(Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a ceremony to thank and praise military medics for spearheading the country's fight against the coronavirus in the capital Pyongyang, state media said.
Following is a summary of other recent developments in the pandemic:
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Thailand saw 3.78 million tourist arrivals from January to Aug. 17, a spokesman for the government's COVID-19 taskforce said.
* Mainland China reported 2,804 new coronavirus cases for Aug. 18, of which 603 were symptomatic and 2,201 were asymptomatic.
* Shanghai reported three new domestically transmitted asymptomatic coronavirus cases for Aug. 18, down from four a day earlier, while no local symptomatic cases were reported, the same as a day earlier.
* Tourists are back in the French capital, and for the riverside booksellers - known as "bouquinistes" in France - it's the end of fears that the COVID-19 pandemic might spell the end of a business that dates back to the 16th century.
* The World Health Organization on Thursday recommended the use of French drugmaker Valneva's COVID-19 vaccine.
* Novavax's Nuvaxovid vaccine was granted expanded provisional approval in New Zealand for adolescents aged 12 through 17.
* Arcturus Therapeutics said clinical data on its ARCT-154 vaccine showed high, sustained geometric mean fold rises in neutralizing antibodies against all evaluated Omicron variants.
* China stocks closed down on Friday as concerns over rising COVID-19 cases and a sluggish economic recovery lingered.
* Tapestry Inc and Estee Lauder Cos Inc forecast full-year earnings below estimates on Thursday, underscoring the hit global luxury goods companies are taking from China's COVID-19 lockdowns.
(Compiled by Dina Kartit and Subhranshu Sahu; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and David Holmes)