(Updates with new developments)
Feb 1 (Reuters) - About 2 million Australians begun their first full day of a strict coronavirus lockdown on Monday following the discovery of one case in the community in Perth, capital of Western Australia state, but no new cases have since been found.
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.
* The number of COVID-19 patients in French hospitals hit a near nine-week high on Sunday, as the country shut its borders to all but essential travel to and from nearly all countries outside the European Union.
* Japan is expected to extend a state of emergency to fight the spread of COVID-19 this week for Tokyo and other areas as hospitals remain under pressure despite a decline in cases from their peaks.
* South Korea will extend its social distancing curbs by two weeks until the end of the Lunar New Year holidays as new COVID-19 infection clusters emerge in the country.
* China reported the lowest daily increase in new COVID-19 cases in more than three weeks on Monday, reversing a sharp uptick a day earlier.
* Western Australia state reported no new local COVID-19 cases on Monday, a day after it recorded its first case in 10 months that prompted authorities to enforce a five-day lockdown in the capital city of Perth.
* Pakistan received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccine doses, 500,000 from China's Sinopharm, on Monday.
* Chicago Public Schools on Sunday delayed the resumption of in-person classes for thousands of elementary and middle school students by at least a day as the district and teachers failed to reach an agreement on a safety plan.
* Two Colombian citizens in Leticia, capital of the country's Amazonas province, have been infected with the Brazilian variant of coronavirus.
* Canada's northern territories have achieved much higher COVID-19 vaccination rates than its more populous provinces despite geographic challenges.
* Mexico City's international airport will set up facilities to perform COVID-19 tests to help passengers who need to show they are free of the virus to enter other countries.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Israel extended a national lockdown as coronavirus variants offset its vaccination drive and officials predicted a delay in a turnaround from the health and economic crisis.
* Ghana plans to procure 17.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of June with the first doses arriving in March.
* Saudi Arabia's health minister said complacency around coronavirus restrictions had led to a notable increase in daily cases in the kingdom.
* Zimbabwe has set aside $100 million to acquire COVID-19 vaccines but the government is still waiting for its scientists to recommend which type to buy, a state-owned newspaper reported.
* At least 5.6 million COVID-19 doses of two international COVID-19 vaccines are expected to arrive in the Philippines in the first quarter.
* A WHO-led team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic was due on Monday to visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Hubei province.
* Johnson & Johnson said its single-dose vaccine was 66% effective in preventing COVID-19 in a large global trial against multiple variants.
* Ten moderate Republican U.S. senators urged President Joe Biden on Sunday to significantly downsize his sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package to win bipartisan support.
* China's factory activity grew at the slowest pace in five months in January, hit by a wave of domestic coronavirus infections.
(Compiled by Amy Caren Daniel; Edited by Shounak Dasgupta)
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