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India’s COVID-19 cases hit month-high, with Kerala state reporting spike in deaths

India’s tally of daily COVID-19 cases nearly doubled on Monday from the previous day to more than 2,000 for the first time in a month, government data showed, and the southern state of Kerala reported a big jump in deaths.
India was at the center of the global COVID crisis this time last year but the situation has improved since then and most precautions including the wearing of masks have recently been dropped.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

But cases have been creeping up in the country of 1.35 billion people in the past few days.

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The capital, Delhi, last week tightened COVID precautions for schools and neighboring Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, again made masks compulsory in public places in some districts.
Authorities reported 2,183 new infections on Monday, taking the running total to more than 43 million, according to health ministry data.
The ministry reported 214 more deaths, including 151 since April 13 in Kerala, which is widely considered to issue more accurate data than many other states.
India has reported a total of about 522,000 deaths from the coronavirus though many global experts have said its real death
toll could be up to 4 million, from several hundred million cases.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has repeatedly rejected those higher estimates saying the mathematical models
used to estimate deaths in smaller countries cannot be relied on for India.
Apart from Kerala, Delhi ,and the states of Maharashtra and Haryana reported triple-digit increases in infections in the past 24 hours. Hospitalizations have remained low though.
Epidemiologist Chandrakant Lahariya said people had to learn to live with the virus and authorities should not close schools that were only recently opened.
“Cases will be reported from all settings — including schools — for many months to come, no matter what we do,” he wrote on Twitter.

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WHO: Over 4.1 million new COVID-19 cases reported globally, 18 pct increase 

The number of new coronavirus cases rose by 18 percent in the last week, with more than 4.1 million cases reported globally, according to the World Health Organization.

The UN health agency said in its latest weekly report on the pandemic that the worldwide number of deaths remained relatively similar to the week before, at about 8,500. COVID-related deaths increased in three regions: the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Americas.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The biggest weekly rise in new COVID-19 cases was seen in the Middle East, where they increased by 47 percent, according to the report released late Wednesday. Infections rose by about 32 percent in Europe and Southeast Asia, and by about 14 percent in the Americas, WHO said.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said cases were on the rise in 110 countries, mostly driven by the omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5.

“This pandemic is changing, but it’s not over,” Tedros said this week during a press briefing.

He said the ability to track COVID-19’s genetic evolution was “under threat” as countries relaxed surveillance and genetic sequencing efforts, warning that would make it more difficult to catch emerging and potentially dangerous new variants.

He called for countries to immunize their most vulnerable populations, including health workers and people over 60, saying that hundreds of millions remain unvaccinated and at risk of severe disease and death.

Tedros said that while more than 1.2 billion COVID-19 vaccines have been administered globally, the average immunization rate in poor countries is about 13 percent.

“If rich countries are vaccinating children from as young as 6 months old and planning to do further rounds of vaccination, it is incomprehensible to suggest that lower-income countries should not vaccinate and boost their most at risk (people),” he said.

According to figures compiled by Oxfam and the People's Vaccine Alliance, fewer than half of the 2.1 billion vaccines promised to poorer countries by the Group of Seven large economies have been delivered.

Earlier this month, the United States authorized COVID-19 vaccines for infants and preschoolers, rolling out a national immunization plan targeting 18 million of the youngest children. American regulators also recommended that some adults get updated boosters in the fall that match the latest coronavirus variants.

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France’s new wave of COVID-19 infections expected to peak end of July

Shanghai Disneyland theme park re-opens after three-month COVID-19 closure

China’s Xi warns against ‘herd immunity,’ says COVID-Zero policy works best

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France’s new wave of COVID-19 infections expected to peak end of July

A new wave in France of COVID-19 infections fueled by emerging variants of the disease should peak toward end-July, the French government’s top scientific adviser Jean-Francois Delfraissy said on Thursday.
“The peak is not yet here, this peak of infections will probably be for end-July,” Delfraissy told RTL radio.
“Then the BA.5 variant will reappear, if it is not overtaken by another variant… in autumn,” he added.
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
France reported new 124,724 coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, against 77,967 a week ago.
The French government also recommended this week that people should start wearing face masks again in crowded areas, especially in public transport, to counter the latest surge in COVID-19 cases.
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Pfizer says omicron-fighting COVID-19 shots prompt strong immune response

China’s Xi warns against ‘herd immunity,’ says COVID-Zero policy works best

Shanghai Disneyland theme park re-opens after three-month COVID-19 closure

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Shanghai Disneyland theme park re-opens after three-month COVID-19 closure 

More than a thousand visitors streamed in on Thursday as Walt Disney Co’s Shanghai Disney Resort theme park opened after a closure of three months, with face masks and social distancing the order of the day.
The park shut on March 21 as cases rose in the Chinese business hub, leading to a two-month-long citywide lockdown that eased on June 1. Just over a week later, the resort began opening some areas, with the theme park the last to re-open.

For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.

Among the first of Thursday's visitors was Zhang Yudong, a 19-year-old student wearing a Mickey Mouse wizard hat and T-shirt donned for the occasion.
“It really feels like coming back home. I was so excited,” said Zhang, who holds a Disneyland annual pass. “I had been looking forward to the day. One question I would ask everyday is, ‘When will it reopen?’”
Before its March closure, the park had enforced COVID-19 measures required by the authorities, such as face masks and regular disinfection.
After the re-opening, it requires guests to show proof of a negative COVID test taken within the last 72 hours, in line with rules for public areas in Shanghai and other cities.
The park has also said it will limit capacity, but gave no details, adding that some attractions, such as Marvel Universe, will stay closed.
Shanghai Disneyland is a joint venture with Chinese state-owned Shendi Group, which holds a 57 percent stake.

Read more: China’s Xi warns against ‘herd immunity,’ says COVID-Zero policy works best

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