More than 40% of new coronavirus cases in South Korea are being found in people over the age of 60, contributing in part to a surge in the number of Covid-19 patients who are severely or critically ill, health authorities said.

More than 40% of new coronavirus cases in South Korea are being found in people over the age of 60, contributing in part to a surge in the number of Covid-19 patients who are severely or critically ill, health authorities said.
South Korea is battling a second wave of infection, centred in the capital Seoul and surrounding areas which are home to 25 million people. 
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 267 new cases as of midnight last night, a slight increase over the day before. Overall, South Korea has reported 20,449 cases and 326 deaths. 
The number of severely or critically ill patients stood at 124, Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip told a briefing, from just nine reported on 18 August. 
South Korea was the site of the first large outbreak outside of China earlier this year, but a large percentage of those infected at the time were relatively young, possibly helping to keep the country’s death toll relatively low, experts have said. 
The surge in cases over the past three weeks has depleted medical facilities, with less than 3% of hospital beds – or just nine – available for critical cases in greater Seoul, versus 22% about 10 days ago, the health ministry said. 
The government is working to secure more beds in the expectation that the number of severe cases will continue to rise because so many of the new patients are over 60, Mr Kim said. 
Only social distancing can bring the number of new infections down, he said, calling on residents to cancel any trips and stay at home as much as possible. 
Social distancing measures imposed to blunt the surge in coronavirus cases will hurt Asia’s fourth-biggest economy, the government said, after unprecedented restrictions went into effect in and around Seoul. 
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White House hits back at WHO over criticism of vaccine
The White House has pushed back on concerns expressed by the World Health Organization after a US health official said a coronavirus vaccine might be approved without completing full trials.
The Washington Post reported that the administration of President Donald Trump will not join a global effort to develop, manufacture and distribute a coronavirus vaccine because of the involvement of the WHO.
About 172 countries are engaging with the WHO’s Covid-19 vaccine plan to ensure equitable access to vaccines.
“The United States will continue to engage our international partners to ensure we defeat this virus, but we will not be constrained by multilateral organisations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China”, White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.
“This president will spare no expense to ensure that any new vaccine maintains our own FDA’s gold standard for safety and efficacy, is thoroughly tested, and saves lives”, he said, referring to the US Food and Drug Administration.
The global effort to develop a vaccine against the virus, which has killed more than 851,000 people, has seen recent launches of late-stage trials, but work on treatments has also gone into overdrive.
There is no approved coronavirus vaccine, except one authorised in Russia before large-scale trials.
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn told the Financial Times in an interview published on Sunday that his agency was prepared to authorise a coronavirus vaccine before late-stage Phase Three clinical trials were complete, as long as officials are convinced that the benefits outweigh the risks.
On Monday, WHO officials said rushing to make a vaccine widely available could pose risks.
“If you move too quickly to vaccinate… millions of people, you may miss certain adverse effects,” said Dr Mike Ryan, the head of WHO’s emergencies programme.
Mr Trump has been critical of the WHO’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, accusing it of being too focused on China and issuing bad advice.
In May, Mr Trump announced the United States was cutting ties to the organisation.
Phase Three trials, in which randomised patients are treated with a drug or a placebo without participants or doctors knowing which group they were in, are considered the gold standard for clinical trials.
Moria migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos
First coronavirus case in Greece’s main migrant camp
Greece has announced a first coronavirus infection in its largest migrant camp of Moria on the island of Lesbos, where nearly 13,000 asylum seekers live in unsanitary conditions.
“A 40-year-old Somali man has tested positive,” a migration ministry source told AFP.
The man is a recognised refugee who had recently returned to the island from Athens, the source said.
More than 12,700 people live in Moria, which has a nominal capacity for fewer than 2,800.
Another infection in an island camp on the island of Chios, involving a 35-year-old man from Yemen, had been reported last month.
Several non-fatal coronavirus cases have surfaced in Greek camps on the mainland, including 150 infections at a migrant hotel in the Peloponnese in April.
Camps on the islands are nominally under lockdown until 15 September, with access severely restricted.
But in Moria, many asylum seekers sleep in tents in an olive grove outside the walls of the camp, where restrictions are harder to enforce.
Rights groups including the UN refugee agency have repeatedly urged Greece to reduce congestion at the camps.
New arrivals on the islands are quarantined in separate buildings to limit the risk of contaminating entire camps.
With 271 deaths from Covid-19, Greece has suffered less from the virus than other European countries, and so far nobody has died of the disease in a migrant camp.
Ukraine reports record rise in coronavirus cases
Ukraine registered a record 2,495 cases of the new coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the national security council said, up from a previous record of 2,481 cases.
Ukraine has imposed a temporary ban on most foreigners from entering the country until 28 September and extended lockdown measures until the end of October to contain a recent spike in cases.
It has so far reported a total of 125,798 infections.
Australian state reports jump in coronavirus cases
Australia’s most-populous state reported the biggest daily jump in coronavirus infections in two weeks, but said there were no plans to cancel the New Year fireworks show over Sydney Harbour, as new cases nationally also ticked up.
New South Wales (NSW) state reported 17 new cases, the biggest one-day jump since 12 August, while nationally the count rose to 109 cases from 85 a day earlier.
Victoria state remained the hardest-hit region with 90 cases, although this was well down from its daily peak of more than 700 in early August at the height of a second wave of infections.
Victoria’s capital Melbourne is in its fifth week of a six-week lockdown with authorities scheduled to detail on Sunday a timetable for easing curbs.
Australia has detected nearly 26,000 infections since the pandemic began. The national death tally rose to 663 after Victoria reported six deaths in the last 24 hours.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state was pushing ahead with plans to host large events such as the New Years Eve fireworks over Sydney Harbour.
“We should be hosting events we’ve hosted before but it will be different,” she told reporters.
“I think for a lot of people the fireworks represent hope.”