Global COVID-19 cases exceed 133 million as Brazil and India become hotbeds

The number of confirmed global cases of the coronavirus-borne disease COVID-19 surpassed 133 million on Thursday and the death toll approached 3 million as India and Brazil became flash points amid record levels. deaths and concerns about the spread of more infectious variants. Brazil reported nearly 4,200 deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, according to the Washington Post, the highest number in a single day since the start of the pandemic. The country is struggling to contain the P.1 variant and is now also dealing with the variant that was first found in South Africa.

President Jair Bolsanaro has been widely criticized for his arrogant approach to the crisis, which has left Brazil with the second-highest number of cases in the world after the United States, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, and the second-highest number dead. Officials in Brazil’s most populous city, São Paulo, say they are now adding 600 new graves to municipal cemeteries every day. India has the third highest number of cases and the fourth highest number of deaths, Johns Hopkins data shows. India counted more than 126,000 new cases on Thursday, a record increase in one day. The country of 1.36 billion people is reported to be short of vaccines to the tune of around 700 million, after exporting doses made by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. The government blames the increase on overcrowding and a reluctance to wear masks as shops and offices have reopened, Reuters reported. Prime Minister Narendra Modi received his second hit from a two-dose regimen on Thursday. Vaccine problems in Europe continued on Thursday, with Spain and Italy opting to limit the use of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca PLC and the University of Oxford to people over the age of 60, MarketWatch’s Lina Saigol reported. That is expected to further slow the European Union’s sluggish immunization program, which lags behind countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel. The US and UK have been accused of hoarding vaccines as both countries have been slow to export doses. Italy and Spain made the decision on Wednesday after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it had found a possible link between AZN from the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, + 2.33% from AZN, + 1.93% from vaccine and very rare cases of blood clotting problems in adults. The EMA did not recommend age restrictions, as it emphasized that the benefits of the injection outweigh the risks. Read: EU and UK regulators say AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, but Britons under 30 will be offered an alternative vaccine Last month, French and German health officials restricted use of the vaccine AstraZeneca for those over 55 and 60 years, respectively, due to concerns about unusual blood clotting in some recipients. The United States added 73,200 new cases Wednesday, according to a New York Times tracker, and at least 2,564 people died. That death toll is artificially reinforced by “many deaths on unspecified days,” the tracker shows. But the seven-day average of 65,556 cases is 14% higher than the 14-day average, a trend that worries health experts as more young people get sick and contract more infectious variants. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday that variant B.1.1.7, which was first identified in the UK, is now the most dominant form of the coronavirus circulating in the US. Walensky said communities with high community transmission rates should no longer allow youth sports to be performed indoors or not allow a six-foot space. He also said that major events in those communities should be postponed.In other news: Australia recommends the use of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for people under 50 instead of the vaccine made by AstraZeneca, the government said Thursday, changing his advice to those considered most at risk, Reuters reported. The move is an obstacle to Australia’s faltering inoculation effort, which relies heavily on the AstraZeneca vaccine. Medical Director Paul Kelly said Australia would recommend that healthcare providers only administer a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to adults under the age of 50 when the benefit clearly outweighs the risks. Those who have already received a first dose of AstraZeneca without any serious adverse events “can safely receive their second dose,” he said. Don’t Miss: Expect ‘Surprising’ Sales Figures From Consumer Businesses As The Calendar Goes By COVID Closures Medical regulators in Slovakia said the doses of the Russian vaccine called Sputnik V they received “did not have the same characteristics and properties “than the version of Sputnik V reviewed by the prestigious medical journal The Lancet, reported the New York Times. A peer-reviewed article in the journal published in February found that Sputnik V is 91% effective against the virus, a statistic that helped persuade Slovakia to become one of two EU countries to use it. The vaccine maker did not appear impressed by the claims: The death toll from COVID-19 has exceeded 100,000 in Scotland, according to figures from the Scottish National Registries, reported by The Guardian. Figures from the Scottish National Registries show that 38 Covid-19 related deaths were recorded between March 29 and April 4, bringing the total number of deaths as of Sunday to 9,997. Since then, six deaths have been recorded in Public Health Scotland’s daily figures, reports PA Media.

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President Biden announced Tuesday that he is pushing the deadline from May 1 to April 19 for states to make all adults in the U.S. eligible for Covid-19 vaccines. Photo: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Eli Lilly & Co. LLY, + 0.71% and Incyte Corp. INCY, + 0.07% said Thursday that a phase 3 trial of rheumatoid arthritis treatment with baricitinib plus standard treatment (SoC) versus placebo plus SoC it did not achieve its main objective. The primary endpoint of the trial was defined as a difference in the number of patients requiring non-invasive ventilation, including high-flow oxygen, or invasive mechanical ventilation, or death by day 28. Baricitinib-treated patients had a 2, 7% less likely than those receiving standard care to progress to ventilation or death, a difference that was not statistically significant. The trial, which included 1,525 patients, showed a 38% reduction in mortality by day 28 in patients who were treated with baricitinib plus standard care, including corticosteroids and remdesivir. French church and government leaders expressed outrage Tuesday after images showed a major church in Paris holding a packed Easter service, with few masks worn and no social distancing in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions, reported AFP. The clamor for service at the Saint-Eugene-Sainte-Cecile church comes on the heels of an explosive TV report about secret high-end restaurants operating in the French capital despite the rules. Prosecutors in Paris told AFP that an investigation had been opened into allegations of putting other people’s lives at risk for religious service. Latest Counts The global count of coronavirus-borne diseases rose above 133 million on Thursday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, while the death toll surpassed 2.88 million. Almost 76 million people have recovered from COVID. The United States continues to lead the world for cases, with 30.9 million, or about a quarter of the global count, and deaths, with 559,168. Brazil has 13.2 million cases and a death toll of 340,776. India has 12.9 million cases and 166,862 deaths. Mexico ranks third for deaths with 205,598 and fourteenth highest for cases with 2.3 million. The UK has 4.4 million cases and 127,171 deaths, the highest in Europe and the fifth highest in the world. China, where the virus was first discovered late last year, has had 101,963 confirmed cases and 4,841 deaths, according to its official figures, which are generally considered to have gone unreported. What does the economy say? Initial claims for unemployment benefits filed across the states increased from 16,000 to 744,000 in the week ending April 3, the Labor Department said Thursday, as MarketWatch’s Greg Robb reported. Weekly claims averaged around 220,000 in the year before Covid-19 arrived. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had predicted that new claims would drop to 694,000. The claims were revised to 728,000 in the previous week from the previous estimate of 719,000. Another 151,752 applications for benefits were filed last week through a temporary assistance program. See also: Here’s why fears of rising inflation are off-base. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.10% fell slightly on Thursday, while the S&P 500 SPX, + 0.20% set a new intraday record.