World News in Brief: May 4

Friday, 2021-06-04 17:37:49
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A growing number of countries are looking at switching to different COVID-19 vaccines for second doses or booster shots amid supply delays and safety concerns that have slowed their vaccination campaigns. Several medical studies to test the efficacy of switching COVID-19 vaccines are under way.
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Half of the roughly 20 tropical cyclones expected to form in the western Pacific Ocean through September this year are predicted to hit land in east Asian nations, forecasters said on Friday, making for a season that is busier than usual.

* A US plan to quickly share COVID-19 vaccine doses with poorer countries is an "important start" but more shots are urgently needed to cover a gap caused by Indian supply disruptions and manufacturing delays, a WHO senior adviser said on Friday.

* Russia may provide coronavirus vaccinations for a fee to foreigners who travel to the country, President Vladimir Putin told an economic forum.

* The coronavirus variant first identified in India is highly infectious and can be caught by people who have already had the disease or been only partially vaccinated, a panel of Indian government scientists said in a report published on Friday.

* Russian charter flights to Egyptian resorts are expected to resume in the coming days after a years-long hiatus, the Interfax news agency cited the boss of Aeroflot as saying on Friday.

* British housing minister Robert Jenrick said that it was right that the G7 meeting of advanced economies should take place in person and that there were precautions in place to keep it COVID-19 safe with the situation kept under review.

* Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday that Tehran wanted action and not promises from six world powers for the revival of their 2015 nuclear deal.

* China reported on Friday 24 new coronavirus cases on the mainland for June 3, the same number as a day earlier, the country's health authority said in a statement. As of June 3, China had a total of 91,194 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Its death toll remained unchanged at 4,636.

* India reported on Friday 132,364 new coronavirus infections over the last 24 hours, while deaths rose by 2,713. The tally of infections stood at 28.6 million and the death toll at 340,702, the health ministry said.

* Russia expects the World Health Organization (WHO) to approve the Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus within two months, Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) which markets the vaccine, told Reuters.

* Republic of Korea said on Friday it expects to meet its vaccination target for the first half of the year ahead of schedule as 81% of people aged between 60 and 74 years old have signed up for COVID-19 inoculations.

* Malaysian health authorities have raised concerns about a growing number of coronavirus deaths and serious cases involving children, after a surge in overall infections forced the Southeast Asian nation into a strict lockdown.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 3,165 to 3,695,633, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday. The reported death toll rose by 86 to 89,026, the tally showed.

* The number of people in intensive care with COVID-19 in France set a 2021 low on Friday, falling below the level reached after the end of France's second lockdown in November.

* The US CDC director urged teenagers to get vaccinated, as new data from the agency's researchers showed one in three teenagers who were hospitalized due to COVID-19 early this year needed ICU admission.

* Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock said vaccinating children in the United Kingdom against COVID-19 would take priority over donating vaccine doses to other countries around the world.

* Belgium cleared the way for indoor dining and drinking next week as an acceleration of COVID-19 vaccinations reduced strain on hospitals.

* Brazil's Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said that Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen will deliver 3 million COVID-19 vaccine shots this month, ahead of schedule.

* People travelling to France from countries where the COVID-19 risk is rated "orange", such as Britain and the United States, will have to be vaccinated and show a recent negative test result, European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune said.

* Canada has negotiated an option with Pfizer for an extra 3 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine for delivery in September, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a briefing.

* Argentina and Serbia gave an official start to the industrial production of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus, Russian state TV channel Rossiya 24 reported.

* Pakistan has started producing the single dose Chinese CanSinoBio COVID-19 vaccine to be able to deliver 3 million doses a month, health officials said.

* Tanzania said embassies and international agencies can import COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate their citizens and staff against the coronavirus.