(Reuters) - Global coronavirus cases exceeded 30 million on Thursday, a Reuters tally showed. India was firmly in focus as the latest epicentre, although North and South America combined still accounted for almost half of the global cases.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.
* For a U.S.-focused tracker with a state-by-state and county map, open https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T in an external browser.
* Eikon users, see MacroVitals cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.
* Britain's government acknowledged problems in its COVID-19 testing system on Thursday as soaring demand met with worsening turnaround times and availability during a spike in infections.
* France registered a record 10,593 new confirmed coronavirus in the past 24 hours, health ministry data showed, the country's highest single-day count since the pandemic began.
* Hundreds of workers at COVID-19 laboratories in France went on strike, a trade union said, angry over poor working conditions as the coronavirus testing system buckles under huge demand.
* The Irish government tightened its COVID-19 travel restrictions by imposing quarantines on travellers from major holiday markets Italy and Greece, angering the country's dominant airlines Ryanair and Aer Lingus.
* The Czech Republic reported more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day for the first time and tightened preventive measures after a surge in infections that is among the fastest in Europe.
* Austria is limiting private indoor gatherings to 10 people in the face of rising coronavirus infections, a day after Germany issued a travel warning for the Austrian capital.
* The major Canadian province of Ontario will clamp down on social gatherings in response to "reckless careless people" who are spreading the coronavirus at illegal parties.
* Several Latin American countries have informed the World Health Organization (WHO) they intend to request more time to sign up for its global COVID-19 vaccine allocation plan known as COVAX.
* Indonesia's capital plans to double its COVID-19 testing capacity in the near future, its governor told Reuters, as it fights surging infections that saw restrictions re-imposed to slow the spread and help hospitals to cope.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Israel closed its schools, a day before entering a second national coronavirus lockdown, as daily infections topped 4,500.
* The Namibian government said it will open up the country for international travel from Sept. 18 as it ends a six-month long state of emergency with the average number of daily coronavirus cases trending downwards.
* If Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine proves to be at least 70% effective, the company plans to seek emergency authorization for its use in high-risk groups, the company's chief executive told Reuters.
* CVS Health Corp said it plans to add more than 2,000 new COVID-19 drive-thru test sites at select CVS Pharmacy locations across the United States.
* The World Health Organisation said that more than 170 countries had joined its global plan to distribute vaccines fairly around the world, but cautioned that a race to develop shots could lead to public fears about safety.
* The Bank of England said it was looking more closely at how it might cut interest rates below zero as Britain's economy faces a triple whammy of rising COVID-19 cases, higher unemployment and a possible new Brexit shock.
(Compiled by Krishna Chandra Eluri, Milla Nissi and Devika Syamnath; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Chizu Nomiyama and Arun Koyyur)