Health News Roundup: Thailand reports 2,839 new coronavirus cases; PNG's official death toll from COVID-19 passes 100 and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 23,392 - RKI
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 23,392 to 3,268,645, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday. The reported death toll rose by 286 to 81,444, the tally showed.
Thailand reports 2,839 new coronavirus cases, 8 new deaths
Thailand reported 2,839 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, a record number of new cases in the country's third wave of infection, bringing total infections to 53,022 cases. The Southeast Asian nation also reported eight new deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 129 since the pandemic started last year.
Millions of doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine manufactured at a U.S. plant that had a contamination issue and then shipped to Mexico are safe and have been approved by two regulators, Mexico's deputy health minister said on Friday. The doses were sent to Mexico as part of an agreement with the administration of President Joe Biden for 2.7 million shots of AstraZeneca's vaccine to help supplement Mexico's vaccination campaign amid global delays and shortages.
India's daily COVID-19 cases rise by record 346,786 - health ministry
India posted a record tally of 346,786 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, while daily deaths from COVID-19 also jumped by a record, government data released on Saturday showed.
Deaths rose by 2,624 to reach a total of 189,544, according to health ministry data.
AstraZeneca vaccine doses in U.S. should go to hard-hit countries - business group
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Friday called on the Biden administration to release millions of doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from storage for shipment to India, Brazil, and other countries hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. "The vaccine doses will not be needed in the United States, where it's estimated that vaccine manufacturers will be able to produce enough doses by early June to vaccinate every American," Myron Brilliant, the chamber's vice president and head of international affairs, said in a statement.
Lawmakers urge Biden to back 'moral' patent waiver to speed vaccine access
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers and nonprofit groups on Friday heaped pressure on the Biden administration to back a temporary patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines to help poor countries contain the pandemic. The groups delivered a petition signed by two million people, adding to separate letters already sent to U.S. President Joe Biden by a group of senators, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, nearly 100 members of the House, and 60 former heads of state, and 100 Nobel Prize winners.
Coronavirus vaccines remain out of reach in the poorest countries, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, marking the first anniversary of the COVAX dose-sharing facility. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has repeatedly denounced inequities in vaccine distribution and urged wealthier countries to share excess doses to help inoculate health workers in low-income countries.
U.S. ends J&J COVID-19 vaccine pause; shots to resume immediately
The United States can immediately resume the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, top health regulators said on Friday, ending a 10-day pause to investigate its link to extremely rare but potentially deadly blood clots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration said the risks of experiencing the syndrome involving severe blood clots and low platelets as a result of the vaccine were very low. They found 15 cases in the 8 million shots given.
PNG's official death toll from COVID-19 passes 100
The South Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea (PNG) has reported three new COVID-19 related deaths, health officials said on Saturday, bringing the country's total deaths to 102. The official number of coronavirus infections in the nation of 8.8 million people rose to 10,602, with 52 new cases, the National Control Centre for COVID-19 said in a statement.
Hospitals overrun as India's COVID-19 infections top global record for second day
People across India scrambled for life-saving oxygen supplies on Friday and patients lay dying outside hospitals as the capital recorded the equivalent of one death from COVID-19 every five minutes. For the second day running, the country's overnight infection total was higher than ever recorded anywhere in the world since the pandemic began last year, at 332,730.
(With inputs from agencies.)