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Covid-19 news: People in the UK may be able to holiday abroad in weeks

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Passengers are seen embarking Ryanair aircraft at almost empty London Stansted Airport

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Latest coronavirus news as of 5pm on 4 May

UK anticipated to launch “green list” of nations for non-essential journey this week

People in the UK may be able to journey to Europe inside weeks, as ministers are reportedly contemplating which international locations would be on the UK’s preliminary “green list” for non-essential journey. The record of nations, from which returning travellers gained’t be required to self-isolate, is anticipated to be launched this week. It is prohibited for individuals in the UK to journey abroad for a holiday till 17 May. “We will be able to confirm ahead of the 17th at the earliest what measures are used for those initial countries that are available for travel,” UK commerce minister Liz Truss informed Sky News on 4 May. The preliminary record is just anticipated to embody about 10 international locations, however Spain, France and Greece are amongst people who might be added to the record by the finish of June, the Telegraph reported. On 3 May, UK prime minister Boris Johnson mentioned placing too many international locations on the record would danger an “influx of disease”.

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European Union leaders are discussing plans for permitting non-essential journey to the bloc from exterior international locations. Under a proposal put ahead by the European Commission on 3 May, totally vaccinated individuals or these travelling from international locations with low sufficient case numbers would be able to journey to the EU for non-essential causes. It isn’t but identified if the UK would be included.

Other coronavirus news

India has recorded greater than 20 million coronavirus instances since the begin of the pandemic, though that is probably to be an underestimate. More than 355,000 new instances have been reported on 4 May, down from greater than 400,000 day by day new instances on 30 April. However, testing numbers have additionally fallen. Hospitals in India stay overwhelmed, with persevering with oxygen shortages. New restrictions have been imposed in many states, with the northern state of Bihar one among the newest to announce a full lockdown.

Nepal is in pressing want of at the least 1.6 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine for people who find themselves due to obtain their second dose. “People who have already got the first dose will be in difficulty if they don’t receive their second dose within the stipulated time,” mentioned Samir Adhikari, an official from Nepal’s well being ministry in Kathmandu. The nation is interesting to different nations and worldwide organisations to assist provide the required doses.

A research, which analysed well being data of 17 million individuals in England throughout 2020, has confirmed that individuals from ethnic minority teams have been at an elevated danger from covid-19 throughout the first and second waves of the epidemic in contrast to white individuals. The analysis, printed in the scientific journal the Lancet, discovered that disparities for covid-19 hospital admissions and deaths narrowed for many ethnic minority teams in contrast to white ethnic teams between the first and second waves, however that disparities between white and South Asian teams widened over the similar time interval.

The US Food and Drug Administration is anticipated to authorise the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine to be used in adolescents aged 12 to 15 by early subsequent week, the New York Times reported.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 3.21 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 153.6 million, in accordance to Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of instances will be a lot larger. According to Our World In Data, greater than 608.7 million individuals globally have acquired at the least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

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What to learn, watch and hear to about coronavirus

New Scientist Weekly options updates and evaluation on the newest developments in the covid-19 pandemic. Our podcast sees skilled journalists from the journal talk about the greatest science tales to hit the headlines every week – from know-how and house, to well being and the surroundings.

The Jump is a BBC radio 4 collection exploring how viruses can cross from animals into people to trigger pandemics. The first episode examines the origins of the covid-19 pandemic.

Why Is Covid Killing People of Colour? is a BBC documentary, which investigates what the excessive covid-19 dying charges in ethnic minority sufferers reveal about well being inequality in the UK.

Panorama: The Race for a Vaccine is a BBC documentary about the inside story of the improvement of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine towards covid-19.

Race Against the Virus: Hunt for a Vaccine is a Channel 4 documentary which tells the story of the coronavirus pandemic by way of the eyes of the scientists on the frontline.

The New York Times is assessing the progress in improvement of potential drug remedies for covid-19, and rating them for effectiveness and security.

Humans of COVID-19 is a mission highlighting the experiences of key staff on the frontline in the struggle towards coronavirus in the UK, by way of social media.

Belly Mujinga: Searching for the Truth is a BBC Panorama investigation of the dying of transport employee Belly Mujinga from covid-19, following reviews she had been coughed and spat on by a buyer at London’s Victoria Station.

Coronavirus, Explained on Netflix is a brief documentary collection analyzing the coronavirus pandemic, the efforts to struggle it and methods to handle its psychological well being toll.

COVID-19: The Pandemic that Never Should Have Happened, and How to Stop the Next One by Debora Mackenzie is about how the pandemic occurred and why it is going to occur once more if we don’t do issues in another way in future.

The Rules of Contagion is about the new science of contagion and the shocking methods it shapes our lives and behavior. The creator, Adam Kucharski, is an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, and in the ebook he examines how ailments unfold and why they cease.

Previous updates

Pfizer vaccine

A nurse prepares a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine.

FRED TANNEAU/AFP by way of Getty Images

30 April

Single dose of Pfizer vaccine may not generate enough immune response towards coronavirus variants

Most individuals in the UK who’ve acquired a coronavirus vaccine have up to now solely gotten a single dose, which may not produce a enough immune response towards new variants if the particular person hasn’t already had covid-19. 

Danny Altmann at Imperial College London and his crew studied blood samples from UK healthcare staff who had both acquired one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, beforehand been contaminated with the coronavirus or each. They discovered that individuals who had beforehand had a gentle or asymptomatic an infection produced a stronger neutralising antibody response towards the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants after a single dose of vaccine, in contrast to individuals who hadn’t beforehand been contaminated however who had acquired one dose of vaccine. 

This means that individuals who have had their first dose of vaccine, and haven’t had a previous coronavirus an infection, may not be totally protected towards these variants, mentioned Altmann at a press briefing on 30 April. “For a country like the UK, which has the majority of its vaccinated people on one dose and also has an eye on the horizon for variants of concern, that’s a potential vulnerability,” mentioned Altmann. He mentioned it is going to subsequently be essential to be sure that individuals in the UK get their second dose of vaccine. The outcomes are printed in the scientific journal Science.

Other coronavirus news

Coronavirus infections in England have fallen for the third consecutive week, in accordance to the newest outcomes from a random swab testing survey by the Office for National Statistics. An estimated one in 1010 individuals have been contaminated in England in the week up to 24 April, down from one in 610 the earlier week. “This continued decline is good news and should be celebrated,” mentioned Rowland Kao at the University of Edinburgh in an announcement. But Kao mentioned it is going to be essential to proceed monitoring infections because it may nonetheless be too early to see the affect of easing restrictions and of recent coronavirus variants on infections. In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales the estimated incidences of an infection throughout the similar interval have been one in 940, one in 640 and one in 570 respectively. 

On 29 April, the UK’s medicines regulator launched knowledge on the incidence of a uncommon blood clotting dysfunction in individuals who acquired the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine throughout totally different age teams. As of 21 April, there had been 23 instances amongst individuals aged 18 to 29, 27 instances amongst individuals aged 30 to 39, 30 amongst these aged 40 to 49, 59 instances in individuals aged 50 to 59 and 58 instances amongst individuals 60 and older. In whole there had been 209 instances, together with 41 deaths, amongst about 22 million individuals who had acquired a dose of the vaccine by the similar level in time. It emphasised that the advantages of the vaccine proceed to outweigh the dangers in the majority of individuals.

All individuals over the age of 40 in England at the moment are being invited to ebook covid-19 vaccine appointments. More than 34 million individuals throughout the UK had acquired a primary dose of a covid-19 vaccine as of 29 April, and greater than 14 million individuals about 20 per cent of the UK inhabitants had acquired two doses.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 3.16 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 150.6 million, in accordance to Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of instances will be a lot larger. According to Our World In Data, greater than 587.6 million individuals globally have acquired at the least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

Feet on a scale

Feet standing on a weighing scale.

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29 April

Higher BMI linked to elevated danger of extreme covid-19, significantly in youthful individuals

An evaluation of well being data from virtually 7 million individuals in England signifies that will increase in physique mass index (BMI) are related to elevated danger of extreme outcomes with covid-19, together with hospitalisation, intensive care unit admission and dying. The research, printed in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, discovered that the affiliation was strongest for youthful adults beneath 40 and stronger amongst Black individuals in contrast to white individuals. The danger of extreme illness elevated as BMI went up amongst these with a BMI of 23 or above. According to the NHS, a BMI of 25 or above is taken into account chubby and a BMI of 30 or above is in the overweight vary. Age stays the greatest danger issue for growing extreme covid-19 and dying from it. 

The findings add to rising proof that extra physique weight is a danger issue for extreme covid-19, mentioned Naveed Sattar at the University of Glasgow, UK, in a assertion. “Whether the findings mean people who are living with obesity should get vaccines earlier should be looked at by relevant authorities,” mentioned Sattar. “The more important question is whether helping people lose weight will lessen their chances of severe complications in subsequent waves. The overwhelming evidence, aided by this study, suggests this would be the case.”

Other coronavirus news

The European Union parliament permitted a proposal for a brief “EU covid-19 certificate” to show that an individual has been vaccinated towards covid-19, recovered from the illness or just lately examined detrimental for the coronavirus. It mentioned EU international locations “should ensure universal, accessible, timely and free of charge testing” to keep away from discrimination towards unvaccinated people. The UK and different international locations are additionally contemplating the use of so-called vaccine passports. In February, Israel rolled out a inexperienced move in the type of a QR code that folks can current as proof they’ve been vaccinated, which some companies and locations of worship ask for as a situation of entry. However, considerations stay about how lengthy safety from vaccines will final and whether or not boosters will be crucial.

Pfizer and BioNTech plan to apply for EU approval of their covid-19 vaccine to be used in youngsters aged 12 to 15 subsequent week. The vaccine has already been permitted for such use in the US. 

India reported 379,257 new coronavirus instances on 29 April and 3645 new deaths from covid-19, a brand new file for deaths in a single day. Elections in India are going forward regardless of the present disaster

Turkey will enter its first full nationwide lockdown in the night of 29 April in an effort to fight rising coronavirus instances. 

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 3.15 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 149.7 million, in accordance to Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of instances will be a lot larger. According to Our World In Data, greater than 577.8 million individuals globally have acquired at the least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

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Measuring immunity: Researchers are trying to find a easy measure of the total immune response that tells you whether or not anyone is protected towards covid-19, in order to develop a real immunity take a look at.

Lockdown affect: As some elements of Australia see a delayed surge of respiratory illness in youngsters, there are considerations that younger immune techniques may be struggling due to lockdowns and social distancing.

funeral pyres India

Funeral pyres burn as the final rites are carried out of the sufferers who died of the Covid-19 coronavirus at a cremation floor in Allahabad

SANJAY KANOJIA/AFP by way of Getty Images

28 April

Covid-19 deaths in India exceed 200,000

India continues to be engulfed by its second wave of covid-19, with cumulative deaths hitting a sobering milestone of 201,187. The nation is fourth solely to Mexico, Brazil and the United States for the highest numbers of deaths.

India once more broke a world file for the highest variety of instances in a day, with 360,960 reported in the previous 24 hours. The figures are believed to be an underestimate, regardless of ramped-up testing. Hospitals and crematoriums are nonetheless battling the surge, with reviews of oxygen shortages persevering with regardless of help by corporations and different international locations.

Doctors in an open letter in the BMJ journal right this moment mentioned that “mass gatherings need to stop urgently” in India, and the nation’s authorities ought to contemplate whether or not to delay elections in favour of a lockdown. The authors mentioned the “scale of need is almost immeasurable”.

In response to the disaster, the Indian authorities right this moment opened registrations for everybody aged 18 and up to obtain vaccination doses from Saturday. India has lagged behind different international locations in the roll-out of its vaccination programme, with simply 10.5 vaccine does given per 100 individuals, in contrast to 18.7 in Brazil and 69.3 in the UK. 

Other coronavirus news

India’s surge is driving the pandemic’s development, with the World Health Organization reporting new instances have now elevated worldwide for the ninth week in a row. Nearly 5.7 million new instances have been reported final week, and greater than 87,000 deaths, in accordance to a brand new WHO report.

Vaccination programmes proceed to create worldwide tensions. Yesterday Brazil’s well being regulator rejected imports of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, on the grounds there was a scarcity of information on its security and efficacy. That sparked an offended response from Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, which markets the vaccine – the Russian Direct Investment Fund known as the choice “politically motivated.”

The EU had extra constructive news, with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen right this moment saying a brand new contract with Pfizer/BioNTech would be agreed in the “next few days” to ship 1.8 billion doses between 2021 and 2023. The UK has additionally ordered 60 million extra doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in preparation for a booster programme in the autumn. The European Commission took the step this week of beginning authorized motion towards AstraZeneca over the fee at which it has equipped vaccines.

Meanwhile, new analysis printed right this moment by Public Health England discovered one dose of both the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine diminished family transmission of covid-19 by between 40 and 50 per cent. The lower in transmission was detected at 14 days after vaccination, and follows “real world” proof of how successfully the vaccines lower symptomatic an infection and extreme sickness. The UK authorities additionally confirmed a National Health Service covid-19 app will be used for worldwide travellers to show their testing and vaccination standing.  

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 3.13 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 148.8 million, in accordance to Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of instances will be a lot larger. 

coronavirus india

Patients breath with the assist of oxygen masks inside a banquet corridor transformed right into a Covid-19 ward in New Delhi.

Money Sharma/AFP by way of Getty Images

27 April

Ventilators and oxygen concentrators arrive in India from the UK

International help has began arriving in India, together with a flight from the UK carrying very important medical provides. Ventilators and oxygen concentrators from the UK landed in Delhi on 27 April however India continues to be in want of much more provides, with many hospitals overwhelmed with covid-19 sufferers amid a devastating second wave. Six oxygen containers will be flown to India from Dubai on 27 April, and the US and European Commission have each mentioned they’d ship oxygen and medication. Zarir Udwadia, a well being adviser to the authorities in India, informed the BBC’s Today programme he’s at the moment seeing “ward after ward full of patients struggling to breathe”. Udwadia mentioned that in the disaster demand for covid-19 vaccines in India has risen, with lengthy strains of individuals exterior medical centres attempting to get photographs. On 26 April, the Biden administration mentioned that the US will share up to 60 million doses from its Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine provide globally as they turn into accessible. India expects to safe the majority of the doses, two Indian authorities sources informed Reuters.

India reported 323,144 new coronavirus instances on 27 April, down solely barely from a peak of 352,991 the earlier day. In Delhi, makeshift pyres are being constructed in crematoriums as the metropolis is working out of house to cremate its useless. Delhi reported 380 deaths on 26 April, though the true figures are probably to be considerably larger. An investigation by broadcaster NDTV discovered at the least 1150 further deaths that weren’t included in Delhi’s official tally in the week up to 24 April.

Other coronavirus news

Weekly deaths from covid-19 throughout England and Wales have fallen to their lowest degree since October, in accordance to the newest figures from the Office for National Statistics. There have been 362 deaths mentioning covid-19 on the dying certificates in the week up to 16 April, a lower from 345 the earlier week. It is the lowest variety of weekly covid-19 deaths recorded in England and Wales since the week ending 2 October, when 321 deaths have been recorded. “This emphasises the impact of vaccines on covid-19 deaths,” mentioned Kevin McConway at the Open University in the UK in an announcement. More than 33.7 million individuals throughout the UK had acquired a primary dose of a covid-19 vaccine as of 26 April and greater than 12.8 million individuals had acquired two doses of vaccine.

The B.1.617 coronavirus variant first recognized in India has been detected in Fiji. The nation has managed to keep away from important neighborhood transmission of the coronavirus up to now, recording a complete of 109 instances and two deaths amongst its inhabitants of about 930,000 individuals. But James Fong, Fiji’s well being secretary, warned that the presence of the new variant might outcome in a “tsunami” of instances. Fiji, the Philippines and Australia are amongst the newest international locations to announce restrictions on journey from India.

All individuals aged 42 and over in England at the moment are able to ebook covid-19 vaccination appointments, in an additional extension of the vaccine rollout.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 3.12 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 147.9 million, in accordance to Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of instances will be a lot larger. According to Our World In Data, greater than 562.3 million individuals globally have acquired at the least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

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Previous updates

Coronavirus india

A affected person sporting an oxygen masks seems to be on as his spouse holds a battery-operated fan whereas ready inside an auto-rickshaw to enter a COVID-19 hospital for remedy, amidst the unfold of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) in Ahmedabad, India, April 25, 2021.

REUTERS/Amit Dave

26 April

Countries deploy medical provides to India amid crucial oxygen shortages

Foreign governments are deploying sources to India in an effort to assist the nation deal with oxygen shortages amid surging coronavirus infections, hospitalisations and deaths. India reported a file improve in day by day new coronavirus instances for the fifth consecutive day on 26 April, with an increase of 352,991 instances. The UK has begun sending ventilators and oxygen concentrator units to India, and the US and European Commission each mentioned they deliberate to ship oxygen and medication. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen mentioned the fee was “pooling resources to respond rapidly to India’s request for assistance”. Neighbouring Pakistan can be sharing medical tools and provides. 

The director of India’s Institute of Medical Sciences has appealed to individuals not to hoard medical provides in non-public houses. “Hoarding of injections like remdesivir and oxygen in homes is creating a panic and this hoarding is causing a shortage of these medicines,” Randeep Guleria mentioned in an announcement launched by India’s ministry of well being on 25 April. 

On 24 April, Twitter confirmed it had complied with requests from India’s authorities to censor 52 tweets, a lot of which have been crucial of its dealing with of the nation’s second wave. The transfer prompted additional criticism of the authorities on social media.

Other coronavirus news

The European Union has launched authorized motion towards AstraZeneca, which it alleges breached a contract regarding its provide of covid-19 vaccines to the bloc. “The European Commission has started last Friday legal action against the company AstraZeneca on the basis of breach of the advanced purchase agreement,” mentioned a spokesperson from the European Commission on 26 April. In response, AstraZeneca mentioned it “has fully complied with the advance purchase agreement with the European Commission and will strongly defend itself in court”.

All individuals aged between 35 and 39 at the moment are eligible for covid-19 vaccination in Northern Ireland. In England, the covid-19 vaccine rollout has been prolonged to all 44-year-olds. Across the UK, greater than 33.6 million individuals had acquired a primary dose of covid-19 vaccine as of 25 April and greater than 12.5 million individuals had acquired two doses of vaccine. The hole in covid-19 vaccine uptake between white individuals and folks from ethnic minority teams in England stays however has fallen barely in current months, the Financial Times reported. 

On 23 April, France grew to become the first nation to donate covid-19 vaccine doses from its home provide to the World Health Organization-led COVAX platform, a world platform for sharing vaccines equitably.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 3.11 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 147.2 million, in accordance to Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of instances will be a lot larger. According to Our World In Data, greater than 555.1 million individuals globally have acquired at the least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

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People wait to cross a street before a screen showing Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaking during a press conference to announce a new coronavirus state of emergency covering Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo regions, in Tokyo on April 23, 2021. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP) (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga talking throughout a press convention to announce a brand new coronavirus state of emergency masking Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo areas.

PHILIP FONG/AFP by way of Getty Images

23 April

Japan to declare a state of emergency in massive cities to attempt to halt an increase in instances forward of the Olympics

With coronavirus case numbers rising three months earlier than the Olympics are due to start, Japan will declare a state of emergency in massive cities together with Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto between 25 April and 11 May. This will enable the authorities to impose restrictions akin to a ban on the sale of alcohol in any respect venues and the closure of many leisure venues akin to cinemas. People will be requested to do business from home however faculties will stay open. The restrictions cowl the Golden Week holiday interval when many individuals often journey.

“If the Olympics are really going to be held in July, I think the infections need to settle down by late May or early June,” Haruka Sakamoto, a public well being researcher at the University of Tokyo informed the The Japan Times. “Therefore, the government is making stronger interventions relatively early on.”

Japan has been extra profitable at limiting the unfold of the virus than many different international locations. It has reported round 550,000 instances and 10,000 deaths, in contrast with 4.4 million instances and 130,000 deaths in the UK. It is at the moment reporting 36 instances per million individuals per day, in contrast with 37 in the UK, 200 in India, 250 in Germany and 700 in Turkey. However, new variants are spreading regardless of some native restrictions imposed after one other state of emergency ended earlier this yr. 

Other coronavirus news

Australia is imposing a three-day lockdown in Perth and the adjoining Peel area after an individual who examined constructive for covid-19 visited numerous websites in the area. The particular person had been in resort quarantine and examined detrimental at the finish of it. But one other take a look at achieved 5 days later was constructive.

A single dose of both the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine reduces the danger of an infection by two-thirds, in accordance to an evaluation of the take a look at outcomes of 350,000 individuals in the UK in the previous few months. From 21 days after the dose, individuals have been 57 per cent much less probably to get asymptomatic infections and 72 per cent much less probably to get symptomatic infections in contrast with those that had not been vaccinated.

India has reported 332,730 new day by day coronavirus instances, setting a brand new international file for a second successive day. Hospitals in New Delhi are pleading with the authorities for extra oxygen provides and saying they may not be able to admit new sufferers.

Some mass vaccination websites in the US are being closed down as demand falls, in accordance to The New York Times. More than half of adults in the US have now had at the least one vaccine dose. “We got about 50 per cent of our people vaccinated,” the chief public well being officer in Galveston County, Texas, informed the paper. “We recognise that next 25 per cent is going to be a lot harder than the first.”

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 3.08 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 144.9 million, in accordance to Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of instances will be a lot larger. According to Our World In Data, greater than 534 million individuals globally have acquired at the least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

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Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine researchers have developed a malaria vaccine proven to be 77 per cent efficient in trials – the highest degree ever achieved – providing hope of controlling a illness that kills an estimated 400,000 individuals annually.

india Covid surge

Nigambodh Ghat crematorium throughout the cremation of a number of Covid-19 victims, on April 21, 2021 in New Delhi, India.

Amal KS/Hindustan Times/Shutterstock

22 April

The 314,835 new instances reported by India on Thursday is the highest day by day fee ever in any nation

India reported 314,835 new coronavirus instances on Thursday, the highest day by day quantity reported by any nation since the pandemic started. According to the New York Times, the earlier file was 300,669, reported by the US on 8 January. The true variety of instances might be 20 to 30 times higher than the reported figures, which means up to 9 million persons are being contaminated in India each day. Last week, Gautam Menon at Ashoka University in India informed New Scientist that he anticipated case numbers to maintain growing for an additional two or three weeks at the least.

While India’s reported case numbers are the highest in the world, in phrases of reported instances per million individuals it’s only now overtaking international locations akin to the US, Germany and Canada, with round 200 instances per million per day. Turkey is reporting greater than 700 instances per million per day, and Cyprus almost 900. In October and January, Czechia reported round 1200 per million per day.

Other coronavirus news

The international scheme for sharing vaccines equitably, Covax, has up to now delivered solely a fifth of the doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine it estimated international locations would have by May, in accordance to an evaluation by the Guardian newspaper. Some international locations, akin to Bangladesh and Pakistan, haven’t acquired any doses by way of Covax up to now. The drawback is that the Serum Institute of India has produced fewer vaccine doses than it projected, which it blames on US export bans on key components. India has additionally restricted vaccine exports as case numbers surge.

Covid-19 is now not the main trigger of dying in England and Wales, in accordance to the UK’s Office of National Statistics. In England, 10 per cent of deaths in March have been due to dementia and Alzheimer’s illness. In Wales, 12 per cent of deaths have been due to coronary heart ailments. Covid-19 precipitated solely 9 per cent of deaths in each nations. Case numbers proceed to fall in England, in accordance to Public Health England.

A research claiming that people who smoke are 23 per cent much less probably to get covid-19 than non-smokers has been retracted by the European Respiratory Journal after it emerged that two of the authors had undeclared hyperlinks with the tobacco trade. “It was brought to the editors’ attention that two of the authors had failed to disclose potential conflicts of interest,” the journal states.

covid vaccination

Julie Fletcher administers a dose of AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine to housebound affected person Gillian Marriott

OLI SCARFF/AFP by way of Getty Images

21 April

Research exhibits vaccines are working nicely at stopping hospital admissions in UK 

Further encouraging outcomes have emerged on the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccines used in the UK. Only 32 individuals have been admitted to hospital with covid-19 greater than three weeks after receiving at the least one dose of both the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs, a research has discovered. The analysis, which checked out greater than 74,000 hospital admissions between September and early March, discovered that almost 2000 of those individuals had acquired a covid-19 vaccine. But for the overwhelming majority of those, the vaccine wouldn’t have had time to kick in, as the three weeks thought crucial for max immunity to develop had not elapsed. 

The analysis was carried out by the UK’s Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium. “This is really good real-world data showing that this vaccine works and that one dose works really well,” Calum Semple, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), informed Radio 4’s Today Programme. The findings are important as a result of most of those that acquired a vaccine initially have been frail and aged individuals, in whom the jab is anticipated to work much less nicely.

Other coronavirus news

India is experiencing oxygen shortages at hospitals as covid-19 instances proceed to surge. At least 22 sufferers died when their oxygen provide was interrupted on account of a leak from an oxygen tanker at Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik, a metropolis in the western state of Maharashtra. There has additionally been looting of oxygen at a hospital in Madhya Pradesh, and in the state of Haryana, oxygen tankers are being given police safety.

Vaccine hesitancy in the UK in individuals in their thirties has solely risen barely since authorities mentioned the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab is linked to a uncommon blood clotting syndrome. A survey by the University of Stirling discovered 85 per cent of 30-to-40-year-olds have been planning to get the vaccine, in contrast with 87 per cent in a earlier ballot.

Counterfeit Pfizer/BioNtech covid-19 vaccines have been discovered in Mexico and Poland, says producer Pfizer. The substance in vials seized in Poland contained an anti-wrinkle remedy.

Transmission of the coronavirus has taken place inside a quarantine resort in Perth. Two company staying in rooms reverse one another examined constructive for the virus. Initially they have been thought to have caught the virus abroad, however genetic testing confirmed they caught it at the resort.

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20 April

Sweden provides one other layer of restrictions to the AstraZeneca jab in youthful individuals

Sweden has mentioned individuals beneath 65 who’ve had an preliminary dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine ought to get a totally different jab for his or her second dose, due to the small likelihood of blood clots. France additionally has this rule, though there the higher age restrict is 55.

Many different international locations have restricted use of this vaccine to individuals over a sure age, as a uncommon syndrome of blood clots coupled with low ranges of platelets – particles in the blood that stick collectively to kind clots – has primarily been seen in youthful individuals. The syndrome is named vaccine–induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia or VITT. Most different international locations, nonetheless, say those that have had one dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine must also get the second, due to the unknown effectiveness and security of blending vaccine sorts. That would be “voyaging into an evidence-free zone,” Anthony Harnden, deputy chair of the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation mentioned in a press convention. Several trials the place vaccine sorts are being blended throughout the two doses are ongoing. 

Sweden’s transfer comes as the European Medicines Agency says it has discovered a attainable hyperlink between eight instances of an analogous blood clot syndrome after individuals in the US had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The similar mechanism may be accountable, as each the J&J and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines work by delivering  the coronavirus spike protein inside a DNA-based adenovirus. The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines use mRNA, a unique sort of genetic materials.

Other coronavirus news

The UK is to arrange a taskforce to develop antiviral medication towards the coronavirus that might be taken at residence by individuals who take a look at constructive for covid-19, Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced right this moment. Such medicines might additionally be taken by individuals who reside with somebody who has examined constructive to forestall them catching the virus. “There might be a tablet you can take at home that will stop the virus in its tracks and reduce the likelihood of severe disease,” mentioned Johnson. An inhaled bronchial asthma medication known as budesonide has already been discovered to shorten period of sickness with covid-19 if taken by individuals at larger danger due to age or well being situations. 

Cleaning surfaces to attempt to scale back coronavirus transmission is usually a waste of time and may even be dangerous, in accordance to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s as a result of the virus is unfold most frequently by way of tiny droplets in the air, reasonably than by individuals touching contaminated surfaces. The CDC’s Vincent Hill mentioned in a briefing on Monday that frequent cleansing and disinfecting surfaces is merely “hygiene theatre” and will give individuals a false sense of safety. There has been a long-running debate over the relative significance of airborne and floor transmission of the virus.

UK officers are visiting Israel to research the nation’s covid-19 vaccine passport scheme, which is used to decide entry to venues akin to gyms, eating places and theatres. Cabinet workplace minister Michael Gove and England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam are investigating how coronavirus certification might work in the UK. Israel’s “green pass” scheme permits entry to individuals who have been vaccinated, have just lately been contaminated with covid-19 or who’ve had a current detrimental take a look at. UK trials of vaccine passports are due to begin subsequent month at particular occasions, together with the FA cup closing.

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Sputnik V goes international: Now that the Russian-developed Sputnik V covid-19 vaccine has been permitted to be used in India, it’s accessible to 40 per cent of individuals on the planet. How nicely does it work?

Covid-19

Coronavirus COVID-19 laptop generated picture.

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19 April

Volunteers will be uncovered to the coronavirus to study which immune elements confer safety

Young adults who’ve recovered from covid-19 can have reside coronavirus sprayed into their noses to see whether or not they can be reinfected as a part of a brand new trial. The research, which is being run by  the University of Oxford, is one among two “challenge” trials in the UK. It is designed to reveal, amongst different issues, the elusive “correlates of protection” towards SARS-CoV-2– which suggests the ranges of antibodies, T-cells and different immune system elements which can be required to shield individuals towards an infection. This is at the moment a major hole in our understanding of the virus, and realizing the correlates of safety could lead on to much more speedy vaccine improvement. That’s as a result of some vaccines are permitted primarily based on whether or not they elicit these measures of safety, bypassing prolonged medical trials. The different research, utilizing volunteers who haven’t had covid-19, is already beneath manner at Imperial College London.

Other coronavirus news

More individuals have been recognized with covid-19 throughout the previous seven days than another week since the begin of the pandemic, totalling greater than 5.2 million globally for the week. The an infection depend was 12 per cent larger than the earlier week. 

The Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine has proven efficacy of 97.6 per cent in real-world knowledge from 3.8 million individuals who have acquired two doses, in accordance to the Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow. The outcomes haven’t but been printed in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Every week-long lockdown has been imposed in Delhi, India. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal mentioned the measures have been crucial to “prevent a collapse of the health system”. India’s fee of recent infections is continuous to climb, with over 270,000 instances and 1619 deaths reported right this moment. The UK will add India to the “red list” for journey from Friday, and prime minister Boris Johnson has cancelled a deliberate journey to India subsequent week due to the nation’s coronavirus scenario.

Health officers in the UK are investigating whether or not a covid-19 variant first discovered in India spreads extra simply and evades vaccines, after greater than 70 instances have been recognized in England and Scotland.

The World Health Organization’s Emergency Committee has really useful that proof of vaccination shouldn’t be required as a situation of worldwide journey. The panel cited restricted proof on whether or not vaccination towards covid-19 reduces individuals’s capability to transmit the virus and “the persistent inequity in global vaccine distribution”.

Everyone aged 16 and over is now eligible for a vaccine in the US, president Joe Biden announced on Twitter. Almost 130 million individuals – simply over half of adults in the US – have now had at the least one covid-19 vaccine dose. The nationwide suspension of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is probably going to finish by Friday, White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci informed ABC News.

Climate change activist Greta Thunberg says her foundation will donate 100,000 euros to COVAX, the international initiative aiming to guarantee vaccines are shared pretty between wealthy and poor nations.

Coronavirus deaths
As of 16 April, the worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.98 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 139.2 million, in accordance to Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of instances will be a lot larger. According to Our World In Data, greater than 478.1 million individuals globally have acquired at the least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

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People sit in a restaurant on the roof of the Selfridges division retailer on Oxford avenue, as the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) restrictions ease

REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

16 April

An estimated one in 480 individuals in England had covid-19 in the week up to 10 April

Coronavirus infections in England have fallen to their lowest degree since September, in accordance to the newest outcomes of a random swab testing survey by the Office for National Statistics. An estimated one in 480 individuals in communities in England had covid-19 in the week up to 10 April, down from about one in 340 the earlier week. It is the lowest prevalence fee recorded since the week up to 24 September, throughout which an estimated one in 500 individuals had covid-19. Equivalent prevalence estimates for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have been one in 500, one in 710 and one in 920 individuals, respectively, throughout the week up to 10 April. 

These numbers for England are “encouraging”, mentioned James Naismith at the University of Oxford in a assertion. “The lockdown has worked as expected as has the vaccination campaign,” he mentioned, including that sturdy testing and sequencing to determine coronavirus variant instances stay very important.

A complete of 77 instances of a brand new coronavirus variant first detected in India have been recorded in the UK as of 14 April, in accordance to Public Health England. The new variant, known as B.1.617, comprises two varieties of mutation, every of which have been discovered individually in different coronavirus variants. These mutations may make the variant extra infectious and enhance its capability to escape the physique’s immune responses.

Other coronavirus news

The world is seeing a “worrying” rise in coronavirus infections, World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned on 16 April. “Globally, the number of new cases per week has nearly doubled over the past two months. This is approaching the highest rate of infection that we have seen so far during the pandemic,” he mentioned at a briefing. More than 139.2 million coronavirus instances have been confirmed worldwide since the begin of the pandemic, with the international covid-19 dying toll approaching 3 million, in accordance to Johns Hopkins University.

Pfizer’s CEO, Albert Bourla, has mentioned it’s probably that individuals will want a 3rd covid-19 vaccine dose inside six to 12 months after they’re first vaccinated, with a requirement for annual jabs additionally a risk. “Variants will play a key role,” he mentioned.

Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel urged lawmakers on 16 April to approve new powers that will allow her to impose coronavirus lockdowns and curfews on areas with excessive an infection charges. Daily new case numbers in Germany are quickly approaching these seen throughout the peak of its second wave in January.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.98 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 139.2 million, in accordance to Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of instances will be a lot larger. According to Our World In Data, greater than 478.1 million individuals globally have acquired at the least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

Virus Outbreak Tokyo Olympics, Suita, Japan - 14 Apr 2021 The last Olympic torch relay runner for the Osaka leg concludes the event in Suita, north of Osaka, western Japan

Virus Outbreak Tokyo Olympics, Suita, Japan – 14 Apr 2021 The final Olympic torch relay runner for the Osaka leg concludes the occasion in Suita, north of Osaka, western Japan

Hiro Komae/AP/Shutterstock

15 April

As Japan battles fourth wave of infections, official says cancelling the Olympics continues to be an possibility

An official from Japan’s ruling occasion has mentioned that cancelling the Olympics, scheduled to happen in Tokyo at the finish of July, stays an possibility and can depend upon the coronavirus scenario. “If it seems impossible [to host the Olympics] anymore, then we have to stop it, decisively,” Toshihiro Nikai, a member of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, informed broadcaster TBS. He added: “If the Olympics were to spread infection, then what are the Olympics for?” Government and organising officers have beforehand mentioned the postponed occasion would go forward, however with out worldwide spectators.

The recent doubts about internet hosting the Olympics come as Japan is grappling with a fourth wave of coronavirus infections. Japan’s western area of Osaka reported a file day by day improve of 1099 infections on 13 April, with the surge thought to be pushed largely by the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant first recognized in the UK. “The situation, with pressure on hospital beds, is severe. I have a strong sense of crisis about it,” Japan’s financial system minister, Yasutoshi Nishimura, who’s overseeing the nation’s pandemic response, informed Reuters.

Other coronavirus news

Approximately 4.7 million individuals have been ready for routine operations and procedures in England in February, which is the highest quantity since 2007, in accordance to NHS England figures. Almost 388,000 individuals had been ready for greater than a yr for a non-urgent surgical procedure in contrast with simply 1600 individuals earlier than the pandemic. “We’re going to make sure that we give the NHS all the funding that it needs – as we’ve done throughout the pandemic to beat the backlog,” mentioned UK prime minister Boris Johnson throughout a go to to Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth on 15 April. NHS England just lately introduced a £1 billion fund to go in direction of serving to trusts to restore operations and different providers.

The variety of constructive coronavirus checks in England fell by 34 per cent in the week up to 7 April, in accordance to the newest figures from NHS Test and Trace. 19,196 individuals examined constructive for the virus, persevering with a downward pattern in constructive checks noticed since the week up to 6 January, NHS Test and Trace mentioned in its report. 

Mass testing for the B.1.351 coronavirus variant, first recognized in South Africa, is being carried out in six London boroughs in addition to in elements of Smethwick in the West Midlands in England, after a brand new case was detected there.

More than 200,000 new coronavirus instances have been reported in India on 15 April, the highest day by day case fee in the nation since the pandemic started. Some hospitals, together with these in the state of Maharashtra, have reported shortages of beds and oxygen provides. India’s second wave of infections seems to be pushed primarily by the extra transmissible B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.97 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 138.4 million, in accordance to Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of instances will be a lot larger. According to Our World In Data, greater than 468 million individuals globally have acquired at the least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

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People relaxation in the ready space after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a vaccination centre in Salisbury Cathedral

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14 April

A single dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine produced robust immune responses amongst over-80s in a preliminary research

Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccines produced a powerful immune response after a single dose in individuals aged over 80 in a preliminary research. It confirmed that 93 per cent of individuals had produced coronavirus-specific antibodies after receiving the Pfizer vaccine and 87 per cent of individuals after receiving the AstraZeneca jab. This was the first research to examine the efficiency of the two vaccines.

Those who acquired the AstraZeneca vaccine confirmed a larger T-cell response, which kinds one other essential arm of the physique’s immune response to viruses. Just 12 per cent of people that had the Pfizer vaccine developed T-cells towards the coronavirus spike protein in contrast with 31 per cent of those that had acquired the AstraZeneca jab. 

Overall immune responses have been a lot larger in individuals who had beforehand had covid-19, in contrast with those that hadn’t. The research was carried out by Helen Parry at the University of Birmingham, UK, and her colleagues who analysed immune responses in a bunch of 165 volunteers aged 80 and over, every of whom had acquired a single dose of both the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine 5 to six weeks earlier. 

Other coronavirus news

The US, the European Union and South Africa are pausing rollouts of the Johnson & Johnson covid-19 vaccine, following a small variety of reviews of uncommon blood clots in individuals who had acquired it. In the US, six instances of uncommon blood clots had been reported amongst 6.8 million individuals who had acquired the vaccine as of 13 April. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) mentioned it’s working carefully with the US Food and Drug Administration and different worldwide regulators to examine all the instances reported and it expects to challenge a suggestion subsequent week. “While its review is ongoing, EMA remains of the view that the benefits of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19 outweigh the risks of side effects,” it mentioned in an announcement on 14 April. 

Denmark has turn into the first nation to utterly cease utilizing the AstraZeneca vaccine, after the EMA concluded on 7 April that uncommon blood clotting occasions ought to be listed as very uncommon unwanted side effects of the vaccine. However, the nation’s well being company has not dominated out the risk of resuming use of the vaccine in future if one other wave of infections hits. Several European international locations suspended use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in March over blood clot considerations, however many have since resumed use of the vaccine for sure age teams.

About half of individuals in the UK may have antibodies towards the coronavirus. An estimated 54.9 per cent of individuals in England had antibodies towards the coronavirus in the week up to 28 March, in accordance to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The equal proportions for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been 46 per cent, 49.1 per cent and 54.5 per cent, respectively. “There is a clear pattern between vaccination and testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies but the detection of antibodies alone is not a precise measure of the immunity protection given by vaccination,” the ONS mentioned in its report.

Coronavirus deaths
The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 2.96 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 137.5 million, in accordance to Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of instances will be a lot larger. According to Our World In Data, greater than 459.7 million individuals globally have acquired at the least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Back to the workplace: Returning to work in places of work brings considerations over workplace socialising and utilizing public transport, however working collectively brings psychological well being advantages too.

Staying secure indoors: Good air flow is one among the only measures places of work can take to cease the unfold of coronavirus, whereas counting on individuals to change their behaviour ought to be a final resort.

Rare clot considerations: Johnson & Johnson covid-19 vaccines have been paused in the US after uncommon reviews of blood clots, related to these linked with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in different international locations. Could the reason behind the clots be the similar?

India’s second wave: India’s day by day coronavirus instances are at the moment the highest in the world, with modelling suggesting the nation’s whole tally might be shut to 450 million.

See earlier updates from March 2021, February 2021, January 2021, November/December 2020, and March to November 2020.

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Sunday, May 16, 2021
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