Taiwan has criticized what it calls the “indifference” of the World Health Organization to the health rights of the island’s people, according to Reuters. The WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly, begins its A man reacts as a health worker in protective suit takes his nasal swab sample to test for COVID-19 in New Delhi, India, May 22, 2021.India became the third country Monday to surpass 300,00 deaths related to COVID, after the health ministry reported more than 4,000 COVID deaths in the previous 24 hours. The U.S. has recorded nearly 590,000 deaths, while Brazil is approaching 450,000. The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reports 3.4 million global COVID deaths.   Also Monday, India reported 222,315 new COVID cases in the past 24-hour period, a significant drop for the South Asian nation that was experiencing more than 400,000 new daily infections just a few weeks ago. However, public health officials believe that India’s toll is likely undercounted because of limited testing resources. 
The Indian government said Saturday that while COVID-19 infections remain high as they spread to overburdened rural areas, the infections are stabilizing in some parts of the country. While a new variant of the virus first found in India has raised alarm around the world, a new study found Saturday that vaccines by Pfizer and AstraZeneca are effective against it after two doses. The study by Public Health England found that Pfizer’s vaccine is 88% effective against B.1.617.2, or the Indian variant, and 93% effective against B.1.1.7, now known as the Kent variant. AstraZeneca’s vaccine is 60% effective against the Indian variant and 66% effective against the English variant. In both cases, the effectiveness was measured two weeks after the second shot and against symptomatic disease. Both vaccines had limited effectiveness after just one dose.  The Kent variant is the dominant strain in England, but health officials fear the Indian strain may outpace it. Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported early Monday 167 million global COVID-19 infections. The U.S. has more infections than any other country at 33 million cases. India is next with 26.7 million, while Brazil is ranked third with 16 million. 

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