Health News Roundup: South African variant can 'break through' Pfizer vaccine; Philippines to ease some tough COVID-19 restrictions and more
India leads the world in the daily average number of new infections reported, accounting for one in every six infections reported globally each day, according to a Reuters tally. South Korea to resume wider use of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, exclude people under 30 South Korean authorities said on Sunday they will move ahead with a coronavirus vaccination drive this week, after deciding to continue using AstraZeneca PLC's vaccine for all eligible people 30 years old or over.Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 11-04-2021 18:38 IST | Created: 11-04-2021 18:27 IST
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
South African variant can 'break through' Pfizer vaccine, Israeli study says
The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa can "break through" Pfizer/BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found, though its prevalence in the country is low and the research has not been peer reviewed. The study, released on Saturday, compared almost 400 people who had tested positive for COVID-19, 14 days or more after they received one or two doses of the vaccine, against the same number of unvaccinated patients with the disease. It matched age and gender, among other characteristics.
Philippines to ease some tough COVID-19 restrictions from Monday
Strict COVID-19 lockdowns in the Philippines capital and four adjacent provinces will be eased from April 12, a spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday. Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Cavite will be placed under a less restrictive community quarantine status until April 30, spokesman Harry Roque told a virtual briefing.
Thailand reports daily record 967 new coronavirus cases after new outbreak
Thailand on Sunday reported 967 new COVID-19 cases, its biggest daily jump, but no new deaths as the country deals with a third wave of infections and a highly contagious variant. Of the infections, 964 were domestic transmissions, including 236 in the capital Bangkok, the epicentre of an outbreak that has spread to most of Thailand's 77 provinces.
Europe needs a more ambitious COVID recovery plan, says France's Beaune
The European Union must shoot for a more ambitious COVID-19 recovery plan than the landmark 750 billion euro stimulus agreed last summer after the epidemic's first wave, French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune said on Sunday.
Beaune said Europe must not repeat errors made after the global financial crisis a decade ago and this time should underpin the recovery with investment, in fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks, green and digital technologies, among others.
India's new COVID-19 cases hit record again amid vaccination push
New COVID-19 cases in India surged to a record of 152,879 on Sunday as the country battled a second wave of infections by pushing for faster vaccinations, with some states considering tougher restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. India leads the world in the daily average number of new infections reported, accounting for one in every six infections reported globally each day, according to a Reuters tally.
South Korea to resume wider use of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, exclude people under 30
South Korean authorities said on Sunday they will move ahead with a coronavirus vaccination drive this week, after deciding to continue using AstraZeneca PLC's vaccine for all eligible people 30 years old or over. South Korea on Wednesday suspended providing the AstraZeneca shot to people under 60 as Europe reviewed cases of blood clotting in adults.
India bans exports of anti-viral drug Remdesivir as COVID-19 cases surge
India said on Sunday it had banned the export of anti-viral drug Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients after a record spike in COVID-19 cases sent demand surging. "In light of the above, Government of India has prohibited the exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation improves," the health ministry said in a statement.
Mexico reports 2,192 new coronavirus deaths after data review
Mexico's government on Saturday reported 2,192 new confirmed coronavirus deaths, one of its biggest one-day tolls during the pandemic, after consolidating data from last year to include deaths that were not confirmed at the time. The figure was far above the daily averages reported by the health ministry in recent weeks.
China administers 164.47 million COVID-19 vaccinations as of April 10
China has administered 164.47 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Saturday, the National Health Commission said on Sunday. This represents around 24.5 million doses in the past six days, as the country's vaccine rollout continues to accelerate.
Iran reports 258 coronavirus deaths, highest daily toll since Dec
Iran reported 258 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Sunday, the highest daily toll since early December. That brings the total number of fatalities from the coronavirus to 64,490 in Iran, the worst-hit country in the Middle East.
(With inputs from agencies.)