What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

FILE PHOTO: Relatives react as a healthcare worker pulls a stretcher carrying the body of a person, who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a mortuary, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ahmedabad, India, April 26, 2021. REUTERS/Amit Dave

New cases above 300,000 in India, army called in to help

India’s new coronavirus cases stayed above 300,000 for a sixth consecutive day on Tuesday, while its armed forces pledged urgent medical aid to help battle the staggering spike in infections.

The situation in the world’s second-most populous country is “beyond heartbreaking”, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

Aid from abroad to India

Gilead Sciences Inc will give India at least 450,000 vials of its COVID-19 drug remdesivir and donate active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to boost production, it said on Monday, as the country reels from surging COVID-19 cases.

Separately, some U.S. lawmakers and wealthy technology executives have joined forces to boost aid to India, with a focus on ensuring aid is equally distributed across the country, a U.S. Congress member said.

‘Full lockdown’ from April 29 in Turkey

Turks will be required to stay mostly at home under a nationwide “full lockdown” starting on Thursday and lasting until May 17 to curb a surge in coronavirus infections and deaths, President Tayyip Erdogan announced on Monday.

Announcing the new measures after a cabinet meeting, Erdogan said all intercity travel would require official approval, all schools would shut and move lessons online, and a strict capacity limit would be imposed for users of public transport.

Stricter shutdown in Thailand

Thailand’s government slapped restrictions on travel from India on Monday over concerns of imported coronavirus cases and closed more venues in Bangkok, even as it came under fire for not doing enough to contain a spike in infections.

The government has ordered parks, gyms, cinemas and day-care centres in its capital, the epicentre of the latest wave of infections, to shut from April 26 until May 9.

Quad vaccine pact for Asia ‘on track’

An agreement between the United States and three of its closest Indo-Pacific partners to produce up to a billion coronavirus vaccine doses in India by the end of 2022 to supply other Asian countries is “still on track,” senior U.S. officials said on Monday, despite a surge of COVID-19 in India.

A fact sheet issued after the countries held a virtual summit in March said the United States, through its International Development Finance Corp, would work to finance Indian drugmaker Biological E Ltd to produce at least 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of 2022.

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