Live Updates

April 30 coronavirus news

'Nothing short of an apocalypse': Indian doctor on Covid crisis
03:48

What you need to know

  • A spokesperson for India’s ruling party has accepted responsibility for the country’s Covid-19 crisis as crematoriums burn through the night to keep up with the death toll.
  • In Brazil, the death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic has reached more than 400,000, with 3,000 new deaths reported Thursday.
  • Meanwhile, the White House announced 100 million adults in the US are now fully vaccinated. Weekly deaths in the US have hit their lowest point so far in 2021, according to a CNN analysis, showing an 80% drop since January.

Our live coverage has ended for the day. Follow the latest on the pandemic here.

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How you can help India as it experiences the world's worst Covid-19 outbreak

India is experiencing the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak.

The country has had more than 17.6 million cases since the pandemic began last year. But experts fear the the real number could be up to 30 times higher.

Grieving families are struggling to keep themselves and their loved ones safe amid an overwhelmed health care system, and medical workers are stretched thin as some hospitals run out of oxygen and supplies.

The global community is rallying to help India push back against the pandemic, with countries around the world offering aid.

You can help, too. Learn about charities in the article below and click here to donate.

TOPSHOT - A health worker wearing a personal protective equipment (PPE) kit walks inside a banquet hall temporarily converted into a COVID-19 coronavirus ward in New Delhi on April 27, 2021. (Photo by Money SHARMA / AFP) (Photo by MONEY SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)

The coronavirus is ravaging India. Here's how you can help

National Security Council official briefed Biden on US response to India's Covid-19 surge

National Security Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, Kurt Campbell, said Friday that he briefed President Biden en route to Georgia Thursday about the administration’s response to the deadly Covid-19 surge in India, which includes rerouting filters for vaccine production from the United States to India. 

“I did have the opportunity to travel with the President to Georgia yesterday. On the flight down, someone came back – I was resting – passed me a note and said the President wants to be updated on what’s going on,” Campbell said at a press avail at Dulles Airport ahead of another shipment of US supplies to India. “I was able to give a sense of what USAID is doing, what it hopes to accomplish. He said, ‘great, stay with it, stay with it.’”

The Biden administration has been consulting “nonstop” with the Indian government on their priorities as the country grapples with a catastrophic coronavirus surge that has left its health care system on the brink of collapse, US Agency for International Development senior adviser Jeremy Konyndyk told CNN Thursday.

At Friday’s press avail, Konyndyk noted that the US is, “at the request of the Indian government, rerouting filters that are a critical component of vaccine production from the US production of AstraZeneca to the Indian company, Serum Institute of India.”

“This will enable a significant expansion of the vaccine production in India,” he said.

WHO lists Moderna Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use

Doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine are prepared at a vaccine clinic in New York, on April 16.

The World Health Organization listed the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use Friday.

This is the fifth coronavirus vaccine listed for emergency use by WHO. Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, the Serum Institute of India and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine arm have also received emergency use listing.

The WHO grants emergency use listing to vaccines that have passed quality, safety and efficacy assessments. The listing helps some countries expedite their individual regulatory approval process for Covid-19 vaccines. Before receiving WHO’s listing, Moderna’s vaccine had already received emergency use authorization in the US, Canada and several other countries.

Earlier in January, vaccine advisers to WHO reviewed the vaccine and recommended it for use in adults in interim recommendations.

WHO noted that the storage requirements of Moderna’s vaccine may eliminate the need for extra equipment. It can be kept unopened at normal refrigerator temperatures for a month, and Moderna said Thursday that data suggests its vaccine can be refrigerated for three months in 2-8°C temperatures. 

“Vials can be stored refrigerated at 2–8 °C for up to 30 days prior to withdrawal of the first dose, meaning that ultra-cold chain equipment may not always be necessary to deploy the vaccine,” WHO said in a statement.

Official: Biden administration hasn't determined criteria for allocating its vaccines to other countries yet

The Biden administration has not yet determined the criteria for allocating its vaccines to other countries, a top State Department official handling coronavirus efforts said Friday.

Gayle Smith, the coordinator for global Covid response and health security, said on a call with reporters that “there is huge demand for vaccine all over the world.”

“I think we certainly will be making a decision based on what impact we can have on the spread of the virus, where needs are most acute and what will be the most effective,” she said.

Asked by CNN if the administration has concerns about China and Russia outpacing the United States in terms of global vaccine distribution, Smith suggested that the US was not trying to use its vaccines for political gain.

“Both China and Russia are actively encouraging countries to buy their vaccines,” she said. “I think frankly, we expect them to market their vaccines. I can tell you that, from the United States’ point of view, our intent is not to market or encourage vaccines based on any political policy but because they’re the best means of ending a pandemic.”

“I think our big concern is that COVAX and other facilities that have been built to really get vaccines out there at scale are able to do so in the near term, our contributions to COVAX are a part of that plan. So again, our big hope is that we can have safe and efficacious vaccines out there at scale, as quickly as possible,” Smith said.

COVAX is run by a coalition that includes WHO and the Vaccine Alliance known as Gavi. It’s funded by donations from governments, multilateral institutions and foundations.

Its mission is to buy coronavirus vaccines in bulk and send them to poorer nations that can’t compete with wealthy countries in securing contracts with the major drug companies.

WHO chief scientist says equitable vaccine access is "still far away"

World Health Organization Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan attends a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2020.

The World Health Organization is still far away from its goal of equitable vaccine access, and supplies sent to COVAX “are not as much as we would like,” according to the World Health Organization’s Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan.

During a panel discussion hosted by Physicians for Human Rights Friday, Swaminathan said that the issue has been that the supply of vaccines was all pre-booked by a handful of countries. She said WHO hoped contributions would improve in the second half of the year.

COVAX is run by a coalition that includes WHO and the Vaccine Alliance known as Gavi. It’s funded by donations from governments, multilateral institutions and foundations. Its mission is to buy coronavirus vaccines in bulk and send them to poorer nations that can’t compete with wealthy countries in securing contracts with the major drug companies.

But while COVAX is trying to address the issue of access, access to vaccines remains inequitable. Of the 1 billion vaccine doses administered worldwide, 80% have been in high and upper middle income countries, Swaminathan said.

“About one in four or one in five people in high income countries across Europe, across North America have gotten some vaccine. For low income countries, it’s less than one in 100,” Swaminathan told the panel.

“If we had distributed the 1 billion doses around the world, we could have protected the highest risk groups in every country,” she said.

Vaccines created false sense of security worldwide, WHO chief scientist says

A nurse prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine in Quimper, France, on April 30.

The safety and availability of Covid-19 vaccines created a false sense of security worldwide that the pandemic was ending, according to World Health Organization’s Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan.

“I think vaccines did create a false sense of security, to the extent that people around the world, even in countries that were not significantly vaccinating, thought that now the end of the pandemic had come because just because we had developed a number of vaccines and that they were proven to be safe and effective,” Swaminathan said in a panel discussion hosted by Physicians for Human Rights Friday.

Swaminathan said “vaccine euphoria,” or the collective relief that Covid-19 vaccines were effective and rolling out, has led countries with small vaccinated populations to reopen and loosen restrictions.

“You relax your restrictions without having that herd immunity in the population, cases go up, deaths go up. So I think it’s going to take us a while to vaccinate 70, 80% of the world’s population. Until then, unfortunately, all of us will have to continue to be careful,” she said.

More than 100 million people are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in the US, CDC data shows

A healthcare worker administers the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at the American Museum of Natural History vaccination site in New York, on Friday, April 30.

The United States has officially crossed the 100 million mark of people who are fully vaccinated, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Biden administration announced the country had reached the milestone during the White House Covid-19 briefing on Friday.

The CDC reported Friday that 240,159,677 total doses have been administered and 77.8% of the 308,774,155 total doses have been delivered. 

That’s about 2.8 million more doses reported administered since Thursday, for a seven-day average of about 2.5 million doses per day. 

About 43.6% of the population – nearly 145 million people – have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 30.5% of the population – more than 101 million people – are fully vaccinated, CDC data shows. 

Note: Data published by the CDC may be delayed, and doses may not have been given on the day reported.

US travelers will be required to wear a mask until September

Passengers wearing protective masks masks board an Avelo Airlines flight at Hollywood Burbank Airport on Wednesday, April 28, in Burbank, California.

The Transportation Security Administration is extending the Biden-era transportation mask mandate. 

The rule requiring masks on all travelers in airports, airplanes, terminals, trains, buses and boats was set to expire May 11. The mandate now lasts until Sept. 13. 

The TSA says it has received reports of 2,000 people who violated the rule, which took hold Feb. 2. 

Canada confirms future deliveries of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine will come from US instead of Europe 

Canada confirmed Friday that future deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine will come from the United States, instead of Europe, signaling that the company may now be manufacturing a sufficient supply of its vaccine for the US.

Canadian officials said Friday that Pfizer is on track to significantly increase vaccine supply to Canada in the coming weeks with at least 2 million doses being delivered every week for the next two months.

“As of May 3rd the Canadian supply of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine will come from its manufacturing site in Kalamazoo, Michigan,” said Anita Anand, Canada’s minister in charge of vaccine procurement, during a news conference Friday. 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a news conference Friday that at least 50 million doses in total will have arrived in Canada by the end of June, enough to give 2 doses to about 75% of Canadian adults. The number of doses that are expected to be delivered in Canada over the next month will nearly equal the total number delivered in the last 5 months. 

Despite accelerated deliveries and distribution, public health officials say it’s “too early to celebrate” and vaccines will do little to help provinces currently struggling to stem infections during a tough third wave of the pandemic. 

“Unfortunately, the number of people experiencing severe and critical illness continues to rise,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer. 

Worrying increases in intensive care unit admissions have been a reality in many provinces this week including in the provinces of Ontario and Alberta. 

Alberta set a pandemic record this week for new, daily Covid-19 cases and intensive care admissions were also at pandemic highs. 

The province announced tighter restrictions Thursday and said it was considering a curfew. 

Ontario also continues to struggle with hospital capacity, setting a record earlier this week for critical care patients and new, daily case counts seem to have plateaued at a very high level. 

Federal officials say the news on vaccines is good, but restrictions on social gatherings, stay-at-home orders and business closures will be necessary for weeks to come. 

“We need to be laser focused on two main things for community transmission in Canada, it’s keeping up with the public health measures and vaccinating as many Canadians as possible, that’s it, simple,” said Canada’s Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo. 

This is what it's like trying to get oxygen in India

As India’s Covid-19 crisis spreads, oxygen has become one of the scarcest commodities.

In New Delhi, CNN’s Clarissa Ward met with people waiting for hours to get oxygen for their family members. It is in such short supply that the line went around the block. Some people told CNN they’re been waiting for 25 hours and still have not received oxygen.

Some people are taking shifts waiting in line. Once they get to the front of the line, there is absolutely no guarantee that they’ll be able to get any oxygen because the demand is so high, and the supply is so low.

One 22-year-old told CNN he’s been waiting for five hours to get oxygen for his sick grandparents. He said, if he can’t get any oxygen, he’ll have faith on God. “It’s a very hard situation for everyone who is facing this Covid-19 situation,” he said. “I’m trying to be calm here because I’ve been waiting since 9 and this line is not even moving.”

Volunteers gave water to people standing in line. “It’s the first time I’ve seen this situation in my lifetime,” said one volunteer. “This makes us very upset.”

India’s government says it’s trying to address this problem. It has started a program called Oxygen Express, trying to deploy liquid oxygen on India’s railways to cities that need it the most. New Delhi is not seeing the impact of those efforts yet.

On the ground, Ward said she is seeing a growing sense of anger, frustration and desperation. International aid began arriving on Tuesday, with countries around the world sending oxygen cylinders, ventilators, medication and other essential supplies. But these supplies need time to be distributed and oxygen plants need to be built. For some of the hardest-hit cities, such as New Delhi, the lack of immediate help and accessible resources means the bodies will keep piling up until assistance arrives. 

India takes China up on its offer to help New Delhi with Covid-19 crisis

Indian and Chinese foreign ministers held a call on Friday and agreed to keep supply chains and cargo flights open to ensure steady flow of materials and logistical support into India to combat the second wave of Covid-19 in the South Asian country, the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement. 

India’s foreign minister S. Jaishankar during a conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi emphasized the need for transport corridors and cargo flights for Indian entities to procure products from China. 

Chinese leaders had repeatedly expressed a desire to help, pledging to “offer support and assistance to the best of our capability if the Indian side informs us of its specific needs.” 

New Delhi, however, had until now not taken Beijing up on this offer. 

“The Minister emphasized that serious challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic, which had affected all countries, required serious international cooperation,” read the Indian foreign ministry statement from Friday. 

China has assured India that any chartered flights into their country to collect goods would be welcome and “airports, customs and airlines would also be instructed to smoothly facilitate movement of goods.” 

“Highlighted the importance of supply chains and air flights being kept open in these circumstances. Welcomed his assurances in that regard, as also more openness to Indian chartered flights,” Jaishankar said in a tweet Friday following the call. 

India was one of the first nations to send medical supplies to the Chinese city of Wuhan after the initial coronavirus outbreak there in late 2019. 

But since then, bilateral relations have deteriorated rapidly, due in large part to tensions along a shared border high in the Himalayas. 

China on Tuesday chaired a meeting with leaders from South Asia on Tuesday to coordinate assistance against the pandemic in the region. Leaders from India were invited but did not attend the call.  

Biden administration expected to restrict travel from India starting Tuesday

An Air India plane prepares to land at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, India, on December 6, 2020.

A White House official tells CNN that on the advice of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Biden administration will restrict travel from India starting on May 4. 

The policy will take effect on Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. ET.

The administration will issue a 212(f) order restricting entry into the US for foreign nationals who have been in India within the previous 14 days, a source familiar with the move said.

Airlines have been told of the decision, the source added.

The White House informed congressional offices today of the move, which will not apply to US citizens or permanent residents.

New York City indoor dining will expand to 75% capacity in early May

New York City indoor dining capacity will expand to 75% beginning May 7, the governor said Friday, detailing a swath of other measures easing restrictions further signaling the state is making progress in its fight against Covid-19.

The move brings New York City up to par with other areas across the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Gyms and fitness centers in New York City will also expand to 50% capacity beginning May 15, Gov. Cuomo added.

Statewide, hair salons, barber shops and other personal care services can expand to 75% beginning May 7.

The governor is rescinding the executive order that established the states “micro-cluster zone” strategy – requiring limitations in certain zip codes amid spikes – as he says the state has made great progress against the virus.

July 1 is a “reasonable target” for US reopening, CDC director says

People dine outside in New York on April 28.

A July 1 Covid-19 reopening plan — like one set out by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday, which targets reopening “100%” by then — is a “reasonable target” given falling cases and rising vaccination rates, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director said Friday. 

“We are focused on getting people vaccinated, decreasing the case rates,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a White House Covid-19 press briefing. “If we can continue at this pace, case rates are coming down, vaccinations going up, then I think July one would be a reasonable target.”

But Walensky was cautious about making specific predictions about what reopening could look like, saying “the virus has tricked us before.”

“We’ve had three updated guidances of what you can do if you’re fully vaccinated and we look forward to more as more and more people get vaccinated,” she said. “This virus has tricked us before. So I would like to sort of watch and see how it goes before making further estimations of what happens in a couple of months.”

Brazil's health minister asks countries with extra vaccine doses to share them

Workers unload a 1 million-dose shipment of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 29.

Brazil’s Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga has asked countries that have extra Covid-19 vaccine doses to share them with Brazil “as soon as possible.”

“We reiterate our call to those who have extra doses of vaccines so that they can share them with Brazil as soon as possible to allow us to succeed in advancing our broad vaccination campaign to contain the critical phase of the pandemic and avoid the proliferation of new strains and variants of the virus,” said Queiroga during a virtual World Health Organization press conference.

Queiroga also nodded to China, the main supplier of Active Pharmaceutical Input (IFA) of the vaccines that have been used in Brazil. “We count on the fundamental cooperation of the People’s Republic of China,” he said. 

Brazil has faced difficulties in importing the IFA from Chinese factories that produce the CoronaVac and AstraZeneca vaccines in March and April. So far, they are the only ones being used in Brazil´s vaccination campaign. A 1 million-dose batch of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccines arrived on Thursday in Brazil and is expected to be applied over the next few days.

Only about 6% of Brazil’s 210 million people have been fully vaccinated, according to the country’s health ministry — a rate that lags some neighboring countries like Chile and Uruguay, even as Brazil’s outbreak is one of the worst in the world.

Despite the slow vaccine rollout, Queiroga said he expects that the Brazilian population will be “fully vaccinated” by the end of the year.

Germany could decide on easing of Covid-19 restrictions for vaccinated people next week

The German government could make a decision “by the end of next week” on how to lift Covid-19 restrictions for people who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from an infection, Health Minister Jens Spahn said Friday. 

“This can be done within days,” Spahn told reporters while visiting a new BioNTech vaccine factory in Reinbeck in Germany’s state of Schleswig-Holstein. 

Spahn said that preliminary talks with Germany’s lower house of parliament and the upper house of parliament about a proposal on easing restrictions are underway.

“Initial talks are being held – and if we reach a consensus very quickly in the process, then it will certainly be possible to reach a corresponding decision by the end of next week,” he went on to say. 

Crucial to this decision would be the willingness of all parties to agree on a proposal. “We as the federal government are ready for this,” he added.

Earlier on Friday, German chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesperson Steffen Seibert told reporters that the government wanted to implement an easing of restrictions “with great pressure and great ambition on timing.”

Germany’s Federal Justice Ministry proposed granting exemptions to those who have had their Covid-19 vaccines or recovered from Covid-19, for example on private gatherings and the country’s night-time curfew, which was introduced last Saturday in areas with high infection rates to curb the spread of the virus. 

As of Friday, nearly 27% of Germans have received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine – and nearly 8% received a second dose of a vaccine, the latest data from the country’s agency for disease control prevention, the Robert Koch Institute shows. 

Health minister Jens Spahn on Friday tweeted: ”Over 2 million vaccinations have been administered in the last two days”, adding “there are only four other countries in the whole world that have vaccinated more than a million people a day.”

Spahn also said he was pleased that German vaccine manufacturer BionNTech is seeking approval from the EU’s medical regulator EMA to use the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children and teens aged 12 to 15.

France to open Covid-19 vaccination to all adults starting June 15

People wait to receive a Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Nice, France, on April 10.

Covid-19 vaccines will be available to all adults in France starting on June 15, French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Friday.

“You are 18 years of age or over: see you on June 15 to be vaccinated,” Macron announced on Twitter. 

Macron also said that from May 15, everyone aged 50 and over will have access to the vaccine.

Earlier on Friday, French Health Minister Olivier Veran told France Info TV that starting Saturday, vaccinations will be available to people between the ages of 18 to 55 who have chronic illnesses.  

He said that meant an extra 4 million people would now have access to the vaccine

About 2% of India's population is fully vaccinated, health ministry says

People line up to receive a Covid-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination center in Mumbai, India on April 29.

India has fully vaccinated more than 26 million people, which is just over 2% of its population of 1.3 billion, according to a statement from the Indian health ministry released Thursday.  

The country has administered more than 152 million doses of vaccines against Covid-19 since starting its nationwide vaccination campaign on Jan. 16, the ministry data showed. Out of the total shots, the second doses account for nearly 17.5%. 

Despite administering the most number of coronavirus vaccines in the world after China and the United States, India ranks much lower in per capita vaccination, according to CNN data. 

The country started its vaccination program in January for health care workers and priority groups, with the goal of fully inoculating 300 million people by August. 

As new daily cases accelerated in March and April, several states began reporting major vaccine shortages. 

The central government announced last week that those aged 18 or older will be eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine starting May 1 but several states including Maharashtra and Delhi have announced that they do not have vaccine supply for the new drive. 

100 million people in the US are fully vaccinated, White House will announce

People stand in line outside a coronavirus mass vaccination site in Hagerstown, Maryland, on April 7.

The White House will announce a new milestone soon: 100 million adults in the US are now fully vaccinated, according to a White House official. 

President Biden’s coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients will announce during a briefing with reporters shortly that the US is expected to hit 100 million at some point today.

The news comes as CNN reported that Biden’s coronavirus advisers are moving into the next phase of their response, from ramping up availability to reaching those who have not yet gotten their shot. 

White House officials have three overarching goals for the next 100 days:

  • Increasing accessibility
  • Combating misinformation
  • Assisting those without the resources to get vaccinated

Anger and desperation grows as some wait overnight to get oxygen for sick loved ones in Delhi

Some Indians have been desperately waiting in line for hours or even overnight to obtain oxygen for loved ones suffering from Covid-19, CNN’s Clarissa Ward reported from New Delhi. 

“People are taking shifts, taking turns to wait in this long line. … Once you get to the front of the line — and I have to tell you, the line does not move quickly — there’s absolutely no guarantee even that you’re going to be able to get any oxygen, because the demand is so huge,” Ward reported. 

The country has started a program to try to deploy liquid oxygen via railways to cities that need it most, according to Ward.

Many have been critical of the government response to Covid-19. 

“There’s a lot of anger as well, because just a few months ago … this country’s leadership was basically doing a victory lap saying that essentially Covid had been defeated,” Ward said. 

Huge political rallies, weddings, cricket matches and pilgrimages were allowed to take place.

“A lot of people here feel that was completely irresponsible and that the steps weren’t taken that needed to be taken, such as ensuring there were more hospital beds, ensuring there was enough oxygen concentrate, ensuring there’s enough remdesivir, ensuring there are enough vaccines,” she added.

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Argentina extends current coronavirus restrictions until May 21

A worker puts away chairs as he closes a bar in Buenos Aires, Argentina, amid Covid-19 restrictions, on April 16.

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández announced the coronavirus measures currently in place in the country will be extended until May 21. 

Fernández said even though the exponential growth of Covid-19 cases in the ​​Buenos Aires metropolitan area has been contained, the situation is still “critical.” 

“The epidemiological situation in the metropolitan area of ​​Buenos Aires is critical and we have other areas with high sanitary tension, we need a more marked and sustained reduction in cases due to the infections that we already had and those that currently exist,” Fernández said in a televised address Friday.

“The next few weeks can be tough when it comes to therapy beds occupancy. For this reason, we must continue with the measures to ensure that everyone can access the health care they need and deserve,” he said. 

Some of the measures that are currently in place across the country include a ban on social gatherings of more than 10 people, the suspension of tourist and student group travels and the suspension of work attendance for people at higher risk of contracting the virus. 

Turkey grants emergency use authorization for Russia's Sputnik V vaccine 

People wait in line to receive a dose of Covid-19 vaccine at Ankara City Hospital in Ankara, Turkey on April 14.

Turkey granted emergency use authorization for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine on Friday, according to Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. 

“Turkey’s Medicines and Medical Devices Agency approved the emergency use of the Sputnik V vaccine after examination and evaluation,” Koca wrote on his Twitter account. “With this, the Sputnik V vaccine becomes the third vaccine available for use in our country,” he said. 

On Wednesday, Koca said he expects difficulty in vaccine procurement over the next two months.    

Turkey has administered 22,808,726 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, according to the Health Ministry Covid-19 vaccine dashboard on Friday. So far, 13,708, 098 people have received both doses, according to the ministry.   

Turkey has so far relied primarily on China’s Biotech Sinovac with smaller batches of Pfizer/BioNTech for its vaccine campaign.   

Turkey went into lockdown on Thursday for the remainder of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the following Eid al Fitr holiday.    

UK rave experiment without masks or social distancing will test how events may be able to reopen

British music fans will gather by the thousands on Friday at a live music event without face masks or social distancing, as part of the government’s Events Research Program (ERP). 

The event will provide scientific data to help officials determine how nightclubs and events might return to the UK this summer, according to a government notice 

The “First Dance” event will be hosted in a specially converted warehouse near the docks in the northern English city of Liverpool and will feature live music acts including Fatboy Slim and Jayda G, according to the city council.

Those living in the area can apply for tickets online and would need a negative result to enter the event. Partiers are advised to take another test five days after the event.

Normal coronavirus restrictions, like social distancing, will apply to attendees until they enter the event. While England has eased some restrictions – including allowing outdoor dining from April 12 – large indoor events are still banned.

Yousef Zahar – a DJ and founder of the nightclub hosting the event – said he couldn’t wait to see the dance floor erupt for the first time after nightclubs were closed fourteen months ago. 

Speaking on BBC radio Friday morning, Zahar said the event was going to be “monumental” and the response on social media had been encouraging.

“The overwhelming reaction is disbelief, people are really excited that they can come and have a dance,” Zahar said.

The city’s Director of Culture, Claire McColgan, said, “This hasn’t been an easy process, and it’s particularly hard as the night time sector hasn’t been open for over a year,” according to a statement from Liverpool council.

The experiment will see revelers enjoy an outdoor music event at Sefton Park in Liverpool on Sunday, with The BRIT Awards, London also welcoming a live audience to its annual UK music industry awards show on May11.

India invokes special provisions for the armed forces to combat Covid-19 crisis

The Indian government has invoked special provisions and granted emergency financial powers to the Armed Forces to combat the second wave of Covid-19 in the country, the country’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh announced on Twitter Friday.   

“These powers will help Formation Commanders to establish and operate quarantine facilities/ hospitals and to undertake procurement/ repair of eqpt/ items/ material/ stores, besides provisioning of various services and works required to support the ongoing effort against COVID,” he wrote.  India recorded 386,452 Covid-19 cases on Friday, another record daily rise of cases, according to a CNN tally of figures from the Indian Ministry of Health. 

This is the ninth day in a row the country has added more than 300,000 cases a day, bringing the total number to 18,762,976. 

The first US Covid-19 relief supply arrives in India

Ground staff unload Covid-19 relief supplies sent from the US, at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, on April 30. 

The first US plane carrying shipments of Covid-19 aid to India landed in Delhi this morning.

India is battling a deepening coronavirus crisis: 379,257 new cases were reported on Thursday, a new global record, according to figures released by the country’s health ministry. The country also reported 3,645 deaths, the highest number of Covid-19 deaths the country has reported in a single day. Even more deaths and cases may be going unreported.

Those US aid shipments — the first by the Biden administration — left Travis Air Force Base in California aboard a US Air Force aircraft on Wednesday. Another shipment will leave Travis Air Force Base on Friday with PPE, oxygen, test kits, masks.

Jeremy Konyndyk, the senior advisor coordinating agency-wide Covid-19 efforts at the United States Agency for International Development, told CNN Thursday that the shipment of supplies on its way to India “has been developed really closely in coordination with them.”

Earlier in the week, US President Joe Biden pledged to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the United States would provide “a range of emergency assistance, including oxygen-related supplies, vaccine materials, and therapeutics.”

India Covid-19 ICU chief: "What we are seeing is nothing short of an apocalypse"

An intensive care unit chief in India said the devastating coronavirus wave in the country is “nothing short of an apocalypse.” 

“We’ve had patients being rushed in, almost wards getting filled up overnight, 90 patients in less than 12 hours. The problem with this virus is the second wave is extremely contagious, extremely aggressive, and it is affecting the younger population in a significantly different way that we had not expected,” said Dr. Farah Husain, head of the Covid-19 ICU unit at Lok Nayak Hospital in Delhi.

“We are feeling very, very tired. And the fact that we’ve not able to control the numbers is something which is extremely shocking for us,” she told CNN’s John Berman. 

Husain said that the health care system has been overwhelmed, and many were not expecting the crush of the second wave. 

“It’s like … Covid is there in every house,” Husain said. 

She encouraged people to get vaccinated when they can to prevent severe sickness and hospitalization. 

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Japan reports highest number of Covid-19 cases since late January

Pedestrians are seen at Shibuya crossing in Tokyo, Japan, on April 29.

Japan reported 5,795 Covid-19 cases Thursday, the highest number of cases since late January, according to the country’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Osaka, the second largest city in Japan, reported 44 new deaths, the most deaths in a single day for the area since the beginning of the pandemic, local authorities said.

Up to 98.2% of hospital beds for patients with serious symptoms in Osaka have been occupied, the local government said.

The city reported a total of 1,172 cases, while Tokyo reported 1,027 cases, local governments reported. As of Thursday, Japan has so far confirmed a total of 580,988 Covid-19 cases, according to the ministry.

As India's crematoriums overflow with Covid victims, pyres burn through the night

Workers can be seen at a crematorium where multiple funeral pyres are burning for patients who lost their lives to Covid-19 in New Delhi, India, on April 29.

Flames crackle over the wails and prayers of grieving families as they mourn loved ones laid on funeral pyres that burn through the night in New Delhi.

As India’s second wave of coronavirus sweeps through the country, bodies are piling up faster than workers can cremate them or build new pyres.

“Before the pandemic, we used to cremate eight to 10 people (daily),” said Jitender Singh Shunty, head of the Seemapuri crematorium in eastern New Delhi. “Now, we are cremating 100 to 120 a day.”

Demand is so high that Seemapuri crematorium has expanded into its parking lot, where dozens of workers construct new cremation platforms from bricks and mortar. There is so little space and so many bodies that families have to get a ticket and wait in line for their turn.

So many fires have been lit in New Delhi that wood stocks are running low.

On Tuesday, Jai Prakash, the mayor of North Delhi, wrote a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, asking that the forest department provide a steady supply.

In the meantime, families are having to pay for the wood to burn their relatives’ bodies. Many see no choice, as they jockey for space at crowded crematoriums.

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Seemapuri Crematorium in eastern New Delhi - drone stills from CNN PJ Ajay Vedi - to be used in AC360 PKG and by HK Digital

As India's crematoriums overflow with Covid victims, pyres burning through the night