FACTBOX | Covid-19 vaccine exports: Here's the latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

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  • Hospitals in Hungary are under pressure over Covid-19 infections.
  • Brazil will pass 30 000 as a result of the disease.
  • India has blocked exports of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India.

The United States crossed 30 million coronavirus cases on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, while the European Union tightened its oversight of coronavirus vaccine exports.

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* AstraZeneca said some 29 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines found in an inspection at a plant in Italy were destined for the EU and for donations to poorer countries via the Covax scheme co-led by the World Health Organisation.

* German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected demands for a vote of confidence in her government over a U-turn on a circuit-breaker lockdown over Easter that compounded discontent with her handling of the pandemic.

* Poland's government said it was considering sending Covid-19 patients from regions where hospitals are under severe strain to areas where more hospital beds are available after new cases hit a record daily high of almost 30 000.

* Hungary's hospitals are under "extraordinary" pressure from rising coronavirus infections, its surgeon general said, as the country became a hotspot in the third wave of a pandemic that has hit Central Europe especially hard.

* Vienna and two other provinces in eastern Austria will go back into lockdown for several days over Easter in a bid to ease the growing strain on intensive care wards.


* Brazil is set to pass 300 000 Covid-19 deaths, as President Jair Bolsonaro's fourth health minister used his first official day in the job to pledge a vaccination goal of one million shots a day to put the brakes on the snowballing crisis.

* Canada is expecting enough Covid-19 vaccine doses to double its supply by the end of next week to help ramp up a slow vaccination programme as more contagious virus variants push the country toward a third wave of infections.

* Mexico will accelerate its rollout of Covid-19 vaccines to protect the public against any new wave of infections, as the country's pandemic death toll approached 200 000.


* India has put a temporary hold on all major exports of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India (SII) to meet demand at home as infections rise, two sources told Reuters, as the country reported a new variant of the coronavirus.

* Hong Kong authorities halted the use of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Germany's BioNTech, citing defective packaging, in a move that triggered scenes of confusion in inoculation centres across the city.

Middle East and Africa

* Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa and some opposition politicians received China's Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine in the tourist resort of Victoria Falls as part of efforts to encourage citizens to get inoculated.

Medical developments

* Interim trial results of a vaccine against Covid-19 combining Russia's Sputnik V and Britain's AstraZeneca shots are expected in two months, the Interfax news agency cited Russia's RDIF sovereign wealth fund chief as saying.

Economic impact

* Global equities dipped and the dollar hovered near four-month highs as concerns about extended economic lockdowns in Europe and the potential for higher taxes in the United States weighed on investor sentiment.

* With oil prices making steady gains earlier this year, OPEC and other producers had hoped to ease output cuts, but industry sources say a fresh wave of lockdowns threatens to tear up those plans.

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