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VOA News 210503_08pm

VOA 2-min news 210503_08pm

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VOA 2-min news 210503_08pm


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This is VOA news reporting by remote. I'm Joe Ramsey.

India's total coronavirus caseload is rising and nearing 20 million, in stark contrast to falling numbers and gradual signs of normal life in the US and Europe.

Wealthier parts of the world have been able to use quick vaccination programs to help keep new infections down.

The World Health Organization said Monday the global COVID-19 crisis cannot be resolved unless richer nations step up and fund recovery efforts.

India has seen 8 million more cases since the end of March with Prime Minister Narendra Modi under growing pressure to act to reverse the surge.

Hospitals are overwhelmed and face shortages of medicines and oxygen.

Meanwhile, Europe is looking at easing travel restrictions on foreign tourists as early as next month if they are fully vaccinated or come from a country with COVID under control.

Americans are among those eyeing possible European vacations this summer, with more than 100 million in the US now fully vaccinated.

Florida on Monday became the latest state to lift its coronavirus restrictions, citing the effectiveness and availability of vaccines.

U.S. health officials are likely to expand use of the Pfizer shot to everyone 12 and older by next week according to media reports.

It would come just a month after the company found its vaccine was safe and effective in 12- to 15-year-olds.

Having already been authorized for use in ages 16 and older in the U.S. and most of the world, but it's not available in hard-hit India.

Pfizer said on Monday it has told the Indian government there is no concern over the safety of its COVID-19 vaccine, as the country insists on small local trials. Foreign vaccines not made or produced in India are required to go through lengthy clinical trials.

This is VOA news.

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