Wire Service
2 minute read
31 Dec 2021
3:11 pm

Global Covid-19 update: More than five million dead


The World Health Organization estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.

Medical staff members stand near to patient using a new non-invasive technology that can reduce the need of intubationat at Covid-19 intensive care unit (ICU) at The Institute of Clinical Cardiology (ICC) in Rome, on December 30, 2021. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

Global Covid-19 update

New Year under pandemic cloud

A New Year shorn of mass celebrations beckons for millions around the world as authorities from Greece to Mexico, from Barcelona to Bali and across swathes of Europe cancel or curtail public gatherings, either closing or imposing curfews on nightclubs.

South Africa ends curfew

South Africa, where the highly contagious Omicron variant was first detected, says its latest coronavirus wave has likely passed its peak without a significant increase in deaths and that restrictions will be eased for New Year.

Quebec curfew

Canada’s Quebec province announces a night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am, ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations as Covid-19 cases across the country soar.

Omicron dominant in France

The Omicron variant has become the main coronavirus strain in France where the number of infections has surged in the last few days, the country’s public health agency says.

Israel approves fourth jab

Israel approves a fourth vaccine shot for vulnerable people, becoming one of the first countries to do so, amid a surge in Covid-19 cases driven by Omicron.

US child infections spiral

Almost 199,000 children were reported infected with Covid-19 in the week ending December 23, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a 50 percent rise on  earlier in the month.

AFP Covid-19 update: 5.4 million deaths

The coronavirus has killed at least 5,428,240 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to AFP’s tally Friday from official sources.

USA Covid-19 update

Overall, the United States has recorded the most Covid-19 deaths with 824,339, followed by Brazil with 618,984 India on 481,080 and Russia 308,860.

Taking into account excess mortality linked to Covid-19, the World Health Organization estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.