There are nearly 134.7 million worldwide COVID-19 cases, Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported early Saturday. The U.S. has more cases than anywhere else, with 31 million infections, followed by Brazil, with 13.3 million, and India, with 13.2 million cases.
India has recorded its highest daily spike in COVID cases for a fifth straight day. On Saturday, the health ministry reported 145,384 new cases in the previous 24-hour period.
Britain’s emergency doctors are reporting that their departments are seeing an influx of patients who say they have headaches and are worried about the Astra Zeneca vaccines they have received, following reports that the vaccine could be responsible for very rare, possibly fatal, brain blood clots.
“We are seeing people with mild headaches and persistent headaches, but who are otherwise all right,” Dr. Katherine Henderson, the president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, told The Guardian.
Several nations have issued new guidelines over the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after the European Union’s medical regulator announced a link between the vaccine and the blood clots.
Britain, where the vaccine was developed jointly by the British-Swedish drugmaker and scientists at the University of Oxford, said it will offer alternatives for adults under 30. Oxford researchers have also suspended a clinical trial of the AstraZeneca vaccine involving young children and teenagers as British drug regulators conduct a safety review of the two-shot regimen.
Spain and the Philippines will limit the vaccine to people over 60 years old, Reuters reported, while The Washington Post reported Italy has issued similar guidelines.
The European Medicines Agency recently said blood clots should be listed as a very rare side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but it continued to emphasize that its overall benefits outweigh any risks.
AstraZeneca has been the key vaccine in Britain’s exceptionally speedy inoculation campaign, which has outpaced the vaccination rates in the rest of Europe.
However, the vaccine has had a troubled rollout elsewhere, initially because of a lack of information from its late-stage clinical trials on its effect on older people, which has slowed vaccination efforts throughout Europe. Many nations stopped administering the AstraZeneca vaccine after reports first surfaced of the blood clot incidents.
After 34 million inoculations of the Astra Zeneca vaccine, the European Medicines Agency said it has received fewer than 200 reports about the rare brain blood clots.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Friday that Tokyo will be placed under a monthlong state of "quasi-emergency" to combat surging COVID-19 infections.
Speaking to reporters during a COVID-19 task force meeting, Suga said the new measures are focused on shortening the business hours of bars and restaurants and imposing fines for violations. Many of Tokyo’s COVID-19 cases have been traced to the city’s nightlife.
Suga said the steps are necessary because of surging infection rates, particularly of more contagious variants of the virus.
Japan has never imposed strict lockdowns such as those seen in other countries.