NEW DELHI (AP) – The Prime Minister of India received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as the country hit another high on Thursday with 126,789 new cases reported in the past 24 hours.
“Vaccination is one of the few ways we have to beat the virus. If you are eligible for the vaccine, get vaccinated soon, ”Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted. He received his first vaccine vaccine on March 1.
India started its vaccination campaign in January. So far, more than 90 million health workers and Indians over 45 have received at least one vaccine. Only 11 million of them received both doses as India tries to boost immunity to protect its nearly 1.4 billion people.
The new cases reported by the health ministry surpassed 115,736 infections as of Wednesday, with dozens of towns and villages imposing nightly curfews in an attempt to contain the infections.
The death toll has risen by 685 in the past 24 hours, the highest since November, bringing the national death toll to 166,862 since the start of the pandemic.
The western state of Maharashtra, the most affected in the country, accounted for nearly 47% of new infections.
The federal government has refused to impose a second nationwide lockdown, after the first last year had a strong economic impact, but it has called on states to decide to impose local restrictions to contain the spread of the virus .
India now has a seven-day moving average of more than 80,000 cases per day and has reported 12.9 million cases of the virus since the start of the pandemic, the third highest total after the United States and Brazil.
In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:
– Cambodia closes Angkor temple complex to visitors due to growing outbreak of COVID-19. Cambodia has confirmed 3,028 cases since the start of the pandemic, but hundreds have been infected during the outbreak that began in February. The health ministry said on Thursday that 113 cases had been reported through local transmission, with two deaths. The ministry traced the epidemic to a foreign resident who broke the hotel’s quarantine to go to a nightclub. The government has closed schools and entertainment venues in response, but as the outbreak grows, a defunct hotel has been converted into a coronavirus hospital and criminal penalties are being imposed for violating health rules. The temples of Angkor, built between the 9th and 15th centuries, are Cambodia’s biggest tourist attraction, although the pandemic has drastically reduced the number of visitors. The Apsara authority that oversees the site says the visitor ban will last until April 20.
– South Korea has reported an additional 700 new cases as the coronavirus spreads at a rate close to what was seen during the worst of its winter outbreak. Figures released Thursday by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency brought the number of national cases to 107,598, including 1,758 deaths. About 500 of the new cases were from the densely populated metropolitan area of Seoul, which has been the center of the outbreak in the country. Health authorities are expected to announce stronger social distancing measures on Friday. They say they will decide over the weekend to resume administration of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccines to people 60 and under. The injections were halted while European regulators examined a possible link to rare blood clots. The European Medicines Agency has stressed that the benefits of receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine continue to outweigh the risks for most people. South Korea’s vaccination campaign relied mainly on AstraZeneca injections produced by local company SK Bioscience.
– Eleven other people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in China’s only active outbreak. Cases in Ruili City, Yunnan Province have topped 100, including those without symptoms, but a vaccination campaign and stay-at-home orders appear to have curbed widespread transmission. Ruili also reported a new case of someone testing positive for COVID-19 without showing symptoms, the National Health Commission reported on Thursday. The city’s Communist Party secretary, his top official, was dismissed from his post and imposed an administrative sanction for his “serious breach of his duties of epidemic prevention and control,” according to the provincial disciplinary watchdog of the city. left. China has reported 90,365 cases of COVID-19 since the coronavirus was first detected in the central city of Wuhan at the end of 2019, with 4,636 deaths. Thursday also marks the anniversary of the end of a 76-day lockdown in Wuhan that has seen more than 11 million people confined to their homes in a Herculean effort to contain the spread of the virus after China’s first missteps. has not yet recognized.
– New Zealand is temporarily suspending travel from India as more and more arrivals from that country test positive for the coronavirus. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the suspension would take effect on Sunday and remain in effect until April 28. She said it was the first time New Zealand had suspended travel for its own citizens trying to return home, and she stressed the measure was temporary. The announcement comes after a security guard at a New Zealand quarantine hotel tested positive for the virus. There is no evidence that the epidemic has spread further. New Zealand has been successful in stemming the spread of the virus, so any time someone who is not in quarantine tests positive it is of significant concern. The country of 5 million people has reported 2,500 cases and 26 deaths since the start of the pandemic.