President Joe Biden’s administration plans to restrict travel between the U.S. and India beginning Tuesday due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country of 1.4 billion people.
India set another daily global record of new cases Saturday, with more than 400,000 new cases and 3,500 deaths, according to official totals experts suspect are undercounts. Less than 2% of the country is fully vaccinated, with just under 150 million doses administered.
With oxygen in short supply at medical facilities, patients are gasping for breath, and their families – overwhelmed by grief and helplessness – are running frantically to obtain oxygen themselves. This week, the U.S. sent supplies to the country, including rapid tests, N95 masks and oxygen cylinders.
On Saturday, 12 people, including a doctor, reportedly died at a hospital in India’s capital city after the facility ran out of medical oxygen. And in western India, 18 patients died and 31 others rescued in a fire in a COVID-19 hospital ward.
Also in the news:
►In countries that mark May 1 as International Labor Day, workers clamored Saturday for more labor protections and financial support in the midst of the pandemic that has impacted workplaces and economies.
►The World Health Organization gave the green light for emergency use to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. Many countries without their own advanced medical regulatory and assessment offices rely on the WHO listing to decide whether to use vaccines.
►Disneyland opened Friday morning for the first time in 412 days — the longest closure in the park’s 65-year history.
►Cruise lines are cheering word that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is committed to resuming sailings in the United States by mid-summer and tweaking some of the rules around resuming trips.
►Canada will get Pfizer vaccines doses from the United States starting next week. The country had been getting Pfizer’s vaccines from its Belgium site. Vaccinations have ramped up in Canada in recent months.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 32.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 576,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: Nearly 151.5 million cases and 3.18 million deaths. More than 308.7 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S. and 240.1 million have been administered, according to the CDC. More than 101.1 million Americans have been fully vaccinated.
📘 What we’re reading: Native American tribes have long struggled with high rates of diabetes. COVID-19 made the problem even more urgent.
An infection surge in Nepal has prompted the government to impose new lockdowns in major cities and towns, restricting the movement of people and vehicles and shuttering markets, offices and schools. Hospital beds were already scarce and medical resources stretched as the country entered the new wave trying to recover from an economic hit from a nearly four-month lockdown last year.
Nepal’s latest concern has been the 1,125-mile open border the Himalayan nation shares with India. Tens of thousands of Nepalese migrant workers have been returning to Nepal across this border as India’s health system breaks down. The government has ordered tests and quarantines for those arriving, but in practice many people slip through undetected and travel to their villages.
Nepal began a vaccination campaign in January with 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine donated by India, but it was suspended because of India’s refusal to allow exports as its domestic…