Health News Roundup: Indian hospitals turn away patients in COVID-19 ‘tsunami’; PNG’s official death toll from COVID-19 passes 100 and more

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Thailand curbs shopping mall hours after a COVID-19 daily case record

Thailand curbed shop operating hours on Saturday after the country recorded another record daily rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths amid a third wave of the pandemic. Shopping malls in 18 risky provinces, including in the capital Bangkok, will be restricted to operating between 11am and 8 pm for a week from Sunday, the Thai Retailers Association said in a statement.

S.Korea signs with Pfizer for additional 40 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

South Korea said on Saturday it signed a contract with Pfizer Inc to purchase an additional 40 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine amid fears of spiking infections at home. That brings the current amount of Pfizer vaccines to 66 million doses, it said in a statement.

China administered total of 216.08 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of April 23

China administered about 4.86 million vaccinations against COVID-19 on April 23, bringing the total number administered to 216.08 million, according to data released by the National Health Commission on Saturday.

AstraZeneca vaccines sent to Mexico from Baltimore plant safe – deputy health minister

Millions of doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine manufactured at a U.S. plant that had a contamination issue and then shipped to Mexico are safe and have been approved by two regulators, Mexico’s deputy health minister said on Friday. The doses were sent to Mexico as part of an agreement with the administration of President Joe Biden for 2.7 million shots of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to help supplement Mexico’s vaccination campaign amid global delays and shortages.

Cambodia closes markets to curb COVID-19, thousands plead for food

Cambodia closed all markets in the capital Phnom Penh on Saturday to contain a spike in coronavirus infections as thousands of families plead for food during a two-week lockdown.

The Southeast Asian country has one of the world’s smallest coronavirus caseloads, but an outbreak that started in late February has seen overall cases spike to 8,848 and 61 deaths.

Indian hospitals turn away patients in COVID-19 ‘tsunami’

Overwhelmed hospitals in India begged for oxygen supplies on Saturday as the country’s coronavirus infections soared again overnight in a “tsunami” of disease, setting a new world record for cases for the third consecutive day. Max Healthcare, which runs a network of hospitals in north India, tweeted that it had less than two hours of oxygen left while Fortis Healthcare, another big chain, said it was suspending new admissions in Delhi.

Malaysia receives first batch of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines – Bernama

Malaysia received 268,800 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines on Friday night, its first batch from the pharmaceutical company, the state news agency reported on Saturday. Health Minister Adham Baba said the batch was purchased through the COVAX facility.

U.S. ends J&J COVID-19 vaccine pause; shots to resume immediately

The United States can immediately resume the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, top health regulators said on Friday, ending a 10-day pause to investigate its link to extremely rare but potentially deadly blood clots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration said the risks of experiencing the syndrome involving severe blood clots and low platelets as a result of the vaccine were very low. They found 15 cases in the 8 million shots given.

PNG’s official death toll from COVID-19 passes 100

The South Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea (PNG) has reported three new COVID-19 related deaths, health officials said on Saturday, bringing the country’s total deaths to 102. The official number of coronavirus infections in the nation of 8.8 million people rose to 10,602, with 52 new cases, the National Control Centre for COVID-19 said in a statement.

Russia reports 8,828 new COVID-19 cases, 399 deaths

Russia reported 8,828 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, including 2,541 in Moscow, which took the national tally to 4,753,789 since the start of the pandemic. The coronavirus crisis center said 399 more deaths of coronavirus patients had been confirmed in the past 24 hours, taking the national death toll to 107,900.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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