Coronavirus has killed at least 2,839,051 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1000 GMT Saturday.
At least 130,168,360 cases of coronavirus have been registered. The vast majority have recovered, though some have continued to experience symptoms weeks or even months later.
These figures are based on daily tolls provided by health authorities in each country. They exclude later re-evaluations by statistical organisations, as has happened in Russia, Spain and Britain.
On Friday, 10,140 new deaths and 625,046 new cases were recorded worldwide.
Based on the latest reports, the countries with the newest deaths were Brazil with 2,922 new deaths, followed by the United States with 895 and India with 714.
Kenya has ordered an immediate suspension on private importations of vaccines citing fears that it may lead to counterfeit inoculations getting into the country.
“To ensure the transparency and accountability in the vaccination process, and to protect the integrity of the country, the government is effective today closing the window of private sector importation, distribution and administration of vaccines, until such a time there is greater transparency and accountability in the entire process, “ a statement by the National Emergency Response Committee on the coronavirus said Friday evening.
Private health facilities have been charging about $80 for the Russian Sputnik Vaccine, while the government’s institutions are giving for free AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines received from the global COVAX initiative that was created to ensure that low- and middle-income countries have fair access to vaccines.
In recent weeks the Kenyan government has been on a sensitization campaign to reduce the reluctant uptake by frontline workers of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines. So far around 160,000 people have been vaccinated in more than a month since just over 1 million doses were received.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on March 26 after announcing stricter restriction on movement and assembly due to an upsurge of Coronavirus cases and deaths, led his cabinet in getting vaccinated publicly.
Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union say the reluctance by health care workers was due to the fact they were not sensitized enough before the vaccines were brought.
Mainland China reported 26 new Covid-19 cases on 2 April, up from nine a day earlier, the country’s national health authority said on Saturday, as officials in the south-west linked a local outbreak to Myanmar.
The National Health Commission said seven of the new cases were local infections in Yunnan province, where a coronavirus cluster has emerged in the city of Ruili bordering Myanmar.
Genetic analysis of cases in Ruili suggests they stemmed from viruses imported from Myanmar and are not related to other recent localised outbreaks in China, state media reported, citing a press briefing.
Ruili is a key transit point for Yunnan province, which has struggled to monitor its rugged 4,000 km (2,500-mile) border with Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam for illegal immigration amid a wave of unauthorised crossings last year by people seeking a haven from the pandemic.
Revellers who left piles of rubbish after gathering in Cardiff Bay in Wales on Good Friday have been condemned for breaching coronavirus regulations.
Cardiff Council said a significant amount of rubbish had been left by “large groups of people intent on breaking Covid-19 restrictions”. It follows similar scenes outside the Senedd earlier in the week when three police officers suffered minor injuries when bottles were thrown.
Covid-19 rules in Wales only allow six people from two different households to meet outdoors.
A Cardiff council spokesman said: “Once again our teams have been faced with the huge task of cleaning up a significant amount of rubbish left behind by large groups of people intent on breaking Covid-19 restrictions.
“Last night, bins were left unused and the ground was littered with rubbish. Council staff have been on site since the early hours of the morning, working hard to clear and clean the area.
Sports, theater and music fans will be able to take their seats again in California as the state’s coronavirus cases plummet and vaccinations increase.
After a year-long ban on most indoor seating, the state Friday set the stage for a literal stage-setting that could see the resumption of NBA games and live entertainment performances in most counties beginning 15 Apri.
Most of the state’s 58 counties will be permitted to allow at least some indoor seating because they fall into the lower three levels of California’s four-tiered Covid-19 restriction plan. Big population centres such as San Francisco, Santa Clara County and Los Angeles county are in the second-least restrictive orange tier.
Only three counties — San Joaquin, Merced and Inyo — remain in the highest purple tier, indicating “widespread” Covid-19 risk.
The others will be permitted some indoor seating “with capacity limits and modifications including physical distancing, advance ticket purchases, designated areas for eating and drinking, and attendance limited to in-state visitors”, according to a state public health announcement.
In the red tier, venues of up to 1,500 people can operate at 10% capacity and grow to 25% of all guests provide evidence of vaccination or a negative test. Venues of 1,501 people or more can operate at 20% capacity in the red tier, but guests must show proof of vaccination or a negative test. Capacity increases for tiers where the virus is less widespread.
State officials won’t require testing or proof of vaccination for some of those events. Events that do require testing and vaccinations will be allowed to have more paying customers than those that don’t. Only people who live in California can attend these live performances.
South Korea’s foreign minister said on Saturday the government will prepare for a visit to the country by Chinese president, Xi Jinping, local news outlet Yonhap reported.
“As soon as the novel coronavirus stabilises, we have decided to prepare for President Xi’s visit to [South] Korea as early as possible,” Chung Eui-yong told reporters after a meeting with state councillor Wang Yi, the Chinese government’s top diplomat, Yonhap reported.
There is no evidence uptake of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is slowing in the UK despite some European countries pausing its rollout, a public health expert has said.
Prof Linda Bauld of Edinburgh University said all studies indicated the jab was safe and effective, while the fact different countries were reviewing their position was a sign that the system was working.
Germany has suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged under 60 due to fears of a link with rare blood clots.
On Friday, the Dutch government also said it would temporarily halt AstraZeneca jabs for people under 60 after it received five reports of blood clots with low blood plate counts following vaccinations.
Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme, Prof Bauld said reports of blood clots were “very rare” and a direct link to the vaccine was very unlikely.
She said: “These kinds of pauses and reviews are a sign that the system is working.
“Because when you see either deaths or unlikely adverse events that you wouldn’t anticipate or you didn’t see in the trials it’s reasonable for regulators to look at this.
“The MHRA is still consistently saying there’s no cause for concern and that is absolutely the message to people.”
She added: “It doesn’t look from the behavioural response, the surveys I’ve seen, that it’s affecting uptake in the UK and that’s really important.”
Evidence is growing that the occurrence of a number of rare blood clot events among people who have had the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is “causally related”, a scientist has said.
The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said on Thursday that it had identified 30 cases of rare blood clot events among people in the UK who had received the AstraZeneca jab, following similar reports from Germany.
Prof Paul Hunter, a medical microbiologist at the University of East Anglia, told the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme: “It is not uncommon to get clusters of rare events purely by chance.
“But, once you find that cluster in one population and it then crops up in another – such as previously in the German and now in the English – then I think the chances of that being a random association is very, very low.
“Clearly more work needs to be done, but I think the evidence is shifting more towards it being causally related at the moment.”
The Philippines health ministry has reported 12,576 new Covid cases, the second-highest daily increase in infections.
Russia reported 9,021 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, including 2,011 in Moscow, pushing the total infection tally in the country to 4,572,077 since the pandemic began a year ago.
The government coronavirus task force said that 384 people had died from coronavirus in the last 24 hours, taking Russia’s death toll to 100,017.
Russia’s Rosstat statistics service, which is keeping a separate tally, has reported a much higher toll. It said on Friday it had recorded over 225,000 deaths related to Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic in April.
Millions of Christians around the world are spending another Easter weekend under restrictions because of coronavirus surges, but there was good news from the hard-hit US, which crossed the milestone of 100m vaccine doses.
There have been worrying spikes in infections in many parts of the world, even as vaccine rollouts gather pace, forcing the reimposition of deeply unpopular restrictions including in European nations.
Italy began a strict Easter lockdown on Saturday, with the entire country considered a high-risk coronavirus “red zone” during a time when families usually hold reunions.
At the Vatican on Good Friday, a handful of onlookers caught a glimpse of Pope Francis presiding over the “Way of the Cross” ceremony in an empty St Peter’s Square, with Covid-19 restrictions preventing large gatherings there for a second year in a row.
New restrictions also came into force on Saturday in France, where authorities are scrambling to deal with a dramatic rise in cases that has overwhelmed hospitals in Paris.
Care home residents will be allowed a second regular indoor visitor from 12 April, the government has announced, while babies and young children can also attend.
Infants and children are not counted as one of the two visitors, meaning residents will be allowed to see small bubbles of relatives or friends for the first time in months.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said that the drop in community infection and rapid vaccine rollout means the increase in visitor numbers can go ahead as set out in the government’s road map out of lockdown.
The DHSC said visitors would be allowed to hold hands but that personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn. A negative rapid lateral flow test will also be required from adult visitors before entry is permitted, but some will be allowed to conduct their tests at home so more visits can take place.
Boris Johnson said: “Reuniting family and friends has been a priority each time restrictions have eased, and the next step will be no different.
“I’m particularly pleased to allow residents to have more visitors, including grandchildren, given the isolation and concern felt by so many this past year.
“Thanks to the tireless work of care home staff, and the success of the vaccine rollout, we’re able to increase the number of visits in a safe and controlled way.”
Ukraine reported a record increase in new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, with 20,341 new infections in the preceding 24 hours, health minister Maxim Stepanov said.
Writing on his social media page, Stepanov said 5,186 people were hospitalised in the same period, and 396 people died.
Britons who have had both coronavirus vaccine doses could avoid quarantine measures under government plans to restart international travel, it has been reported.
It is expected Boris Johnson will signal on Monday that foreign travel will return with restrictions based on a traffic light system that rates countries as red, amber or green based on Covid infection rates, vaccination levels and the prevalence of variants.
Hesitancy towards the vaccine across parts of mainland Europe may mean that traditionally favoured continental destinations among British holidaymakers are deemed more high-risk than the likes of the US and Israel, where vaccination rates are good.
Overseas holidays are currently banned due to the UK’s coronavirus lockdown measures, but Boris Johnson plans to make an announcement on Easter Monday about lifting restrictions in England.
India’s daily coronavirus infections hit another record on Saturday for the highest tally since September, while daily deaths reached a five-month high, a Reuters count based on data from the health ministry showed.
The south Asian nation recorded 89,129 new infections and 714 deaths, the ministry said. That was the biggest single-day rise since September 20 last year and the most deaths since October 21, according to a Reuters tally.
Infections have surged in India since the beginning of March, with its richest state of Maharashtra, home to the financial capital of Mumbai, the worst hit. Late on Friday, the state’s chief minister warned of a full lockdown to curb infections if people did not limit their movements.