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Live COVID-19 updates: Malaysia reports 18,815 new cases

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia reported 18,815 more COVID-19 infections as of midnight Thursday, bringing the national total to 2,049,750.

Seven of the new cases are imported and 18,808 are local transmissions, data released on the ministry's website showed.

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SYDNEY -- As Sydney, the capital city of the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW), entered the 12th week of its COVID-19 lockdown, there are a few small indications that life is gradually returning to normal for its weary citizens.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian outlined some new initiatives in the battle against the virus.

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SEOUL -- South Korea reported 2,008 more cases of COVID-19 as of midnight Thursday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 281,938.

The daily caseload was up from 1,943 in the prior day, hovering above 1,000 for 73 straight days. The daily average tally for the past week was 1,797.

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BEIJING -- The Chinese mainland on Thursday reported 62 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, with 61 in Fujian and one in Yunnan, the National Health Commission said in its daily report on Friday.

Also reported were 22 new imported cases, including 16 in Yunnan, two each in Henan and Guangdong, and one each in Shanghai and Zhejiang.

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ANKARA -- Turkey on Thursday confirmed 28,118 new COVID-19 cases, raising its tally of infections to 6,767,008, according to its health ministry.

The death toll from the virus in Turkey rose by 262 to 60,903, while 32,249 more people recovered in the last 24 hours.

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UNITED NATIONS -- Schools for nearly 77 million students in six countries continue to be almost completely closed 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an updated data analysis released on Thursday by the UN Children's Fund.

The six countries are Bangladesh, Kuwait, Panama, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

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OTTAWA -- Canada reported 4,665 new cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday evening, bringing the cumulative total to 1,564,088 cases, including 27,325 deaths, according to CTV.

Alberta province, which has a population of 4.4 million, reported 1,718 new COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths on Thursday.

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