Coronavirus-related deaths worldwide crossed 3 million on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally, as the latest global resurgence of Covid-19 infections is challenging vaccination efforts across the globe. Worldwide Covid-19 deaths are rising once again, especially in Brazil and India. Health officials blame more infectious variants that were first detected in the United Kingdom and South Africa, along with public fatigue with lockdowns and other restrictions. According to a Reuters tally, it took more than a year for the global coronavirus death toll to reach 2 million. The next 1 million deaths were added in about three months. Brazil is leading the world in the daily average number of new deaths reported and accounts for one in every four deaths worldwide each day, according to a Reuters analysis. The World Health Organization acknowledged the nation’s dire condition due to coronavirus, saying the country is in a very critical condition with an overwhelmed healthcare system. “Indeed there is a very serious situation going on in Brazil right now, where we have a number of states in critical condition,” WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove told a briefing last Thursday, adding that many hospital intensive care units are more than 90 per cent full. India reported a record rise in Covid-19 infections on Monday, becoming the second nation after the United States to post more than 100,000 new cases in a day.
The European region, which includes 51 countries, has the highest total number of deaths at nearly 1.1 million. Five European countries including the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Italy and Germany constitute about 60 per cent of Europe’s total coronavirus-related deaths.
NZ agrees to open travel corridor with Australia New Zealand has agreed to open a quarantine-free travel corridor with Australia. The so-called travel bubble will open on April 19, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern said. It will restore unrestricted, two-way travel for the first time since the pandemic forced them to close international borders more than a year ago. EU denies blocking 3.1 million Astra shots The European Union on Tuesday denied blocking shipments of 3.1 million doses of AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine to Australia as it steps up scrutiny of vaccine shipments to address EU shortages. An Australian government source told Reuters that the EU had blocked 3.1 million shots and the country had little hope of getting the remaining 400,000 doses it has been promised on time.