April 7 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Martin Goillandeau and Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN

Updated 0622 GMT (1422 HKT) April 8, 2021
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3:09 a.m. ET, April 7, 2021

India reports more than 115,000 new Covid-19 cases in highest daily total

From CNN's Esha Mitra and Manveena Suri in New Delhi

India on Wednesday reported 115,736 new cases of coronavirus, the highest single-day total since the pandemic began, according to a CNN tally of figures from the Indian Ministry of Health. 

India has seen a rapid surge in Covid-19 cases since March. On Monday, the country reported 103,558 new cases, surpassing the previous daily high of nearly 98,000 cases recorded during the peak of the first wave in September last year.

“The impact of the pandemic has worsened in the country. Warnings were given that the situation should not be taken for granted...the rate of rising cases is higher than it was last time,” V K Paul, a member of Indian government-led think-tank Niti Aayog, said Tuesday. He added the next four weeks would be critical.

On Wednesday, India also reported 630 virus-related fatalities. Its total coronavirus death toll now stands at 166,177, according to the Ministry of Health.

New restrictions: Several Indian cities and states have reinstated coronavirus restrictions in the second wave. Maharashtra has imposed weekend lockdowns and curfews, the union territory of Delhi has ordered a night curfew, and in the western state of Gujarat, a night curfew has been implemented in 20 cities.

Some states, including Maharashtra and Delhi, have asked the central government to lower the age restriction of those eligible to take the Covid-19 vaccine, which is currently set at 45.

However, the government said Tuesday it is necessary to vaccinate healthcare workers and vulnerable groups first.

“The goal is to save those who are vulnerable and protect the healthcare systems, the goal is never to give the vaccine to those who want it, the goal is to give it to those who need it,” Rajesh Bhushan, secretary of the Indian Ministry of Health said.
1:18 a.m. ET, April 7, 2021

Chile postpones elections due to surge in Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Cristopher Ulloa and Tatiana Arias

Chile is postponing local, regional and Constitutional Assembly elections for five weeks over a recent surge in Covid-19 cases, the country's President Sebastian Piñera announced Tuesday.

A law enacted on Tuesday by Piñera pushed the election of Constitutional Assembly members in charge of drafting the country’s new Constitution from April 10-11 to May 15-16.

"Given the tough reemergence and the appearance of new [Covid-19] variants throughout the world, and taking the unanimous opinion of the medical community and the majority of the public, it did not seem prudent or convenient to hold elections this coming weekend," Pinera said during a news briefing.

Elections for governors and mayors have also been postponed under the same law.

As of Tuesday, Chile has reported a total of 1,037,780 cases of Covid-19 and 23,734 related deaths. The country's ICU occupancy rate currently stands at 96%.

1:17 a.m. ET, April 7, 2021

Mexico authorizes emergency use of India's Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN's Karol Suarez in Mexico City 

Mexico’s health regulator Cofepris has authorized the emergency use of India’s homegrown Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin.

The agency said in a statement Tuesday the decision received "unanimous favorable opinion from experts" when the New Molecule Committee met on March 5 to discuss the issue.

According to Bharat Biotech, the Indian pharmaceutical company that developed Covaxin, the vaccine has an initial efficacy rate of 81%, based on interim results of its Phase 3 clinical trial.

Cofepris said the authorization for emergency use certifies the Covaxin vaccine meets the quality, safety, and efficacy requirements needed to be applied in Mexico.

Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter the decision by Cofepris was "very timely," adding "the options for vaccination against COVID-19 in Mexico are growing." Covaxin is the sixth Covid-19 vaccine approved for emergency use in Mexico, Ebrard said.

Mexico reported 308,524 doses administered on Tuesday, bringing the country's total to 9,675,517 vaccinations.

1:12 a.m. ET, April 7, 2021

EU lifts block on AstraZeneca vaccine to Australia, Canberra says 

From CNN's Angus Watson in Sydney

Australia will receive its order of 3.1 million doses of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine initially blocked by the European Union, Trade Minister Dan Tehan said Wednesday in an interview with public broadcaster ABC.

“[The EU] put in place export controls, and as you will remember, AstraZeneca put in to send vaccines to Australia and those vaccines were blocked. Now, what we're getting is a clear message from the EU — and that's a very welcomed one — that there won't be any more blockages,” Tehan said.
Tehan said the EU is “going to allow all shipments that are destined for Australia, in particular the ones that we have targeted, that 1 million for Papua New Guinea, that they will go ahead.”

Papua New Guinea is suffering a surge of Covid-19 cases, and has so far received 8,000 doses of donated vaccine from Australia.

“There’s 1 million vaccines hopefully on their way for PNG sooner rather than later, and also all the other contracts that we have with AstraZeneca will now be able to be honored and AstraZeneca will be able to send those to Australia,” Tehan said. 

On Wednesday Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he and Health Minister Greg Hunt had written to the EU Commission and AstraZeneca respectively to ask for the doses to be sent.

1:11 a.m. ET, April 7, 2021

Bangladesh sees new high in daily Covid-19 infections and deaths  

From CNN's Sugam Pokharel

Bangladesh on Tuesday reported 7,213 new Covid-19 cases and 66 deaths — its highest daily increases in new infections and fatalities since the outbreak began, the country’s Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said in a statement.   

This comes a day after the South Asian nation went into a seven-day nationwide lockdown following a fresh surge in new cases.  

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said Tuesday all educational institutions including Islamic schools, known as madrasas, will remain closed until further notice, according to state-run news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS).  

Bangladesh from Saturday has banned the entry of air travelers originating from European countries -- except the UK -- and 12 other nations, including Brazil and South Africa, until April 18, Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) said in a statement. The CAAB said it made the decision after “reviewing the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic situation throughout the country and globally.”  

The airline authority also banned all commercial domestic flights until Sunday.  

Along with Bangladesh, other countries in the densely populated South Asian region, such as India and Pakistan, have been reporting high numbers of new Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.  

1:21 a.m. ET, April 7, 2021

One third of Covid-19 patients experience psychological or neurological diagnoses over 6 months, study shows

From CNN's Ryan Prior

As many as one in three people infected with Covid-19 have longer term mental health or neurological symptoms, researchers reported Tuesday.

They found 34% of Covid-19 survivors received a diagnosis for a neurological or psychological condition within six months of their infection, according to the study published Tuesday in the journal Lancet Psychiatry.

The most common diagnosis was anxiety, found in 17% of those treated for Covid-19, followed by mood disorders, found in 14% of patients.

And while the neurological effects are more severe in hospitalized patients, they are still common in those who were only treated as outpatients, the researchers note.

"That rate increased progressively as the severity of the Covid-19 illness increased. If we look at patients who were hospitalized that rate increased to 39%," said Maxime Taquet, an academic clinical fellow in psychiatry at the University of Oxford, and a co-author of the new study.
“Our results indicate that brain diseases and psychiatric disorders are more common after COVID-19 than after flu or other respiratory infections, even when patients are matched for other risk factors. We now need to see what happens beyond six months. The study cannot reveal the mechanisms involved, but does point to the need for urgent research to identify these, with a view to preventing or treating them,” Taquet added.

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