, has stepped up mass investigations in a handful of cities this week, including some that have not reported a single case. While the number of confirmed infections and asymptomatic cases compared to the massive outbreaks in other countries, such as India and Brazil remains low, China is not taking risks. 

South Korea injected 857,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, setting a daily record for vaccination campaigns. At the first dose the vaccination rate rose to 16.4%, according to data from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. Guangdong, China's manufacturing hub and largest province by economic output, reported more than 110 confirmed cases as of May 21. The provincial capital, Guangzhou, accounted for 90% of the cases, prompting the country to expand mass testing. 

So far, slow vaccine launches, global bottlenecks and delivery delays have hampered South Korea's efforts to contain the latest wave of infections, after it won praise last year for using aggressive high-tech contact tracking to contain outbreaks. The vaccination campaign is gathering momentum, with the South Korean government last week saying it expected to meet its vaccination targets for the first half of the year and vaccinate 1.4 million people early. 

Taiwan's health minister warned Tuesday of further delays in procuring more COVID-19 vaccines, but said the country was doing as well as it could as she reported stabilizing new infections. Taiwan is struggling to speed up its vaccination program as it grapples with a rise in cases domestically, with 3% of its 23.5 million people receiving at least one shot. 

The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, said Tuesday that she will receive her first COVID-19 vaccine late next week as the country prepares to receive a million doses of Pfizer's vaccine. There are about 20,000 doses a day administered by Pfizer, and the delivery will allow it to increase the pace, she said. "I got vaccinated now to do my role and show that I think it's safe and important to protect others," she says. 

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