Covid Has Killed 3 Million Worldwide

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As a covid uptick in India takes the daily infection rate past 100,000, variants like P.1 cause worry in Peru and the Philippines is suffering a huge surge, it’s estimated 3 million people have died as a result of the pandemic coronavirus.

The Wall Street Journal:
Covid-19’s Ground Zero Shifts To India

Ground zero of the world’s Covid-19 outbreak shifted to India Monday as it recorded more than 100,000 fresh cases for the first time, topping the daily totals everywhere else in the world. The South Asian nation is locking down neighborhoods and restricting travel again even as it tries to ratchet up its vaccination drive to save lives and salvage its nascent economic recovery. (Bellman and Agarwal, 4/5)

Worst Covid Surge In Southeast Asia Hammers Philippine Hospitals

As hospitals in the Philippine capital reach capacity from a new surge of coronavirus cases, increasingly desperate Filipinos are stocking up on oxygen tanks and touting unapproved medications amid fears the health care system may collapse. Daily infections rose to a record last week in the Southeast Asian nation, where one in nearly five Covid-19 tests comes back positive and vaccination rates lag its neighbors. (Yap and Calonzo, 4/6)

ABC News:
Europe’s Vaccine Rollout ‘Unacceptably Slow’: WHO 

The World Health Organization criticized Europe’s sluggish vaccine rollout as “unacceptably slow” in a recent statement, pointing to the low rate of Europeans who have been fully vaccinated. Just 10% of Europeans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and only 4% have been fully vaccinated, according to the WHO. (Schumaker, 4/5)

England To Offer Free Twice-A-Week COVID-19 Tests

England is aiming to offer free twice-a-week rapid COVID-19 tests for everyone in the coming weeks, but critics think it will do more harm than good because of the possibility of incorrect test results. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed Monday in a press conference that England will start easing lockdown restrictions April 12 in an effort to open the economy again, beginning with businesses including pubs and gyms. Johnson cited vaccination rate in England, saying, “We think that these changes are fully justified by the data.” (Muhammad, 4/5)

New Zealand To Open Travel Bubble With Australia On April 19

New Zealand announced Tuesday it will open a long-anticipated travel bubble with Australia on April 19 now that both countries have been successful in stamping out the spread of the coronavirus. The start of quarantine-free travel between the neighboring nations will come as a relief to families who have been separated by the pandemic as well as to struggling tourist operators. (Perry, 4/6)

In updates on the Tokyo Olympics —

North Korea Pulls Out Of Games Over COVID Concerns 

North Korea’s sports ministry announced Tuesday that it’s decided to pull out of this summer’s Tokyo Olympics “to protect athletes from the global health crisis caused by the coronavirus.” North Korea is the first country to withdraw its team from the Games because of pandemic concerns. (Falconer, 4/6)

CBS News:
Two Years Ago, Swimmer Rikako Ikee Was Diagnosed With Leukemia. Now, She’s Qualified For The Tokyo Olympics.

Two years after being diagnosed with leukemia, swimmer Rikako Ikee will now head to the Tokyo Olympics in her home country. Rikako Ikee won the 100-meter butterfly event at Japan’s Olympic trials in 57.77 seconds to qualify for the 4X100 medley relay in the upcoming Games. After the race, the 20-year-old pumped her fist and broke down in tears before being hugged by her opponent in a lane next to hers. (Brito, 4/5)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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