The European Union has failed to unite in response to links between the Covid-19 AstraZeneca Plc vaccine and a rare type of blood clot. EU health ministers say they will continue talks on the issue.
The coronavirus variant first found in the UK surpassed the initial form of the virus in the US and is now the most common strain in the country. President Joe Biden will offer shipments of vaccines to all national health centers in the community. To the north is Canada’s largest province of Ontario, declared a state of emergency.
India’s struggle to curb a repeat wave of Covid-19 cases is accompanied by a shortage of vaccines in several states and cities, including the financial center of Mumbai. Tokyo is planning are seeking a return to stricter Covid measures as infections in the city have reached a two-month high.
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Canada’s largest province declares state of emergency (9:25 a.m. HK)
Ontario – home to more than 14.7 million people – has declared a state of emergency, forcing most retail outlets to operate under the new restrictions. He said he would change his vaccination strategy as he battled the new, more dangerous Covid wave.
Ontario has issued an order to stay at home starting April 8 at 00:01 Toronto time, effective for four weeks. Most store categories will be required to close their doors, and customers are only served by outdoor delivery or collection.
India’s Covid fights Falters amid vaccine shortage (8:36 HK)
The Indian battle to suppress the renewed wave of Covid-19 is accompanied by a shortage of vaccines in several states and cities – including Mumbai. His hardest hit state of Maharashtra has only three days of vaccines available.
The sudden jump in infections since the beginning of February has forced Indian states to return restrictions, including restrictions on movement. Maharashtra stopped all irrelevant services and ordered private companies to work from home, along with the closure of shopping malls and restaurants by April.
Read the story here.
Tokyo tougher restrictions in Japan in case of recovery (8:24 am HK)
Tokyo is planning seek a return to stricter Covid measures as infections in the city have reached a two-month high less than three weeks after the state of emergency was lifted. The Japanese capital recorded 555 cases on Wednesday – the most since early February – because officials feared a “recovery” of cases that began to hit earlier than expected amid a rise in the number of virus variants.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike will decide on a formal request for measures after consulting with experts. Urban bars and restaurants would probably be required to close earlier and may face the threat of fines for non-compliance.
Uruguay could get first vaccine win in late April (8:16 a.m. HK)
Uruguay could begin to see the benefits of its vaccination program as soon as late April or early May, President Luis Lacalle Pou he said. About 860,000 people will receive two doses of Coronavac by the end of May, and the government is seeking more vaccines in case it decides to vaccinate people under the age of 18 – or give adults a third dose.
Puerto Rico tightens limits in the midst of surges (7:30 h HK)
Puerto Rico is expanding its night curfew and banning all large gatherings from Friday, even as American territory prepares to open the possibility of a vaccine to all persons over the age of 16 starting on April 12.
Under the new restrictions, curfew will run from 10pm to 5am – instead of starting at midnight. The facilities will close at 9pm, not 11pm. And all large gatherings will be banned unless they get special approval.
Governor Pedro Pierluisi announced this on Wednesday in his annual address and said details would be released on Thursday. Puerto Rico “sees a dangerous jump in Covid cases that has caused an increase in hospitalizations and deaths,” he said.
The island of 3.2 million people has seen a steady increase in cases since mid-March, and 2,139 Covid-19 deaths have been reported since the start of the pandemic.
EU fails to find common response to Astra risks (6:43 am HK)
The European Union has failed to create a single response to the links between the Covid-19 AstraZeneca Plc vaccine and a rare type of blood clot.
At a meeting that lasted until late Wednesday, EU health ministers promised in a statement that they would continue talks on vaccination planning. The EU’s immunization program is plagued by poor planning, supply delays and a growing lack of solidarity.
In response to concerns about the AstraZenec shooting, Italy followed Germany and France by recommending it only to people over the age of 60. The government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi has called on other EU members to pursue the same policy, say people familiar with the matter who have asked not to be identified. But the UK only advises offering people under 30 an alternative.
Mexico FM to visit US in search of doses (16:36 NY)
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard will soon travel to the U.S. to ask for more vaccines from his northern neighbor to help get supplies over the next three months, Ebrad’s deputy said on Wednesday.
Delgado said Mexico had a “permanent petition” for any available vaccines from the U.S., such as the AstraZenec shooting, which has yet to be approved by regulators there.
Last month, Mexico became the third country with more than 200,000 confirmed deaths from Covid-19, following only the U.S. and Brazil, countries with much larger populations.
Italy clears a shot from Astra for people over 60 (15:30 NY)
Italy recommends the use of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine for people over the age of 60, government health adviser Franco Locatelli said during a news conference in Rome. France and Germany made similar recommendations.
Qatar sets strict limits again (13:10 NY)
Qatar has reintroduced strict restrictions on group activities and businesses after recording three consecutive days of over 900 new cases – the highest number of officials since June. According to the state-run QNA, restaurants will close personal dining from Friday, while cinemas and lounges will close completely. Offices will be limited to 50% of capacity, and outdoor gatherings to five vaccinated people. Tougher restrictions come days before once a month Muslim holiday Ramadan.
Alabama Mandate to Remove Mask (12:25 NY)
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey withdrew his state mandate under the guise, saying the order would take effect Friday. Individuals continue to be “strongly encouraged” to wear face covers when in public or in close contact with others, the governor said in a statement. Texas and Indiana have also given up their mandates for masks.
New York Beach Opens for Remembrance Day Weekend (11:30 a.m., NY)
Beaches in New York City will open for Remembrance Day weekend, and public outdoor pools will open in late June, signaling that the worst days of the pandemic may be over, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Last year, the beaches were closed to bathers, and only a few outdoor pools opened in late summer.
Great Britain, the most common strain in the USA (11:25 NY)
Variant B.1.1.7 of the coronavirus, first found in the UK, preceded the initial form of the virus in the US and is now the most common strain in the country, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention he said on Wednesday.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at the briefing that the version surpassed the other mutations that appeared, as well as the initial version of the virus in the US
Carnival sees abrupt booking reservations (10:45 NY)
Reservations Carnival Corp. they are accelerating, reflecting the retained demand for cruising, although the industry is basically on hold.
In a quarterly update from Wednesday, the company announced The volume of provisions in the first quarter of 2021 was about 90% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2020. Cumulative advanced provisions for next year are ahead of 2019 levels.
Biden expands health center program (10:20 NY)
U.S. President Joe Biden will offer shipments of the Covid-19 vaccine to all national health centers, adding 2,500 delivery points to a program aimed at combating racial differences in vaccinations.
The White House will announce Wednesday that another 520 such centers will be eligible to receive vaccine shipments, increasing the total to about 1,470 across the U.S., an official familiar with the plans said, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement.
– With the help of Karen Leigh