10 May 2021

• Calls for a national lockdown increase in India, where hospitals are overwhelmed, vaccines and oxygen are in short supply, morgues and crematoria are overflowing – and the official daily totals were 366,161 new infections and 3,754 deaths from COVID-19. Source

• The New York Times  reports that mucormycosis, a fungal infection with a high mortality rate, has been found among COVID-19 patients – especially those with weak immune systems and/or diabetes (in India, 10 percent of the population, or 77 million people, are diabetic). Steroids, which are used to treat COVID-19, may be contributing to the problem. In Maharashtra, 200 people who had recovered from COVID-19 were being treated for mucormycosis; eight of them had died. In Gujarat, the government ordered that patients be treated in separate hospital wards and purchased 5,000  doses of amphotericin B to treat it. New Delhi has also reported infections in its hospitals. Source

• In his weekly letter, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa states that “A situation in which the populations of advanced, rich countries are safely inoculated while millions in poorer countries die in the queue would be tantamount to vaccine apartheid. It will set a devastating precedent in our quest to realize a more egalitarian world and our ability to handle future pandemics.” Source

• In the US, where 112.6 million people, or a third of the population, have been fully vaccinated, the supply of coronavirus vaccines has outstripped demand. States have administered 257 million of the 329 million doses shipped by the federal government, and vaccination has declined from a high of 3.38 million per day in mid-April to an average of 1.98 million. The Biden administration is implementing various strategies to reach unvaccinated people. Source

• Nepal is urging climbers to return their empty oxygen cylinders instead of leaving them on mountain stopes. as hospitals in Kathmandu face oxygen shortages, forcing them to turn COVID-19 patients away. Health Ministry official Samir Kumar Ashikari said “We need about 25,000 oxygen cylinders immediately to save people from dying.”  Source

• After Nepal approved a record total of 408 permits to climb Mt. Everest, coronavirus cases surged and climbers with COVID-19 symptoms have been  were flown from base camp. China is implementing measures atop the mountain  to prevent to virus from spreading, including  a dividing line on the summit that will stop contact between climbers on the Chinese side and the Nepal side and a checkpoint outside the Chinese base camp where people will be disinfected, have temperature checks and undergo isolation if necessary. Source

• Germany announces that it will offer the J & J coronavirus vaccine to all adults; it expects to have 10 million doses by the end of Q2 2021. Source

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