LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called off a trip to India amid surging coronavirus cases in the country.
The British and Indian governments said Monday that “in the light of the current coronavirus situation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not be able to travel to India next week” as planned.
The two governments said Johnson and Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi would speak later this month and planned to meet in person later this year.
The long-planned trip would have been Johnson’s first foreign visit since the start of the coronavirus pandemic more than a year ago. It was originally scheduled for January but postponed when infections soared in Britain.
India reported 273,810 new infections on Monday, its highest daily rise since the start of the pandemic and now has reported more than 15 million infections, a total second only to the United States.
The Health Ministry also reported 1,619 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, pushing the toll over 178,769.
India has the fourth-highest number of deaths after the U.S., Brazil and Mexico — though, with nearly 1.4 billion people, it has a much larger population than any of those countries.
Indian vaccine maker asks US to ease export curbs
April 16, 2021
NEW DELHI (AP) — The chief executive of Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest maker of vaccines and a critical supplier of the U.N.-backed COVAX facility, asked President Joe Biden on Twitter to lift the U.S. embargo on exporting raw materials needed to make the jabs.
Vaccine makers and experts in India have been concerned that the use of the Defense Production Act by the U.S. to boost their own vaccine production was resulting in exports of critical raw materials being stopped. This was hobbling vaccine production in other parts of the world.
Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer for Moderna, said Tuesday in an online event that export embargoes were also preventing American vaccine makers from exporting shots globally and resulting in shortages.
“If we are to truly unite in beating this virus, on behalf of the vaccine industry outside the U.S., I humbly request you to lift the embargo of raw material exports out of the U.S. so that vaccine production can ramp up,” wrote Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India.
He had earlier told The Associated Press that pivoting away from suppliers in the U.S. could result in a delay of up to six months for the production of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Novavax. Serum Institute and Novavax have inked a deal to supply 1.1 billion doses of the vaccine to COVAX to equitably distribute it across the globe … Read more.