April 26 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Kara Fox and Niamh Kennedy, CNN

Updated 0651 GMT (1451 HKT) April 27, 2021
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2:54 a.m. ET, April 26, 2021

Hong Kong and Singapore travel bubble set to open on May 26

From Eric Cheung in Hong Kong

Travelers are seen in the departure hall of Changi International Airport in Singapore, on March 15.
Travelers are seen in the departure hall of Changi International Airport in Singapore, on March 15. Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images

Hong Kong and Singapore are set to begin an air travel bubble on May 26, Hong Kong authorities said in a news release on Monday. 

The scheme will allow visitors to travel between the two cities on dedicated flights without the need for quarantine. 

The plan was first proposed last year but was postponed in November following a rise in Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong. 

“The re-launch of the Air Travel Bubble not only meets the aspirations of the people and business communities on cross-border travel, but also signifies that gradual resumption of cross-border travel is achievable through mutual collaborations among different places,” said Edward Yau, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development. 

To be eligible for the scheme, visitors must not have travel history outside of Hong Kong or Singapore in the past 14 days, and are required to download the destination city's official contact tracing app. Hongkongers wishing to travel to Singapore must also take two doses of Covid-19 vaccines, or submit medical proof they are not suitable to take the vaccines.

The travel bubble will automatically be suspended if the number of untraceable local Covid-19 cases in either city reaches more than five in a seven-day period. A more stringent threshold will also be implemented to ensure the scheme can only resume when the number of untraceable cases in either city remains low. 

"Both sides will need to stay very vigilant in the next one month, so that we can launch the first flights smoothly. It is a significant Air Travel Bubble between two aviation and financial services hubs in Asia," said Ong Ye Kung, Singapore’s Minister for Transport. 

Singapore and Hong Kong are not the only two governments to have had trouble implementing an air travel bubble. Australia and New Zealand finally began their two-way quarantine-free travel bubble on April 19 after multiple attempts were hit by minor coronavirus outbreaks.

7:25 a.m. ET, April 26, 2021

India breaks daily global Covid-19 case record for fifth consecutive day

From CNN's Manveena Suri in New Delhi

Members of medical staff wearing protective gear carry the dead body of a Covid-19 victim at a hospital in Amritsar, India on April 24.
Members of medical staff wearing protective gear carry the dead body of a Covid-19 victim at a hospital in Amritsar, India on April 24. Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Iages

India reported 352,991 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, bringing its total to more than 17.3 million infections, according to a CNN tally of figures from the Indian Ministry of Health.

The country’s death toll is also growing quickly, with 2,812 fatalities reported Monday -- marking the tenth straight day of rising figures.

Monday’s tally represents the highest number of cases recorded in a single day anywhere in the world since the pandemic began, according to a CNN tally of figures from John Hopkins University.

This is the fifth day running that India, with a 1.3 billion population, has added more than 300,000 cases a day and topped the global record of new cases.

India has recorded a total of 17,313,163 cases as of Monday, including 195,123 deaths.

Call for help at medical centers: As cases grow, hospitals in the capital region of Delhi have begun tweeting out SOS messages in the face of severe oxygen shortages.

On Sunday, the Park Group of Hospitals, a private hospital group, tweeted, “Gurugram’s Metro Hospital tweets SOS on oxygen shortage, seeks urgent help. Metro Hospital, Palam Vihar by Park Group of Hospitals is on its last leg.”

“INOX (INOX Air Products) commitment to replenish liquid medical oxygen remain unfulfilled. Only 1.5 hours to go. Please help us urgently,” a second tweet read.