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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8:25 a.m. ET, April 30, 2021

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. 
Ground staff unload Covid-19 relief supplies sent from the US, at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, on April 30.  Prakash Singh/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

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."

7:56 a.m. ET, April 30, 2021

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

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

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. 

Watch:

3:45 a.m. ET, April 30, 2021

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

From Chie Kobayashi in Tokyo and Eric Cheung in Hong Kong

Pedestrians are seen at Shibuya crossing in Tokyo, Japan, on April 29.
Pedestrians are seen at Shibuya crossing in Tokyo, Japan, on April 29. Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

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.

2:14 a.m. ET, April 30, 2021

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

From CNN's Jessie Yeung, Clarissa Ward and Rishabh Pratap

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.
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. Anindito Mukherjee/Getty Images

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.

Read more here:

12:50 a.m. ET, April 30, 2021

Covid-19 cases surpass 150 million globally

There are now over 150 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

It comes less than 13 months after the World Health Organization officially declared the novel coronavirus outbreak had developed into a pandemic.

Despite rapid development of multiple vaccines for the virus and a number of countries bringing their Covid-19 infections under control, there are still hundreds of thousands of new cases every day.

According to Johns Hopkins, there were more than 905,000 new infections recorded globally on Wednesday alone.

To date, more than 3.1 million people have died from the coronavirus worldwide.

1:22 a.m. ET, April 30, 2021

People will likely need a booster shot about 9 to 12 months after their second dose of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, says company president

From CNN Health’s Lauren Mascarenhas

A medical staff member prepares a syringe with a vial of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at a pop up vaccine clinic in the Staten Island borough of New York City, on April 16.
A medical staff member prepares a syringe with a vial of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at a pop up vaccine clinic in the Staten Island borough of New York City, on April 16. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

People will likely need a booster about 9 to 12 months after their second dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, company president Stephen Hoge said Thursday.

“I think somewhere between 9 and 12 months after your vaccination series is when people will probably need a booster vaccine -- only while the pandemic is raging,” Hoge said during an event hosted on the social media platform Clubhouse. "That’s because we need to keep people as protected as possible, while there's this really high risk of infection.”

Hoge said that he hopes the boosters will not be necessary once the coronavirus pandemic is over. 

“My sense is that we all fear a winter epidemic, with respiratory viruses like influenza at the same time,” he said. “Giving a boost going into the fall is going to be the right thing. We’ve beaten back the pandemic. We need to stay ahead of it.”

Hoge noted the decision to recommend booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines will be up to public health officials, including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Co-administration with an influenza vaccine would be the ideal way to do it,” Hoge said. “One of the things we're going to look hard at over the summer this year, is how do we create data so that the CDC can provide that recommendation to healthcare systems so that it can be done as a single visit.”

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.