World News in Brief: April 27

Tuesday, 2021-04-27 20:51:04
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A man receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a hospital in Taiz province, Yemen, on April 25, 2021. The country is pushing forward its vaccination campaign against coronavirus. (Source: Xinhua)
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The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday it was stepping up efforts to help India as hospitals there struggled to cope with a huge surge in coronavirus cases, including bringing in oxygen and other essential supplies. India's 323,144 new cases over the past 24 hours stood below a worldwide peak of 352,991 hit on Monday, while 2,771 deaths took the toll to 197,894.

* Vital medical supplies began to reach India on Tuesday as hospitals starved of life-saving oxygen and beds turned away coronavirus patients, and a surge in infections pushed the death toll towards 200,000.

* Thailand reported 15 new coronavirus deaths, setting its daily record for the third time in four days.

* OPEC, Russia and their allies will stick to plans for a phased easing of oil production restrictions from May to July amid upbeat forecasts for a recovery in global demand and despite surging coronavirus cases in India, Brazil and Japan.

* The first Palestinian elections in 15 years appeared to be headed for a delay on Tuesday amid a dispute over voting in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem and splits in President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party.

* The World Health Organization said it was still in discussions about the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine and had not yet set a date to evaluate the shot's clinical data for possible emergency use listing.

* German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz called the European Union's EUR750 billion (US$905.85 billion) recovery fund, intended to kick-start the economy hit hard by COVID-19, a groundbreaking step for the 27-nation bloc.

* The parties negotiating a revival of the Iran nuclear deal agreed on Tuesday to speed up efforts to bring the United States and Iran back into compliance, diplomats said.

* Britain's health ministry on Tuesday said 33,843,580 people had received a first COVID-19 vaccine dose, adding that a quarter of adults in the country had now received both doses of a coronavirus shot.

* Poland moved closer to ratifying legislation essential to the European Union COVID-19 recovery fund on Tuesday after the prime minister said the government had approved it and agreed to proposals from an opposition block on how money should be spent.

* The number of new cases in Sweden has decreased in the past week, but infections are still at a high level and it is too early to say whether the trend will continue, the Health Agency said.

* Finland should end its COVID-19 state of emergency as infection rates decline, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said, adding that the issue would go before parliament.

* Denmark aims to start local production of coronavirus vaccines in 2022, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said, after previously expressing concern over the European Union's handling of vaccine procurement.

* Bangladesh approved the Russian Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use.

* Canada will send the armed forces and Red Cross to Ontario to help the country's most populous province as it struggles to cope with a surge in hospitalizations from COVID-19.

* The United States will start to share up to 60 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine with other countries as soon as the next few weeks.

* Argentina has resumed talks with Pfizer Inc to purchase vaccines against the coronavirus, an adviser to the government said on Tuesday, as the country registers a spike in new infections.

* Gilead Sciences Inc said on Monday it will give India at least 450,000 vials of its antiviral drug remdesivir and help boost production.

* Health authorities are reallocating around 75% of Democratic Republic of Congo's 1.7 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses to other African countries to make sure they're used before they expire.

* Around 250 tour guides from Kenyan national parks lined up in downtown Nairobi to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, as part of a government effort to revive the tourism sector.