India and Pakistan reported a big jump in new CCP virus infections on Thursday, driven by a resurgence in cases in their richest states.
Maharashtra state, home to India’s commercial capital Mumbai, reported 23,179 of the country’s 35,871 new cases in the past 24 hours, and the rapid spread in industrial areas raised risks of companies’ production being disrupted.
In Pakistan, 3,495 people tested positive in the past 24 hours, the most daily infections since early December. Total cases passed 615,000. Deaths rose by 61 to 13,717.
Sweden Reports 6,467 New Cases, 8 Deaths
Sweden, which has shunned lockdowns throughout the pandemic, registered 6,467 new CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus cases on Thursday, health agency statistics showed.
The country of 10 million inhabitants registered 8 new deaths, taking the total to 13,236. The deaths registered have occurred over several days and sometimes weeks.
French President to Announce New Restrictions
France is set to announce new CCP virus restrictions on Thursday, including a potential lockdown in the Paris region and in the north of the country, as the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units spikes.
The virus is rapidly spreading in the Paris region, where the rate of infection has reached over 420 per 100,000 inhabitants and ICUs are closed to saturation. France’s nationwide infection rate is about 250 per 100,000. People in France have been under a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. nationwide curfew for two months.
FEMA to Reimburse $2 Billion in Funeral Costs for Some Victims
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said Wednesday that it will reimburse funeral costs for the families of CCP virus victims as part of a new funeral assistance program.
Beginning next month, the agency said it would begin accepting applications from families who held funerals that occurred between Jan. 20 and Dec. 31, 2020.
According to a release, FEMA said it has $2 billion dollars for reimbursements, which comes from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.
EU Regulator Reviews AstraZeneca Shot and Blood Clot Links
The world awaited the results Thursday of an initial European investigation into whether there is any evidence that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is linked to blood clots reported in a number of recipients of the shot.
Concerns over the clotting led more than a dozen European countries to suspend use of the vaccine over the past week, even though the company and international health agencies said there was no indication the vaccine caused the clotting and recommended continuing inoculations.
The European Union drug regulator’s expert committee was expected to report its analysis Thursday, including whether any new precautions should be taken regarding the vaccine.
Isabel van Brugen, Reuters, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.