May 12 coronavirus news

By Veronica Rocha, Elise Hammond and Melissa Mahtani , CNN

Updated 0532 GMT (1332 HKT) May 13, 2021
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5:22 a.m. ET, May 12, 2021

Majority of Nepal under full or partial lockdown

From journalists Asha Thapa and Kosh Raj Koirala in Kathmandu

The majority of Nepal is now under full or partial Covid-19 lockdown, according to the country's Ministry of Home Affairs.

Only five districts remain open out of a total of 77 with 64 under full and eight under partial lockdown, the ministry reported.

Districts under full lockdown have asked both public and private vehicles to stay off the roads. All academic institutions and businesses are closed except those related to essential services. 

Most districts have allowed grocery stores to open for limited hours.

The Covid-19 measures are enforced by the chief district officers from their respective districts. The central government had previously given authority to districts to impose full or partial lockdown.

Oxygen supply: Nepal's Supreme Court urged the government to set up a task force to direct the distribution of oxygen cylinders and other life-saving equipment amid rising Covid-19 infections. 

In an interim order on Tuesday, the court said no Nepali should be deprived of medical treatment due to a shortage of life-saving equipment, such as oxygen cylinders, medicine, and well-equipped hospital beds. 

It said the government has the responsibility to ensure the timely supply of these equipment to save lives, and that they should form a task force to ensure "efficient coordination" in their distribution.

Some context: Nepal had seen case numbers begin to fall in February, with newly identified cases hovering between 50 to 100 each day. But infections erupted in mid-April as neighboring India's second wave picked up speed.


5:33 a.m. ET, May 12, 2021

FDA predicts Covid-19 vaccines can go into younger teens' arms as soon as Thursday

From CNN's Maggie Fox

Coronavirus vaccines can likely go into younger teens’ arms as soon as Thursday, US Food and Drug Administration officials said Monday.

The FDA extended emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine to kids ages 12 to 15 on Monday. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has scheduled an emergency meeting for Wednesday. It’s expected to vote to recommend use of the vaccine. After that, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky is expected to give her final approval, after which states can give the go-ahead to administer the vaccine to the new age group.

States regulate medical practice but things should move quickly, said Dr. Peter Marks, director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, the arm of the FDA that regulates vaccines.

“We would assume they could be as soon as Thursday,” Marks told reporters in a briefing Monday evening.

“Thursday, right,” added FDA Acting Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock.