April 6 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Rob Picheta, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 0531 GMT (1331 HKT) April 7, 2021
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5:04 a.m. ET, April 6, 2021

India’s capital imposes night curfew amid rise in coronavirus cases

From CNN's Esha Mitra in New Delhi

A health worker places a swab sample vial into a box after a roadside Covid-19 RT-PCR test in New Delhi, India on April 5.
A health worker places a swab sample vial into a box after a roadside Covid-19 RT-PCR test in New Delhi, India on April 5. Naveen Sharma/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

India’s union territory of Delhi, which contains the nation’s capital New Delhi, has imposed a night curfew with immediate effect as coronavirus cases mount, the region's government has announced.

The curfew will last between 10 p.m and 5 a.m. local time every day until April 30, during which all public movement will be prohibited. 

Only those engaged in essential services, including medical staff, media personnel, and essential delivery couriers, will be allowed to travel overnight.

The union territory of Delhi reported 3,548 new cases of the virus on Monday, bringing the total cases in the city to 679,962. Cases have been above 3,500 for each of the last four days. 

India has suffered a new wave of coronavirus infections, reporting more than 90,000 cases daily over the last three days -- similar to the case load the country experience in the peak of its first wave in September last year. 

Delhi has taken a number of measures to ramp up testing and vaccinations to combat the spread. On Monday hospitals began running a third of their vaccination centers 24 hours a day.

"Those who want to get the vaccine during the curfew can do so, they would just have to take an e-pass before commuting during the curfew hours," Rajat Tiwari, secretary to the Delhi health minister told CNN Monday.

The chief minister of Delhi on Monday also wrote to the Prime Minister to remove the age restriction for distributing the vaccines, which currently stands at 45 and above.

Since the pandemic began, India has reported more than 12.6 million Covid-19 cases and more than 165,000 deaths. It has distributed more than 83 million vaccine doses, according to the Indian Ministry of Health.

2:55 a.m. ET, April 6, 2021

China reports 17 local Covid-19 cases, all in border province near Myanmar

From CNN's Beijing bureau 

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) reported 17 new locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases Tuesday. All of the new infections were recorded in Yunnan, a southwestern province on the border with Myanmar.

Nine of the 17 new cases were Burmese nationals, the NHC said.

Yunnan has recorded 90 Covid-19 cases since March 29, most from the border city of Ruili. 

The NHC has not specified whether the uptick in cases is from Myanmar refugees, but 40 of the 90 new cases recorded since March 29 are Burmese nationals. 

Three neighborhoods in Ruili have been marked as high-risk areas. The city is undergoing a vaccination campaign that aims to inoculate all of its approximately 300,000 residents by Tuesday.

2:48 a.m. ET, April 6, 2021

New Zealand to begin quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia

From CNN's Mia Alberti and Angus Watson

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces plans for a quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia during a news conference on April 6 in Wellington, New Zealand.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces plans for a quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia during a news conference on April 6 in Wellington, New Zealand. Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

New Zealand will allow Australians to travel to the country quarantine-free, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced at a news conference Tuesday.

The travel bubble is set to begin on Sunday, April 18 at 11:59 p.m., Ardern said. 

Australia has allowed for New Zealand travelers to enter without quarantine and New Zealand is now following suit.

"This is an important step forward in our Covid response and represents an arrangement I do not believe we have seen in any other part of the world. That is, safely opening up international travel to another country while continuing to pursue a strategy of elimination and a commitment to keeping the virus out", Ardern said during the news conference.

Under the new rules, passengers won't be allowed to travel if they had a positive Covid test in the previous 14 days or present flu-like symptoms. 

The New Zealand prime minister also said travel "will not be what it was pre-Covid", explaining flights could be suspended again in the case of a new outbreak or travelers might be asked to take a PCR test or quarantine upon arrival, depending on the nature and origin of the infections. 

Ardern also said travelers coming from Australia will board on "green zone flights." 

"That means there will be no passengers on that flight who have come from anywhere but Australia in the last 14 days", Ardern said, adding the crews operating the connection "have not flown on any high-risk routes for a set period of time".

2:37 a.m. ET, April 6, 2021

3 Japanese prefectures strengthen coronavirus restrictions as cases rise

From CNN's Chandler Thornton and Junko

Japanese prefectures Osaka, Hyogo, and Miyagi are strengthening their Covid-19 measures amid a rise in cases in the country, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The restrictions, which are set to last one month, include asking bars and restaurants to close by 8 p.m. and will prevent entry to customers without a mask.

Osaka prefecture is set to hold the Tokyo Olympic torch relay on April 14, but organizers are asking for the event to be moved because of the rise in cases, NHK reported.

Osaka Gov. Yoshimura Hirofumi told reporters on Monday the torch relay will not be held on public roads and is still looking into the possibility of alternative sites for the event.

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Monday the rise in coronavirus cases has not yet reached the level of a nationwide fourth wave, but extra vigilance is required.

Japan's Health Ministry reported 1,554 new infections on Monday. The overall total number of confirmed cases in the country now stands at 485,797 and the death toll at 9,259. Tokyo reported 249 cases on Monday, according to its government site.

Japan's rise in cases come four months ahead of the Olympics, set to start July 23 in Tokyo. North Korea has reportedly decided drop out of the Games due to concerns its athletes could contract the virus.

2:41 a.m. ET, April 6, 2021

Indian states call for vaccine age restriction to be lowered as Covid-19 cases surge

From CNN's Esha Mitra in New Delhi

A BMC medical staff member administers a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Urban Health Training Centre on April 3 in Mumbai, India.
A BMC medical staff member administers a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Urban Health Training Centre on April 3 in Mumbai, India. Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

India's Maharashtra state and the union territory of Delhi have asked the central government to lower the age limit of those eligible to take the Covid-19 vaccine amid a rise in new cases.

"If the central government allows us to vaccinate people on a mass level then we can create thousands of facilities in schools, community centers and start a war of a vaccination drive," Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, said Monday. 

Since April 1, the Indian government has provided Covid-19 vaccinations to anyone age 45 and over. 

In Maharashtra, where weekend lockdowns and night curfews have been put in place until the end of April to curb the spread of the virus, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray reiterated the request to lower the age threshold.

"If a larger number of our young and working population is vaccinated, the intensity of the cases would be much lower than the treatment that they need today," Thackeray said in his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, asking for the eligibility to be lowered to all above the age of 25. 

Maharashtra state accounts for more than half of the new Covid-19 cases in the country. 

India is facing a second wave of coronavirus, with more than 100,000 infections reported on Monday, its highest single-day rise since the beginning of the pandemic. 

On Tuesday, India reported 96,982 cases, taking the total to 12,686,049, including 165,547 deaths, according to the Indian Ministry of Health.