May 3 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton and Aditi Sangal, CNN

Updated 0336 GMT (1136 HKT) May 4, 2021
31 Posts
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10:28 a.m. ET, May 3, 2021

Around 175 Indian journalists have lost their lives to Covid-19, according to national media network

From CNN's Swati Gupta in New Delhi

About 175 journalists and media workers have died after contracting Covid-19 in the past 14 months in India, according to a tally by the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI). 

In a memorial page, NWMI has compiled a comprehensive list of retired and working reporters, editors, anchors, photographers, and photojournalists who have died. It is unknown how many contracted the virus while working. 

"We mourn the loss of what they knew, what they loved, what each of them did, one story at a time, one photo at a time, one dataset at a time. From within our community of those of us who go everywhere unasked, we mourn the loss of our comrades, friends, bosses and colleagues and bear witness to their final journeys," read the statement issued by NWMI.

India is currently battling a second wave of Covid-19 cases and facing severe shortage of oxygen, hospital beds, medicines and vaccines. This has exacerbated the death toll across the country. 

Journalists in India were largely not included in the initial phase of the vaccination program when it was made available to frontline workers. Meanwhile, media houses have also failed to provide safe working conditions.

"Media houses need to actively ensure the safety and health of journalists who work for them and those who, as independent stringers or freelancers, supply vital information, photographs and videos to them. Media houses must stop forcing journalists to travel in dangerously unsafe conditions to work in offices instead of encouraging them to work from home," stated the NWMI.

10:19 a.m. ET, May 3, 2021

US may not get to zero cases, but "we can probably live with that," expert says 

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Health, said on CNN’s New Day Monday that while it would be unfortunate for the United States to not to reach herd immunity against Covid-19, most people will still be able to get back to their pre-pandemic lives if case numbers continue to fall.

Jha said it isn’t known whether the US will reach herd immunity. 

There is a chunk of people in the United States who have not yet been vaccinated, saying that many of them need time and better access. He remains “pretty optimistic” that a lot more Americans will be vaccinated in the coming weeks and months. 

Experience from Israel has shown that when about 50 to 55% of the population is vaccinated, “you really see case numbers plummet.”  

“We may not get to zero, we probably won’t,” Jha said. “But if we can get the infections at very low levels, most of us can get back to our lives in normal ways. I think we can probably live with that.” 
10:12 a.m. ET, May 3, 2021

How you can help India as it experiences the world's worst Covid-19 outbreak

From CNN's Ashley Vaughan

India is experiencing the world's worst coronavirus outbreak.

Grieving families are struggling to keep themselves and their loved ones safe amid an overwhelmed health care system, and medical workers are stretched thin as some hospitals run out of oxygen and supplies.

The global community is rallying to help India push back against the pandemic, with countries around the world offering aid.

You can help, too. Read about the charities working in India in the article below and click here to donate.

10:12 a.m. ET, May 3, 2021

It's unclear if India's Covid-19 cases have reached the peak, but expect high mortality in May, expert says

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Chandrika Bahadur, chair of the Lancet Covid-19 Commission India Taskforce, speaks with CNN on Monday, May 3.
Chandrika Bahadur, chair of the Lancet Covid-19 Commission India Taskforce, speaks with CNN on Monday, May 3. CNN

As India continues to record more than 300,000 daily cases of Covid-19, it’s hard to tell when the country will reach its peak, says Chandrika Bahadur, chair of the Lancet Covid-19 Commission India Taskforce.

“There are some epidemiological estimates that say we are closing in on a peak, but these are all projections. So it's hard to tell whether the peak will come in the middle of May … or whether it will take a little bit longer,” she told CNN.

However, India will continue to see high mortality due to Covid-19 in May, because deaths lag behind the rise in infections.

While Lancet has recommended lockdowns for bringing the numbers in control, Bahadur says it’s a “double-edged sword” for a country like India and needs a nuanced approach.

“There are still a large number of districts in the country that are not seeing the wave that we're seeing in Delhi … and other high-risk spots of the country. And over there you can probably have a strategy that is less about lockdowns and much more about wearing masks and distancing and banning gatherings,” she explained. “In other places, however, unfortunately, there is no way out where the numbers are what they are other than shutting down for a few weeks.”

Evidence suggests that one-week lockdowns do not work and need to continue for “six weeks at a minimum before you really start seeing a significant decline,” she added.

Bahadur acknowledges that such a step would need provisions for the poor “because this could be devastating.”

“It’s a terrible choice. I have a lot of sympathy for the government because this is a difficult choice to make under all circumstances,” she said. “These are the choices in front of us. None of them are good.”


10:03 a.m. ET, May 3, 2021

Nepal recalls retired medics and bans export of oxygen as it records worst number of Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Asha Thapa in Kathmandu

Workers unload oxygen cylinders at a hospital in Lalitpur, Nepal, on May 2.
Workers unload oxygen cylinders at a hospital in Lalitpur, Nepal, on May 2. Sunil Pradhan/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Nepal has recalled retired medics to work for at least a year to help tackle the shortage of health workers as Covid-19 cases in the country rise.

Nepal’s Prime Minister Sharma Oli addressed the nation on television on Monday as the country recorded at least 7,388 Covid-19 cases, the highest number of new daily cases.

Oli also announced a ban on exporting oxygen and said that private hospitals and clinics, along with more public hospitals, would be converted into specialized Covid-19 hospitals, whereas public venues like stadiums and schools would be used as quarantine centers.


9:00 a.m. ET, May 3, 2021

European Union promises more aid for India: "This is global solidarity in action"

From CNN's Sarah Dean in London

The European Union "stands by India" and will supply more aid via its civil protection mechanism, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted Monday following a call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"More aid — oxygen cylinders, ventilators, medication — is channelled to India from Czechia, Denmark, Spain, Netherlands and Germany via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. This is global solidarity in action," von der Leyen said.

According to a press release from the EU commission, the country breakdown of who is supplying what is as follows:

  • Czech Republic: 500 oxygen cylinders
  • Denmark: 53 ventilators
  • Spain: 119 oxygen concentrators and 145 ventilators
  • Netherlands: 100 oxygen concentrators, 30,000 vials of antiviral drugs, remdesivir, and 449 ventilators
  • Germany: 15,000 vials antiviral drugs, 516 ventilators and 1 oxygen generator.

Following the call, Modi said in a tweet he had thanked the EU for its support and assistance to India's Covid response.

"We discussed India-EU Leaders’ Meeting on 8 May. I am confident that the Meeting will provide a new momentum to our Strategic Partnership," Modi added. 

Last week, the European Union announced medical aid for India was being supplied by the likes of Ireland, Belgium, Romania, Luxembourg, Portugal, Sweden, France, Italy, Austria and Finland.

8:51 a.m. ET, May 3, 2021

Some hospitals are refusing to admit Covid-19 patients during oxygen shortage in Delhi

Dr. SCL Gupta of the Batra hospital had already seen eight Covid-19 patients die and five under resuscitation.

“They may or may not survive. Just because in the capital city of Delhi and because of want of oxygen,” he told CNN.

Hospitals are buckling under the overwhelming second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in India. There is an acute shortage of oxygen for medical treatment across India, especially in Delhi, where Gupta’s workplace, Batra hospital, is located.

The burden of the crisis also weighs heavy on the medical staff, including Gupta, who has been a practitioner for 45 years.

“We're dying inside. We're the saviors, not the murderers. We cannot express our feelings,” he said as he described how he felt seeing so many Covid-19 patients die due to the lack of oxygen.

Local and international efforts to get oxygen supplies to India's capital are still failing. India's central and national governments have been unable to explain the shortages, CNN's Sam Kiley reports.

Batra hospital has been advising patients to source their own oxygen to cover its erratic supplies. But as infections rise and oxygen supplies continue to remain in shortage, Batra hospital, like many others, will not admit more patients.

“We will not take more admissions because we don't want people to die in front of us. So they can go to other hospitals where the oxygen is available,” an employee of the hospital said.


8:40 a.m. ET, May 3, 2021

The pandemic is having a devastating effect on India's artisans

From CNN's Oscar Holland

Before the pandemic, Gayatri Khanna's Mumbai-based embroidery firm used to work on luxury garments and accessories for some of the world's biggest fashion houses. Now, she said, some of them won't even answer her calls.

These are people who we have spoken to for years and years," she said in a phone interview. "And suddenly there's no news, or even a 'What's going on?' Or, 'How is the business?'"

Amid a coronavirus crisis that is pushing India's hospitals to breaking point, collapsing demand for apparel in the West is also having a devastating knock-on effect on the country's craftspeople.

Luxury labels that have long depended on the intricate work of embroiderers and beading artists are scaling back production, leaving some suppliers unable to cover costs or pay workers.

Khanna, who is the founder and director of Milaaya Embroideries, said that her company's export business is down 70% on the previous year. Though there were relatively few canceled orders at the very start of the pandemic, new work quickly dried up as labels gave their limited business to "one or two" core suppliers, she said.

Read the full story here:

8:27 a.m. ET, May 3, 2021

India to bring in medical students to ramp up Covid-19 personnel

From Manveena Suri in New Delhi

A health worker is seen inside a Covid-19 ward at the SRN hospital, in Allahabad, India, on May 3.
A health worker is seen inside a Covid-19 ward at the SRN hospital, in Allahabad, India, on May 3. Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images

The Indian government has announced it call upon medical students to boost the availability of medical personnel as the country tackles a deadly second wave of coronavirus.

“The Prime Minister reviewed the growing need of adequate human resources for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country today. Many important decisions were taken which will significantly boost availability of medical personnel in Covid duty,” read a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday.

The National Eligibility/Entrance Test-Postgraduate (NEET-PG), a medical entrance exam for postgraduate courses, has been postponed until Aug. 31.

Final year medical students will be used for providing services such as teleconsultation and the monitoring of mild coronavirus cases following orientation training under supervision of their faculty.

“This will reduce the workload on existing doctors engaged in Covid duty and provide boost to efforts of triaging,” read the statement, which added that students will be given one-month notice before their exams take place.

In addition, the services of final year post graduate students as residents will continue until newer graduates are available.

Nursing graduates are also included as part of the government’s plan to bolster personnel and will work under the supervision of senior doctors and nurses.

Medical interns will work under the supervision of their faculty.