India’s tally of daily COVID-19 cases nearly doubled on April 18 from the previous day to more than 2,000 for the first time in a month, government data showed, and the southern state of Kerala reported a big jump in deaths.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration turned down Malvern, Pa.-based Ocugen’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) request for Covaxin in children ages 2 to 18 years. Covaxin is a Covid-19 vaccine the clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company is co-developing with India’s Bharat Biotech.

As Pfizer’s antiviral Paxlovid tablets against COVID-19 roll out, the company indicated it had halted the development of the intravenous variation of the drug, PF-07304814. In other news, SaNOtize Research & Development Corp. and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. announced that a Phase III trial of Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray (NONS) hit the primary endpoint.

Global COVID-19 cases surpassed 400 million on February 9, according to a Reuters tally, as the highly contagious Omicron variant dominates the outbreak, pushing health systems in several countries to the brink of capacity.

Novavax Inc. delivered just a small fraction of the 2 billion COVID-19 shots the company plans to send around the world in 2022 and has delayed first-quarter shipments in Europe and lower income countries such as the Philippines, public officials involved in their government’s vaccine rollouts told Reuters.

The coronavirus pandemic reached a grim new milestone in the United States on Feb. 4 with the nation’s cumulative death toll from COVID-19 surpassing 900,000, even as the daily number of lives lost began to level off, according to data collected by Reuters.

The emerging BA.2 form of the Omicron coronavirus variant does not seem to be any more severe than the original BA.1 form, an official of the World Health Organization said on Feb. 1.

Merck & Co.’s new antiviral pill – once touted as a potential game changer for treating COVID-19 – is the last choice among four available options for at-risk patients given its relatively low efficacy and potential safety issues, U.S. doctors, healthcare systems and pharmacies told Reuters.

India’s Bharat Biotech said on January 12 a booster shot of the company’s Covaxin COVID-19 vaccine administered six months after the last of two doses neutralizes both the Omicron and Delta variants of the coronavirus.

India approved Merck’s Covid-19 pill and two more vaccines for emergency use as the world’s second most populous country braces for a possible spike in coronavirus cases due to the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.