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The Newest: European regulator to clarify blood clot probe

LONDON — The European Medicines Company will announce the conclusions of its investigation into the potential connection between AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine and uncommon blood clots later Wednesday.

On Tuesday, a senior EMA official stated there was a causal hyperlink between the AstraZeneca vaccine and the uncommon blood clots which have been seen in dozens of individuals worldwide, among the many tens of hundreds of thousands who’ve obtained at the very least one dose.

In feedback to Rome’s Il Messaggero newspaper, Marco Cavaleri, head of well being threats and vaccine technique on the Amsterdam-based company, stated “it’s changing into increasingly troublesome to affirm that there isn’t a cause-and-effect relationship between AstraZeneca vaccines and the very uncommon circumstances of blood clots related to a low stage of platelets.”

However Cavaleri acknowledged the company had not but discovered how precisely the vaccine is perhaps inflicting these uncommon unintended effects.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Europe’s EMA drug regulator to announce the outcomes of its probe into any ties between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots.

— The City of London reimages work spaces after the pandemic

— Whilst many U.S. states and faculties reopen, many students still learn remotely

— Almost half of latest US virus infections are in just five states

— North Korea tells WHO it’s still virus-free in newest report

— Observe AP’s pandemic protection at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

TEHRAN — Iran has shattered its day by day file for brand spanking new coronavirus infections for the second consecutive day, with 20,954 new circumstances reported on Wednesday.

The nation is within the midst of one of the vital extreme surges of the coronavirus up to now, following a two-week public vacation for Nowruz, the Persian New Yr, which drove hundreds of thousands to journey to trip spots throughout the nation and congregate in houses in defiance of presidency well being pointers.

For months, Iran has struggled to curb the worst outbreak of coronavirus within the Center East. Wednesday’s case depend introduced the whole variety of contaminated to 1.98 million, in accordance with official figures. Iran Well being Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari says one other 193 individuals had died prior to now 24 hours, elevating the nation’s demise toll to 63,699.

Wednesday’s an infection depend simply surpassed the earlier file set Tuesday of 17,430 infections.

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LONDON — The U.Okay. is administering the primary doses of the Moderna vaccine, the third licensed within the nation in opposition to the coronavirus.

Sufferers on the West Wales Common Hospital have been receiving the jab on Wednesday. Britain has ordered 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, sufficient for 8.5 million individuals.

The rollout comes because the U.Okay. medical regulator investigates one other vaccine, made by Oxford College and AstraZeneca, which has been given to greater than 18 million individuals in Britain.

A number of international locations have restricted the AstraZeneca jab’s use in youthful individuals whereas scientists examine a small variety of circumstances of uncommon blood clots in individuals who have obtained the vaccine.

Britain, which has ordered 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca shot, has not restricted its use, however its medical regulator is reviewing the proof.

Oxford College stated late Tuesday it had stopped giving the shot to youngsters concerned in a medical trial till it had obtained extra info from the regulator about studies of uncommon blood clots in adults.

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TOKYO — Japan’s Osaka prefecture issued a particular warning Wednesday {that a} speedy surge in coronavirus circumstances is putting medical methods within the area on the breaking point and requested the cancellation of the Olympic torch relay alongside all roads within the prefecture.

Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura declared a “medial emergency” within the western Japanese prefecture, the place day by day circumstances have reached new highs, and requested hospitals to urgently put together further beds.

Yoshimura, who beforehand requested for a cancellation of the torch relay solely in Osaka metropolis, stated all segments on public roads needs to be canceled. The Osaka leg of the Olympic torch run is scheduled for April 13-14.

The Tokyo Olympics are to begin in simply over three months, as Japan’s vaccination drive continues to be in its preliminary phases.

“Medical methods are on the breaking point,” Yoshimura stated at a information convention. He attributed the speedy spike in infections to a brand new variant of the virus.

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BERLIN — A Brazilian activist dressed because the grim reaper is taking to the streets of Berlin each night time in a one-man protest in opposition to what he calls the “lethal well being insurance policies” pursued by his homeland’s president within the pandemic.

Multimedia artist Rafael Puetter, who has been in Berlin for 5 years and initially comes from Rio de Janeiro, made his nightly tour early Wednesday as Brazil for the primary time reported a 24-hour tally of COVID-19 deaths exceeding 4,000.

That made Brazil the third nation to cross the brink. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has lengthy downplayed the dangers of the coronavirus and stays totally in opposition to lockdowns as too damaging to the economic system.

“My efficiency begins on the Brazilian embassy in Berlin at midnight each night time,” stated Puetter. “I believe the president is selling lethal well being insurance policies and I believe demise’s the image of this authorities in some ways.”

He then walks to the Brandenburg Gate and the close by German parliament, in entrance of which he counts out one sunflower seed to signify every of the individuals who have died in Brazil over the earlier 24 hours and places them right into a glass. He goals finally to plant the seeds as a memorial.

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WASHINGTON — Massive numbers of U.S. college students are usually not returning to the classroom whilst extra faculties reopen for full-time, in-person studying, in accordance with a survey launched Wednesday by the Biden administration.

The findings mirror a nation that has been locked in debate over the security of reopening faculties in the course of the coronavirus pandemic. Whilst nationwide COVID-19 charges continued to ebb, key measures round reopening faculties barely budged.

Almost 46% of public faculties supplied 5 days every week of in-person to all college students in February, in accordance with the survey, however simply 34% of scholars have been studying full-time within the classroom. The hole was most pronounced amongst older Okay-12 college students, with simply 29% of eighth graders getting 5 days every week of studying at college.

There have been early indicators of a shift, nevertheless, with extra eighth grade college students shifting from totally distant to hybrid studying.

With the brand new findings, President Joe Biden got here no nearer to assembly his aim of getting most basic faculties open 5 days every week in his first 100 days.

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PRAGUE — Czech Prime Minster Andrej Babis fired his well being minister, the third who has misplaced the job within the pandemic in one of many hardest-hit European international locations.

Jan Blatny was anticipated to get replaced by Petr Arenberger, the director of Prague’s College Hospital Vinohrady, who shall be sworn in later Wednesday.

Babis has just lately repeatedly criticized Blatny over his dealing with of the pandemic, together with imposing strict circumstances to be used of experimental medication to deal with COVID-19 sufferers.

Blatny was additionally below hearth from pro-Russian President Milos Zeman, an ally of Babis, who demanded Blatny’s dismissal over his refusal to permit using Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine as a result of it has not been authorized by the European Union drug regulator.

Blatny took workplace on Oct. 29 to exchange epidemiologist Roman Prymula who was dismissed after he was photographed as he visited a restaurant that ought to have been closed as a part of restrictive measures to decelerate the pandemic.

The nation of 10.7 million has 1.65 million confirmed circumstances with 27,329 deaths.

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BUDAPEST — Hungary started loosening its lockdown restrictions on Wednesday whilst one other day by day file in COVID-19 deaths was damaged and a surge within the pandemic gripped the nation’s hospitals.

A sluggish downward development within the variety of deaths was interrupted as authorities introduced 311 new deaths, coming solely hours after Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated that sure lockdown restrictions can be lifted on Wednesday. Hungary’s authorities earlier determined that the lockdown might be loosened as soon as 2.5 million Hungarians had obtained at the very least a primary dose of a vaccine, a milestone reached on Tuesday.

Whereas day by day new infections proceed to lower within the hard-hit Central European nation, the variety of these being handled in hospitals stays over 12,000. Some medical specialists have expressed reservations in regards to the plans to elevate the lockdown as the present pandemic surge continues to peak.

As of Wednesday, most companies and providers could reopen in the event that they implement most indoor capability limits and observe social distancing. The beginning of an in a single day curfew in impact since November shall be prolonged by two hours, and the opening hours of companies may also be prolonged.

Hungary has the third-worst COVID-19 demise price per 1 million inhabitants on this planet, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College.

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WARSAW, Poland – Poland is extending its lockdown by one other week till April 18, as over 34,500 COVID-19 hospital beds are taken or virtually 80% of these obtainable, a stage that the well being authorities describe as “dangerously” excessive.

Well being Minister Adam Niedzielski additionally stated Wednesday that the Brazilian, South African and Nigerian virus variants have been present in Poland, however the predominant variant is the one first present in Britain, which scientists say is each extra transmissible and extra lethal.

Amid a sudden spike in circumstances, Poland registered about 35,000 new day by day infections final week and 600 deaths a day on common.

Below the prolonged lockdown, faculties, motels, procuring malls, eating places and golf equipment, theaters and sports activities services stay closed.

Virtually 6.8 million vaccine doses have been administered and 55,000 COVID-19 associated deaths have been registered on this nation of 38 million.

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MADRID — Spain’s northwestern area of Castile and León area is quickly halting use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine whereas European authorities consider hyperlinks between the jab and uncommon blood clots.

Well being providers within the Spanish area of two.4 million individuals stated Wednesday the suspension would have an effect on its mass vaccination rollout. No different Spanish areas introduced a suspension.

Spain’s authorities recommends giving the jab to individuals between 18 and 65. It was one of many European international locations that briefly halted use of the AstraZeneca vaccine final month over considerations in regards to the uncommon blood clots.

Castile and León’s well being chief Verónica Casado stated that “the precept of prudence” drove her to place a short lived maintain on the vaccine.

“We aren’t inflicting a panic. Everyone seems to be watching to see what the EMA will say,” Casado advised Spanish public radio.

The European Medicines Company is holding a press convention on its investigation into the blood clot challenge later Wednesday.

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NEW DELHI — India has hit one other new peak with 115,736 coronavirus circumstances reported prior to now 24 hours. New Delhi, Mumbai and dozens of different cities are imposing curfews to attempt to sluggish the hovering infections.

The most recent rise reported Wednesday overtook Sunday’s file of 103,844 infections. Fatalities rose by 630 prior to now 24 hours, the very best since November, elevating the whole demise toll within the nation to 166,177 because the pandemic started.

Specialists say the surge is blamed partially on rising disregard for social distancing and mask-wearing in public areas. The most recent surge in infections is worse than final 12 months’s peak of greater than 97,000 a day in mid-September.

India now has a seven-day rolling common of greater than 78,000 circumstances per day and has reported 12.8 million virus circumstances because the pandemic started, the very best after the US and Brazil.

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SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea continues to assert an ideal file in preserving out the coronavirus in its newest report back to the World Well being Group.

In an electronic mail to The Related Press on Wednesday, the WHO says North Korea has reported that it examined 23,121 individuals for the coronavirus as of April 1 and that each one outcomes have been unfavorable.

Outsiders have expressed doubt about whether or not North Korea has escaped the pandemic completely, given its poor well being infrastructure and a porous border it shares with China, its financial lifeline.

Throughout the pandemic, North Korea has severely restricted cross-border visitors, banned vacationers, jetted out diplomats and mobilized well being employees for quarantines of tens of hundreds of people that confirmed signs.

North Korea this week grew to become the primary nation to drop out of the Tokyo Olympics due to coronavirus fears.

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SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported its highest day by day leap in new coronavirus circumstances in practically three months as considerations develop about one other wave of the virus because the nation wrestles with a sluggish vaccine rollout.

The 668 infections reported Wednesday have been probably the most since Jan. 8 when officers reported 674 new circumstances. Because the pandemic started, South Korea has had 106,898 confirmed circumstances, with 1,756 deaths associated to COVID-19.

South Korea had been struggling to maintain transmissions below management following a significant winter surge that erased months of hard-won positive aspects.

There may be additionally concern over the tempo of the nation’s vaccine rollout that’s slower than many different developed economies.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Gov. Invoice Lee is becoming a member of different Republican governors who’re talking in opposition to coronavirus vaccine passports, that are being developed in some areas to let inoculated individuals journey, store and dine extra freely.

Chatting with reporters Tuesday, Lee stated: “I believe vaccine passports are a nasty thought. I don’t consider that authorities ought to impose vaccine necessities or mandates in any manner.”

The governor is urging Tennessee’s Common Meeting to advance laws this 12 months to ban such necessities.

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SANTIAGO, Chile — With new COVID-19 infections rising and hospital area vital, Chilean lawmakers authorized suspending an election to pick out an meeting tasked with rewriting the nation’s dictatorship-era structure.

Below the approval Tuesday, the meeting election, together with native and gubernatorial elections, shall be postponed till mid-Could.

The elections had been initially scheduled for April 10-11, however with Chile experiencing the worst days because the arrival of the pandemic and intensive care items at 96% capability, President Sebastián Piñera proposed delaying voting till Could 15-16.

In an Oct. 25 plebiscite, practically 80% of Chilean voters supported seating an meeting to rewrite the structure inherited from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet when the South American nation returned to democracy.

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