(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
India’s COVID-19 cases cross 20 million
Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi called for a nationwide lockdown as the country’s tally of coronavirus infections surged past 20 million on Tuesday, becoming the second nation after the United States to pass the milestone.
Cricket officials suspended the money-spinning Indian Premier League (IPL), after the country added 10 million cases in just over four months, versus the more than 10 months taken for the first 10 million.
Nepal appeals for vaccines
Nepal urgently needs at least 1.6 million of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine doses to administer second shots as the Himalayan country is recording a surge in new coronavirus cases.
“People who have already got the first dose will be in difficulty if they don’t receive their second dose within the stipulated time,” said Samir Adhikari, a senior official of the Ministry of Health and Population.
On Monday, Prime Minister K.P.Sharma Oli urged foreign donors to supply vaccines and critical care medicines.
North Korea warns of lengthy battle
North Korea’s state media warned on Tuesday of the prospect of a lengthy battle against the coronavirus, saying vaccines developed by global drugmakers were proving to be “no universal panacea”.
The country has not officially confirmed any infections, although South Korean officials have said an outbreak there cannot be ruled out, as the North had trade and people-to-people links with China before shutting its border early last year.
The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers’ Party, said the pandemic was only worsening, despite the development of vaccines.
Denmark to reopen further
Denmark announced plans to reopen schools and allow a range of indoor activities this week, but a cap on gatherings led to the cancellation of several summer music festivals, including the Roskilde Festival.
The Nordic country has avoided a third wave with broad lockdown measures introduced in late December, which drove down daily infections from several thousand to between 500 and 800 in recent months.
Theatres, concert venues, cinemas and gyms can reopen on Thursday. Older primary school students will be allowed to return to school full-time.
Trinidad and Tobago tightens lockdown
Trinidad and Tobago said on Monday it was tightening lockdown restrictions for three weeks as the number of new COVID-19 cases hits record highs and the Caribbean twin-island nation faces a potential shortage of hospital beds.
Prime Minister Keith Rowley said under the new restrictions, only businesses deemed essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies and financial services would remain open, for reduced hours, in addition to the key energy and manufacturing sectors.
The government shut shopping malls, cinemas, theatres, restaurants, bars, places of worship, beauty salons and fitness centres last week in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.
(Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Janet Lawrence)