Mexico’s health ministry on Tuesday reported 3,064 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 395 more deaths, Reuters reports.
It brings the total number of cases in the country to 2,352,964 and fatalities to 217,740. Separate government data published in March suggested the real death toll may be at least 60% above the confirmed figure.
Surge testing is not being carried out in England for coronavirus variants first detected in India, despite the government claiming it would be deployed, the Guardian has learned.
The coronavirus variant known as B.1.617 is a “variant under investigation” in the UK, together with its close relatives B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.3. All three are worrying scientists because they contain either one or two mutations in their spike protein that may help them evade the body’s immune responses and be more transmissible.
Should such worries be borne out, they may be designated “variants of concern”. The Guardian understands Public Health England will not surge test – where people within particular postcodes are asked to take a test – until the variants are given that designation. This is despite the health secretary, Matt Hancock, stating on 19 April that surge testing would be carried out for the India variant.
The UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson and US secretary of state Antony Blinken agreed on the need for a global rollout of Covid-19 vaccines to end the pandemic, Downing Street said on Tuesday after the pair met in London.
The prime minister and secretary Blinken agreed that the global roll out of vaccines will be key to defeating the coronavirus pandemic,” Johnson’s office said in a statement.
“They underlined the importance of G7 work in this area, including efforts to increase international manufacturing capability.”
A rise in coronavirus infections on the Greek island of Kalymnos prompted authorities to place it under lockdown on Tuesday, a day after restrictions were eased across the country.
Restaurants and bars reopened in Greece after six months on Monday, as it took a further step towards easing restrictions ahead of the official opening of the tourism season on 15 May.
The Civil Protection Ministry said it was imposing a lockdown on the Aegean island from Wednesday through 10 May “for urgent reasons of serious risk to public health” and to limit the spread of the virus.
Under the measures, residents will only be allowed to leave their homes for workplaces that remain open, to visit the doctor or pharmacy, to walk their pets or for supermarket shopping until 6pm.
Other restrictions include the suspension of construction work and religious ceremonies, excluding funerals with up to nine people. Residents are only permitted to leave the island for health reasons.
Canada’s pandemic-era policy of turning back asylum-seekers trying to enter between official border crossings is unlawful and violates their rights, a legal action filed on Tuesday alleges.
The Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers filed the legal action in federal court claiming the policy is unlawful because it fails to consider the situation of asylum-seekers and whether they have reasonable alternatives available. The policy also denies asylum-seekers their right to a hearing, according to a copy of the legal action seen by Reuters. It is the first legal action against the policy.
The White House says US president Joe Biden is setting a new vaccination goal to deliver at least one dose to 70% of adult Americans by July 4.
The new goal includes fully vaccinating 160 million adults by Independence Day, Associated Press reports. It comes as demand for vaccines has dropped off markedly nationwide, with some states leaving more than half their vaccine doses unordered. Biden will call for states to make vaccines available on a walk-in basis and will direct many pharmacies to do the same. So far, more than 56% of American adults have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and nearly 105 million are fully vaccinated. The US is currently administering first doses at a rate of about 965,000 per day — half the rate of three weeks ago, but nearly twice as fast as needed to meet Biden’s target.
“Girls, we need Remdesivir. Sir is on a ventilator in intensive care,” says a WhatsApp message.
Our chat group attended the “best” convent in the most backward Indian state of Bihar, where the power was mostly out and the toilets never worked. But we always had one thing going for us: the teachers who treated us like important people, imparting an uncommon self-belief that we carried all the way into adulthood.
On my last visit there as a doctor, Sir, my physics teacher, tugged me into assembly. Employing selective memory, he described me as “an always good student”, but when I saw him beaming, I realised that his students really were his life’s work. I’d do anything to repay you, I thought silently. But Remdesivir? During a pandemic? Remdesivir would not have saved him even if we had been able to source any.
The number of daily new Covid-19 infections in France slowed again on Tuesday, continuing a three-week trend, with the week-on-week increase in cases below 3% for the third day in a row.
The health ministry reported 24,371 new cases, taking the total to 5.68 million, an increase of 2.64% from last Tuesday and down from week-on-week increases of more than 6% before and during the third lockdown in April, Reuters reports.
The US government is working to give Brazil access to $20m of medication used to intubate Covid-19 patients, the White House said, Reuters reports.
The medications will come from the U.S. government’s strategic stockpile and will be delivered in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki. “It has not yet been finalised, but we are working in partnership with the government of Brazil on that,” she said.
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