India reported its highest-ever daily number of 412,262 new virus infections and also a record of 3,980 deaths. Indian drugmakers announced that a stop on some cargo flights from China could interrupt the global pharmaceutical supply chain.
U.S. support for a waiver of patent protections for vaccines is heading to the WTO. Remarkably, the European Union and China are signaling a willingness to participate in the negotiations.
Asian authorities are taking steps to prevent their country from an India-like wave of infections.
Thailand plans to provide financial relief to low-income groups
According to Hong Kong’s government, the number of people who have taken their first COVID-19 vaccine dose has surpassed 1 million on May 5. Remarkably, the vaccination program has been running since February 26.
However, only about 13.4% of the Hong Kong population has received at least one dose. That’s still well behind rival financial hubs such as Singapore, London, and New York.
Meanwhile, Thailand plans to spend billions of dollars to provide financial relief to low-income groups. The country strives to cope with the economic hit from the biggest coronavirus outbreak.
The cabinet gave in-principle approval on May 5 for fiscal stimulus measures for 85.5 billion baht, which equals $2.8 billion. It also offered 140 billion baht worth of spending for co-payment and e-voucher programs. Except for this, Thailand offered more cash handouts to welfare cardholders and special groups.
Moreover, Vietnam reported eight more infections linked to a cluster in the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases Campus of Dong Anh in Hanoi, taking the tally in the center to 22. Remarkably, authorities in the northern province of Thai Binh called the public for social distancing after reporting five infections tied to the cluster.
Except for this, Vietnam has ordered strict border control and mandatory quarantines of three weeks. The country is also imposing some movement restrictions as it traces the recent flare-up in COVID-19 infections to overseas travelers.