World News in Brief: May 3

Monday, 2021-05-03 18:32:37
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A Pakistani soldier stands guard on a road during a lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19 in Lahore, Pakistan, on May 2, 2021. Pakistan is struggling to contain the third wave of COVID-19. (Photo: Xinhua)
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The World Health Organization expects to release its assessments for emergency use listing of the two main Chinese vaccines for COVID-19 as well as the Moderna shot by the end of next week, WHO Assistant Director-General Mariangela Simao said.

* More than 275.34 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered across China as of Sunday, the National Health Commission said Monday.

* Moderna will supply 34 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine this year and Sweden has donated 1 million AstraZeneca shots to the global COVAX programme, a small boost as it struggles to get stocks to inoculate the world's poorest people.

* Malaysia will begin a parallel COVID-19 innoculation programme this week for people who chose to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, after it was removed from an ongoing rollout due to public fears over its safety, a minister said on Monday.

* The United States has administered 245,591,469 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Sunday morning, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Sunday. A total of 243,463,471 vaccine doses had been administered by May 1, the CDC said.

* Argentina coronavirus cases hit 3 million on Sunday since the pandemic began, as medical workers said hospitals were full to capacity despite toughened government measures to bring down the spread of infections.

* A single dose of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine may not generate a sufficient immune response to protect against dominant new variants, except in people who have already been infected with COVID-19, according to a UK study.

* The European Union summoned Russia's ambassador to the bloc on Monday to condemn Moscow's decision to bar eight officials from entering the country, which the Kremlin said was in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russian citizens by the EU.

* The United States and the Republic of Korea on Monday reaffirmed their alliance and its role in Indo-Pacific security, a US spokesman said after a meeting in London between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the ROK's Chung Eui-Yong.

* Japan's western prefecture of Osaka confirmed a record daily total of 1,262 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, along with 41 deaths, national broadcaster NHK reported.

* Thailand on Monday reported a new daily record of 31 coronavirus deaths, the health ministry said, as the Southeast Asian country grapples with a third wave of infections.

* US President Joe Biden is expected to impose new travel restrictions on India starting Tuesday, barring most non-US citizens from entering the United States, a White House official told Reuters.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 9,160 to 3,425,982, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday.

* All people in France aged 18 and over will be able to get COVID-19 vaccines from June 15 onwards.

* Republic of Korea launched an electronic travel authorization (ETA) program Monday for some countries, with which Seoul has reached agreements on visa waiver, the justice ministry said.

* Canada reported 7,145 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday, bringing the cumulative total to 1,234,181 cases, including 24,300 deaths, according to CTV. Coronavirus variants now make up the majority of Canada's new COVID-19 cases, Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said on Sunday.

* Spain is extending the gap between the first and second doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine to 16 weeks for people aged under 60, going beyond the 12-week maximum interval approved by European authorities.

* Ukraine has signed a contract with Pfizer for an additional 10 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine, brining the total number of doses to 20 million, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's office said on Saturday.

* The Sri Lankan government has informed all operating airlines to bring in a maximum of 75 passengers from one flight into the island country following a sharp rise in the number of new COVID-19 patients, local media reported Monday.

Reuters, Xinhua