Covid-19 has killed more than 3.1 million people and infected over 152.4 million others globally. Here are all the coronavirus-related developments for May 1:

Relatives carry the body of a person who died of Covid-19 as multiple pyres of other Covid-19 victims burn at a crematorium in New Delhi, India, May 1, 2021.
Relatives carry the body of a person who died of Covid-19 as multiple pyres of other Covid-19 victims burn at a crematorium in New Delhi, India, May 1, 2021. (AP)

Saturday, May 1:

Delhi extends lockdown as cases overwhelm hospitals

Indian capital New Delhi will stay in lockdown for another week because of the surge in Covid cases, the megacity's chief minister has said.

"Lockdown in Delhi is being extended by one week," Arvind Kejriwal said on Twitter.

The current shutdown had been due to expire on Monday but the number of cases is still rising fast in the city of 20 million people.

According to health ministry data released on Saturday, New Delhi recorded 27,000 new cases and 375 deaths.

But with tests recording a positivity rate of almost 33 percent, experts suspect the real numbers are much higher.

Turkey: Over 4.4M people recovered from Covid-19

Turkey's coronavirus recovery total has surpassed 4.4 million, authorities have said.

A total of 28,817 cases, including 2,615 symptomatic patients, were confirmed across the country in the past 24 hours, according to the latest Health Ministry data.

Turkey's overall Covid-19 tally is now nearly 4.85 million, while the nationwide death toll rose by 373 over the past day to reach 40,504.

As many as 81,302 more patients won the battle against the virus, the data showed.

More than 47.5 million coronavirus tests have been conducted in Turkey to date, with 242,194 more done since Friday.

The latest figures show that the number of Covid-19 patients in critical condition stands at 3,525.

Pakistan to slash international flights

Pakistan will reduce the number of international flights into and out of its airports by 80 percent to help curb rising Covid-19 cases, the government has said.

The restrictions will come into effect on May 5 and will run to May 20, Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement, though it did not specify which flights or destinations would be affected by the measure.

The controls will be reviewed on May 18, the government said in a statement endorsed by the National Command Operation Center (NCOC), which oversees Pakistan's response to the pandemic.

The restrictions will be applied to chartered and private flights as well as scheduled services.

France reports 5,581 people in intensive care units 

The number of people in intensive care units in France with Covid-19 fell for the fifth straight day, decreasing by 94, to 5,581, health ministry data has showed.

The ministry also reported 195 new coronavirus deaths in hospitals on Saturday, compared with 270 on Friday.

Italy reports 226 deaths, 12,965 new cases

Italy has reported 226 coronavirus-related deaths against 263 the day before, the health ministry has said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 12,965 from 13,446.

Italy has registered 121,033 deaths linked to Covid-19 since its outbreak emerged in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the seventh-highest in the world.

UK reports seven new deaths, 1,907 infections

Britain has reported seven new coronavirus deaths and a further 1,907 infections, taking the total number of deaths recorded within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test to 127,524, according to daily government figures.

The number of people who have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine rose to 34.346 million from 34.216 million reported the day before.

The number of new infections in the past week is 10.9% lower than the week before at 15,360. 

Ukraine to buy extra 10M Pfizer doses

Ukraine has signed a contract with Pfizer for an additional 10 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine, brining the total number of doses to 20 million, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's office has said.

"We signed a contract. Hence, we will receive a total of 20 million doses of Pfizer vaccine this calendar year," the presidential office quoted Health Minister Maksym Stepanov as saying.

Ukraine is expecting to receive the first 500,000 doses in the next few weeks, with a further 4.5 million doses in the third quarter an d the remaining 15 million doses in the fourth quarter, the statement said.

Portugal extends air travel curbs until mid-May

Portugal has said it was extending until May 16 flight restrictions that stop non-essential travel from countries with high coronavirus incidence rates, including Brazil and India – a new addition to the list.

Travellers from countries where 500 or more cases per 100,000 people have been reported over a 14-day period – which also include South Africa, France and the Netherlands, among others – can only enter Portugal if they have a valid reason, such as for work or healthcare, the government said. They must then quarantine for 14 days.

People from countries where the incidence rate is 150 or more Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, such as next-door Spain and Germany, can also travel by plane to Portugal only for essential reasons.

They will have to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure for Portugal. Those without a test will have to take one upon arrival and wait for the result at the airport.

Netherlands won't ease lockdown further

The Netherlands has postponed a further easing of lockdown measures until at least May 18 as Covid-19 infections remain high and hospitals are struggling with large numbers of coronavirus patients, the government has said.

"We are passing the peak of the third wave. But the decline (of the infection rate) is not strong enough yet," health minister Hugo de Jonge said on Twitter.

WHO approves Moderna vaccine for emergency use

The World Health Organization has given the go-ahead for emergency use of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine.

The mRNA vaccine from the US manufacturer joins vaccines from AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson in receiving the WHO's emergency use listing.

Similar approvals for China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines are expected in the coming days and weeks, WHO has said.

The green light for Moderna’s vaccine, announced late Friday, took many months because of delays that WHO faced in getting data from the manufacturer.

Cambodia drafts in army to speed up vaccinations

Cambodia's army has began a drive to vaccinate nearly half a million people in the parts of Phnom Penh worst-hit by Covid-19, as the Southeast Asian nation looks to step up the pace of inoculations.

The country, which had been one of the least affected by the pandemic, is fighting a surge in coronavirus cases that has seen the total number of infections jump from about 500 to 13,790 since late February, including all 96 of the deaths it has recorded.

Phnom Penh is under lockdown until May 5 and has declared some districts of the capital "red zones", banning people from leaving their homes except for medical reasons.

The country with a population of around 16 million has so far received more than 4 million doses of vaccine, including 1.7 million doses of Sinopharm donated by China.

Kenyan president lifts lockdown imposed last month

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has lifted the Covid-19 lockdown he imposed last month, allowing for a reopening of bars and restaurants, religious services and schools, as the rate of infections eases in the East African country.

Curbs on travel in the capital Nairobi and four surrounding counties would be lifted, schools will be allowed to reopen following an Education Ministry calendar. Religious services will resume with some restrictions, while political gatherings would still be banned, he said in a speech.

An evening curfew that currently starts at 8 pm will be revised to 10 pm. The changes will be in effect from midnight on Saturday, Kenyatta said.

Russia reports 9,270 new cases, 392 deaths

Russia has reported 9,270 new Covid-19 cases, including 3,208 in Moscow, taking the official national tally since the pandemic began to 4,814,558.

The government coronavirus task force said 392 people had died of coronavirus-linked causes in the past 24 hours, pushing the national death toll to 110,520.

The federal statistics agency has kept a separate count and reported a toll of more than 225,000 from April 2020 to February.

According to Reuters calculations based on data from the state statistics agency published on Friday, Russia recorded more than 400,000 excess deaths from April 2020 to March 2021. 

Hungary reopens for people holding Covid-19 immunity cards

Hungary has loosened several Covid-19 restrictions for people with government-issued immunity cards, the latest in a series of reopening measures that have followed an ambitious vaccination campaign.

As of Saturday, individuals with the plastic cards may enter indoor dining rooms, hotels, theatres, cinemas, spas, gyms, libraries, museums and other recreational venues. Opening hours for businesses were extended to 11 pm and an overnight curfew in place since November will now start later, at midnight.

Vaccinated people and those who have recovered from Covid-19 are eligible for the Hungarian immunity cards, which must be presented at establishments before entry.

Businesses can be issued heavy fines if they allow non-card holders to enter.

Zoos also began admitting guests after nearly six months of mandatory closure. Budapest Zoo spokesperson Zoltan Hanga said the last time the zoological park in Hungary’s capital was shut for so long was during World War II.

India posts record daily rise in cases of 401,993

India has posted a record daily rise of 401,993 new coronavirus cases, while deaths from Covid-19 jumped by 3,523 over the past 24 hours, according to health ministry data.

India has added about 7.7 million cases since the end of February, when its second wave picked up steam, according to a Reuters tally. In contrast, it took India nearly six months to add the previous 7.7 million cases.

Thailand reports new daily record of 21 deaths 

Thailand has reported a new daily record of 21 coronavirus deaths in one day, the health ministry said.

The ministry reported 1,891 new cases in a fierce third wave of infections after a year of relative success in controlling the virus. Thailand's total number of infections is 67,044 since the pandemic began last year, with a total of 224 deaths.

Germany's cases rise by 18,935

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has increased by 18,935 to 3,400,532, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases

Australia bans arrivals from India

Australian residents and citizens who have been in India within 14 days of the date they plan to return home will be banned from entering Australia as of Monday and those who disobey will face fines and jail, government officials have said.

The emergency determination, made late on Friday, is part of strict measures to stop travellers to Australia from the world's second most populous nation as it contends with a surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths.

The restrictions come into effect from May 3 and breaching the ban risks civil penalties and up to five years imprisonment, Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement.

The Australian government will reconsider the restrictions on May 15, he said.

President Biden bans most travel to US from India

US President Joe Biden has imposed new travel restrictions on India in light of the Covid-19 epidemic, barring most non-US citizens from entering the United States.

The new restrictions, which take effect on Tuesday, May 4 at 0401 GMT, are on the advice of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and were imposed because "the magnitude and scope of the Covid-19 pandemic" in India was "surging," the White House said.

Biden signed a proclamation implementing the restrictions, which were first reported by Reuters.

The proclamation said India "accounts for over one-third of new global cases" and added that "proactive measures are required to protect the nation's public health from travellers entering the United States" from India.

Brazil registers 2,595 new Covid-19 deaths

Brazil has reported 2,595 new coronavirus deaths, the Health Ministry said, bringing the total to 403,781.

Brazil also reported 68,333 new cases of the virus, which now total 14,659,011.

Mexico's confirmed death toll nears 217,000

Mexico's health ministry reported 3,821 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 460 more deaths, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 2,344,755 and fatalities to 216,907.

Separate government data published in March suggested the real death toll may be at least 60 percent above the confirmed figure.

Canada puts J&J vaccine rollout plans on hold

Plans to distribute the first 300,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine in Canada next week are on hold after Health Canada learned part of them were manufactured at a Maryland facility that messed up the ingredients in 15 million doses bound for the US market.

The Emergent Biosolutions facility in Baltimore was recently cited by the US Food and Drug Administration for violations including cleaning and sterilisation failures, the potential for cross-contamination, and failure to follow required protocols.

The FDA ordered the facility to stop making more J&J vaccine until the problems are corrected and the earlier mistake on the doses resulted in all 15 million being destroyed.

Health Canada had already cleared 1.5 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine made at the facility, but did not think the Canadian J&J doses had any connection to that plant.

Pakistan's Sindh province detects Brazil, South African variants

Health officials in the Pakistani province of Sindh said they have detected two coronavirus variants first identified in Brazil and South Africa.

It would be the first detection of those variants in Pakistan confirmed by officials.

"Yesterday 13 samples underwent genomic study at the Agha Khan University Hospital, of these 10 were of the UK variant, and 2 were of the Africa and Brazil variants", Minister for Health & Population Welfare, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho said.

The highly contagious variants were discovered at a hospital in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, which has also reported the most deaths in any city, accounting for 3,903 of the country's 17,811 deaths. 

Some 820,823 cases have been detected in the country, with 5,112 in the last 24 hours, according to the National Command Operation Center (NCOC), which oversees the government's pandemic response.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies