What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

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

COVID-19 vaccine patents dominate global trade talks

World Trade Organization members will assess on Wednesday signs of progress in talks on a proposal by South Africa and India to waive patent rights on COVID-19 vaccines to boost supply to developing countries.

Ten meetings in seven months have failed to produce a breakthrough, with 60 proposal sponsors from emerging economies, backed by a chorus of campaign groups, Nobel laureates and former world leaders, pitted against richer developed countries, such as Switzerland, the United States and in the European Union, where many pharmaceutical companies are based.

Desperate for oxygen, Indian hospitals go to court

A court in India's capital, New Delhi, has become the last hope for many hospitals struggling to get oxygen for COVID-19 patients as supplies run dangerously short while government officials bicker over who is responsible.

A two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court has been holding almost daily video conferences to hear petitions from hospitals invoking India's constitutional right to protection of life. Local and federal officials are attending. The court's intervention has saved lives, lawyers say.

People over 50 in Britain to be offered 3rd vaccine shot in autumn -The Times

Everyone aged over 50 in Britain will be offered a third COVID-19 vaccination jab in the autumn in an attempt to eradicate the threat from the infection entirely by Christmas, The Times newspaper reported.

Trials of two options are under way, supervised by Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, the newspaper said. The first involves vaccines specifically modified to tackle new variants. The second is for a third shot of one of the three versions already in use: Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca Moderna MRNA.O, the newspaper reported.

White House to shift vaccines to states with more need

COVID-19 vaccine doses allocated to a U.S. state but left unordered will become available to other states under a policy shift aimed at delivering vaccines to where they are most in demand, the White House said on Tuesday. Vaccines had been allocated to states based on population - a formula the Biden administration held to even as some states such as Michigan saw increases in coronavirus infections.

Under the new policy, unordered doses would be made available to states with a more immediate need, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

Oldest person in world bows out of Olympic torch relay

Kane Tanaka, the world's oldest person at 118, has decided not to take part in the torch relay for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics over pandemic fears, an official at her nursing home said on Wednesday. The Olympic torch relay, which kicked off in March, has been hit by a coronavirus outbreak.

Japan is considering extending a coronavirus spurred state of emergency in the capital, Tokyo, and other major urban areas, sources said on Wednesday, a move that could cast doubt on the planned Summer Olympics.

(Compiled by Karishma Singh. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

05/05/2021 5:23

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