– Bolsonaro charges –
A Brazilian senate committee will ask that President Jair Bolsonaro face criminal charges — including crimes against humanity — over his handling of the pandemic which has left more than 600,000 of his compatriots dead.
– Russia deaths spiral –
President Vladimir Putin is expected to announce new Russia-wide restrictions after at least 1,028 people died of the virus in the last 24 hours, another grim daily record.
Moscow’s mayor has already ordered mandatory jabs for service workers and unvaccinated over-60s to work from home.
– UK curbs call –
British health chiefs call for some restrictions to be reinstated after it recorded the highest death toll since March amid spiralling infections.
– Canada MPs must get jab –
Canadian lawmakers will have to be vaccinated to enter the House of Commons there from late November.
– Gates give $120 million –
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is putting $120 million into getting a anti-Covid pill called molnupiravir to poorer countries. US lab Merck claims it reduces the risk of hospitalisation by half in people infected with the virus.
– US Supreme Court backs pass –
A US Supreme Court justice struck down a bid by some health workers in Maine to block a mandatory vaccine pass there.
– Italian tax cuts –
Italy’s government agrees tax cuts to underpin an ambitious reform agenda and boost growth after the pandemic.
– Beijing boosters –
Beijing is starting to give booster jabs as the Chinese capital gears up to host a tightly controlled Winter Olympics in February.
– 4.9 million dead –
The coronavirus has killed at least 4,910,200 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP on Wednesday.
The US has suffered the most Covid-related deaths with 728,296, followed by Brazil with 603,855, India 452,651, Mexico 284,925 and Russia 226,353.
The countries with the most new deaths were the US with 1,850 new deaths, followed by Russia with 1,028 and Romania with 574.
Taking into account excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19, the World Health Organization estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.