Health News Roundup: UK reports another 2,047 COVID-19 cases; Italy reports 224 coronavirus deaths on Saturday and more
The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, rose to 10 from eight a day earlier. South Africa picks up first cases of coronavirus variant from India South Africa's health ministry said on Saturday it had detected the first four cases of a new coronavirus variant that emerged in India and was responsible for a surge of infections and deaths in the Asian country.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
UK reports another 2,047 COVID-19 cases, 5 deaths
Britain reported another 2,047 COVID-19 cases on Saturday and another 5 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. Government data also showed 35,188,981 people had received their first dose of a COVID vaccine and 17,214,436 had both shots.
Italy reports 224 coronavirus deaths on Saturday, 10,176 new cases
Italy reported 224 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday against 207 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 10,176 from 10,554. Italy has registered 122,694 deaths linked to COVID-19 since its outbreak emerged in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the seventh-highest in the world. The country has reported 4.1 million cases to date.
India's COVID-19 cases rise by over 400,000 despite state lockdowns
India's total COVID-19 cases rose by over 400,000 for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday even as several states imposed strict lockdowns to curb the spread of the virus. India's health ministry reported 4,092 fatalities over the past 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 242,362. Cases rose by 403,738, increasing the total since the start of the pandemic to 22.3 million.
Bangladesh detects first cases of Indian coronavirus variant
Bangladesh has detected its first case of a highly infectious coronavirus variant first identified in India, the country's health directorate said on Saturday, prompting the government to keep its border sealed for another two weeks. Six cases of the Indian variant had been detected in Bangladesh, Nasima Sultana, additional director general of the health directorate, told reporters.
A coronavirus variant first discovered in the United Kingdom now accounts for up to 70% of COVID-19 infections across Pakistan, a research centre studying the disease in the country said on Saturday. The country has imposed strict nationwide restrictions in the lead up to the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr next week in a bid to control a spike in cases, including banning public transport over the holiday period.
The Biden administration is examining ways to ensure that a waiver of COVID-19 vaccine patents to aid poor countries will not hand sensitive U.S. biopharmaceutical technology to China and Russia, responding to a chorus of concerns, U.S. and industry officials say. President Joe Biden on Wednesday backed the U.S. entering negotiations at the World Trade Organization for the waiver of intellectual property rights as a means to boost vaccine supplies by allowing poorer countries to make their own.
China reports 12 new COVID-19 cases vs seven a day earlier
China reported 12 new COVID-19 cases in the mainland on May 8, up from seven a day earlier, the country's national health authority said on Sunday. The National Health Commission said in a statement that all the new cases were imported infections originating from overseas. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, rose to 10 from eight a day earlier.
South Africa picks up first cases of coronavirus variant from India
South Africa's health ministry said on Saturday it had detected the first four cases of a new coronavirus variant that emerged in India and was responsible for a surge of infections and deaths in the Asian country. Testing had also picked up 11 cases of the variant B.1.1.7 first detected in the UK, the health ministry said in a statement.
Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 12,656 - RKI
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 12,656 to 3,520,329, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll rose by 127 to 84,775, the tally showed.
Australia's most populous state extends COVID restrictions in hunt for outbreak source
Australia's most populous state recorded no new COVID-19 infections for a third straight day on Sunday but extended raised social distancing and mask-wearing rules by a week as the authorities hunted for the source of a small outbreak. After a Sydney couple tested positive to the coronavirus last week, ending a long run without community transmission, the authorities reinstated some social distancing measures until May 10, and a campaign to get more people tested, as they scrambled to determine the source of infection.
(With inputs from agencies.)