While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 27

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US announces export of up to 60 million AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses

The United States will release up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, a senior official said Monday, following mounting criticism that the Biden administration was hoarding shots while other countries suffered.

“US to release 60 million AstraZeneca doses to other countries as they become available,” tweeted Andy Slavitt, senior adviser to the White House on Covid-19 response.

It was not immediately clear how many doses are ready to be shipped or where they will go, with Slavitt adding “at this time there are still very few available.”

But US President Joe Biden held a telephone call with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, pledging his country’s “steadfast support for the people of India who have been impacted by the recent surge in Covid-19 cases.”

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Covid-19 situation in India ‘beyond heartbreaking’: WHO chief Tedros

The World Health Organisation chief voiced alarm Monday at India’s record-breaking wave of Covid-19 cases and deaths, saying the organisation was rushing to help address the crisis.

“The situation in India is beyond heartbreaking,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters.

His comments came as India battles a catastrophic coronavirus wave that has overwhelmed hospitals and crematoriums working at full capacity.

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India to receive first batch of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine on May 1

India will receive a first batch of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19 on May 1, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Kirill Dmitriev, told Reuters on Monday.

He did not say how many vaccines would be in the first batch or where they would be made.

“The first doses will be delivered on May 1,” Dmitriev said, adding he hoped Russian supplies would help India navigate its way out of the pandemic in time.

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UK imposes sanctions on Russians, South Africa’s Guptas in first use of anti-corruption law

Britain imposed sanctions on Monday on 14 Russians, on the Gupta family of South African businessmen and on officials accused