Daily cases surpass 100,000 for first time in India
India’s daily COVID-19 cases soared by 103,558 on Monday, the biggest such increase, data from the health ministry showed, taking the total to 12.59 million.
Maharashtra, the richest state, which has seen a rapid rise in infections now accounting for more than half the new cases, will shut shopping malls, cinemas, bars, restaurants and places of worship from Monday evening and impose a night curfew, allowing only essential services to operate during those hours.
Authorities will also impose a complete lockdown at weekends, Nawab Malik, a minister in the state government, told reporters after a cabinet meeting.
British PM Johnson to set out travel plans
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out plans to reopen the economy and eventually relaunch international travel on Monday when he updates the coronavirus roadmap, aided by one of the fastest vaccine rollouts in the world.
Johnson is expected to confirm that non-essential retail, outdoor hospitality and hairdressers can reopen on April 12, while he will also give more details on vaccine passports and international travel.
Under the current plan international travel will not resume until May 17 at the earliest.
U.S. puts J&J in charge of plant that botched COVID vaccine
The United States has put Johnson and Johnson in charge of the Emergent BioSolutions facility in Baltimore that ruined 15 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine and has stopped British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc from using the facility, a senior health official said on Saturday.
The Department of Health and Human Services has also increased Emergent’s order by $23 million for expansion of production specific to J&J’s vaccine doses, Emergent added.
The Department of Health and Human Services facilitated the move, the health official said in an email, asking not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.
City bordering Myanmar accounts for jump in China’s cases
China reported its biggest daily jump in new COVID-19 cases in more than two months, with Ruili city on the border with Myanmar in southwestern Yunnan province accounting for all 15 new local cases reported on April 4.
Ruili’s local government put residents in its urban area under home quarantine, launched a massive testing drive and began restricting people from leaving and entering the city from last week after reporting COVID-19 patients.
Genetic analysis of the cases discovered in Ruili suggest the new local infections stem from viruses imported from Myanmar, state media reported.
Of the new patients reported in the city, 11 of them were identified as Myanmar citizens.
Phuket island in mass vaccination drive
In Thailand, it is the all-important tourism sector that has jumped to the head of the COVID-19 vaccination line, with the country’s most popular resort island embarking on a mass inoculation programme two months ahead of the rest of the country.
Phuket aims to deliver shots to at least 460,000 people - most of its population - as it gears up for July 1, when vaccinated overseas visitors will no longer be required to quarantine. The government wants to see at least 100,000 tourists come to Phuket in the third quarter. Compiled by Karishma Singh