India has reported more than 4,000 coronavirus deaths for a second day, with near-record deaths as the pandemic escalates in the world’s worst-affected country.
The European Union has approved a contract with Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE for up to 1.8 billion doses of the vaccine as the region ramps up its vaccination campaign through 2023.
The United States appeared ready for its first week since mid-September in which daily cases did not exceed 50,000. Meanwhile, the pace of vaccinations has slowed, with some states shifting doses away from their allocations. of the federal government in the face of declining demand for vaccines.
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Singapore tests thousands (1:29 p.m. HK)
Singapore will test thousands of people for Covid-19, as infections that cannot be traced to known clusters have continued to emerge.
Testing will be extended to all workers at two terminals at Changi Airport and a connected shopping mall after three employees test positive in recent days, the health ministry said. At a university college where a student has also tested positive, around 2,200 people will undergo swab tests by Monday, while just over 100 close contacts will be quarantined.
Singapore implemented stricter social distancing measures on Saturday after finding 10 new unrelated cases in the community in each of the past two weeks.
India’s death toll exceeds 4,000 (12:27 HK)
India has reported more than 4,000 Covid-19-related deaths for a second day, as the country battles the world’s worst virus outbreak. The country recorded 4,092 deaths on Sunday and found 403,736 new cases, with the capital New Delhi and other major cities continuing to report an increase in infections.
The country’s highest court has set up a panel of doctors and public health experts to find ways to remove production bottlenecks for oxygen supplies that are lacking in hospitals across the country.
Thailand’s death toll approaches 400 (11:13 HK)
Thailand’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic approached 400 on Sunday, with 17 more people succumbing to the disease in the past 24 hours.
Most of the deaths from Covid-19 in the country have occurred since early April, when a third wave of infections struck. The total number of cases in the Southeast Asian country has risen to around 83,400 from less than 7,000 at the end of 2020, according to government data.
Sydney Expands Covid Measures (9:55 a.m. HK)
Restrictions on gatherings extended for a further week in the Sydney area after Australian health officials said they were unable to identify how a man in the community caught Covid-19 .
The measures, which include a 20-person limit for home gatherings and a ban on singing and dancing in indoor halls, except at weddings, will continue until May 17. will no longer be required to wear them in stores, the state government said.
EU tells Biden to export vaccines now (8:37 a.m. HK)
European Union leaders have urged US President Joe Biden to lift restrictions on Covid-19 vaccine exports to meet the desperate needs of developing countries before embarking on complex discussions over patent waivers.
At a summit in Porto, Portugal on Friday and Saturday, shortly after the United States suggested suspending intellectual property rights to increase the supply of Covid plans, Germany’s Angela Merkel, the Frenchman Emmanuel Macron and Italian Mario Draghi called on the US to follow the EU’s lead and get started. ship a large number of vaccines.
«JE hope that now that a large part of American society has been vaccinated, we will come to a free exchange of components and the opening of the vaccine market, ”Merkel told reporters after the meeting.
Weekly increase in cases in Brazil (5:18 p.m. NY)
Weekly cases in Brazil rose again but remain well below the peak in mid-March, according to data from the Ministry of Health. The country reported 63,430 new cases on Saturday, at the end of a week in which 419,904 new infections were recorded. This compares to a high of almost 540,000 six weeks ago. The total infections are 15.1 million.
The deaths fell for the fourth week in a row, to 14,879. 2,202 other deaths were reported on Saturday, for a total of 421,316, the most after the United States.
Slow rate of vaccination in the United States (3:51 p.m., NY)
The United States recorded 2.57 million vaccines administered on Saturday, with the seven-day average falling below 2 million for the first time since early March. Daily vaccinations fell from the previous day, as overall demand for vaccines fell sharply from a peak in mid-April, according to data from Bloomberg vaccine tracking.
States in the United States are asking for fewer doses than they are allocated, and the Biden administration has said it will reallocate doses to places that could use them. Meanwhile, the focus of vaccinations is shifting from mass sites to smaller places like pharmacies, mobile clinics and doctors’ offices. A total of 257 million doses have been administered.
South Africa finds variant of India (3:40 p.m. NY)
A variant of the coronavirus that was first detected in India has been found in four people in South Africa. Two cases of the B1.617.2 variant have been identified in patients in central Gauteng province and two more in eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, and all have been isolated to prevent its spread, the health department said on Saturday. in a press release. South Africa has so far confirmed 1.59 million cases of Covid-19, more than any other African country, and 54,724 of those diagnosed with the disease have died.
Connecticut has 242 ‘revolutionary’ cases (10:50 a.m. NY)
Connecticut, the third largest state in the United States for vaccinations, has reported 242 “groundbreaking” cases – in which a person is infected after being fully vaccinated against Covid-19. That’s out of a total of 1,467,189 fully vaccinated people, or more than half of those 16 and over in Connecticut, the state Department of Public Health. reported on Friday.
Almost half had no symptoms and three died. “The main thing to remember is that Covid-19 vaccines are very effective and cases of infection after a person is fully vaccinated are very rare,” Acting Health Commissioner Deidre Gifford said in a statement from hurry.
In the United States, 9,245 breakthrough cases among 95 million fully vaccinated people have been reported as of April 26, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of these, 132 died and 27% of cases were asymptomatic.
U.S. cases continue to slow (8:08 a.m., NY)
The United States recorded 47,082 new cases on Friday, as daily infections are declining or roughly equal in most states and territories, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. The week is set to be the first since mid-September when daily cases did not exceed 50,000.
832 other deaths have been reported. The decline in the number of deaths after the holiday wave has stabilized, the data shows.
British expert optimistic about the end of Covid (6:15 a.m. NY)
One of the UK’s top vaccine experts has said Covid-19 will no longer be circulating in Britain by August.
“In August, we won’t have viruses circulating in the UK,” Clive Dix, head of the country’s vaccine task force, said in an interview.
The UK remains on track to meet its goal of giving all adults at least one Covid-19 vaccine by the end of July, which should provide adequate protection against all known variants of the disease, he added.
The widespread vaccination should even allow the country to delay the booster program beyond the fall until January or February next year, Dix said.
EU gets 1.8 billion doses (6 a.m., NY)
The EU has approved a contract with Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE for 900 million guaranteed vaccine doses with an option of 900 million more until 2023.
In a tweet, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said “more contracts and other vaccine technologies will follow. In other comments, the commission chairwoman said she was willing to discuss Joe Biden’s proposal to waive vaccine patents, but the United States must dramatically increase the injections it exports.
Hopes Rise in Germany to Relax (2:40 p.m. HK)
Germany registered 15,090 new cases on Saturday, continuing a recent trend of slowly declining numbers. The country remains in partial lockdown as authorities grapple with a third wave of the virus, but accelerating vaccinations and decreasing infections are raising hopes that authorities can ease some restrictions.
UK Travel Means Lines, Tests (14h09 HK)
British government The decision to relax border rules frees the British to feed their pent-up appetite for leisure travel. But getting to a sunny spot and coming back this summer won’t be easy or particularly cheap.The new policy that goes into effect on May 17 lists just a handful of destinations – including Portugal, Israel and Singapore – as green in the so-called traffic light system. For now, Greece and Spain are excluded, and most of the dozen deemed safe are not yet accepting visitors.
While passengers returning from green-lit locations are not advised to self-quarantine, they will be subjected to costly Covid-19 tests which airlines say could put the cost of a summer vacation out of reach for many British families on a budget.– With help from Jason Clenfield, Tara Patel, Ros Krasny, Michael Cohen, Ian Fisher, Tracy Withers, Unni Krishnan and Elffie Chew