April 28 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Jessie Yeung, Brett McKeehan, Kara Fox, Melissa Mahtani and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 0408 GMT (1208 HKT) April 29, 2021
33 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
11:29 a.m. ET, April 28, 2021

Fauci hopes Covid-19 vaccines will receive full FDA approval “very soon”

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas


Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN’s Newsroom Wednesday that he hopes full, formal US Food and Drug Administration approval of Covid-19 vaccines will come soon. 

“I hope very soon,” he told CNN’s Jim Sciutto, when asked when he believed there would be full approval. “I don’t know exactly when, but when you’re getting a formal approval you have to have a certain amount of time just observing predominantly the safety, and obviously the safety looks really, really good in well over 140 million people having been vaccinated with at least a single dose.” 

He said the FDA will work as expeditiously as possible, adding that the organization is the gold standard for safety globally.

“I hope they do it quickly, because as you say, people when they hear it’s still emergency use, they still have a little concern about how far you can go with it,” he said. “So, I’m with you on that. I’d like to see it really soon.” 

Some background: Emergency use authorization means a medical product gets special authorization by the FDA to be used during an emergency, and that its known and potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks – but it is short of full approval.

Vaccine makers will have to file a separate application for vaccines to be fully licensed. There are three Covid-19 vaccines in the United States with emergency use authorization – Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – and no Covid-19 vaccines have been approved by the FDA.

Some organizations, such as the University of California and California State University systems, have said they plan to require Covid-19 vaccination for faculty and staff only once the vaccine has received full FDA approval. 

11:29 a.m. ET, April 28, 2021

Google hasn't gotten any takedown requests from Indian government during Covid-19 surge, CEO says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Google has not gotten any takedown requests from the Indian government of posts or videos critical of the country’s handling of the devastating Covid-19 surge.

India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said it had asked Twitter, Facebook and others to remove around 100 posts "in view of the misuse of social media platforms by certain users to spread fake or misleading information."

"In the past, we've been able to work constructively with governments around the world, and we'll continue that approach here," Pichai said to CNN's Poppy Harlow.

The India-born Pichai has pledged aid to India, with Google providing a grant for urgent medical supplies and $15 million in free advertising for public health information campaigns.

“The situation there is dire, and it's been heartbreaking to see. I think … the worst is yet to come,” Pichai said. 

Pichai added that fighting coronavirus misinformation “definitely was one of the most important efforts we had” throughout the pandemic. Google has removed nearly a million misleading YouTube videos, he said. 

11:18 a.m. ET, April 28, 2021

Athletes will be tested daily for Covid-19 at Tokyo Olympics

From CNN’s Selina Wang, Chie Kobayashi and Aleks Klosok

Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool/Getty Images
Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool/Getty Images

Athletes and their close contacts will be tested daily for Covid-19 at the Tokyo Olympics as part of updated coronavirus countermeasures announced by Games organizers on Wednesday.

New details were released in the second version of the "Olympic Playbook" for athletes and team officials – a set of rules which all participants must adhere to during the Summer Games.

All participants will be required to take two Covid-19 tests before entering Japan, with athletes and those in close proximity being tested every day after arrival. 

All other participants will be tested for three days after their arrival.

The new Playbook also states that all people visiting Japan for the Games will be required to have a smartphone to download two apps – a health reporting app and a contact tracing app.

Athletes will also receive a Samsung smartphone upon arrival at the Olympic and Paralympic village.

All those attending the Games will have to fill out a mandatory written pledge confirming their adherence to the "Playbook" rules.

Tokyo Olympic officials also announced that a decision on how many domestic spectators can attend the Games will be made in June – a decision which was originally due to made in the Spring.

Organizers confirmed last month that overseas spectators will not be allowed into Japan for the Games due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Seiko Hashimoto, the Tokyo 2020 President, told a news conference that organizers are prepared for the scenario of no spectators at the Games, but added that the “hope is to have as many spectators as the situation allows.”

At the same press conference, Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshihiro Muto was asked whether the Tokyo Olympics could be postponed again. 

“What timeline would that take place? In 2022 there is the Beijing Games...2024 Paris Games...organizers have to prepare again...and for athletes, they would have a hard time staying motivated.

“So again we are talking about another year or two postponement? Can we do that? It's probably not practical,” he replied.

The third and final version of the ‘Playbook’ is expected to published in June.

11:16 a.m. ET, April 28, 2021

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines reduce risk for Covid-19 hospitalization by 94% among older adults, study shows

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines were found in the real world to be 94% effective against Covid-19 hospitalization among fully vaccinated adults ages 65 and older in the United States, according to a new US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. 

The study also found that the vaccines were 64% effective among those older adults who were partially vaccinated, meaning they had only received one dose of vaccine so far.

These findings are consistent with the vaccines' clinical trial results, which showed an efficacy of about 94% to 95%, researchers from the CDC and several other institutions noted.

"These data suggest that continuing to rapidly vaccinate U.S. adults against COVID-19 will likely have a marked impact on COVID-19 hospitalization and might lead to commensurate reductions in post-COVID conditions and deaths," the researchers wrote in their study.

Some more context: The study included data on 417 adults ages 65 and older with Covid-19-like symptoms who were admitted to 24 hospitals in 14 states between January 1 and March 26. Among those patients, 187 tested positive for the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 and 230 tested negative.

The researchers found that among those who tested positive, most were unvaccinated. Only 18 of the patients, or 10%, were partially vaccinated with a first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and just one person — representing 0.5% — was fully vaccinated.

Among the 230 adults who tested negative, 44 of them, or 19%, were partially vaccinated and 18, or 8%, were fully vaccinated, the data showed.

The new study included data from California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. More research is needed to determine whether similar findings would emerge across more states to represent the entire US population.


10:49 a.m. ET, April 28, 2021

Nepal orders 20,000 oxygen cylinders as Covid-19 cases surge

From journalist Asha Thapa in Kathmandu

Nepal has recorded 4,897 new daily Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, as the country faces a pandemic surge. 

Nepal’s Ministry of Health on Tuesday called on all doctors and health workers on leave to report back to work immediately to help deal with the increase in cases.

The spokesperson of the Ministry of Health and Population, Dr. Jageshwor Gautam, told reporters on Wednesday that demand for oxygen had increased threefold in the last week. 

He added that Nepal was sourcing 20,000 oxygen cylinders from abroad to deal with the country’s limited supply. 

Gautam said that some cylinders had been found to be faulty due to poor storage practices, and that people had started hoarding cylinders in response to developments in neighboring India. 

Gautam also admitted that the government was aware that curfew and lockdown orders would not be respected by all because of upcoming festivals. 

“Yes, some festivals are coming up during this prohibitory period as well, but the government is not in the condition to say anything,” Gautam said. ”We are tired of telling people to follow the safety measures.” He said the situation was now in the people of Nepal’s hands.

10:40 a.m. ET, April 28, 2021

New York will lift curfew for bars and restaurants starting May 17

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

Starting next month, New York state will lift the midnight curfew on bars and restaurants, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday. The curfew will be lifted for outdoor dining on May 17, with the indoor dining curfew to follow on May 31.

Additionally, seating at bars will be allowed starting on May 3. 

"We know the COVID positivity rate is a function of our behavior, and over the last year New Yorkers have remained disciplined and continued with the practices we know work to stop the spread of the virus," Cuomo said in a statement. "Everything we've been doing is working - all the arrows are pointing in the right direction and now we're able to increase economic activity even more

The announcement is the latest in a string of reopening moves and removal of pandemic restrictions in the state. 

Here are when other things are opening:

  • Starting May 15, gyms and fitness centers outside of New York City and casinos and gaming facilities can operate at 50% capacity. Offices can open to 75% capacity.
  • Large-scale outdoor event venues, including professional and collegiate sports and live performing arts and entertainment, can operate at 33% capacity beginning May 19.
11:15 a.m. ET, April 28, 2021

Fauci explains why misinformation makes it "more difficult" to overcome pandemic

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt


Dr. Anthony Fauci said that misinformation from people like Fox host Tucker Carlson and podcast host Joe Rogan makes it harder to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“They certainly are making it more difficult to get to the common goal that we all want to get to — a very, very clear suppression of this virus so we can get back to normal,” said Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to President Biden. 

Carlson told his viewers on Monday to confront those wearing masks outside and claimed that making kids wear masks outdoors is akin to "child abuse."

“I think that’s self-evident that that’s bizarre,” Fauci said to CNN's Jim Sciutto. 

Rogan said on his popular Spotify podcast that while he thinks vaccines are largely safe, he doesn't think that healthy young adults "need to worry about this."

But people should not think of themselves in a vacuum, Fauci said.

“You've got to think beyond yourself and say, if I'm a young person and I don't want to get vaccinated, but I get infected, you may then infect someone inadvertently. … You have to put a little societal responsibility in your choices, and that's why I disagree with Mr. Rogan under that circumstance,” Fauci said. 

Fauci also called the impact of vaccines even better than expected. 

“That's the reason why you hear all of us in the public health sector essentially pleading with people to get vaccinated so we can crush this outbreak, which we will if we get the overwhelming majority of people vaccinated,” he said. 


10:37 a.m. ET, April 28, 2021

India accounted for 38% of global coronavirus cases last week, WHO says

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy

India accounted for 38% of global coronavirus cases last week, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In its weekly epidemiological update the WHO revealed that in the week leading up to Sunday, India recorded 2,172,063 new cases, equating to 38% of global cases. 

WHO made its calculations based on data received from national authorities as of 10 a.m. Central European Time on Sunday.

This represents an 52% increase in Indian cases compared to the previous week.

“For the third consecutive week, the South-East Asia region reported the highest relative increases in both case and death incidences," WHO said in a statement alongside the data.

WHO said that the “high cases” from India have been the “main driver” in the increase in cases in the South-East Asian region. 

Preliminary modeling from WHO has suggested that the the B.1.617 variant, which was first detected in India, “has a higher growth rate than other circulating variants in India, suggesting potential increased transmissibility.”

Other key drivers of transmission in India may include “challenges around the implementation and adherence to public health and social measures (PHSM), and social gatherings (including mass gatherings during cultural and religious celebrations, and elections),” the update added. 

WHO said that “further investigation is needed to understand the relative contribution of these factors.”

10:23 a.m. ET, April 28, 2021

Delhi's crematoriums say they are cremating more than 600 bodies daily – double the official figure

From Esha Mitra in New Delhi

Yevgeny Pakhomov/TASS via Getty Images
Yevgeny Pakhomov/TASS via Getty Images

Delhi’s crematoriums have been cremating more than 600 bodies daily for the last week, the mayor of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) told CNN Wednesday.

The official death toll for Delhi has been just over 300 per day.

“Yes the reported deaths are about 300, but we are definitely having to cremate more than 600 daily, they are deliberately under-reporting deaths,” Jai Prakash, mayor of NDMC, said.

On Monday, Delhi cremated 631 bodies and had 22 burials, according to data from Delhi’s three municipal corporations.  

“We start getting bodies in the morning and they keep coming in one after the other, we have to shut cremations at night otherwise people would bring us bodies even after dark,” Suman Kumar Gupta an official at Delhi’s largest cremation site, Nigambodh Ghat, told CNN Wednesday.

Nigambodh Ghat alone has cremated more than 90 bodies daily between April 19 and April 25, Gupta added.

On Tuesday, Delhi reported 381 new deaths and has reported more than 300 deaths for six consecutive days, according to a CNN tally of figures from the Delhi Health Department.