Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

PUBLISHED: Wed, 28 Apr 2021 09:45:51 GMT
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April 28 (Reuters) – India’s COVID-19 death toll surged past 200,000 on Wednesday as shortages of oxygen, medical supplies and hospital staff compounded a record number of new cases of the virus.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

  • Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.

EUROPE

  • British enthusiasm for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has faded in the past month, reflecting rising unease about its possible links to rare adverse side effects, though overall UK confidence in vaccines is high, an updated survey has found.
  • Portugal’s state of emergency will end on Friday as infections drop sharply and the country prepares to further ease a strict lockdown imposed more than three months ago.
  • France’s main COVID-19 indicators all showed some signs of improvement on Tuesday as French President Emmanuel Macron plans to relax restrictions in the next few days.

ASIA-PACIFIC

  • South Korea said it will offer some exemptions to mandatory quarantine measures for people who have been fully inoculated against COVID-19, in an effort to encourage more vaccinations.
  • Japan’s government plans to spend 500 billion yen ($4.59 billion) from emergency reserves to support businesses hit by measures taken under a state of emergency to fight the pandemic, news agency Kyodo said.

AMERICAS

  • The White House is considering options for maximizing global production and supply of COVID-19 vaccines at the lowest cost, including backing a proposed waiver of intellectual property rights, but no decision has been made, press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday.
  • Senior U.S. officials on Tuesday pledged sustained support for India in helping it deal with the world’s worst current surge of COVID-19 infections, warning the country is still at the “front end” of the crisis and overcoming it will take some time.
  • Fully vaccinated people can safely engage in outdoor activities like walking and hiking without wearing masks, but should use face-coverings in public spaces where they are required, U.S. health regulators and President Joe Biden said.
  • The province of Quebec reported Canada’s first death of a patient from a rare blood clot condition after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • The Biden administration said it was easing travel restrictions on Chinese and other international students into the United States this fall.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

  • Around 250 tour guides from Kenyan national parks lined up in downtown Nairobi to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, as part of a government effort to revive the tourism sector.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

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  • U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai discussed increasing COVID-19 vaccine production in a virtual meeting on Tuesday with an executive with drugmaker Novavax, Tai’s office said in a statement.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not found a link between heart inflammation and COVID-19 vaccines, the agency’s Director Rochelle Walensky said.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

  • U.S. consumer confidence jumped to a 14-month high in April as increased vaccinations against COVID-19 and additional fiscal stimulus allowed for more services businesses to reopen, boosting demand and hiring by companies.

(Compiled by Krishna Chandra Eluri, Devika Syamnath and Anita Kobylinska; Edited by Arun Koyyur and Shounak Dasgupta)

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