Australia's prime minister apologized Thursday for a sluggish Covid-19 immunization program, while the nation's most populous state reported its biggest single-day spike in cases in 16 months.

"I'm sorry we haven't been able to attain the marks that we had hoped for at the beginning of this year," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, as he warned infections would likely increase further.

In Indonesia, the pandemic and the restrictions on mobility carried out to contain the spread of the disease, have been very disastrous for the poorest people in the country.

"If they're exposed to the virus then there's Charles Darwin's theory; there is a natural selection of survival of the fittest," Adib Khumaidi, chief of the risk reduction team at the Indonesian Medical Association, said in quotes by The Guardian.

In China, the government cannot accept the World Health Organization's proposal for the second phase of a study into the origins of the virus, a senior Chinese health official said Thursday.

"It's impossible for us to accept such an origin-tracing plan," The Associated Press quoted Zeng Yixin, vice minister of the National Health Commission, as saying.

In Vietnam, health officials reported 2,965 more community transmissions Thursday morning, raising the ongoing wave's tally to 67,422, VNExpress reported.

Of the new patients, 2,432 were recorded in Ho Chi Minh City while Long An and Binh Duong got 233 and 64, respectively.

In Thailand, officials reported Thursday 13,655 new cases, a daily record for a second straight day, bringing the nation's total infections to 453,132.

Thailand is struggling with an increase that is pushing new cases and deaths to record highs almost every day, Channel News Asia said.

In South Korea, health officials reported Thursday another daily record of 1,842 cases, as the country struggles to curb its worst-ever wave of outbreaks fueled by the more contagious Delta variant.

South Korea's total cases climbed to 184,103, with 2,063 deaths, data by Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency showed.

Over in India, the country's excess deaths could be 10 times the official toll, likely making it modern India's worst human catastrophe, officials said.

Most experts believe India's official tally of more than 414,000 deaths is a vast undercount but health authorities have dismissed those concerns as misleading.

Over in Malaysia, the country's daily vaccine doses administered rose to almost 50% to 446,052 Wednesday from 299,593 the day before.

Malaysia's new infections dropped slightly to 11,985 Wednesday, from 12,366 the previous day.

In Singapore, the government reported 179 new local transmissions as of noon Wednesday, with 130 cases tied to the Jurong Fishery Port cluster and eight to the KTV lounges cluster, CNA said.

"We're likely to continue seeing a high number of cases in the coming days as we step up efforts to contain their spread in the community," the Health Ministry said.

Worldwide, there are currently 192 million cases of the virus, with 4.13 million deaths.