India Reports Nearly 260K New COVID Cases in 24 Hours

India’s health ministry reported 259,591 new COVID-19 cases Friday in the previous 24 hours. The South Asian nation also reported more than 4,000 deaths.

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center says India has 26 million of the world’s 165.5 million cases. Only the United States has more cases, with 33 million.

Argentina starts a strict lockdown, beginning Saturday and ending on May 31.

“We are seeing the highest numbers of cases and deaths. We must take this critical situation seriously and not naturalize so much tragedy,” President Alberto Fernández said Thursday in a televised speech. Johns Hopkins reports that Argentina has 3.4 million COVID cases.

The top U.S. infectious disease expert told The Washington Post that he thinks the United States can avoid another surge of COVID cases. Dr. Anthony Fauci said that if the country reaches President Joe Biden’s goal of having 70% of adults vaccinated with at least one dose of a vaccine by July 4 that he does not foresee a “risk of a surge provided we continue to get people vaccinated at the rate we have now.”

Meanwhile, World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said earlier this week in the keynote address at the Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting: “The shocking global disparity in access to vaccines remains one of the biggest risks to ending the pandemic.”

“As President Ramaphosa [of South Africa] himself has said, we are now facing vaccine apartheid. High-income countries account for 15% of the world’s population, but have 45% of the world’s vaccines,” said Tedros.

“Low- and lower-middle countries account for almost half of the world’s population, but have received just 17% of the world’s vaccines,” the WHO chief said. “Even now, some high-income countries are moving to vaccinate children and adolescents, while health workers, older people and other at-risk groups around the world remain unvaccinated.”

Tedros said WHO is “working hard to address this disparity.”

Source: Voice of America