A senior Chinese health official said on Wednesday there was no factual basis to accusations that China did not share data with researchers appointed by the World Health Organization for a report on the origins of the novel coronavirus.
The United States and 13 other countries expressed concerns in a joint statement on Tuesday that the report was delayed and WHO researchers had lacked access to complete data.
* Germany will from Wednesday limit the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to people aged 60 and above as well as high-priority groups following further reports of a rare brain-blood disorder. Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference on Tuesday she is open to being vaccinated with the jab.
* Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel discussed possible cooperation on vaccines with Vladimir Putin in a joint video conference on Tuesday, Macron’s office said on Tuesday.
* Ireland is considering adding more countries to a list subject to mandatory hotel quarantine on arrival because of the virus, including the United States, Germany, and France, its deputy prime minister said.
* The United States has administered 147,602,345 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Tuesday morning and distributed 189 451 285 doses, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday.
* Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday signed an executive order to disburse 5.3 billion reais ($918.08 million) in new loans to fight the pandemic, as the country hit a record tally of 3 780 deaths.
* Mexico on Tuesday reported 5 068 new confirmed cases and 807 more fatalities, bringing the country’s total to 2 232 910 infections and 202 633 deaths.
* Ecuador’s health system is under severe strain from a spike in COVID-19 and some hospitals in the capital Quito are working above capacity to treat patients, doctors said on Tuesday.
* Russia has supplied Venezuela with doses of EpiVacCoronato be used as part of trials of the Russian coronavirus vaccine candidate, officials said on Tuesday.
* China carried out about 3.7 million vaccinations on March 30, bringing the total number administered to 114.69 million, according to data released by the National Health Commission on Tuesday.
* The southwestern Chinese city of Ruili that borders Myanmarordered a one-week home quarantine for residents of the city’s urban area, and mass COVID testing, after reporting six new locally transmitted cases.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Turkey has recorded 37 303 new cases in the space of 24hours, the highest number since the beginning of the pandemic more than a year ago, health ministry data showed on Tuesday.
* South Africa on Tuesday more than doubled the number of people who can gather indoors for Easter religious services because COVID-19 transmission remains relatively low.
* A critical component of the immune system known as T-cells that respond to fight infection from the original version of the novel coronavirus appears to also protect against three of the most concerning new virus variants, according to a US laboratory study released on Tuesday.
* Federal Reserve policymakers are optimistic about the U.S.economic outlook as more Americans are vaccinated and government aid gets to households and businesses.
* The coronavirus pandemic dealt a heavy blow to small businesses owned by older Americans from minority groups, and Asian-owned firms were particularly hard hit by closures and revenue declines, according to research released on Tuesday by the New York Federal Reserve and AARP.
* Women will not reach parity with men until the middle of the next century as the COVID-19 pandemic hits them hardest, according to a World Economic Forum report.