(Updates with fresh developments)
Aug 18 (Reuters) - The spread of the novel coronavirus is being increasingly driven by people aged in their 20s, 30s and 40s and many are not aware that they have been infected, the World Health Organisation's regional director for the Western Pacific said.
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 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 urged elderly people and volunteers from Black and Asian minority groups to sign up to a COVID-19 vaccine trial registry to boost efforts to find a working vaccine against the disease that offers protection for higher risk groups.
* A potential coronavirus vaccine being developed by a unit of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) could cost no more than 1,000 yuan ($144.27) for two shots, state media on Tuesday quoted chairman Liu Jingzhen as saying.
* Starbucks Corp's South Korean operation is cutting seating capacity in its cafes and delaying a promotional event after nearly 50 cases were linked to one of its stores outside of Seoul.
* Australia was on track to record its lowest one-day rise in new COVID-19 infections in a month, lifting hopes that a stringent lockdown in the country's second-most populous state has prevented a fresh wave of cases nationally.
* New Zealand reported 13 new cases for the last 24 hours, as the country battles to contain an outbreak in the biggest city of Auckland.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Turkey's coronavirus count rose to its highest daily level since June, with total deaths nearing 6,000, according to the government.
* Brazil reported more than 19,000 new infections and 684 deaths in the past 24 hours, and its third-largest pork and poultry processor Central Cooperativa Aurora Alimentos has agreed to test 11,000 workers.
* Mexico reported 3,571 new cases of the coronavirus and 266 additional deaths, pushing the total death toll to beyond 57,000.
* Venezuela's rate of COVID-19 infection is set to overwhelm its testing capacity, likely leading to an artificial flattening of the contagion curve, a lawmaker and medical adviser to Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said.
* A mutation of COVID-19 increasingly common throughout Europe and recently detected in Malaysia may be more infectious but appears less deadly, a prominent infectious diseases doctor said.
* A late-stage trial of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate from CanSino Biologics Inc has started in Russia, registration records showed.
* China's vaccine specialist has won a patent approval from Beijing for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate Ad5-nCOV, state media reported.
* U.S. drug developer Novavax Inc said it is starting a mid-stage study of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa.
* Asian stocks inched up as Sino-U.S. tensions weighed on optimism generated by Wall Street's tech-driven rally, while the dollar dropped against almost all major currencies.
* U.S. home builder confidence rose for a third straight month in August to match its highest level ever, data showed, but a growing number of home owners are falling behind on their mortgages.
* Japan was hit by its biggest economic slump on record in the second quarter.
(Compiled by Uttaresh.V, Devika Syamnath, Linda Pasquini; Editing by Tomasz Janowski, Shounak Dasgupta and Arun Koyyur)
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