Covid wrap | Italian woman gets six doses of vaccine in error, India cases hold close to record high

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  • A 23-year-old Italian woman was under observation in a hospital in Tuscany after receiving six doses of the Pfizer vaccine in error.
  • Indian coronavirus infections and deaths held close to record daily highs on Monday, increasing calls for the government to lock down the country.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out on Monday the next phase of lockdown easing in England, giving the green light to "cautious hugging" and allowing pubs to serve customers pints inside.


As the Covid-19 vaccine rollout gains momentum, many countries are planning a gradual return to normal, opening borders and letting people back into restaurants, shops and sports venues after more than a year of on-off lockdowns, a Reuters report stated. 

Italian woman gets six doses of Pfizer vaccine in error 

A 23-year-old Italian woman was under observation in a hospital in Tuscany after receiving six doses of the Pfizer vaccine in error, news agency AGI reported on Monday.

The woman was in good condition after receiving fluids and paracetamol following the injection Sunday, AGI reported.

Instead of injecting just one dose into the arm of the student, a nurse mistakenly injected the entire vial, the equivalent of six doses.

Previous studies to test overdoses of the Pfizer vaccine were limited to four doses, AGI wrote.

The incident has been reported to Italy's medicine regulator.

Overdoses of the Pfizer vaccine have previously been reported in the United States, Australia, Germany and Israel.

AFP

India Covid cases hold close to record highs as calls widen for national lockdown

Indian coronavirus infections and deaths held close to record daily highs on Monday, increasing calls for the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lock down the world's second-most populous country.

The 366 161 new infections and 3 754 deaths reported by the health ministry were off a little from recent peaks, taking India's tally to 22.66 million with 246 116 deaths as hospitals run out of oxygen and beds and morgues and crematoria overflow.

Experts have said India's actual figures could be far higher than reported.

Sunday's 1.47 million tests for Covid-19 were this month's lowest yet, data from the state-run Indian Council of Medical Research showed. The figure compared with a daily average of 1.7 million for the first eight days of May.

The number of positive results from the tests was not immediately clear, however.

Reuters

France to reopen outdoor bars and dining on May 19 - health minister 

The reopening of outdoor bars and restaurants will go ahead on May 19, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Monday, as the number of Covid cases in intensive care eases.

"The prospects look rather good but we must not let down the guard," Veran told LCI television.

The number of Covid-19 patients in French intensive care units fell below 5,000 for the first time since late March on Sunday, health ministry data showed.

Reuters

Australia's New South Wales reports zero Covid-19 cases, fears remain over missing link       

Australia's New South Wales (NSW) state reported zero Covid-19 cases for a fourth straight day on Monday, but concerns about new infections remained as the missing link in a case that has reinstated restrictions continued to elude officials.

Australia's most populous state on Sunday extended social distancing curbs in Sydney by a week after authorities could not find a transmission path between an infected overseas traveller and a resident in his 50s who tested positive last week.

"There has been a lot of work to identify how the transmission event occurred. Unfortunately, we haven't found that missing link," NSW state Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant told reporters in Sydney.

Chant said the man may have contracted the virus through brief contact with a currently unidentified person who was infectious.

Reuters

'Cautious hugging' and pints: UK PM Johnson to ease England's lockdown          

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out on Monday the next phase of lockdown easing in England, giving the green light to "cautious hugging" and allowing pubs to serve customers pints inside after months of strict measures.

The country is in the process of gradually lifting its latest lockdown over a period of months, in line with a four-step plan unveiled in February, after a rapid vaccine rollout helped drive down Covid-19 cases and deaths.

Under Step 3, from 17 May people will be allowed to meet up indoors for the first time in months, in groups of up to six people or two full households together.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to host customers indoors, also for the first time in months and subject to certain rules. Other indoor entertainment like cinemas and sports venues will also be able to resume activity.

Johnson's Downing Street office said the latest data on Covid-19 vaccinations, on infections, hospitalisations and deaths, and on the risk posed by new variants, had been taken into account in deciding to move forward with Step 3.

"The data reflects what we already knew - we are not going to let this virus beat us," Johnson said, according to the statement.

Reuters

Taiwan to quarantine all pilots of largest airline amid Covid-19 outbreak

Taiwan will quarantine all pilots for its largest carrier China Airlines Ltd for 14 days as it tries to stop an outbreak of Covid-19 among its crew, effectively grounding the airline, the health minister said on Monday.

While Taiwan has generally kept the pandemic well under control due to early prevention with only sporadic domestic cases, since last month it has been dealing with an outbreak linked to China Airlines pilots and an airport hotel where many of them stayed. There have been 35 confirmed infections so far in the outbreak.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung told reporters the only way to break what they believe is a chain of transmission at the carrier is to quarantine all China Airlines pilots currently in Taiwan, and send into quarantine those who return to Taiwan.

"This will have a big impact on China Airlines, on its passenger and freighter flights, and for the crew too. But for the safety of the whole community we cannot but make this decision," he said.

The move effectively amounted to a 14 day grounding for the airline, Chen added, and the pilots will only be allowed out of quarantine once they have tested negative.

Reuters

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