Boris Johnson warned the UK may need stricter border measures “very soon” to prevent the arrival of variants of Covid-19 from continental Europe. Cases in the United States have exceeded 30 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The region of eastern Austria around Vienna will go through a six-day lockdown from April 1 to curb the rise in infections. Poland will likely decide not to introduce a full lockdown when it announces tougher antivirus measures on Thursday, report says mentionned.
AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine was 76% effective in a US study, a slightly downgraded estimate based on the latest data collected from a controversial clinical trial. The European Union and the United Kingdom reported a thaw in vaccine sharing relations.
- Global Tracker: cases exceed 124 million; deaths exceed 2.73 million
- Vaccine Tracker: more than 486 million vaccines administered worldwide
- World tourism seems fragile, with herd immunity a distant dream
- An uncertain science behind Covid passports requires a leap of faith
- Merkel’s viral crisis is change the form of the German election
- Biden uses Trump’s The “America First” vaccination plan to capture the market
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Pakistan records highest number of daily cases in 8 months (2:45 p.m. HK)
Pakistan has reported 3,946 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, the country’s highest single-day total in eight months. The South Asian nation has decided to extend spring break for schools and colleges in sensitive areas and has already suspended its biggest T-20 cricket tournament.
Regions around Vienna impose lockdown at Easter (2 p.m. HK)
The region of eastern Austria around Vienna will enter a six-day lockdown from April 1 to break a wave of rising infections that has been amplified by the more contagious British coronavirus mutation, announced on Wednesday the Minister of Health Rudolf Anschober and the regional governors.
Non-essential businesses and services such as hairdressers will be closed and a curfew will be imposed during these days. Border controls will be tightened and commuters will have to test negative more frequently. The rapid rise in infections and more serious cases threatens to overwhelm hospitals and intensive care facilities in eastern Austria.
Mauritius extends lockdown for a week on new cases (1:31 p.m. HK)
Mauritius extended a lockdown until the end of the month as new cases of the coronavirus increased. Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth imposed movement restrictions on March 9, and the lockdown was originally scheduled to end at 8 p.m. Thursday.
The Indian Ocean island nation has reported 826 cases of Covid-19, including 68 last week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Poland likely to vote against full lockdown (1:29 p.m. HK)
Poland will likely decide not to introduce a full lockdown under the tighter Covid restrictions it plans to announce on Thursday, reports Dziennik Gazeta Prawna. The country plans to close kindergartens and limit the number of people in stores under additional restrictions.
National building to allow office staff to work anywhere (1:12 p.m. HK)
The Nationwide Building Society will allow the majority of its 13,000 office workers to continue work full time from home if they wish after the pandemic, the Financial Times reported.
Hong Kong Suspends BioNTech Online Reservations (11:48 a.m. HK)
Hong Kong has halted online bookings of snapshots made by BioNTech SE, after suspending the rollout of the vaccine due to packaging defects on some vials. Reservations for the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine were still available.
Astra Reports Lower Efficiency Amid Questions (9:12 a.m. HK)
AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine was 76% effective in a US study – a slightly downgraded estimate based on the latest data gathered from a controversial clinical trial, and a twist that creates another layer of uncertainty for injections.
The company released the new analysis after an independent oversight committee expressed concern that the initial 79% effectiveness was based on outdated information. The previous reading was based on data collected up to February 17. The data problem could delay the vaccine’s ability to gain U.S. regulatory clearance, although it will likely still play a crucial role in stopping the pandemic.
Trudeau and Von der Layen speak after EU exports move (9:10 a.m. HK)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen after the EU decided to tighten restrictions on the export of vaccines.
According to a reading from Trudeau’s office, “they agreed on the importance of rolling out safe and effective vaccines as quickly as possible, including with respect to continued close cooperation between Canada and the EU.”
Johnson warns UK may need tighter border rules “very soon” (8:10 am HK)
UK may need tougher border measures “very soon” to prevent the arrival of Covid-19 variants from mainland Europe that risk undermining the country’s vaccination campaign, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Parliament.
Ministers must strike a balance between any decision to impose stricter restrictions – including checks for potential viruses on carriers from France – “against the very serious disruption caused by the reduction in cross-Channel trade,” a- he declared.
Nissan halts production in Brazil until April 12 for Covid (7:41 a.m. HK)
Nissan is to lay off all employees at its Resende industrial complex between March 26 and April 9, according to an emailed statement from Nissan Brazil, production is expected to resume on April 12. The move is aimed at ensuring employee safety and adapting the company to the current situation while ensuring business continuity, the Japanese automaker said.
Weaker virus controls in Africa resulted in more severe wave: study (7:30 a.m. HK)
The relaxation of coronavirus-related controls in African countries and the emergence of more transmissible variants have fueled a second wave of infections more severe than the first, according to a study published in the journal The Lancet.
Brazil surpasses 300,000 deaths (6:11 a.m. HK)
Brazil has only become the second country to cross the threshold of 300,000 deaths from Covid-19 as the virus continues to rage and invade hospitals.
It took only two and a half months for Brazil to go from 200,000 to 300,000 deaths, compared to five months between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths, which shows the speed at which the virus and its variant P.1 are spreading. .
Bolsonaro warned by House Speaker Lira on virus response
The health ministry reported 2,009 more deaths on Wednesday, bringing the toll to 300,685. New confirmed cases have jumped by 89,992 in the past 24 hours, to a total of 12.2 million. The two totals are the highest in the world after the United States
CDC Launches Cruise Industry Restart Hopes (4:15 p.m. NY)
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is stand firm on a gradual return to cruise operations, dashing the industry’s hopes of a quick restart.
Cruise Lines International Association, the main lobbying group for cruise lines, including Carnival Corp., released a statement Wednesday calling on the CDC to drop the order and agree to let U.S. cruises resume by July. But in an emailed response to the questions, the CDC said the so-called Framework for Conditional Sailing Order, or CSO, remained in effect.
More U.S. States Expand Vaccine Eligibility (3:40 p.m. NY)
Louisiana, Idaho and Utah have joined the growing list of U.S. states allowing anyone aged 16 and over to receive coronavirus vaccines in the coming weeks.
Duterte Warns Warns Vaccine Line Jumpers (11h30 NY)
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Officials have warned officials against skipping the vaccine queue, saying the country risks losing doses donated by the World Health Organization-backed Covax facility if health workers were not a priority.
Iceland imposes stricter limits (11:30 a.m. NY)
Iceland, whose handling of the pandemic is considered to be one of the best in the world, is imposing stricter social measures following a surge in infections linked to the British variant. The new restrictions, which will be in effect for three weeks, include the closure of schools and universities.
Cyprus Open to visitors (8:49 a.m. NY)
Cyprus will open its borders from April 1 to American, Russian and Ukrainian visitors, the tourism ministry said on Wednesday. All travelers who have been tested and found to be Covid-free and who have not been in close contact with a confirmed case will be guaranteed a stay without quarantine.
Belgium tightens restrictions (8:07 a.m. NY)
The Belgian federal government and regions have tightened virus restrictions for the first time since late October, closing schools a week before the two-week Easter break and ordering hairdressers and beauty salons to close again for four weeks from Saturday.
Merkel drops Easter lockdown (7:38 a.m. NY)
Chancellor Angela Merkel apologized to the German people after making a rare public apology for drawing massive criticism with five-day Easter shutdown plans.
Merkel dropped the proposal, calling it a “mistake,” after a hastily organized video conference with the heads of Germany’s 16 states some 33 hours after the move was announced.
– With the help of Karen Leigh