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What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

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India posts global daily cases record for second day
India recorded the world's highest daily tally of coronavirus cases for a second day in a row on Friday surpassing 330,000 new cases, while daily deaths from Covid-19 also jumped by a record 2,263.

The spike came as twelve people died in a fire at a Mumbai hospital treating Covid-19 patients in India on Friday. Health officials across northern and western India, including the capital, New Delhi, have said they are in crisis, with most hospitals full and running out of oxygen.

Mass cremations begin as Delhi faces deluge of deaths
People losing loved ones in New Delhi, where 306 people have died of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, are turning to makeshift facilities undertaking mass burials and cremations as crematoriums come under pressure.

"No one in Delhi would have ever witnessed such a scene. Children who were 5 years old, 15 years old, 25 years old are being cremated. Newlyweds are being cremated. It's difficult to watch," said a teary-eyed Jitender Singh Shunty who runs a non-profit medical service, at a makeshift, mass cremation facility in a parking lot adjoining a crematorium in Seemapuri, northeast Delhi.

'Short and powerful' states of emergency in Japan
Japan will declare "short and powerful" states of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka and two other prefectures, a cabinet minister said on Friday, as the country struggles to contain a resurgent pandemic just three months ahead of the Olympics.

Under a new state of emergency for April 25 to May 11, the government will require restaurants, bars, and karaoke parlours serving alcohol to close, and big sporting events to be held without spectators, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said.

Obese people may be granted early vaccine access in France
French Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Thursday the authorities were considering granting early access to Covid-19 vaccine to people suffering from obesity, adding that this should be put in place starting from mid-May.

During a news conference, he also said that from Monday people who lived with someone at higher Covid-19 risk category would also get access to vaccine.

UK vaccination studies find significant drop in infections
Covid-19 infections in adults of all ages fell by 65% after a first dose of AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine in UK research, which scientists said showed the real-world impact of the nation's immunisation campaign against the pandemic.

Crucially, the research was conducted at a time when a new and more infectious variant of the coronavirus, called B1.1.7, was dominant in Britain, but still found vaccination was just as effective in elderly people and those with underlying health conditions as it was in the young and healthy.

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