Dr Anthony Fauci, US President Joe Biden's Chief Medical Advisor, has described COVID-19 as a "wily opponent" during a Vatican conference on global health threats. Among the challenges presented by COVID-19, Dr Fauci highlighted its ability to change and appear with new variants.
The European Commission is proposing that E-U member states join forces to develop and deploy COVID-19 drugs across the 27-nation bloc.
In addition to the vaccine contracts already secured, they're looking to set up a portfolio of 10 potential COVID-19 treatments, with the aim of authorising three new drugs by October.
Infections in India hit another grim daily record on Thursday as demand for medical oxygen jumped sevenfold, with lockdowns reinstated in several cities and states.
In neighbouring Pakistan, people in Karachi joined long queues to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations, apparently spurred on by the crisis in India.
And passengers scrambled to board the final flights out of Nepal on Thursday ahead of an international travel ban that comes into force at the end of the day.
French President Emmanuel Macron is joining the US Biden administration in backing the sharing of the valuable technology behind COVID-19 vaccines but is also insisting that the immediate priority for wealthier countries is to first donate more doses to poorer countries.
He says the European Union is leading the way in vaccine donations and he is calling for the United States and Britain to share more, too.
"About the vaccination worldwide, I want to repeat here something important: Europe is the most generous continent with the rest of the world. On the doses we have produced, there were about 65 million for us and 45 million we have exported. Today, for example, on the doses produced by the British or the Americans there are zero dose exported. I think we have to say it. We must be proud of this model of generosity, of opening, and if there's been a vaccine nationalism, it didn't come from Europe."
Click on the player at the top of the page to listen to this audio in Punjabi.
People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Find out what restrictions are in place for your state or territory.
Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.
SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at http://www.sbs.com.au/coronavirus