Chief Economic Advisor Dr K Subramanian on Friday said India’s COVID-19 response strategy helped the country to prevent 37 lakh cases and 1 lakh deaths, PTI reported.
Addressing a press conference on Economic Survey 2020-21, Dr Subramanian said India’s COVID-19 response was guided by research, epidemiology and economics.
Meanwhile, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announced Friday that the AstraZeneca-Oxford University coronavirus vaccine has been authorised for the EU market, hours after the bloc’s drug regulator recommended its approval.
It is the third vaccine approved for use in the 27-nation EU, after rival shots produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, AFP reported.
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Brazil reported on Friday 1,119 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, taking its death count to 222,666, the Health Ministry said.
Meanwhile, 59,826 new cases of COVID-19 were detected, bringing its nationwide tally to 9,118,513.
The state of Sao Paulo, the most populated in the country, is the hardest hit, with 1,759,957 cases and 52,722 deaths, followed by Rio de Janeiro, with 516,868 cases and 29,563 deaths.
Brazil has the world’s second-highest COVID-19 death count, after the United States.
The EU backtracked Friday over threats to restrict vaccine exports to Northern Ireland after London voiced “grave concerns” over the proposed move.
A furious row over shortages of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine has risked stoking conflict with the UK just weeks after London and Brussels sealed a Brexit trade agreement.
The EU had warned it would invoke Article 16 — overriding part of a deal with London allowing the free-flow of goods over the Irish border — but backed down after criticism from the UK and Ireland.
“The Commission will ensure that the Ireland / Northern Ireland Protocol is unaffected,” the EU Commissioner said in a statement late Friday.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had told EU chief Ursula von der Leyen of his “grave concerns about the potential impact” the European bloc’s decision might have.
The European scheme to monitor and bar exports of vaccines produced in EU plants has also been criticised by the World Health Organization.
The WHO said the move was part of a “very worrying trend” that could jeopardise the global supply chain for vaccines.
Although the EU has rowed back from the Article 16 threat, a Commission statement said if there were vaccines circumventing the European system, “the EU will consider using all the instruments at its disposal”.
The EU earlier justified the “safeguard measure” as an attempt to keep member states’ vaccine rollouts on track.
And Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides insisted: “We are not protecting ourselves against any specific country. And we’re not in competition or in a race against any country.”
Five people died in Cuba on Friday when their helicopter crashed on its way from the province of Holguin to Guantanamo in the east of the island, the armed forces ministry announced.
The helicopter “crashed against a hill” and “the five people on board died,” the ministry said in a statement released by state media.
The ministry has set up a commission to investigate what caused the accident, according to the statement. It gave no other details, including the identities of the victims.
The last serious air accident in Cuba occurred in May 2018, when a plane crashed shortly after take-off from Havana airport, killing 112 people, with only one passenger surviving.
An investigation found errors in the calculations of the aircraft’s weight and center of gravity.
Assam on Friday reported 20 new COVID-19 cases, according to an official bulletin.
The state has so far reported 2,17,091 cases of COVID-19, PTI reported.
Travellers to Canada will have to quarantine in hotels at their own expense and airlines are suspending flights to southern destinations, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday, further tightening restrictions to slow Covid-19’s spread.
New arrivals will have to pay to quarantine in hotels for up to three days under strict supervision, AFP reported.