April 30 coronavirus news

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Ben Westcott and Kara Fox, CNN

Updated 4:35 PM ET, Sat May 1, 2021
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12:40 a.m. ET, April 30, 2021

Covid-19 deaths top 400,000 in Brazil as daily death tolls remain in the thousands

From Rodrigo Pedroso in São Paulo

Aerial view of graves of Covid-19 victims at the Nossa Senhora Aparecida cemetery in Manaus, Amazon state, Brazil, on April 15
Aerial view of graves of Covid-19 victims at the Nossa Senhora Aparecida cemetery in Manaus, Amazon state, Brazil, on April 15 Michael Dantas/AFP/Getty Images

Brazil has now surpassed 400,000 deaths from coronavirus. The country's health ministry reported more than 3,000 new Covid-19 deaths Thursday, raising the total number of deaths recorded during the pandemic to 401,186.

Brazil is the second country worldwide to officially pass that grim milestone, following the United States, which is nearing 575,000 deaths.

The South American country's death toll rapidly increased after the Christmas and New Year holidays – when people often travel during school and company summer breaks – turning 2021 into the most severe period in Brazil’s outbreak since the novel coronavirus reached the country in March 2020.

"With sadness all around, Brazil today registers 400,000 victims of Covid-19,” Carlos Lula, president of the Nacional Council of Health Secretaries, said in a statement.

“The number reflects the pain of families that lost parents, grandparents, children and siblings in a fast, violent and often lonely way. It also reflects mismanagement and the lack of centralized coordination at the federal level.”

As the Covid-19 death toll has risen in Brazil, where far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has resisted lockdowns and overseen an often slow and bumpy vaccine rollout, young people are making up a greater share of deaths as older Brazilians are among the few to have secured a vaccine. 

Fiocruz, a Brazilian public health research institute, recently reported that patients between the ages of 20 to 29 had the most pronounced increase in Covid-19 deaths among all adults between early January and mid-April this year.

Data from the first full epidemiological week of January compared to the second week of April showed that deaths among Covid-19 patients in that age group grew 1,081%.

In the meantime, Brazil's vaccination campaign is running at a slow pace, with about 6% of its 210 million people fully vaccinated. Several state capitals halted vaccinations this week due to a shortage of Coronavac, one of four approved vaccines in Brazil.

12:04 a.m. ET, April 30, 2021

“Responsibility is ours,” spokesman of India’s ruling party says about the Covid-19 crisis

From CNN’s Emmet Lyons and Henry Hullah

The responsibility for the devastating second wave that is sweeping India belongs “first and foremost” to the government but the situation could not have been foreseen, according to Narendra Taneja, a spokesperson for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

“We are in power, we are the government in India so of course responsibility is first and foremost ours, good or bad, whatever it is," Taneja told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. "It is our responsibility and we’re trying our very level best."

“A lot of people are saying that… we knew in February. At that time, scientists and doctors were more or less of the same view,” he said.  

“Evidently something went wrong, evidently we were hit by a tsunami, and as you know, you’re often not aware. In most cases 80-90% reasons could be external. We don’t know. We don’t want to blame anybody. We know we’re in power, we are responsible.. our focus is now on how we can save lives.” 

Indian Prime Minister Modi and the BJP have come under fire for holding several mass rallies in the eastern West Bengal state with thousands in attendance between March and April ahead of state elections. Thursday was the last day of voting and polls have now closed in West Bengal. 

When pressed by Amanpour as to why his party continued to hold such events as cases rose, Taneja pushed back and said the “autonomous” Election Commission of India was responsible for allowing elections events to continue to take place over a one and a half month period.

9:26 a.m. ET, April 30, 2021

Weekly deaths in the US hit their lowest point so far in 2021, CNN analysis finds

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

The seven-day average of new Covid-19 deaths in the United States is around 684 newly reported lives lost each day as of Wednesday, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. The seven-day average reported on Tuesday was about 667 new Covid-19 deaths per day. 

It's the lowest seven-day average daily death rate since last October, a CNN analysis of Johns Hopkins University data finds, and an 80% drop since January.

CNN's analysis finds that the average of new Covid-19 deaths in the last seven days fell from 3,295 each day on January 28 to 1,985 on February 28, then to 997 on March 28. By April 28, the average was 684.

But January 28 wasn't even the peak for seven-day averages of new deaths this year. The highest seven-day averages of new Covid-19 deaths were recorded on January 13 and 14, at around 3,431 deaths a day.

The plunge from 3,431 deaths a day on average in January to 684 in April represents a drop of 80%. 

The last time the seven-day average of newly reported deaths fell below 700 was briefly in early October.

Since the beginning of 2021, the seven-day average number of people who died of Covid-19 appears to have regularly decreased, according to Johns Hopkins University data.