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World English pubs set for comeback, India battles record virus surge

08:15  12 april  2021
08:15  12 april  2021 Source:   afp.com

Power play - India wields oil 'weapon' to cut dependence on Saudi

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Pubs in England have spent thousands of pounds updating outdoor areas, as venues with outdoor seating will reopen on Monday for the first time since the beginning of January. PA Media reports: Half of Britons are planning to make a dash for the pub or a restaurant when the rules ease, a recent poll by investment bank Jefferies found. India said on Sunday it had banned the export of the anti- viral drug Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients after a record rise in Covid-19 cases sent demand surging .

India reported a record 126,789 Covid-19 cases on Thursday as several states struggle to contain a second surge in infections, complaining of vaccine shortages and demanding inoculations be expanded to younger people. Daily infections, which surpassed 100,000 for the first time on Monday, have now exceeded that mark three times, the biggest daily rises in the world. The spike, much faster than last year's first wave, has caught the authorities by surprise. The government blames the resurgence mainly on crowding and a reluctance to wear masks as shops and offices have reopened.

Britain was to partially lift coronavirus restrictions Monday, reopening shops, gyms, pub gardens and hairdressers, while India moved to ban exports of a virus treatment drug as a record surge of cases overwhelms its healthcare system.

a person riding a skateboard down a street in front of a house: Britain was to partially lift coronavirus restrictions Monday, reopening shops, gyms, pub gardens and hairdressers © BEN STANSALL Britain was to partially lift coronavirus restrictions Monday, reopening shops, gyms, pub gardens and hairdressers

The contrast in their fortunes comes as other nations grapple with mounting cases and vaccine rollouts hampered by health, efficacy and as the global death toll tops 2.9 million.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the easing as a "major step" towards normal life resuming in the country once the worst affected in Europe, following a successful vaccination campaign and lockdown measures that have cut deaths by 95 percent and cases by 90 percent from January highs.

Koo, the 'free expression' social media app, is the Indian government's latest weapon in its standoff with Twitter

  Koo, the 'free expression' social media app, is the Indian government's latest weapon in its standoff with Twitter Koo, the 10-month-old app, surged after Modi's government effectively endorsed it while it grappled with Twitter for not censoring accountsKoo is just 10 months old. But Twitter's refusal to block accounts supporting the protests outside Delhi - where tens of thousands farmers have come to global attention in their bitter, at times violent, demonstrations against new agriculture laws - has been its making.

But several Indian states have complained of a vaccine shortage, despite immunisation being restricted to only about 400 million of India ’s 1.35 billion people. The second surge in infections, which has spread much more rapidly than the first, which peaked in September, has forced many states to impose fresh curbs on activity. Authorities have blamed the resurgence of the virus mainly on crowding and a reluctance to wear masks, even as massive election rallies and large religious gatherings have continued in recent weeks.

India reported a record 126,789 Covid-19 cases on Thursday as several states struggle to contain a second surge in infections, complaining of vaccine shortages and demanding inoculations be expanded to younger people. Daily infections, which surpassed 100,000 for the first time on Monday, have now exceeded that mark three times, the biggest daily rises in the world. The spike, much faster than last year's first wave, has caught the authorities by surprise. The government blames the resurgence mainly on crowding and a reluctance to wear masks as shops and offices have reopened.

diagram, map: Global death toll and coronavirus cases as of April 10 at 1000 GMT, based on AFP tallies © Simon MALFATTO Global death toll and coronavirus cases as of April 10 at 1000 GMT, based on AFP tallies

But India, the world's second-most populous country, has experienced a sharp rise in cases after several weeks of religious festivals, campaign rallies and lax mask-wearing.

It added 152,000 new cases on Sunday to take its toll to 13.3 million infections.

The government is desperate to avoid a hugely unpopular second lockdown but many states are tightening the screw. In worst-hit Maharashtra and its capital Mumbai, restaurants are shut and public gatherings of more than five people are banned.

a group of people that are standing in the grass: Brazil closed out its deadliest month of the coronavirus pandemic in March as a surge of Covid-19 patients overwhelmed hospitals © Miguel SCHINCARIOL Brazil closed out its deadliest month of the coronavirus pandemic in March as a surge of Covid-19 patients overwhelmed hospitals

The health ministry said the surge has led to a "spike in demand" for the antiviral drug Remdesivir, forcing the ban on its export despite a World Health Organization-backed study saying it has "little or no effect" on Covid-19 mortality.

India's second wave: Daily Covid cases hit record high as new lockdowns imposed

  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.

Leading hospitals in India 's most coronavirus-hit state halted vaccinations Friday, citing shortages as infections across the country crossed 13 million and set a new daily record . The nation of 1.3 billion is confronting a ferocious second wave that has triggered its fastest infection rate since the pandemic began Production capacity at India 's Serum Institute, the world's largest vaccine maker by volume, is ‘very stressed’, the firm's CEO Adar Poonawalla said earlier this week, calling for financial help from the government. Poorer countries, as well as some rich nations, have relied heavily on Serum for supplies

Nationwide restrictions have been in place in England since early January, and similar rules in the other parts of the U.K., to suppress a surge in coronavirus infections that swept the country late last year, linked to a more transmissible new variant first identified in southeast England . On Monday, nonessential shops will be allowed to reopen, along with hair salons, gyms and outdoor service at pubs and restaurants. The prime minister had promised to visit a pub for a pint to mark the occasion, but postponed the celebratory drink after the death of Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, on

Concerns over the side effects and effectiveness of tested and approved vaccines continue to rattle nerves elsewhere.

Australia abandoned its goal to inoculate almost its entire population by the end of the year after new medical advice that people under 50 should take Pfizer's vaccine instead of AstraZeneca over a potential link to blood clots.

Fears over the effectiveness of the vaccine manufactured by China's Sinovac were brushed aside by Beijing on Sunday after a top disease control official suggested the country's vaccines "don't have very high rates of protection".

a man who is swinging at a ball: India moved to ban exports of a virus treatment drug as it battles a record surge of cases that has overwhelmed the country’s health system © NOAH SEELAM India moved to ban exports of a virus treatment drug as it battles a record surge of cases that has overwhelmed the country’s health system

- Brazil's young ICU numbers soar -


Video: India suffers vaccine shortages as virus surges (AFP)

In Brazil, a study revealed that the number of Covid-19 patients under 40 in intensive care surpassed older groups last month, driven partly by a new coronavirus variant known as P1.

India’s Virus Epicenter Has Only Three Days of Vaccines in Stock

  India’s Virus Epicenter Has Only Three Days of Vaccines in Stock India’s fight against a renewed wave of coronavirus infections is beset by vaccine shortages in several states and cities including the financial capital, Mumbai. © Photographer: PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP A vaccination centre in Mumbai on April 1, 2021. The nation’s worst-hit state, Maharashtra, has only three days worth of vaccines in stock, Health Minister Rajesh Tope told reporters Wednesday, even as the country reported a record of over 115,000 daily new cases. Maharashtra alone accounts for some 55,000 infections.

A record virus surge is eroding support for the Chilean government’s Covid-19 policies and tarnishing one of the world’s fastest vaccination drives, according to a survey. Thirty-eight percent of Chileans back President Sebastian Pinera’s response to the coronavirus, down from 58% on Feb. Cases have been surging in France since December due to more contagious, deadlier variants, forcing President Emmanuel Macron to abandon a strategy of regional measures and opt for another lockdown. — With assistance by Justin Carrigan, Henry Goldman, and Matthew Malinowski.

Gilead's Virus Drug Remdesivir Gains Approval From FDA. India has prohibited exports of the drug Remdesivir, used to treat Covid-19, as the country registered a record number of daily new coronavirus cases.

With over 350,000 fatalities, Brazil has the second highest death toll in the world, with its president Jair Bolsonaro -- who has railed against stay-at-homes measures -- under huge pressure for his handling of the crisis.

As the Latin American country's crisis rolls on, officials in Rio de Janeiro, one of its hardest-hit states, were forced to apologise Sunday after their Covid-19 vaccination ad campaign became the butt of online jokes for showing a man wearing a mask upside down.

In Asia, almost 40 Thai provinces introduced new restrictions for people travelling from Bangkok and other coronavirus hotspots ahead of a holiday travel period, as the capital grapples with soaring infections.

Japan on Monday imposed new virus measures on Tokyo to bring down surging cases less than 100 days before the 2020 Olympic Games begin.

It also started vaccinating the elderly as the country's inoculation programme, criticised for its slow pace, kicked up a gear. Vaccines will be offered to people aged 65 or older.

So far, just 1.1 million people have had at least a first dose of vaccine in Japan, with only the Pfizer formula so far approved.

Myanmar citizens flee to India to escape violence

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- French rollout expands -

There were glimmers of hope in some corners of Europe Monday even as Germany announced it had passed three million infections, with several countries easing some restrictions for lockdown-weary residents and a vaccination campaign expanding in France.

The continent's worst-hit country was to offer Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca jabs to over 55s from Monday, widening its inoculation campaign after a slow start.

Epidemiologists have warned that vaccinations alone are not enough to beat back France's stubbornly high infections numbers, and have called for schools to remain closed.

On Monday, Italy was to lift its lockdown in Lombardy, its worst-hit region, and several other regions with improving contagion statistics.

The regions will be reclassified from "red zone" areas to "orange" areas, where people face fewer travel curbs, shops can reopen, although a ban on dining in bars and restaurants remains.

Ireland will on Monday ease restrictions for the first time this year after more than 100 days of lockdown, while Slovenia will ease coronavirus restrictions and suspend a six-month-long curfew.

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India Faces a Health Crisis As COVID-19 Cases Soar .
Government and public complacency have turned India into a global epicenter of rising COVID-19 cases.But now India is recording more new infections than any other country, raising questions about whether it was resting on its laurels too soon.

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