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Sunday, April 04, 2021, 17:07
India's COVID-19 infections surge with over 93,000 new cases
By Agencies
Sunday, April 04, 2021, 17:07 By Agencies

Vials of the AstraZeneca Plc COVID-19 vaccine at a medical center in Melbourne, on March 19, 2021. (PHOTO / BLOOMBERG)

SYDNEY / DUBAI / JERUSALEM - India's COVID-19 tally rose to 12,485,509 on Sunday with 93,249 new cases reported from across the country, the highest daily number since September last year.

According to the latest figures released by federal health ministry, 513 people have died from COVID-19 since Saturday morning, taking the total death toll to 164,623.


Australians were celebrating Easter Sunday in a relatively unrestricted manner as the country reported no new locally acquired coronavirus cases.

Queensland, the epicentre of a recent, small COVID-19 community outbreak, has had only one infection in the past three days. The state has the tightest restrictions on public gatherings.

Elsewhere, Australians flocked to the beaches, capitalising on the warm weather in many parts of the country, or gathered with families, in a stark contrast to last year’s Easter when a nationwide lockdown kept people confined to their homes.

The first phase of Australia’s coronavirus vaccine rollout could end up finishing months behind schedule, the Age reported, citing federal Health Department tenders.

The tenders asking for private companies to provide vaccinations for the phase 1a group include a time frame that suggests the first phase won’t be done until the end of May, according to the report.

Australia says it has given nearly 80,000 people a virus vaccination to set a new single-day high, boosted by strong stockpiles.


Lebanon registered on Saturday 2,188 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of infections to 477,113.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the virus went up by 33 to 6,379.

Lebanon started on Saturday a 3-day lockdown aimed at preventing the increase in COVID-19 infections during the Easter holiday.


India’s biggest cities braced for stricter lockdowns and other COVID-19 curbs on Saturday as infections hit a six-month high, as a month-long surge continued in the country third-worst hit by the pandemic.

India’s richest state, Maharashtra, accounted for more than half of the 89,129 new cases reported by the national health ministry in the last 24 hours, with a record 47,827 infections.

The state’s chief minister warned citizens of a lockdown if cases continued to rise at their current rate, saying medical infrastructure would be inadequate in a couple of weeks.

In the southern state of Karnataka, home to India’s tech capital Bengaluru, authorities ordered gyms to be closed, barred functions at religious places and told cinema halls, bars, pubs and restaurants to limit the number of people allowed in.


Iran's health ministry registered 11,420 new COVID-19 cases overnight, raising its nationwide caseload to 1,920,394.

The pandemic has so far claimed 62,999 lives in Iran after 123 deaths were added in the past 24 hours, and 1,642,418 people have recovered from the disease and been discharged from hospitals, according to Sima Sadat Lari, spokeswoman for the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education.


Israel's Ministry of Health reported 363 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, raising the total confirmed cases in the country to 834,070.

The death toll from the virus rose by 16 to 6,236, while the recoveries totalled 821,748 after 842 more cases recovered.

The number of people vaccinated against COVID-19 in Israel reached nearly 5.26 million, or 56.6 percent of its population.


Around 70 percent of coronavirus patients tested at a Tokyo hospital last month carried a mutation known for reducing vaccine protection, Japanese public broadcaster NHK said on Sunday.

The E484K mutation, nicknamed “Eek” by some scientists, was found in 10 of 14 people who tested positive for the virus at Tokyo Medical and Dental University Medical Hospital in March, the report said.

For the two months through March, 12 of 36 COVID patients carried the mutation, with none of them having recently travelled abroad or reporting contact with people who had, it said.

Japan’s government will consider allowing a broader array of medical professionals, such as dentists, to inject COVID -19 vaccines as it looks to ramp up its shots in the coming weeks, the Nikkei newspaper reported, without saying where it obtained the information.

Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, in an appearance on national public broadcaster NHK, asked people to refrain from trips to the Osaka region. The government placed new virus restrictions on the region in recent days to battle a fresh surge.

On Friday, 446 new infections were reported in Tokyo, although that is still well below the peak of over 2,500 in January.


In Kuwait, the health ministry reported on Saturday 1,235 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total infections in the country to 235,989.

The ministry also announced 12 more fatalities, taking the death toll to 1,339, while the tally of recoveries rose by 1,264 to 220,521.


Mongolia's COVID-19 tally rose to 10,218 on Sunday after 620 new cases, the highest daily count since the pandemic hit the country, were reported nationwide in the past 24 hours, the National Center for Communicable Diseases (NCCD) said.

The total recoveries in the country rose to 5,649 after 270 more patients were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours. 


The number of COVID-19 infections has risen to 142,497 in Myanmar on Saturday, according to a release from the Health and Sports Ministry.

The country reported 18 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the release said.

The death doll stood at 3,206 while 131,813 recovered patients have been discharged from hospitals so far.

A total of 1,264 samples were tested for COVID-19 on Friday, down from around 10,000 samples tested daily in early February.

New Zealand

New Zealand reported six new cases of COVID-19 in managed isolation, said the Ministry of Health in a statement on Sunday.

The six new cases were all border-related cases in managed isolation over the past three days since the ministry's last update, while there was no new case in the wider community, according to the statement.


Following a flattening coronavirus curve, Palestine decided on Saturday to ease lockdown restrictions across the West Bank starting Sunday until April 12.

In a statement, Palestine's Government Spokesman Ibrahim Melhem announced a set of measures for easing restrictions, while keeping some preventative measures, including mask and social distancing requirements.

Melhem announced the reopening of kindergartens and all public and private schools for students from first to sixth grade on April 11.

But remote learning will continue for the remaining grades, he said.

Commercial stores and restaurants are allowed to reopen while maintaining strict health measures and at a maximum capacity of 50 percent of their staff, Melhem said, adding that banks are asked to operate at an emergency pace.


The Qatari health ministry on Saturday announced 870 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 182,548.

The recoveries in Qatar totalled 165,471 after 468 more recovered from the virus, while the fatalities increased by three to 301, according to a ministry statement.

South Korea

South Korea reported 543 more cases of COVID-19 as of midnight Saturday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 105,279.

The daily caseload stayed above 500 for five straight days despite fewer virus tests over the weekend.

The daily number of infections hovered above 100 since Nov. 8 owing to small cluster infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province as well as imported cases.


Thailand confirmed 96 new COVID-19 cases, mostly domestic, on Sunday, said a report of the Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Of the new cases, 87 were domestic infections while nine others were imported cases, according to the CCSA report.

Of the domestic cases, 35 were confirmed in the capital Bangkok, 13 in Samut Sakhon, nine in Samut Prakan and seven in Chonburi, among other provinces, the report said.

The Philippines

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has extended a strict lockdown in the capital region and adjacent provinces by at least one week to try to contain a renewed surge in coronavirus infections, his spokesman said on Saturday.

The Philippines, which has the second-highest COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia, reported 12,576 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, putting further strain on the healthcare system.

Restrictions, which include a ban on non-essential movement, mass gatherings and dining in restaurants, will remain for at least another week, Duterte’s spokesman, Harry Roque, said in a televised announcement. The measures had been set to end on April 4.

The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported 11,028 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 795,051.

The death toll climbed to 13,425 after two more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH said.

The Philippines, which has about 110 million population, has tested over 9.7 million people since the outbreak in January 2020.

   More Filipinos will receive the jabs as the government ramps up its COVID-19 immunization drive this week, urging frontline medical workers and senior citizens with underlying conditions to get inoculated.


Turkey on Saturday reported the highest daily count of 44,756 coronavirus cases. 

Among the new cases recorded in Turkey, 1,483 are symptomatic patients, and the tally of infections in the country reached 3,445,052, according to the country's health ministry.

The death toll from the virus in Turkey rose by 186 to 32,078, while the total recoveries climbed to 3,082,676 after 23,214 more cases recovered in the last 24 hours.

Turkey started mass vaccination against COVID-19 on Jan. 14 after the authorities approved the emergency use of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine. More than 9,530,000 people have been vaccinated so far.

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