(Reuters) - New Zealand has temporarily suspended entry for all travellers from India, including its own citizens, for about two weeks, while Mexican and Brazilian health regulators said they would not limit the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 shot after a blood clot warning from Britain's vaccine advisory committee.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS * Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.
* Students in the Swiss city of Basel falsified positive COVID-19 results in a bid to skip school, resulting in the entire class being put in quarantine, and now disciplinary measures against the perpetrators after the hoax was discovered.
* The prevalence of COVID-19 infections in England dropped steeply in March, a closely watched survey said, but in a note of caution it also showed that the drop in infections had slowed.
* A mayor in central Venezuela has begun placing red warning symbols on the homes of people with COVID-19 and also threatened to cut welfare handouts for those breaking quarantine, prompting the country's chief prosecutor to open an investigation.
* A Brazilian Supreme Court judge suspended extensions of drug patents in the country, a preliminary decision that could lower costs for drugs critical to treating COVID-19 patients at the expense of pharmaceutical firms.
* Argentina tightened movement restrictions on Wednesday including curtailing the leisure industry and blocking nonessential workers from using public transport after the country hit a record number of COVID-19 infections.
* Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said she would request the central government impose emergency measures to stem a surge of COVID-19 infections in the capital region.
* India reported a record-high 126,789 new COVID-19 cases, health ministry data showed on Thursday, with much of the country struggling to contain a second surge in coronavirus infections.
* The top Communist Party official of a city in China's southwestern Yunnan province was dismissed from his post due to what the provincial government called a "serious dereliction of duty" in failing to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks in recent months.
* South Korea reported 700 new coronavirus cases, its highest daily figure since early January, and the Prime Minister reiterated warnings on Thursday that new social distancing rules would likely be needed.
* Indonesia's health minister said the schedule for around 100 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccines faced delays.
* Japan is thinking of prioritising COVID-19 vaccines for Olympic athletes, Kyodo news agency reported.
* Australia has no current plans to change the rollout of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Algeria will start producing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine in September in partnership with Moscow, and part of the production will be intended for African countries.
* Moderna Inc Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks said the company should be able to provide a booster shot for protection against variants of the coronavirus by the end of this year.
* The U.S. National Institutes of Health has begun a mid-stage study to determine the risk of allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines made by Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc.
* Asian share markets lagged behind on Thursday as U.S. stock futures hit new peaks after the Federal Reserve underlined its commitment to keeping policy super loose even as the economy enjoys a rapid recovery.
(Compiled by Amy Caren Daniel; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)