Deutsche Welle (English edition)
Coronavirus digest: Germany surpasses 3 million cases
The Robert Koch Institute's daily update comes as Germany's third wave shows few signs of abating. India has overtaken Brazil to become the second-hardest-hit country in the world. Follow DW for the latest.
The number of coronavirus cases in Germany passed the 3million mark on Monday as the country's third wave showed few signs of easing up.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said the total number of infections now stands at 3,011,513, after Germany's disease control center confirmed 13,245 more cases.
The RKI said the country's latest death toll from the virus is 78,452.
Since the first infection was detected in Bavaria at the end of January 2020, Germany has been grappling with lockdowns, bailouts and finger-pointing — now with the prospect of nationwide curfews being considered— as hospitals edge closer to being overwhelmed.
The chances of Germany reopening anytime soon remain slim, with the national incidence rate for the past week at 136.4 per 100,000 inhabitants. Authorities are seeking a figure below 50 before restrictions can be relaxed.
China is considering mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines as a way of further boosting the effectiveness of its inoculation rollout.
Available data shows Chinese vaccines lag behind others, including Pfizer and Moderna, in terms of efficacy.
Despite this, Chilean authorities have defended the country's widespread use of the vaccine manufactured by Chinese firm Sinovac.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there were too many doubts over the country's vaccination campaign to set a new target for its completion, as the government moves to shore up confidence in its stumbling rollout.
Morrison had said while he hoped all Australians could have a first dose of vaccination by the end of 2021, he added there was too much uncertainty to replace the previous October objective.
Brazil, Mexico, The Philippines, South Africa and Ukraine are set to receive the PfizerBioNtech vaccine as part of the COVAX vaccination program between April and June. That is according to the Gavi Vaccine Alliance.
The COVAX program has delivered nearly 38.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to more than 100 countries across six continents. Seth Berkley, chief executive of the Gavi Vaccine Institute, said it hoped to deliver more than 2 billion doses worldwide by the end of the year.
India, which now accounts for one in every six daily infections worldwide, has overtaken Brazil as the world's second-worsthit country after its health authority reported a record 168,912 COVID-19 infections on Monday.
And concerns continue to grow over a further spike, as hundreds of thousands of Hindu devotees gathered by the Ganges River for special prayers, many of them flouting social distancing practices.
The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, which is wedged between India and China, has vaccinated 93% of its adult population in a fraction of two weeks.
Overall, including children, the country has vaccinated 62% of its 800,000 people since March 27.
The rapid rollout puts the Bhutan just behind Seychelles — the archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, which has given shots to 66% of its population of nearly 100,000 people.
Munich mayor Dieter Reiter said that his city could not guarantee that sports fans would be allowed back in stadiums for the upcoming Euro 2020 tournament.
"From today's point of view, it can't unfortunately be ruled out that no spectators can be admitted to the games in June due to the coronavirus infection situation and the corresponding requirements of the Bavarian health authorities," said Reiter in a statement.
The German national team was set to play their three group stage matches in Munich and one quarterfinal match was set to be played there. But that can be changedif stadiums do not allow fans.
Ireland's National Immunization Advisory Committee has recommended AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine be restricted for people over 60 years old.
A UK-based trial showed promise that the asthma drug budesonide could be used to treat COVID-19 at home.
Interim results of the trial showed that 32% of people who inhaled the medication twice a day for two weeks recovered in within the first 14 days and remained well until at least 28 days of follow-up. That is compared to 22% in the control group.
Beer gardens, outside restaurants, shops and salons have reopened in England for the first time in almost four months. The easing of restrictions comes as seven coronavirus-related deaths were reported in the UK within 28 days of a positive test, the lowest number since midSeptember.
World leaders have demanded that Africa expand its vaccine manufacturing in order to properly combat the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent future health emergencies.
World Trade Organization director-general Ngozi OkonjoIweala said it was "morally unconscionable and a serious economic hit" that just over 1% of Africans had received a vaccine.
Africa now imports about 99% of all its vaccines, but should aim to reduce imports to about 40% by 2040, said African Center for Disease Control and Prevention director John Nkengasong. Americas
The chairman of the US Fed
eral Reserve said the economy is poised for an extended period of significant growth and hiring, even though the coronavirus continues to linger, with new infections even going up again in some states.
Chair Jerome Powell told broadcaster CBS that he doesn't expect to raise the Fed's benchmark interest rate in 2021, currently pegged at almost zero.
Powell also downplayed the risk of higher inflation stemming from vast increases in government spending and expanding budget deficits due to the pandemic.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the pandemic was far from over, but it could be brought under control with proper health measures.
"We too want to see societies and economies reopening, and travel and trade resuming, bur right now, intensive care units in many countries are overflowing and people are dying – and it's totally avoidable," said Ghebreyesus.