COVID-19 round-up

PARIS, France (AFP) — Here are some developments in the novel coronavirus crisis:

More aid arrives in India

More emergency medical aid from foreign donors to alleviate a dire oxygen shortage arrives in India, as COVID-19 deaths in the South Asian nation rise to a new record.

The country of 1.3 billion reported 3,689 deaths yesterday — the highest single-day rise yet in the pandemic — to take the overall toll to more than 215,000.

Just under 400,000 infections were added, bringing the total number of cases past 19.5 million.

Nigeria restricts passengers from India, Brazil

Nigeria will ban entry to non-Nigerian passengers who have been in Brazil, India or Turkey in the last fortnight due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus, health authorities say.

The travel ban does not apply to passengers who have just transited through those countries.

All passengers arriving in Nigeria will now have to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel, rather then the previous 96-hour period.

Pfizer jabs for South Africa

South Africa has been awaiting delivery of the first batch of its 4.5 million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines as the country readies to start ramping up immunisation.

Some 325,260 doses are expected to land in Johannesburg with a similar number expected weekly until the end of this month.

Brussels police tear-gas partygoers

Belgian police arrested 132 people as they used tear gas and water cannons to break up a banned anti-lockdown party in a Brussels park, according to an official report.

One partygoer was knocked out by a water cannon and 14 others were slightly injured, including one struck by a police horse, as riot police brutally dispersed the party on Saturday in scenes echoing a similar gathering in the park a month before.

Three officers were hospitalised and a dozen slightly injured during clashes with the protesters.

Britain defends aid cuts

Britain defends cuts to its aid spending, stressing the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on the budget, after several UN agencies warned they would translate into thousands of deaths among the world’s poor.

Despite the £4 billion (US$5.5 billion, 4.6 billion euros) to £10 billion cut in its aid budget, Britain remains a leading contributor among the Group of Seven (G7) nations, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said as he prepares to chair a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in London this week.

20 million vaccine doses administered daily

At least 1.15 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, according to an AFP count based on official figures.

Around 20 million doses, on average, are being given each day.

Nearly 3.2 million dead

The novel coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 3.19 million people worldwide since the virus first emerged in late 2019, according to an AFP compilation of official data.

The US is the worst-affected country with 576,722 deaths, followed by Brazil with 406,437; Mexico, 217,168; India, 215,542; and Britain, 127,524.

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