What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

·3 min read
A woman wears a face shield and a face mask while cleaning the lobby of Taipei main station

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

India's COVID tally passes 25 million

India total COVID-19 caseload surged past 25 million on Tuesday as a powerful cyclone complicated the health crisis in one of the states where the disease is spreading most quickly.

COVID-19 tests were administered to 200,000 people evacuated from coastal districts of the western state of Gujarat before the cyclone struck late on Monday and efforts were being made to try to limit any spread of infections.

"Masks have been arranged for people shifted to shelter homes," said Sandip Sagale, a top official in Ahmedabad, the main city in Gujarat. Efforts are also made to maintain social distancing."

Tokyo doctors call for cancellation of Olympics

A top medical organisation has thrown its weight behind calls to cancel the Tokyo Olympics saying hospitals are already overwhelmed as the country battles a spike in infections less than three months from the start of the Games.

The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association representing about 6,000 primary care doctors said hospitals in the host city "have their hands full and have almost no spare capacity".

"We strongly request that the authorities convince the IOC that holding the Olympics is difficult and obtain its decision to cancel the Games," the association said in a May 14 open letter to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga which was posted on its website on Monday.

Taiwan's rise in COVID-19 cases slows

Taiwan said on Tuesday that all schools would close until the end of next week, shifting classes online while the island tackles a spike in COVID-19 cases, even as the rate of increase slowed slightly.

Taiwan has reported almost 1,000 new domestic infections during the past week, leading to new curbs in the capital, Taipei, and shocking a population that had become accustomed to life carrying on almost normally.

The country has reported a total of 2,260 infections since the start of the pandemic.

Italy shortens curfew

Italy's government on Monday approved a decree pushing back with immediate effect a nightly coronavirus curfew to 11 p.m. (2100 GMT) from 10 p.m. and easing other curbs in the regions where infections are low.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi's government agreed the curfew would begin at midnight from June 7 and be abolished altogether from June 21 in those areas, in line with a plan to gradually relax restrictions across the country.

Italy, which has the second-highest COVID-19 death toll in Europe after Britain, has seen daily deaths and cases decline in recent weeks, and more people are being vaccinated.

Biden to send 20 million doses of vaccines abroad

U.S. President Joe Biden will send at least 20 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses abroad by the end of June, marking the first time the United States is sharing vaccines authorised for domestic use.

The move marks a notable pivot from the White House as the administration seeks to use the country's vaccine supply as a diplomatic tool with the pandemic outlook brightening at home.

Biden announced on Monday that his administration would send doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, on top of 60 million AstraZeneca doses he had already planned to give to other countries.

(Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by David Clarke)

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