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India Reaches Record Number of Daily COVID Cases


A health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a woman to test for COVID-19 near the landmark Gateway of India in Mumbai, India, April 5, 2021.
A health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a woman to test for COVID-19 near the landmark Gateway of India in Mumbai, India, April 5, 2021.

India’s health ministry said Monday that it has recorded an all-time high 103,558 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily tally this year in the South Asian nation.

Mumbai, India’s financial capital and the capital of Maharashtra state, is now under stringent lockdown measures. About half of the country’s new cases of the virus were recorded in Maharashtra.

Nawab Malik, a minister in the state government, said a nightly curfew from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. local time would be imposed starting Monday speaking to reporters. Shopping malls, cinemas, bars, restaurants and places of worship will close starting Monday evening. A complete lockdown will go into effect on weekends.

Only two nations have more confirmed cases than India, which currently has more than 12.5 million infections, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The United States has 30.7 million cases, while Brazil has close to 13 million infections.

Millions of people worldwide were under new lockdown restrictions during the Easter weekend, because of infections that have surged despite the continued rollout of vaccination campaigns.

The U.S. announced last week that it is the first nation to fully vaccinate 100 million people. The announcement came just more than a week after President Joe Biden’s administration reached its goal of administering 100 million single shots.

Cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, however, remain on the rise in some regions of the United States.

Compared with the U.S., European nations are struggling to get vaccination programs up to speed.

The World Health Organization said only 10% of Europe’s population have received one vaccine dose, and just 4% have received two doses. One reason for the lag among European nations is their reliance on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

There have been reports of blood clotting in some people who have received the shot, but the drug maker rejects this assertion and has found no evidence connecting the vaccine with blood clots. Nevertheless, Canada, France, Germany and the Netherlands are allowing the use of the vaccine only in older people.

Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has urged people to continue taking the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying it was unsure if the vaccine was causing the clots while acknowledging that seven of the 30 recipients who developed clots in the country had died. More than 18 million doses of the vaccine have been administered.

Britain is reliant on the AstraZeneca vaccine, developed at the University of Oxford, to inoculate about 46% of its population. It also uses the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. In Britain, new coronavirus infections are hovering around 3,400 a day, and on Saturday, it recorded 10 coronavirus-related deaths, the lowest daily number since September.

In France, four people died of blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca shot. The family of a 38-year-old woman has filed a criminal complaint seeking a manslaughter investigation.

Meanwhile, the Emergent BioSolutions facility in Baltimore, Maryland, where the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is being produced in the U.S. announced late Sunday that it has received a $23 million modification to its contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“The $23 million will be used for the purchase of biologics manufacturing equipment specific to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine,” Emergent said in a statement.

It was recently revealed that Emergent workers accidentally used ingredients from both Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca when manufacturing a large batch of vaccines. The mistake was discovered, however, before the shots were shipped.

The AstraZeneca shot has not yet been approved for use in the U.S., but the U.S. has entered into agreements to ship millions of the AstraZeneca vaccines to Canada and Mexico.

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