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(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

FILE PHOTO: A health worker prepares a dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Central Vaccination Center, inside the Bang Sue Grand Station, Thailand, June 21, 2021. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Sydney in ‘scariest period’ of pandemic amid Delta outbreak

Australia’s most populous state, lamictal and migraines New South Wales (NSW), reported a double digit rise in new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 for the third straight day as officials fight to contain an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant.

“Since the pandemic has started, this is perhaps the scariest period that New South Wales is going through,” state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.

NSW has imposed tough restrictions in Sydney, Australia’s largest city and home to a fifth of the country’s 25 million population. Health officials say transmission could be happening even through minimal contact with infected persons.

Taiwan says discussing COVID-19 vaccine passports

Taiwan is in talks with international bodies about COVID-19 vaccine passports, the head of its Centres for Disease Control said on Thursday, which could help ease long-standing travel restrictions.

The island has been extremely cautious about opening its largely-closed borders lest it lets in more infections and is currently on high alert to stop the highly contagious Delta variant.

Hong Kong bans Indonesia passenger flights over COVID-19

Hong Kong will ban passenger flights from Indonesia from Friday, deeming the country’s arrivals “extremely high risk” for the coronavirus.

The Hong Kong government said late on Wednesday it was suspending flights after imported COVID-19 cases from Indonesia crossed thresholds set by the global financial hub.

Hong Kong has already banned arrivals from India, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines.

Over 2 million in England may have had long COVID

Over 2 million people in England might have had long COVID and suffered one or more COVID-19 symptoms that lasted at least 12 weeks, one of the biggest surveillance studies of the coronavirus found on Thursday.

The REACT-2 study, led by Imperial College London, found that more than a third of people who have had COVID-19 reported symptoms that lasted at least 12 weeks, with one in ten reporting severe symptoms which lasted that long.

“Our findings do paint a concerning picture of the longer-term health consequences of COVID-19, which need to be accounted for in policy and planning,” said Paul Elliott, director of the REACT programme at Imperial.

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