Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The total number of coronavirus cases in the United States is nearing six million, with states including Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota reporting daily records. More than 183,000 people have died from the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The number of cases globally has hit almost 25.1 million, with deaths exceeding 844,000, according to the university’s data. More than 16.5 million have recovered
New Zealand has made face masks compulsory as it eases coronavirus restrictions in Auckland that were imposed after a sudden spike in cases.
Here are the latest updates:
Monday, August 31
03:25 GMT – US eyes giving COVID-19 vaccine emergency approval
Stephen Hahn, the head of the US Food and Drug Administration, has raised the possibility of giving an emergency approval on coronavirus vaccines being developed in the country, even before trials are concluded.
“If they do that before the end of Phase Three,” which involves large-scale human testing, “we may find that appropriate. We may find that inappropriate, we will make a determination,” Hahn told the Financial Times.
But the move has drawn criticism that he is giving in to pressure by the Trump administration to step up the production of a vaccine ahead of the November 3 elections.
“This is going to be a science, medicine, data decision. This is not going to be a political decision,” he said.
The US has reported almost six million cases and 183,000 deaths, raising criticism and questions against the Trump administration’s handling of the deadly pandemic.
03:01 GMT – Greece’s coronavirus cases surpass 10,000
Greece’s health authorities reported that the coronavirus cases in the country have exceeded 10,000, half of which were reported just in August.
At least 157 new cases were reported on Sunday, including 41 from overseas.
Greece also reported two more deaths bringing the country’s total to 262.
02:45 GMT – Almost half a million sign up for free COVI-19 test in Hong Kong
Despite calls for a boycott, more than 420,000 Hong Kong residents have registered fro free universal coronavirus testing, which is set to begin on Tuesday, according to Hong Kong authorities.
According to the Gov.HK website, that since the online booking system started, at least 80 community testing centres have been fully booked.
The Hong Kong government has initially set a seven-day testing period, although it has not set a target number of testings among its 7.5 million residents.
02:10 GMT – China reports 17 new coronavirus cases
China’s National Health Commission reported on Monday at least 17 new coronavirus cases – all imported – as of the end of Sunday.
That brings the total number of imported cases to 2,499, according to Xinhua news agency.
There were no new reported deaths in the mainland keeping the total at 4,634. Most of China’s 85,048 COVID-19 patients have recovered.
01:45 GMT – South Korea reports decline in new cases
The number of daily new coronavirus cases in South Korea has stayed below 300 for the second consecutive day on Monday, Yonhap news agency reported quoting Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The country reported 248 new COVID-19 cases, including 238 local infections, raising the total caseload to 19,947, KCDC said. That’s down from the 299 cases reported on Sunday.
One more patient died from the novel coronavirus, raising the death toll to 324. Almost 15,000 of the cases have fully recovered.
01:30 GMT – Australia’s Victoria reports lowest infections since July 3
Australia’s state of Victoria has recorded 73 new coronavirus cases on Monday – its lowest total since July 3.
The state’s death toll also increased by 41, including 22 cases at an elder care facility that were reported belatedly.
Meanwhile, New South Wales raised its health alerts in some areas after a cluster of infections. It reported seven new cases on Sunday.
Australia has reported more than 24,000 cases, at least 3,100 of them active. It has recorded at least 652 deaths.
01:05 GMT – Mexico’s coronavirus death toll surpasses 64,000
Mexico has confirmed 4,129 new coronavirus infections and 339 additional fatalities, bringing the total number of cases to 595,841 and 64,158 deaths.
The number of cases and deaths, however, continues to be on a downward trend, according to data from the ministry of health, although the government has long acknowledged that the real number of infections could be higher than the numbers being reported.
00:30 GMT – New Zealand eases restrictions for Auckland residents
New Zealand has eased coronavirus restrictions in the city of Auckland, and made the use of face masks compulsory.
The New Zealand Herald reported many of the city’s residents “swarming to the city’s airport” to take advantage of the travel opportunity.
New Zealand has reported more than 1,700 cases and 22 deaths from coronavirus.
00:15 GMT – Several US states report daily record of COVID-19 cases
The total number of coronavirus cases in the United States is nearing six million, with states including Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota reporting daily records.
More than 183,000 people have died from the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Meanwhile, the US states of Montana and Idaho have reported record numbers of COVID-19 hospitalisations, according to reports.
In an interview with CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, Dr Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said the trend was worrisome.
00:01 GMT – Brazil reports 566 new deaths and over 16,000 new cases
Brazil’s health ministry has reported 566 additional coronavirus deaths over the past 24 hours and 16,158 new cases, bringing the country’s death toll to 120,828 deaths, with 3,862,311 total infections.
The numbers of deaths and new cases as of the end of Sunday were significantly lower than those on the previous day, which could either be attributed to delays in reporting by state government, or an overall continuing downward trend.
The country has the second-highest number of deaths and infections. It leads in the highest number of recoveries at 3.2 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Read all the key developments from yesterday (August 30) here.