Pandemic restrictions are being tightened in Singapore and eased in Norway as the World Health Organisation approved the use of an antibody treatment for certain coronavirus patients.
Singapore's Health Ministry reported a record number of coronavirus cases for the third consecutive day on Friday, along with three related deaths, prompting the government to tighten restrictions.
The ministry reported about 1600 new infections, taking the total to more than 84,000 - almost 20,000 of which have been reported over the past four weeks.
The three fatalities reported on Friday mean that 73 people have died in the 5.7-million population city-state since the start of the pandemic.
Two of three who died were among the 82 per cent of fully-vaccinated adults, according to the ministry.
The government said on Friday that restaurant dining is to be limited to two people per table, who must either be vaccinated, have recovered or test negative for the virus.
The revised curbs, which include recommendations to work from home where possible, "will ensure that our health care system is not overwhelmed," Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.
Finance Minister Lawrence Wong warned that the measures are needed as hospitals "are seeing tremendous strains".
Meanwhile, Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg said most of the coronavirus restrictions in the country will be eased.
The restrictions lifted include the requirement for serving patrons in restaurants and the one-metre distance rule.
Eateries, bars and nightclubs will be allowed to remain open after midnight, schools and kindergartens can return to normal and "handshakes will again be allowed," a smiling Health Minister Bent Hoie said.
He stressed Norway will have "an increased preparedness" and local restriction will be imposed if there was a flare-up.
More than 76 per cent of Norway's population of 5.3 million have had one vaccine and nearly 70 per cent have had both shots, according to official figures.
The WHO is recommending an antibody treatment for certain coronavirus patients in the latest update to its guidelines for treating people with COVID-19.
The new guidelines, published on Friday in the journal BMJ, said the two antibodies - casirivimab and imdevimab - made by Regeneron should be given to people infected with COVID-19 who are at highest risk of hospitalisation and to people whose own immune systems have not mounted a response.
The UN health agency said the new advice was based on evidence from experimental trials, including a UK-run study that is the world's largest for testing potential COVID-19 treatments.
Activists worried that the cost of the treatment - more than $US2000 ($A2760) in the US - means it will mostly be unavailable to people in poorer countries.
Doctors Without Borders called for Regeneron to ensure the antibody drugs are accessible to needy patients and for the company to licence any proprietary rights and share technological know-how for how to make them.
with Reuters and AP