What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

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

Shanghai extends lockdown to entire city

Chinese authorities extended a lockdown in Shanghai to cover all of the financial centre's 26 million people on Tuesday after city-wide testing saw new COVID-19 cases surge to more than 13,000 amid growing public anger over quarantine rules.

The lockdown covers the entire city after restrictions in its western districts were extended until further notice, in what has become a major test of China's zero-tolerance strategy to eliminate the novel coronavirus.

At least 38,000 personnel have been deployed to Shanghai from other regions in what state media has described as the biggest nationwide medical operation since the shutdown of the city of Wuhan in early 2020 after the first known coronavirus outbreak there.

Omicron sub-variant BA.2 makes up 72% of COVID variants in U.S.

The U.S. national public health agency said on Monday the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron was estimated to account for nearly three of every four coronavirus variants in the country.

Overall COVID-19 cases in the United States have dropped sharply after hitting record levels in January, but a resurgence in cases in parts of Asia and Europe has raised concerns that another wave could follow in the United States. The country's health experts, however, believe it is unlikely.

U.S. FDA advisers to discuss additional vaccine shots

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's expert advisers will discuss the timing of additional COVID-19 vaccine boosters and the people eligible for the extra shots in a meeting later this week, the health agency said on Monday.

The independent advisers will also discuss at the April 6 meeting the FDA's role in how future versions of COVID vaccines are created to help fight new variants.

U.S. Senate negotiators reach deal on $10 bln for COVID aid

Negotiators in Congress have agreed to an additional $10 billion in COVID-19 funding to address U.S. needs but have dropped international aid from the package, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday.

The compromise, if passed, would be less than half of the $22.5 billion initially sought by U.S. President Joe Biden to combat COVID, prepare for future variants and shore up the nation's pandemic infrastructure.

Mexico says WTO vaccine deal should go beyond IP waiver

Any World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement on COVID-19 vaccines should include more than just a waiver on intellectual property, Mexico's representative to the trade body said, in a sign that consensus is proving tough to forge.

The United States, the European Union, India and South Africa reached a provisional consensus on elements of a long-sought IP waiver for the vaccines, according to a document that circulated among governments last month.

However, important details remain unresolved, and Mexico's WTO representative Angel Villalobos said the draft was not an official document and there was no deal yet.

Pfizer made 6 mln courses of COVID pill, hitting Q1 target

Pfizer said on Monday it made 6 million courses of its antiviral COVID-19 pill Paxlovid in the first quarter, hitting a target set by Chief Executive Albert Bourla.

The company has shipped the pills to over 26 countries so far.

(Compiled by Linda Noakes; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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