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Global Tally of COVID Cases Climbs to More Than 145 Million

A health care worker tends to a COVID-19 patient at the Dr. Norberto Raul Piacentini hospital, in Lomas de Zamora, Argentina, April 23, 2021, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported early Saturday that there are 145.2 million global COVID-19 infections. The U.S. remains at the top of the list as the country with the most infections at almost 32 million. India is second on the list with more than 16 million cases, followed by Brazil with 14.2 million.

A U.S. health panel has recommended lifting a pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, despite evidence that it is linked to rare cases of blood clots.

The advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday that use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be resumed in the U.S. after regulators had paused it last week to review reports of rare but severe blood clots in a handful of Americans who had received the shot.

The panel voted 10-4 for the resumption of the vaccine, arguing that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks.

Seventy-seven inmates at an Iowa maximum security prison for men received overdoses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine earlier this week.

The prisoners at the Iowa State Penitentiary at Fort Madison were reported to have received doses that were six times the amount normally used.

“The large majority of inmates continue to have very minor symptoms consistent with those that receive the recommended dose of the vaccine,” Cord Overton, a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Corrections told the Des Moines Register newspaper in an email.

Two members of the prison’s nursing staff, who administered the vaccines, have been placed on leave as the incident is investigated.

On Friday, India set a global record in daily infections for a second straight day as it struggles to provide oxygen and other emergency supplies to a growing number of COVID-19 patients who are struggling to breathe.

The South Asian nation’s health ministry said it counted 332,730 new infections in the previous 24-hour period, surpassing Thursday’s record daily toll of 314,835.

The Biden administration’s top medical adviser on the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Friday the U.S. is attempting to help India contain its coronavirus surge by providing technical support and assistance.

“It is a dire situation that we’re trying to help in any way we can,” Fauci said at the regularly held White House coronavirus briefing. “They have a situation there where there are variants that have arisen. We have not yet fully characterized the variants and the relationship between the ability of the vaccines to protect. But we’re assuming, clearly, that they need vaccines.”

Pope Francis met with a group of poor people Friday who were getting their coronavirus vaccinations, which had been donated by the Vatican.

As the group gathered in the Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican to receive their second dose of the 600 available doses, the pope greeted them and volunteers helping with the vaccinations.