Coronavirus live: second pandemic year to be deadlier than first, warns WHO; Germany to mark UK as risk area

Afternoon summary

Here is a roundup of all the latest developments from across the world:

  • France has added Bahrain, Colombia, Costa Rica and Uruguay to its list of countries deemed as high-risk zones. This will mean that people arriving from those countries will have to undergo quarantine measures on arrival.
  • The Lithuanian government to donate 200,000 Covid-19 vaccine shots to its eastern European neighbours, including 100,000 to Ukraine, 15,000 going to Georgia and 11,000 to Moldova. The remaining 74,000 shots will be decided later.
  • Stocks fall as Singapore announced on Friday its strict guidelines on gatherings and public activities, amid a rise in infections and new clusters forming in recent weeks.
  • The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said it expects the second batch of its Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine will be delivered to India by the end of the week.
  • Since the coronavirus outbreak began, at least 3,346,813 people have died due to a tally combined from official sources by AFP.
  • British holidaymakers will be allowed to enter Portugal as of midnight on May 17th. Travellers will need a negative PCR test 72hrs before their flight to gain entry into the country.
  • India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he feels the pain of all Indians battling the pandemic after weeks of mainly avoiding public comment on the country’s fatal coronavirus wave.
  • The Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has said that a state of emergency was being extended to a broader area due to a rapid rise of Covid-19 cases in those regions.
  • An international cybercrime gang has been announced as being behind a significant ransomware attack on Ireland’s health service operator that halted diagnostic services on Friday and led to the cancellation of appointments.
  • World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the second year of the pandemic was set to be more deadly than the first, with India a considerable concern.
  • Delta Air Lines will require all new hires in the United States to be vaccinated against Covid-19, becoming one of the first major companies to issue this requirement.
  • Italy has lifted quarantine rules for all travellers from the European Union, including the UK and Israel, upon their arrival, health authorities announced.
  • Slovakia ends its state of emergency as the coronavirus pandemic has receded.
  • Dutch tourists who visit Spain’s Balearic and the Canary Islands will no longer have to take a coronavirus test on their way home.
  • Germany plans to classify Britain as a coronavirus risk region due to the emergence of the highly infectious variant first detected in India, government sources said on Friday.
  • Turkey is to ease coronavirus restrictions, emerging out of a complete lockdown, President Erdogan has said today. The country has been in a lockdown for two weeks after daily new cases rocketed to above 60,000.
  • France will have administered at least one Covid-19 vaccine injection to 20 million people by Saturday, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on his Twitter feed.
  • The B.1.617.2 variant first found in India will, over time, surpass the variant first discovered in Kent and become dominant in the UK, Britain’s Chief Medical Officer, Prof Chris Whitty, said on Friday.

That’s all from me today! My colleague Nadeem Badshah will be taking over the blog for the rest of the evening. Thank you for following along!

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