Health News Roundup: UK says COVID cases down 4.6% in past week; India’s coronavirus crisis intensifies as nations pledge aid ad more

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

UK lawmakers call for PM Johnson to publish big pharma lobbying messages

British lawmakers on Monday called on the government to publish all communications with pharmaceutical companies to understand if private lobbying influenced its opposition to a waiver of intellectual property rules for COVID-19 vaccines. The United States and a handful of other big countries, including the United Kingdom, have blocked negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) involving a proposal spearheaded by India and South Africa that now has the support of 100 WTO members.

Health Canada finds Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccines from Baltimore plant safe, of high quality

Canada’s health department said on Sunday the 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca Plc COVID-19 vaccine imported from Emergent BioSolutions’ Baltimore facility were safe and met quality specifications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had stopped AstraZeneca from using the facility earlier this month and halted production of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine at the plant as it began investigations into an error that led to millions of doses of J&J’s vaccine being ruined last month.

PM Modi says India shaken by coronavirus ‘storm’, U.S. to help

Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged all citizens to be vaccinated and exercise caution, saying on Sunday the “storm” of infections had shaken India, as the country set a new global record of the most number of COVID-19 infections in a day. The United States said it will immediately provide raw materials for one of the COVID-19 vaccines, medical equipment, and protective gear to help India respond. France, Britain, and Germany also promised rapid support.

U.S. to provide vaccine components, medical supplies as India battles COVID-19 spike

The United States will immediately send raw materials for COVID-19 vaccines, medical equipment, and protective gear to help India respond to a massive surge in coronavirus infections, U.S. President Joe Biden said on Sunday. “Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need,” Biden said on Twitter after the White House announced a list of measures.

UK says COVID cases down 4.6% in past week

Britain reported 1,712 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, government data showed, meaning there were 17,063 new cases between April 19 and 25, a fall of 4.6% compared with the previous seven days. A further 11 people were reported as having died within 28 days of a positive test for COVID-19, taking the seven-day decrease to 12.6%.

India’s coronavirus crisis intensifies as nations pledge aid

India’s coronavirus cases hit a record peak for a fifth day on Monday as countries including Britain, Germany, and the United States pledged to send urgent medical aid to help tackle the crisis overwhelming its hospitals. Infections in the past 24 hours rose to 352,991, with overcrowded hospitals in Delhi and nationwide turning away patients after running out of supplies of medical oxygen and beds.

U.S. CDC says children can get within 3 feet at summer camp

Children attending summer camp can get within 3 feet (1 meter) of each other but should wear masks to limit the spread of COVID-19, according to fresh guidance issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC’s updated recommendations for camps, issued on Saturday, have been eagerly awaited by parents as the end of the school year approaches.

Germany will send oxygen, medical aid to India to help in COVID crisis

Germany will send oxygen and medical aid to India in the coming days to help it tackle its COVID-19 crisis, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday. India is suffering from a spike in coronavirus infections, with the number of cases surging by 349,691 in the past 24 hours, the fourth straight day of record peaks. Hospitals are turning away patients after running out of medical oxygen.

Israel examining heart inflammation cases in people who received Pfizer COVID shot

Israel’s Health Ministry said on Sunday it is examining a small number of cases of heart inflammation in people who had received Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, though it has not yet drawn any conclusions. Pfizer said it has not observed a higher rate of the condition than would normally be expected in the general population.

U.S. administers 228.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines: CDC

The United States had administered 228,661,408 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Sunday morning and distributed 290,692,005 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. That is an increase from the 225,640,460 vaccine doses the CDC said had been administered by April 24 out of 290,685,655 doses delivered.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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