Doctors in South Korea suspend strike: Coronavirus live news

Trainee doctors and interns walked out weeks ago over gov’t reform plans, and as coronavirus cases surged.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur and will be keeping you updated over the next few hours.

  • Trainee doctors and interns will return to work this morning in South Korea after a weeks-long strike over government reform plans.
  • There have been more than 27.2 million cases of coronavirus confirmed around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University, and 890,923 people have died. More than 18.2 million people have recovered. 

Here are the latest updates:

Tuesday, September 8

01:40 GMT – Japan to tap emergency reserve for $6.3b for coronavirus vaccines

Japan has approved the use $6.3 billion from its emergency budget to secure coronavirus vaccines.

The government says it hopes to have enough vaccine for every citizen by the middle of next year, providing any innoculation for free.

01:30 GMT – Japan’s economy shrinks more than thought in Q2

It seems Japan’s economy shrank even more than initially thought in the second quarter to the end of June.

The government initially said the economy contracted by 7.8 percent compared with the first quarter.

Now it’s taken a closer look at the figures and says it shrank 7.9 percent.

It’s the country’s worst economic contraction in its modern history.

00:15 GMT – Victoria in Australia reports 55 new cases, eight deaths

Victoria state has reported 55 new cases of coronavirus and a further eight deaths.

The southeastern state now accounts for about three-quarters of Australia’s 26,377 cases. Melbourne, its capital city, is under a strict lockdown and curfew until September 28. 

#COVID19VicData for 8 September, 2020. Yesterday there were 55 new cases reported and 8 lives lost. Our thoughts are with all those affected. More information will be available later today. pic.twitter.com/GEo5Iio7vU

00:00 GMT – South Korea doctors say they will return to work

Doctors’ associations in South Korea say their members are returning to work after a weeks-long strike over government plans to reform the medical system.

The Korean Intern Resident Association (KIRA), which represents interns and residents, at general hospitals, says the doctors will resume work from 7am (22:00 GMT), Yonhap News Agency reported.

A separate committee representing physicians and clinicians who also took part in the strike says its members will also report for duty.

The Korean Medical Association, the country’s largest doctor’s group, reached an agreement with the government to end its strike on Friday, as coronavirus cases surged.

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Read all the updates from yesterday (September 7) here.

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