Coronavirus: Latest on COVID-19 from around the world - Tuesday, March 30

The total confirmed number of infections has passed 128 million, with deaths just shy of 2.8 million.

Both numbers are likely vastly underestimated, with Mexico for example this week revising its likely death toll up 60 percent.  

Here's the latest from around the world overnight.

Asia-Pacific

India

India reported the highest daily increase in coronavirus cases in five months on Monday, with the second wave of the disease driven by surging infections in the country's richest state Maharastra.

A total of 68,020 new coronavirus cases were reported in the last 24 hours, the health ministry said. It was the highest daily rise since October 11. Daily deaths rose by 291 on Monday and the virus has so far killed 161,843 people in India.

Philippines

The Philippine passed the 10,000 mark for new daily coronavirus infections for the first time on Monday and put its capital region back on one of its toughest levels of lockdown, to try to tackle a spike in cases that is testing its healthcare capacity.

Pakistan

Pakistan's President Arif Alvi has tested positive for COVID-19, he said on Twitter on Monday, after receiving his first dose of a vaccine.

"Had [first] dose of vaccine, but antibodies start developing after (second) dose that was due in a week. Please continue to be careful," he said.

Turkey

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced tighter measures against the coronavirus on Monday, citing the rising number of high-risk cities across the country.

Americas

United States

Biden administration officials pleaded with Americans on Monday to continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 amid an increase in cases across the country.

"I'm going to lose the script and I'm going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom," Dr Rochelle Walensky, head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a briefing with reporters. "Right now I'm scared."

She said the United States surpassed 30 million cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, and that the seven-day average of new cases was slightly less than 60,000 cases per day - a 10 percent increase compared with the prior seven-day period.

Rochelle Walensky, head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rochelle Walensky, head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Photo credit: Getty

A wide array of US experts will extensively review a World Health Organization report on the origin of the COVID-19 virus, with a focus on ensuring the investigation was independent and technically sound, the White House said on Monday. A joint WHO-China study on the origins of COVID-19 says that the virus was probably transmitted from bats to humans through another animal, and that a lab leak was "extremely unlikely" as a cause.

Mexico

Mexican health authorities say the country's official death toll of about 200,000 is 60 percent too low, saying it's more like at least 321,000. 

Africa and the Middle East

Johnson & Johnson will supply the African Union with up to 400 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine beginning in the third quarter, the drugmaker said on Monday, as the continent grapples with vaccinating 60 percent of its people.

Palestine

Palestinians on Monday received 100,000 doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine donated by China to help broaden an initial campaign to vaccinate medical staff, the elderly and the chronically ill.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia on Monday said it would receive 300,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses from China's state-backed China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) on Tuesday.

The Sinopharm doses are the first shots Ethiopia has secured outside the global COVAX vaccine-sharing initiative, Health Minister Lia Tadesse told Reuters.

Ethiopia is struggling to administer shots and tame infections, that have spiked. In the past month, it has recorded a 26 percent increase in coronavirus infections and deaths rose by 18 percent.

Europe

Italy

Italy reported 417 coronavirus-related deaths on Monday against 297 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 12,916 from 19,611.

France

France reported another 360 deaths and just under 95,000 new infections in the past 24 hours.

United Kingdom

A campaign group for bereaved families has begun hand-drawing almost 150,000 hand-drawn hearts on a wall opposite Britain's Houses of Parliament as a memorial to victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday he hoped that England would not need to go into another lockdown if the public obey the rules and coronavirus vaccines continue to be effective.

"I am hopeful, I don't see anything in the data right now that would cause us to deviate from the roadmap, but we have got to remain humble in the face of nature and we have to be prepared to do whatever it takes to protect the British public," Johnson told a news conference.

Vaccines

mRNA vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer with BioNTech SE and Moderna reduced the risk of infection by 80 percent two weeks or more after the first of two shots, according to data from a real-world US study released on Monday. The risk of infection fell 90 percent by two weeks after the second shot, the study of just under 4000 vaccinated US healthcare personnel and first responders found.

AstraZeneca

A Canadian advisory panel on immunization is recommending that AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine should not be given to people under 55 for the time being, citing safety reasons, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp said on Monday.

Reuters / Newshub.