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What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

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Oxygen supplies run low as India grapples with coronavirus 'storm'

Indian authorities scrambled to shore up supplies of medical oxygen to hospitals in the capital, Delhi, on Wednesday as a fast-spreading second wave of coronavirus stretched medical infrastructure to the breaking point, officials and doctors said.

Delhi's government issued a call for help on social media saying major government hospitals only had enough oxygen to last another eight to 24 hours, while some private ones had enough for just four or five hours.

The city of 20 million recorded 28,395 new Covid-19 cases and 277 deaths on Tuesday, its highest since the pandemic began. Every third person tested for coronavirus was found positive, the state government said.

State of emergency on table for Tokyo, Osaka regions -media
Japan's government is considering a state of emergency for Tokyo and Osaka as new Covid-19 case numbers surge, broadcaster NHK reported on Wednesday, a move that would enable prefectural authorities to impose curbs to try to stop infections spreading.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is preparing to request an emergency period be declared from April 29 to May 9, encompassing Japan's annual 'Golden Week' holiday period, the Mainichi newspaper reported.

The government of Kyoto prefecture in western Japan is also preparing to request an emergency declaration, the Jiji news service reported. If enacted in all four regions, the emergency measures would cover close to a quarter of Japan's population of 126 million.

Children expected to be included in Israel's 2nd vaccine round
Israel is planning a second round of COVID-19 vaccinations in six months, by which point it expects children to be approved by health regulators to receive jabs, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday.

Around 81% of Israeli citizens or residents over 16 - the age group eligible for the Pfizer vaccine in Israel - have received both doses in one of the world's fastest rollouts.
Inoculating children and young people is considered a critical step toward reaching herd immunity and taming the pandemic, according to many experts. Pfizer says its vaccine is safe, effective and produces robust antibody responses in 12- to 15-year-olds.

Return the favour: South Korea looks to U.S. for vaccine aid
South Korea's foreign minister said on Wednesday he hopes the United States will help Seoul address its Covid-19 vaccine shortage as a return in favour of test kits and masks it sent to Washington earlier in the pandemic.

The request comes as the South Korean government has come under fire from local media for not doing enough to secure enough vaccines early. It has inoculated just 3% of its population due to tight global supply and limited access.

Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong said the two countries were in talks and raised the potential contribution it can make to the global vaccine supply chain that the U.S. President Joe Biden is keen on.

Foreign residents in Japan travel aboard for vaccine shot
Japan's glacial Covid-19 inoculation push is prompting some foreign residents to consider flying to other countries to get vaccinated, as the pandemic surges again with no shots in sight for everyday people.

Japan only started vaccinating its sizable elderly population this month and health experts say it may take till the winter or longer for most of the general populace to get access to the shots.

It has vaccinated about 1% of its population, compared with 2.9% in South Korea, which started later, and at least 40% in both the United States and Britain, according to a Reuters tracker.
(Reuters)

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