What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

FILE PHOTO: Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ahmedabad
·3 min read

(Reuters) - Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

India's seven-day COVID average at new high

India's coronavirus crisis showed no sign of easing on Tuesday, with a seven-day average of new cases at a record high and international heath authorities warning the country's variant of the virus poses a global concern.

India's daily cases rose by 329,942, while deaths from the disease rose by 3,876, according to the health ministry. India's total infections are now at 22.99 million, while total deaths rose to 249,992.

Nations around the globe have sent oxygen cylinders and other medical gear to support India, but many hospitals are struggling with a shortage of the life-saving equipment.

Malaysia declares nationwide lockdown

Malaysia on Monday imposed a new nationwide lockdown, as the country grapples with a surge in infections and highly infectious variants.

The measures came just ahead of this week's Eid al-Fitr festival, meaning that millions will have to forgo for a second year the tradition of returning to hometowns at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said all inter-state and inter-district travel will be banned, along with social gatherings.

Japanese prefecture says deaths at home surge

Eighteen people have died from COVID-19 at home in Japan's Osaka Prefecture, officials said, amid calls for tougher restrictions on movement to halt a fourth wave of infections ahead of the Olympics.

All but one of the deaths occurred since March 1 as highly infectious strains of the virus caused a spike in new cases.

The rise in coronavirus deaths at home is a sign of the stress Japan's hospital system is under as the country struggles to bring the latest surge in infections under control, with more than 96% of Osaka Prefecture's critical care beds occupied.

U.S. children aged 12-15 could begin vaccinations Thursday

U.S. regulators authorized Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for use in children as young as 12 and said they could begin receiving shots as soon as Thursday, widening the inoculation program as vaccination rates have slowed significantly.

This is the first COVID-19 vaccine to be authorized in the United States for ages 12 to 15. Vaccinating younger ages is considered an important step for getting children back into schools safely.

EU asks AstraZeneca to deliver 120 million vaccines

The European Union wants AstraZeneca to deliver at least 120 million vaccine doses by the end of June, a lawyer representing the EU said on Tuesday at the opening of a legal case against the company over delayed supplies.

AstraZeneca had originally agreed with the EU to deliver 300 million doses by the end of June, but has so far delivered only 50 million, and has said it aims to ship 100 million shots by the end of June.

(Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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