World India Hits Daily Record; Variant Common in U.S.: Virus Update
India's second wave: Daily Covid cases hit record high as new lockdowns imposed
A familiar scene is taking place across India. In large cities, hospital beds are filling up with Covid-19 patients. Warehouses, unused trains and large public spaces are being converted into makeshift treatment centers. And restrictions are clamping back down, with new lockdowns in place. © Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times/Getty Images NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 3: A health worker in PPE coveralls collects a swab sample from a traveller for Covid-19 testing at Anand Vihar Bus Terminal (ISBT), on April 3, 2021 in New Delhi, India.
(Bloomberg) -- India recorded its highest-ever number of daily Covid-19 cases as its fight to curtail a renewed wave of infections is beset by vaccine shortages in several states and cities, including the financial hub of Mumbai. Tokyo plans toas infections in the city hit a two-month high.
The European Union failed to unify in responding to links between AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine and a rare type of blood clots. EU Health ministers say they’ll continue talks on the issue.
The variant of the coronavirus first found in the U.K. has overtaken the initial form of the virus in the U.S. and is now the country’s most common strain. President Joe Biden will offer vaccine shipments to all of the nation’s community health centers. To the north, Canada’s largest province, Ontario,a state of emergency.
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India Hits Record Daily Case Total (1:10 p.m. HK)
New infections in India rose to a daily record as more than 126,700 cases were reported Thursday, pushing the country’s total tally past 12.9 million. It’s third day this week that the daily surge has exceeded 100,000 cases, as a new coronavirus wave grips the nation and vaccine shortages hobble its inoculation drive -- notably in hotspot Maharashtra state, home to financial hub Mumbai.
Covid-19: a new variant discovered in Alsace?
© Juan Diego Montenegro / Sopa Images / LightRocket / Getty Images Covid-19: a new variant discovered in Alsace? while the English variant ramps in the region, another appeared at the Strasbourg CHU. The Covid-19 epidemic continues to circulate in France, and even more in some areas such as the Ile-de-France, the Hauts-de-France or the Alpes-Maritimes.
Deaths rose to 166,862, and more than 90 million people have received vaccination so far, according to health ministry data. The surge is infections has forced several state governments tighten social distancing rules and put India on course to reclaim its spot from Brazil as the world’s second-worst hit country.
Philippine FDA Urges Halting Astra Shots for Under-60s (12:45 p.m. HK)
The Philippine Food and Drug Administration recommended that the country’s health department halt the use of AstraZeneca vaccines for people below 60 years old. The Southeast Asian nation has run out of AstraZeneca shots, and the local regulator will issue new guidelines before more supplies are expected to arrive this month, said FDA head Eric Domingo. The regulator has also allowed the use of Sinovac’s vaccines FOR senior citizens, as the nation seeks to speed up inoculations amid a new surge in Covid-19 cases.
J&J Production Error; France, Italy Extend Curbs: Virus Update
A manufacturing error at a Baltimore plant affected 15 million doses worth of an ingredient for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. Pfizer Inc. said its vaccine was 100% effective in a final-stage trial in kids age 12 to 15, a finding that could pave the way for shots for teens and pre-teens before the next school year. © Bloomberg A customer queues for a takeaway order at cafe in Milan, Italy, on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Italy's new government may soon seek parliamentary approval for more stimulus spending as a sluggish vaccination campaign and new coronavirus strains extend the nation’s reliance on fiscal support.
Vaccination Concerns in Denver Area (12:03 p.m. HK)
Eleven people suffered adverse effects such as nausea and dizziness Wednesday after receiving the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine at a community vaccination event in a Denver suburb, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Two of the people were transported to a hospital for observation “out of an abundance of caution” and the others received first aid at the site in Commerce City, the department said.
South African Variant Emerges in Bangladesh: Report (11:05 a.m. HK)
Bangladesh discovered a “dramatic change” in the distribution of coronavirus variants after a new South African strain appeared, Dhaka-based health research organization Icddr,b said in a report.
It became the country’s most prevalent strain in the third week of March, according to the report. Researchers tested 16,265 specimens between January 1 and March 24, of which 2,751 were positive. The South African variant accounted for 81% of the positive cases, Icddr,b said.
Canada’s Biggest Province Declares Emergency (9:25 a.m. HK)
Ontario -- home to more than 14.7 million people -- declared a state of emergency, forcing most retail stores to operate under new restrictions. It said it would change its inoculation strategy as it battles a new, more dangerous Covid wave.
CDC data shows rise in Brazil variant detected in US
Data from the Centers and Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the cases of the COVID-19 variant first detected in Brazil are on the rise in the United States. According to the data released Thursday, there are 434 reported cases of the P.1 Variant across 28 jurisdictions. Most of the cases are reported in Massachusetts, where there are 102 cases. Other states hardest hit by the P.1 variant include Illinois with 93 cases, Florida with 87 cases and California with 39. The P.1. variant is the second most common variant in the U.S., the data shows. The Washington Post noted that it's the first time that the variant has come in second.
Ontario issued a stay-at-home order starting April 8 at 12:01 a.m. Toronto time, in place for four weeks. Most categories of stores will be required to shut their doors, serving customers only through delivery or outdoor pickup.
Tokyo Eyes Tighter Restrictions as Japan Cases Rebound (8:24 a.m. HK)
Tokyo plans toas infections in the city hit a two-month high less than three weeks after the lifting of a state of emergency. The Japanese capital recorded 555 cases on Wednesday -- the most since early February -- as officials feared a “rebound” in cases had begun hitting earlier than expected amid an increase in virus variants.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike will decide on formally requesting the measures after consulting with experts. Urban bars and restaurants would likely to be asked to close early, and may face the threat of fines for non-compliance.
Uruguay Could See First Vaccine Gains By Late April (8:16 a.m. HK)
Uruguay could start to see the benefits of its vaccination program as soon as late April or early May, President Luis Lacalle Pou said. Some 860,000 people will have received two Coronavac doses by the end of May, and the government is seeking more vaccines in case it decides to inoculate people under age 18 -- or give adults a third dose.
As U.S. Covid cases stall, top health officials warn variants could 'hijack' nation's progress
"Now more than ever, we must do all we can to stop the spread of the virus," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday.The emergence of the new variants has largely coincided with the sharp decline in daily new cases across the U.S. since January, but those figures have since stalled.
Puerto Rico Boosts Restrictions Amid Surge (7:30 a.m. HK)
Puerto Rico is expanding its nightly curfew and banning all large gatherings from Friday, even as the U.S. territory prepares to open up vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 years and older starting April 12.
Under the new restrictions, the curfew will run from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m.-- rather than beginning at midnight. Establishments will be required to close at 9 p.m., rather than 11 p.m. And all large gatherings will be banned unless they receive special permission. Governor Pedro Pierluisi made the announcement in his annual address and said details would be made public Thursday.
EU Fails to Find United Response to Astra Risks (6:43 a.m. HK)
The European Union failed to form a united response to links between AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine and a rare type of blood clots.
At a meeting that ran until late Wednesday, EU health ministers promised in a statement to continue discussions on vaccination planning. The EU’s immunization program has been bogged down by poor planning, supply delays and increasingly a lack of solidarity.
Mexico FM to Visit U.S. Seeking Doses (4:36 p.m. NY)
Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard will soon travel to the U.S. to press for more vaccines from its northern neighbor to help get through a supply crunch during the next three months, Ebrad’s deputy said Wednesday.
Delgado said Mexico had a “permanent petition” for any available vaccines from the U.S., such as the AstraZeneca shot that has yet to be approved by regulators there.
How Major League Baseball is tracking Covid-19 variants
To play during the pandemic, Major League Baseball has stepped up to the plate. © Adam Glanzman/MLB/Getty Images A general view of the stadium before the game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sunday, September 20, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. The league is using coronavirus tests in a new way that allows them to determine not only if a player has Covid-19 but also if a variant of the virus caused the player's infection. The MLB is one of few professional sporting organizations that is starting its second season in the coronavirus pandemic.
Photographer: Luis Antonio Rojas/Bloomberg
Italy Clears Astra Shot for People Over 60 (3:30 p.m. NY)
Italy is recommending the use of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine for people over 60 years of age, government health adviser Franco Locatelli said during a press conference in Rome. France and Germany made similar recommendations.
Qatar Reimposes Strict Limits (1:10 p.m. NY)
Qatar reimposed strict restrictions on group activities and businesses after recording three consecutive days of more than 900 new cases -- the highest official counts since June. According to state-run QNA, restaurants will close to in-person dining starting Friday, while cinemas and salons will close completely. Offices will be limited to 50% capacity, and gatherings in open spaces will be limited to five vaccinated people.
Alabama to Drop Mask Mandate (12:25 p.m. NY)
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey lifted the state’s mask mandate, saying the order would go into effect on Friday. Individuals are still “strongly encouraged” to wear face coverings when in public or in close contact with others, the governor said in a statement. Texas and Indiana also dropped their mask mandates.
U.K. Variant Most Common Strain in U.S. (11:25 a.m. NY)
The B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus, first found in the U.K., has overtaken the initial form of the virus in the U.S. and is now the country’s most common strain, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionWednesday.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a briefing that the version had overtaken other mutations that have emerged, as well as the initial version of the virus in the U.S.
Biden Expands Program at Health Centers (10:20 a.m. NY)
U.S. President Joe Biden will offer Covid-19 vaccine shipments to all of the nation’s community health centers, adding 2,500 delivery sites in a program aimed at closing the racial gap in inoculations.
The White House will announce Wednesday that 520 more such centers will be eligible to receive vaccine shipments, increasing the total to about 1,470 across the U.S., an official familiar with the plans said, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement.
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Would closing the borders limit deadly foreign strains of COVID-19? .
With all our worry about the southern border, it turns out we need to be concerned about our other borders too. Marc Siegel, M.D., is a professor of medicine and medical director of Doctor Radio at NYU Langone Health. He is a Fox News medical correspondent and author of the new book, "COVID; the Politics of Fear and the Power of Science.