Covid-19 has killed more than 3M people and infected over 147M others globally. Here are all the coronavirus-related developments for April 25:

Health workers wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) gears help a patient inside an ambulance at a recovery centre to treat Covid-19 coronavirus patients, in Mumbai on April 22, 2021.
Health workers wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) gears help a patient inside an ambulance at a recovery centre to treat Covid-19 coronavirus patients, in Mumbai on April 22, 2021. (AFP)

Sunday, April 25:

US to send virus-hit India Covid supplies 'immediately'

The United States will "immediately" make supplies of material to make vaccines, as well as therapeutics, tests, ventilators and protective equipment available to India, facing a Covid-19 surge, the White House has said.

"The United States has identified sources of specific raw material urgently required for Indian manufacture of the Covishield vaccine that will immediately be made available for India," a White House statement said.

It listed other initiatives Washington is taking to help India battle its surge, but did not mention sending surplus AstraZeneca vaccine, as a backlash grows over the fate of the US stockpile of some 30 million doses which have not been approved for use.

France to provide oxygen assistance to India

France plans to assist India with oxygen capacity in the coming days to help the country cope with a record surge in Covid-19 infections, the French presidency has said.

The assistance is to include badly needed oxygen respirators, a source with knowledge of the plans told AFP without providing further details.

Indian variant detected in Greece

Greece has become the latest European nation to detect a case of the Covid-19 variant that has helped drive an explosion in infections in India, authorities have said.

The country's public health agency said in a statement that the virus strain was detected in a foreign woman aged 33 who lives in the Athens area and had travelled to Dubai on April 4.

Switzerland on Saturday reported having detected its first case of the Indian variant.

Belgian authorities on Thursday said a group of 20 Indian nursing students who arrived from Paris had tested positive for the variant in the country.

Turkey reports less than 40,000 new cases

Amid a slowdown in daily coronavirus cases, Turkey has reported over 38,000 new infections, down from over 40,000 a day earlier, the Health Ministry said.

A total of 38,553 cases, including 2,801 symptomatic patients, were confirmed, the data showed. The country recorded less than 40,000 cases for the first time since March 31.

Turkey's overall case tally is over 4.62 million, while the nationwide death toll reached 38,358 with 347 more fatalities over the past day.

Bangladesh halts administering 1st dose of Covid jabs

Bangladesh has decided to suspend administering the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine amid uncertainty over the timely arrival of shipments from India, an official said.

“The inoculation of the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine will remain suspended from Monday until further notice," Md Shamsul Haque, an official at the Covid-19 Vaccine Management Task force Committee, told Anadolu Agency.

He said the decision was taken due to a stock shortage of the vaccine, but the administration of the second dose will continue as planned. 

The South Asian country has an agreement with the Serum Institute of India for 30 million doses – 5 million jabs every month from January to June 2021. It has paid for 15 million jabs, but received only 7 million so far. Besides, New Delhi has gifted Dhaka 3 million doses.

India has diverted vaccine supplies for domestic consumption amid a record rise in coronavirus infections and deaths, leading to shortages of oxygen, life-saving drugs and hospital beds.

With 2,922 new Covid-19 cases and 101 related deaths, the overall caseload in the country of 165 million has reached 745,322 including 11,053 deaths.

It began its vaccination drive in February.

UK says cases down 4.6 percent in past week

Britain has reported 1,712 new cases of Covid-19, government data showed, meaning there were 17,063 new cases between April 19 and 25, a fall of 4.6 percent compared with the previous seven days.

A further 11 people were reported as having died within 28 days of a positive test for Covid-19, taking the seven-day decrease to 12.6 percent.

A total of 33.67 million people had received a first dose of a vaccine against coronavirus and 12.59 million people had received a second dose.

Italy reports 217 deaths, 13,158 new cases 

Italy has reported 217coronavirus-related deaths against 322 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 13,158 from 13,817.

Italy has registered 119,238 deaths linked to Covid-19 since its outbreak last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the seventh-highest in the world.

The country has reported 3.96 million cases to date.

Patients in hospital with Covid-19 - not including those in intensive care - stood at 20,662 on Sunday, almost unchanged from 20,971 a day earlier.

UK sending 'vital medical equipment' to India 

Britain has said that it was sending life-saving medical equipment to India, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators, as the country reels from record numbers of daily Covid-19 infections and deaths.

"Vital medical equipment, including hundreds of oxygen concentrators and ventilators, is now on its way from the UK to India to support efforts to prevent the tragic loss of life from this terrible virus," Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.

EU to 'respond rapidly' to assist virus-hit India

The EU is preparing rapid assistance for India as it copes with a growing Covid-19 crisis that has seen infections and deaths hit record highs, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen has said.

"Alarmed by the epidemiological situation in India. We are ready to support," von der Leyen said on Twitter. 

"The EU is pooling resources to respond rapidly to India's request for assistance via the EU civil protection mechanism."

Nigeria reports zero deaths for 12th day

A slowdown in coronavirus infections continues in Nigeria as it has reported 51 new cases and no deaths for the 12th consecutive day with zero fatalities.

The new numbers pushed the overall caseload to 164,684 including 2,061 related deaths and 154,687 recoveries in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

As many as 1.167 million Nigerians have so far been vaccinated against the disease, according to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.

Egypt's national soccer team coach tests positive

Egypt’s national team coach has tested positive for the coronavirus, the country's soccer association has announced.

Hossam el-Badry was diagnosed with Covid-19 after his daughter tested positive earlier this month, the Egyptian Football Association said in a statement. He has been isolated at his home, it said.

The 61-year-old el-Badry, who was appointed to lead Egypt’s national team in 2019, is the latest player or coach on the national team to test positive for the virus.

Mohamed Elshenawy, goalkeeper of the national team and Cairo’s Al-Ahly soccer club, tested positive earlier this month and missed a game against archrival Zamalek in the local league.

EU Commissioner Breton confident of 70 percent inoculation goal by mid-July

The European Union will be able to produce enough vaccines to achieve its target for immunity of its adult population by the middle of July, the EU executive's vaccine task force chief has said in an interview with a Greek newspaper.

The European Commission has set a target of inoculating 70 percent of the EU's adult population by the end of this summer, banking on a big increase in vaccine deliveries to accelerate its vaccination drive.

"We are confident that we will be able to produce a sufficient number of vaccines to achieve the goal of collective immunity, which means that 70 percent of the adult population would have been vaccinated by mid-July," European Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said in an interview with Greek weekly newspaper "To Vima".

Germany faces lockdown until June as curbs fail to push down cases

Germany's infection rate rose at the weekend despite stricter restrictions and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has said he does not expect moves to ease curbs before the end of May.

"We need a timetable how to get back to normal life, but it must be a plan that won't have to be revoked after just a few days," Scholz told Bild am Sonntag.

The federal government should be able to outline "clear and courageous opening steps" for the summer by the end of May, allowing restaurants to adjust reopening plans and citizens to plan holidays, he said.

Indian variant reaches Switzerland – govt

The first case of the Indian variant of the virus has been confirmed in Switzerland, the Federal Office for Public Health (BAG) said, as other countries introduce travel bans to contain its spread.

The case involved a passenger who arrived in Switzerland via a transit airport and not directly from India, which has been hit hard by a massive wave of infections in recent days, the BAG said on Twitter.

The test took place at the end of March, BAG told Reuters on Sunday, adding the person entered Switzerland via a European country.

International arrival cap halved in Western Australia after outbreak

Western Australia's international arrivals cap for the next month will be halved, officials said, as the state is battling a virus outbreak that forced more than two million people into a three-day lockdown from Saturday.

The lockdown was ordered after a traveller likely became infected while in quarantine in a hotel and unknowingly passed it on to two other people in the community.

Australia closed its borders more than a year ago and allows mostly only its citizens and permanent residents to return.

Hong Kong-Singapore air travel bubble to start on May 26

Hong Kong and Singapore will announce a May 26 start to their long-delayed air travel bubble between the two cities, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The announcement could come as soon as Monday, the report said.

Under the agreement, people will be allowed to travel quarantine-free between the financial hubs.

The report did not specify how many flights would take place under the agreement, but cited one person as saying the number will be increased by June 26 if there are no further outbreaks in either city.

Nigeria reports zero deaths for 12th day

 A slowdown in infections continues in Nigeria as it reported 51 new cases and no deaths – the 12th consecutive day with zero fatalities.

The new numbers pushed the overall caseload to 164,684 including 2,061 related deaths and 154,687 recoveries in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

Over 1.87 million tests have been conducted since February 27, 2020, it said, advising Nigerians to disinfect surfaces at homes, shops, churches, mosques and offices regularly to prevent the spread of the virus in their communities.

Germany preparing 'urgent support' for virus-hit India – Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said her government was preparing emergency aid for India as the country struggles to cope with an explosion in infections.

"To the people of India I want to express my sympathy on the terrible suffering that Covid-19 has again brought over your communities," Merkel said in a message shared on Twitter by her spokesman Steffen Seibert.

"The fight against the pandemic is our common fight. Germany stands in solidarity with India and is urgently preparing a mission of support."

India Covid-19 cases set new record amid oxygen shortage

India has set a new global record of the most number of coronavirus infections in a day, as the United States said it was racing to send help to the country.

India's number of cases surged by 349,691 in the past 24 hours, the fourth straight day of record peaks, and hospitals in Delhi and across the country are turning away patients after running out of medical oxygen and beds.

Japan to open large vaccination centers in Tokyo, Osaka – media

The Japanese government is planning to open large vaccination centres in Tokyo and Osaka in the coming weeks in a bid to speed up its inoculation drive, local media reported.

The Nikkei newspaper said the government will open a vaccination site in central Tokyo as early as May that will be able to vaccinate around 10,000 people a day.

The site will be open to anyone living and working in Tokyo, the paper said, adding that medically trained staff from Japan's Self -Defence Forces will also assist with vaccinations in such centres.

Thailand reports 2,438 cases

Thailand reported 2,438 new virus cases, bringing the total number of infections to 55,460 since the pandemic started last year.

The country also reported a daily record of 11 new deaths, bringing the total fatalities to 140. 

Pakistan offers essential supplies to help India

Pakistan is offering to send essential medical supplies to its neighbour that's in the grip of a devastating coronavirus surge that has depleted oxygen stocks and other hospital needs.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that as a gesture of solidarity with the people of India, Pakistan has offered to provide relief support including ventilators, oxygen supply kits, digital X-ray machines, PPEs and related items.

It said authorities of both countries can work out modalities for a quick delivery of the items and can also explore possible ways of further cooperation to mitigate the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Germany's cases rise by 18,773 - RKI

The number of confirmed virus cases in Germany increased by 18,773 to 3,287,418, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed. The reported death toll rose by 120 to 81,564, the tally showed.

China reports 13 new cases 

China reported 13 new cases on April 24, up from nine cases a day earlier, the national health authority said.

All of the new cases were imported infections originating from overseas, the National Health Commission said in a statement. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, rose to 14 from 12 a day earlier.

The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China stands at 90,588, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,636.

Brazil registers 71,137 new cases, 3,076 deaths

Brazil has recorded 71,137 new cases of coronavirus and 3,076 additional deaths, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

Mexico reports 3,308 new cases, 349 deaths

Mexico reported 3,308 new confirmed cases in the country and 349 fatalities, according to Health Ministry data, bringing the country's total to 2,326,738 infections and 214,853 deaths.

The government has said the real number of cases is likely significantly higher, and separate data published recently suggested the actual death toll is at least 60% above the confirmed figure.

UK officials close to deal to buy tens of millions more doses of Pfizer vaccine - Sunday Times

UK officials are close to finalising a deal to purchase tens of millions more doses of the Pfizer vaccine in time for a third booster dose to be given to the elderly this autumn, the Sunday Times reported.

Government sources told the newspaper that they hope to roughly double the UK's original order of 40 million jabs.

If talks succeed, the extra stock may also be used for those in their 20s, who are to be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca jab, the report added. Britain's NHS will start inviting those in their 30s for vaccines by the end of this week. 

Costa Rica hits new daily record of infections

Costa Rica on Saturday registered 1,830 new infections, its highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic, with space for the most critical patients at public hospitals nearly full, health authorities said.

There have been 238,760 cases and 3,143 deaths in the Central American country of 5 million people, whose tourism-driven economy has been hit by the pandemic's toll on global travel.

"We are living through the darkest health moment of Costa Rica in modern times," Health Minister Daniel Salas said in a televised address to the nation.

He added that the 125 beds in intensive care units allocated for severe cases are 94% full, and said the remaining space could be filled in the coming days.

Salas said cars could no longer be on the road from 9 pm to 5 am as a measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but authorities would not impose a stricter lockdown to avoid hurting the economy.

"We have to take into account that people need to work," Salas said, noting that government resources to disburse financial aid were depleted last year.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies