COVID-19 SUMMARY: China provides most oxygen concentrators to India, group gatherings in Singapore cut to five after flareup linked to Indian variant


5th May 2021 – (Hong Kong) Total worldwide COVID-19 cases have reached 154,676,420 with 3,233,394 deaths as of 1am today.

China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

China provides most oxygen concentrators to India, and keeps producing oxygen concentrators and other medical equipment for India, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said Tuesday in a tweet. “Chinese companies carry forward the spirit of humanitarianism, focus on saving lives, respond to wants and needs of the Indian people,” Sun said in another tweet.

A series of Chinese children’s picture books about fighting COVID-19 while helping the children through the pandemic has been launched in Britain. The book series, named Fighting the Epidemic: Staying at Home Series in the English version, was created in January 2020, when the Chinese publisher Phoenix Juvenile and Children’s Publishing Ltd invited some of China’s top children’s writers and illustrators to create six picture books designed to help children through the pandemic, the publisher told Xinhua Tuesday.

Subject to no significant change to epidemic situation locally and in relevant overseas places, Hong Kong government lifted the the ban for persons who have stayed in Ireland and the United Kingdom (UK) to board flights to Hong Kong from 7th May. These relevant persons would subject to the most stringent compulsory quarantine and testing arrangements upon arrival at Hong Kong.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Taiwanese Health and Welfare Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung announced the public venues that a China Airlines pilot and a Novotel hotel contractor had recently visited while potentially infectious. Chen said that Case No. 1153 is a Taiwanese man in his 30s who works as a pilot for China Airlines, while Case No. 1145 is a male contractor in his 40s who has been working for the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel for nearly a month.


There is no evidence that drinking alcohol after having a coronavirus jab would affect how it works, the British medicine regulator said Tuesday. The response by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) came following social media reports that people should abstain from drinking for up to two weeks after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

The European Union’s medicines regulator has begun a rolling review of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company, Sinovac Life Science.

The U.K. is hosting the first face-to-face gathering of the G7 foreign ministers in two years, with the Group of Seven meeting on Tuesday at Lancaster House in London, with COVID-19 protocols in place. “We’ve got no plans to deviate form the earliest dates set out in the roadmap” for unlocking the economy, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman told reporters.

France reported 243 new coronavirus deaths in hospitals on Tuesday, down from 311 on the previous day. The number of people in hospitals with COVID-19 fell again after two days of increases and was down by 523 to 28,427, health ministry data showed. The number of people in intensive care units with COVID-19 fell by 126 to 5,504.

Spain’s government will pass responsibility for coronavirus restrictions on to the country’s 17 regions after a state of emergency expires next week, Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo said on Tuesday.

People travelling to Poland from Brazil, India and South Africa will have to quarantine, the Polish health minister said on Tuesday, as he announced cases of a COVID-19 variant first detected in India in the Warsaw and Katowice areas.

Denmark will ease more restrictions this week as the infection rate has remained stable in the Nordic country, the government said. All children through 8th grade will return to schools full-time, while cinemas, theaters and gyms will also reopen.

U.S. and Canada

President Biden’s coronavirus advisers told governors during a call Tuesday that they plan to redistribute vaccine doses if their state does not order all the ones allocated to them each week, a senior administration official tells CNN. 

The Biden administration is still undecided on how to support or deploy a coronavirus “health passport,” citing concerns about accessibility and equity, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Tuesday.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Tuesday the company has been contracted to deliver 1.6 billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine globally this year, and the company expects to produce at least 3 billion doses of the vaccine in 2022. The company is in discussions with countries for multi-year contracts of potential supply. Pfizer expects to submit for US Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorisation for its COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 2 to 11 in September, the company said during its first quarter earnings teleconference on Tuesday. 

Pfizer has submitted information to the US Food and Drug Administration that may allow its COVID-19 vaccine to be stored at standard refrigerator temperatures, the company’s CEO said Tuesday. Such a change could help simplify distribution of the vaccine.

While the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines for outdoor mask-wearing and masks are no longer required outside in Massachusetts, the town of Brookline is still implementing a more restrictive mask mandate.

The Chicago Auto Show will be held at McCormick Place in July, marking the first large convention to be held in the city and the state of Illinois since the COVID-19 pandemic began more than a year ago, officials said Tuesday.

Canada’s pandemic-era policy of turning back asylum-seekers trying to enter between official border crossings is unlawful and violates their rights, a legal action filed on Tuesday alleges. The Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers filed the legal action in federal court claiming the policy is unlawful because it fails to consider the situation of asylum-seekers and whether they have reasonable alternatives available.

Latin America

According to data from Brazil’s National Civil Registry, 615,329 deaths were reported in the country between 1st January and 30th April. Of those, 208,370 were related to COVID-19, according to Brazil’s health ministry — 33.9% of the nation’s total.

The death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic is easing in Mexico, where daily fatalities dropped below 100 for the first time in a year this week, according to official data from the Health Ministry.

Rest of the world

Russia confirmed 7,770 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the lowest daily count since 26th September last year, the country’s COVID-19 response centre said Tuesday.

The Qatari health ministry on Tuesday announced 640 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 208,232, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported. Meanwhile, 1,422 more people recovered from the virus, bringing the overall recoveries to 195,521, while the fatalities increased by three to 483, according to a ministry statement quoted by QNA.

The Omani health ministry on Tuesday announced 902 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the sultanate to 197,802, the official Oman News Agency reported.

The United Arab Emirates extended the suspension of flights from India. The UAE, home to Dubai-based Emirates and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, had halted the flights until May 14. A new end date hasn’t yet been announced.

The United States is providing more than US$100 million worth of aid to India, including oxygen supplies and “critical PPE and therapeutics,” a US Embassy spokesperson in New Delhi told CNN. Delhi’s deputy chief minister has asked India’s Ministry of Defence to deploy military aid to help manage the COVID-19 crisis unfolding in Delhi — and across India. 

The eastern Indian state of Bihar is entering a state-wide lockdown until 15th May. 

Pakistan has administered more than 2.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to a tweet by the country’s National Command and Operation Centre on Coronavirus (NCOC).

Nepal has recorded its highest daily COVID-19 death toll of the pandemic so far, with 55 deaths recorded on Tuesday. The country has also recorded another 7,587 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, according to government data. 

The Zambia government on Tuesday assured women in the country that there are no negative effects on their fertility if they take the COVID-19 vaccine, calling on them to disregard myths in this regard and be active in getting vaccinated instead.

 Iran on Tuesday reported 20,150 new COVID-19 cases, taking the country’s total infections to 2,575,737.

South Korea has strengthened quarantine restrictions for travellers coming from India, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) official Lee Sang-won said at a news briefing on Tuesday.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is reportedly struggling with the decision on whether to end or extend the coronavirus state of emergency for Tokyo and greater Osaka.

 A team of Chinese medical experts, along with medical materials, arrived in Lao capital Vientiane on Tuesday to assist Laos in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lao Deputy Prime Minister Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune and Chinese Ambassador to Laos Jiang Zaidong received the medical team sent by the Chinese government at the Wattay International Airport of Vientiane.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Myanmar has increased to 142,858 on Tuesday after 16 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours, according to a release from the Ministry of Health and Sports.

Vietnam is keeping people in quarantine centers longer than the 14-day period amid the emergence of cases being traced to overseas travellers.

Critics of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decision to ban returning Australians from virus-ravaged India now include lawmakers from his own Liberal-National coalition government.

Singapore is limiting social gatherings and tightening border curbs as it reacts aggressively to a flareup linked to the new variant first identified in India. From 8th May to 30th May, group gatherings must be cut from a maximum of eight to five, while daily visitors per household will be similarly capped, the Ministry of Health said in a statement. At workplaces, no more than 50% of staff who are able to work from home can return to offices. Travellers with recent travel history to higher risk countries and regions will have to serve a 21-day stay-home notice at dedicated facilities from 8th May. Singapore has not ruled out the possibility of another “circuit breaker” in light of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the community, but it hopes to avoid that situation with newly announced restrictions, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong.

Five community cases were among 17 new COVID-19 infections reported in Singapore as of noon on Tuesday, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). All the new community cases are linked to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster and were detected from the proactive testing of patients, visitors and hospital employees or their close contacts, said the ministry, adding that they had already been quarantined. Newton Food Centre and a restaurant at [email protected] Square were added to a list of locations visited by COVID-19 cases linked to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster during their likely infectious period. 

Malaysia tightened restrictions in six districts in Selangor state in a bid to contain a rise in infections. The so-called movement control order will be in place from 6th to 17th May, Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a briefing. 

Information compiled from Reuters, CNN, Xinhua News and Bloomberg.