Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
India’s COVID-19 case total nears 20 million
India on Monday reported more than 300,000 new coronavirus cases for a 12th straight day, taking its overall caseload to just shy of 20 million, while deaths from COVID-19 rose by 3,417. With 368,147 new cases over the past 24 hours, India’s total infections stand at 19.93 million, while total fatalities are 218,959, according to health ministry data.
Indian industry body urges curbs to economic activity to save lives
A leading Indian industry body urged authorities to take the «strongest national steps» and to curtail economic activity to save lives on Sunday as the country battles surging coronavirus cases that have overwhelmed the healthcare system. The rate of new infections dipped marginally but deaths kept climbing. Authorities reported 392,488 new cases in the previous 24 hours, pushing total cases to 19.56 million. Deaths jumped by a record 3,689, taking the overall toll to 215,542.
Australia state reports zero cases, lockdown fears ease
Western Australia state reported no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases for the second straight day on Monday, allaying fears of a second lockdown in two weeks after three new coronavirus cases were detected over the weekend. The fresh cases forced officials to ban crowds at a local football match on Sunday and shut nightclubs until the end of this week in state capital Perth, which had emerged just days ago from a snap lockdown over a single case.
Turkey’s COVID-19 death toll 340 as lockdown sets in
Turkey logged 340 coronavirus-related deaths and 25,980 new cases in the last 24 hours, Health Ministry data showed on Sunday, the third day of a nationwide lockdown, including curfews, closed schools and many shuttered businesses. Turkey ranks fourth globally in daily cases based on a seven-day average, according to a Reuters tally, down from second briefly last month.
Pfizer to supply 4.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to South Africa by June
Pfizer Inc will ship 4.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to South Africa by June, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement on Sunday. The first batch of 325,260 doses will arrive in the country Sunday night, Mkhize said, adding that they will be expecting same number of doses to arrive on a weekly basis.
English music-lovers party like it’s 2019 at COVID pilot festival
Live music returned to the birthplace of The Beatles after a long coronavirus-enforced silence on Sunday when the English city of Liverpool hosted a one-off music festival to test whether such events spread the virus. Around 5,000 people ditched face coverings and social distancing rules in the name of science and music. They attended the outdoor event having tested negative for COVID-19, and promised to get themselves tested again five days after the festival.
Britain to send 1,000 more ventilators to India
Britain will send another 1,000 ventilators to India, the government said on Sunday, stepping up its support as India’s healthcare system struggles to cope with a huge surge in cases of COVID-19. India has reported more than 300,000 daily cases for more than 10 days straight, leaving hospitals, morgues and crematoriums overwhelmed.
Italy reports 144 coronavirus deaths on Sunday, 9,148 new cases
Italy reported 144 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday against 226 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 9,148 from 12,965. The average number of cases and deaths reported each day has fallen over the last few weeks, with infections at 35% of the peak reported in November. (Graphic of global cases and deaths) https://tmsnrt.rs/34pvUyi
‘Hospitals are full’ as Argentina COVID-19 cases hit 3 million
Argentina coronavirus cases hit 3 million on Sunday since the pandemic began, as medical workers said hospitals were full to capacity despite toughened government measures to bring down the spread of infections. The country’s health ministry said there were 11,394 new cases over the last 24-hour period, bringing up the grim new milestone, with 156 new deaths taking fatalities to 64,252.
German hospital chief sees first signs of COVID easing – Bild
Stable new COVID-19 infection numbers in Germany are fuelling hopes that intensive care units won’t be overburdened, the head of the German hospital federation (DKG) told the mass tabloid newspaper Bild. «The majority of hospitals in Germany are feeling a first, slight easing,» DKG President Gerald Gass was quoted as saying.
(With inputs from agencies.)