Covid-19 is rampaging through India which reported more than 300 000 infections per day.France allowed people over 18 to get the vaccine.The Indian variant was detected in Uganda.Several states in India have run out of Covid-19 vaccines, exacerbating a dire second wave of infections that has left hospitals and morgues overflowing while families scramble for scarce medicines and oxygen.

LIVE | All the latest coronavirus and lockdown updates

A forum of scientific advisers set up by the government warned Indian officials in early March of a new and more contagious variant of the coronavirus taking hold in the country, five scientists who are part of the forum told Reuters.

Europe

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 9 160 to 3 425 982, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday.

* Ukraine has signed a contract with Pfizer for an additional 10 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine, bringing the total number of doses to 20 million, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office said on Saturday.

* All people in France aged 18 and over will be able to get Covid-19 vaccines from 15 June onward.

* Spain is extending the gap between the first and second doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine to 16 weeks for people aged under 60, going beyond the 12-week maximum interval approved by European authorities.

* Russia recorded more than 400 000 excess deaths from last April to this March during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Reuters calculations.

Asia-Pacific

* India on Monday reported more than 300 000 new coronavirus cases for a twelfth straight day, taking its overall caseload to just shy of 20 million, while deaths from Covid-19 rose by 3 417.

* Liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes are being diverted away from ports in India as surging coronavirus cases there hamper domestic gas demand, trade and shipping sources said on Monday.

* Taiwan will bar from Tuesday the entry of people who have been to India over the previous 14 days, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said, the latest place to enforce curbs on travel from coronavirus-battered India.

* Thailand reported a new daily record of 31 coronavirus deaths, the health ministry said, as the Southeast Asian country grapples with a third wave of infections.

* Japan’s western prefecture of Osaka confirmed a record daily total of 1 262 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, along with 41 deaths, national broadcaster NHK reported.

Americas

* US President Joe Biden is expected to impose new travel restrictions on India starting Tuesday, barring most non-US citizens from entering the United States, a White House official told Reuters.

Middle East and Africa

* Uganda has detected the Indian variant, stirring fears the East African nation could suffer a resurgence of cases just when its outbreak has waned, a senior health official said.

Medical developments

* A single dose of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine may not generate a sufficient immune response to protect against dominant new variants, except in people who have already been infected with Covid-19, according to a UK study.

* The World Health Organisation expects to release its assessments for emergency use listing of the two main Chinese vaccines for Covid-19 as well as the Moderna shot by the end of next week, WHO Assistant Director-General Mariangela Simao said.

Economic impact

* Asian share markets got off to a slow start on Monday as holidays in China and Japan crimped volumes and investors awaited a raft of data this week which should show the US leading a global economic recovery.

* The economies of Germany, Portugal, Spain and Italy contracted in the first quarter, data showed, as restrictions to curb a third wave of coronavirus stifled output.

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