(Reuters) -Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Global COVID-19 death toll surpasses 3 million
Coronavirus-related deaths worldwide crossed 3 million on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally, as the latest global resurgence of infections is challenging vaccination efforts across the globe.
Worldwide COVID-19 deaths are rising once again, especially in Brazil and India. Health officials blame more infectious variants that were first detected in Britain and South Africa, along with public fatigue with lockdowns and other restrictions.
According to a Reuters tally, it took more than a year for the global coronavirus death toll to reach 2 million. The next 1 million deaths were added in about three months.
EU blocks 3.1 million AstraZeneca doses to Australia
The European Union has blocked shipments of 3.1 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to Australia and the country has little hope of getting the remaining 400,000 doses it has been pledged on time, a government source said on Tuesday.
The export curb complicates Australia’s inoculation campaign, which is already 83% behind its original schedule.
New Zealand and Australia will create a quarantine and COVID-testing free “travel bubble” from April 19, after effectively eradicating the virus by closing borders last year to stop more infections reaching their shores and stringent lockdowns.
Indian states seek widening of vaccinations
Many Indian state leaders have asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to open up vaccinations to most of the country’s hundreds of millions of adults, following a second surge in infections that has eclipsed the first wave.
India breached the milestone of 100,000 daily infections for the first time on Monday, and cases jumped by 96,982 on Tuesday, data from the health ministry showed. There were 446 new deaths, taking the total to 165,547.
The country of 1.35 billion people has administered 80.9 million vaccine doses, the most after the United States and China, but it lags far behind in immunisations per capita.
Spain’s COVID rate jumps
Spain’s rising coronavirus infection rate is accelerating, official data showed on Monday, as authorities took delivery of the largest batch of vaccines to date.
The infection rate as measured over the past 14 days rose to 163.4 cases per 100,000 people from 151.8 cases on Saturday as a gradual uptick in contagion from mid-March lows continued to gather pace.
Health emergency chief Fernando Simon confirmed infections were on the rise across the country and that pressure on the health system was beginning to build.
Hungary plans to start reopening in days
Hungary will begin gradual easing of coronavirus restrictions within days, the government said, as it expects to have 25% of its population of 10 million inoculated by Tuesday or early Wednesday at the latest.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who faces an election in a year, is walking a tightrope between a lockdown to tame the world’s deadliest COVID-19 surge and the need to reopen the economy to avoid a second year of deep recession.
The central European country reported record coronavirus fatalities last week and doctors described hospitals filling beyond capacity.
(Compiled by Linda Noakes;Editing by Alison Williams)