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Sources said the Japanese government is likely to offer free COVID-19 vaccines to all residents, while India’s tally approached 3.8 million on Wednesday, the biggest number in the Asia Pacific.

The Japanese government may offer COVID-19 vaccinations for free to all residents so that the number of future fatalities and those developing severe symptoms and needing hospitalization can be mitigated, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

According to the sources, owing to the highly contagious nature of the COVID-19 and its potential to render patients with extremely severe symptoms, the government wants the highest number of people as possible to get vaccinated.

India’s COVID-19 tally rose to 3,769,523, as the death toll rose to 66,333, showed the latest data released by the federal health ministry. As many as 78,357 new cases and 1,045 deaths were recorded over the past 24 hours across the country.

Malaysia reported six new infections, the Health Ministry said, bringing the national total to 9,360. Health Ministry Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a press statement that four of the new cases are imported and two more are local transmissions.

The cases in Indonesia rose by 3,075 within one day to 180,646, with the death toll adding by 111 to 7,616, the Health Ministry said.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 226,440 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 2,218 new daily cases.

The Australian State of Victoria recorded 90 new cases, pushing the seven-day average below 100 for the first time in nearly two months. Strict lockdown conditions have seen daily case numbers in Victoria steadily decline since peaking at over 700 in late July and early August.

New Zealand confirmed five new cases, including two in managed isolation facilities and three community cases.

South Korea reported 267 more cases compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 20,449. The daily caseload stayed below 300 for four days, but it continued to grow in triple digits since Aug. 14.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Myanmar has increased to 938, according to a release from the Ministry of Health and Sports. A total of 19 confirmed cases including 12 local transmission cases and seven imported cases were reported.

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