India posted a record daily rise of 401,993 new coronavirus cases on Saturday as the country opened up its massive vaccination drive to all adults, although several states warned of acute shortages.
It was the first time India’s daily case count had topped 400,000 after 10 consecutive days over 300,000, Reuters reported.
Deaths from COVID-19 jumped by 3,523 over the past 24 hours, taking the total toll in India to 211,853, according to official data.
The world’s biggest producer of COVID-19 vaccines has a limited number of shots available, worsening a grim second wave of infections that has overwhelmed hospitals and morgues while families scramble for scarce medicines and oxygen.
Hundreds of people were seen queuing to be vaccinated across Ahmedabad, the main commercial city in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat, on Saturday, Reuters reported.
The chief minister of the hard-hit state of Delhi on Friday implored people not to queue at vaccination centres, promising more vaccines would arrive “tomorrow or the day after”.
India’s eastern Odisha state said on Friday it had received a consignment of 150,000 shots but would only allow a few people to get shots due to lockdown restrictions preventing movement.
A fire in a hospital about 190 km south of Ahmedabad killed 16 coronavirus patients and two staff, the latest in a series of deadly accidents at hospitals.
Modi offered his condolences to the families of the hospital fire victims on Twitter, hours after he posted pictures of himself praying at a Sikh temple in capital New Delhi.
Some experts blame mass religious gatherings and political rallies for the severity of India’s second wave, which caught the government unprepared, Reuters reported.
A forum of scientific advisers set up by Modi administration warned Indian officials in early March of a new and more contagious variant of the coronavirus taking hold in the country, five scientists who are part of the forum told Reuters.
Despite the warning, four of the scientists said the federal government did not seek to impose major restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. Millions, largely unmasked, attended religious gatherings and election rallies that were held by Modi, leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and opposition politicians.
The total number of COVID cases in India has topped 19 million. As the second wave has picked up steam, India has added about 7.7 million cases since the end of February, according to a Reuters tally. In contrast, it took India nearly six months to add the previous 7.7 million cases.
The surge in cases led U.S. President Joe Biden to impose new travel restrictions on India on Friday, barring most non-U.S. citizens from entering the United States.
Australian officials said residents and citizens who have been in India within 14 days of the date they plan to return home will be banned from entering Australia as of Monday, and those who disobey will face fines and jail.
Other countries and territories have also imposed similar travel restrictions on India, including Britain, Germany, Italy and Singapore, while Canada, Hong Kong and New Zealand have suspended all commercial travel with India.
Global COVID-19 cases exceed 236 million, death toll hits 4.83 million
The cumulative total number of global COVID-19 cases has exceeded 236.5 million with the death toll hitting 4.83 million as of Friday, according to the latest data compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Specifically, there had been 236,599,025 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 4,831,486 deaths as of Wednesday, the WHO’s COVID-19 dashboard showed Monday.
In addition, a total of 6.3 billion vaccine doses had been administered across the world as of Saturday, according to the WHO.
The cumulative total of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 44.3 million as of Sunday, with the death toll surpassing 713,000, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
The country’s case count rose to 44,338,297 on Sunday, and its death toll came to 713,154, the CSSE tally showed.
As of early Monday morning, a total of 400,352,880 doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered across the United States, CSSE data showed.
Reuters reported that in Britain, another 34,574 people have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing its total coronavirus cases to 8,154,306, according to official figures released Sunday.
The country also recorded another 38 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 137,735. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.
There are currently 6,763 patients in hospital in the UK with COVID-19.
Russia meanwhile confirmed 28,647 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, taking the national tally to 7,775,365, the official monitoring and response center said Sunday.
The nationwide death toll grew by 962, close to a record number of 968 a day earlier, to 216,415. Recoveries increased by 17,274 to 6,858,119.
In Asia, India’s COVID-19 tally rose to 33,971,607 on Monday, as 18,132 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours across the country, showed the federal health ministry’s latest data.
The number of new cases recorded in a day are the lowest in the past 215 days, said a statement by the federal health ministry.
Besides, as many as 193 deaths from the pandemic since Sunday morning took the total death toll to 450,782.
U.S. COVID-19 cases surpass 44.2 million, death toll tops 710,000
The cumulative total of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 44.2 million as of Friday, with the death toll surpassing 712,000, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
The country’s case count rose to 44,285,030 on Friday, and its death toll came to 712,646, the CSSE tally showed.
The Alaska state in northwestern America has recently witnessed a sharp surge in COVID-19 patients and a shortage of medical resources.
The state has become one of the country’s hardest-hit places by the pandemic, as reported by some local media on Friday.
In the past two weeks, the number of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States has increased by more than three times, and most of the new cases did not get vaccinated.
In addition, the rural area in Alaska is more vulnerable to the pandemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday that COVID-19 associated multisystem inflammatory syndrome cases in children has increased by 12 percent since late August, the largest growth so far this year.
Children take part in vaccine study as Pfizer seeks FDA approval
Pfizer Inc and BioNTech have asked U.S. regulators to authorize emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, a group for whom no shot is currently allowed, Pfizer said on Thursday (October 07), Reuters reported.
A trial to test vaccine safety on children took place at Duke University School of Medicine. Two of the children who took part, were 7 year old Lydia and her sister, 5 year old Bridgette.
Both of the girls were calm as they received their vaccinations, although Bridgette instructed her father to hold her hand, read the report.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set a date of Oct. 26 for its panel of outside advisers to meet and discuss Pfiizer’s application, making it possible for children in this age group – numbering around 28 million – to begin receiving the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine shortly afterward.
The vaccine already has won U.S. emergency use authorization in teens ages 12 to 15 and is fully approved by regulators for people ages 16 and up.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is one of three in use in the United States, along with the two-dose Moderna vaccine and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson version, neither of which has won full regulatory approval for any age group.
A rapid authorization of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in young kids could help mitigate a potential surge of cases in the coming weeks and months, with schools open nationwide and colder weather driving activities indoors. If given regulatory authorization, the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine would become the first COVID-19 shot made available to children 5 to 11 in the United States, Reuters reported.
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