Wire Service
2 minute read
18 Dec 2021
4:02 am

Coronavirus: Latest global developments


The coronavirus has killed at least 5.335,968 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP Friday. 

A health worker inoculates a man with a dose of the Covishield vaccine against the Covid-19 coronavirus at a corporation health camp in Kolkata on September 17, 2021. (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR / AFP)

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

– WHO approves Indian vaccine –

The World Health Organization grants emergency approval to the Indian Covid vaccine Covovax, saying it aims by the listing to “increase access particularly in lower-income countries.”

– Third consecutive UK record –

The British government reports 93,045 new coronavirus cases, a third consecutive record daily tally, as the Omicron Covid variant fuels a surge in infections.

– Midnight deadline in France –

Passengers rush to beat a midnight deadline for travel to and from Britain and France, before France bans non-essential travel between both countries to contain rampant Omicron infections.

– ‘Massive’ wave coming –

Germany is facing a “massive fifth wave” of the coronavirus caused by the arrival of Omicron, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach says.

– Denmark shuts down culture –

Denmark, which this week had the highest per capita new Covid infection rate, announces it will close cinemas, theatres and concert halls and restrict restaurant opening hours.

– Swiss curbs on unvaccinated –

Switzerland will step up anti-Covid measures from Monday with a return to working from home and curbs on the unvaccinated, as the country battles an intense fifth wave of the virus.

– 335 million US doses donated –

The United States has so far delivered more than 335 million doses of Covid vaccine to 110 countries, a figure matching the US population, the White House tells AFP.

– Canada lifts Africa ban –

Canada announces the lifting of a ban on foreign travellers from 10 African countries from 0459 GMT Sunday, while reimposing testing.

– Johnson on the ropes –

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes “personal responsibility,” after suffering a crushing by-election defeat in a constituency never previously lost by his party as virus scandals swirl around Downing Street.

– Bolsonaro accused –

Employees at Brazil’s federal health regulator accuse President Jair Bolsonaro of making “fascist” threats, after the far-right leader said he wanted the names revealed of those who approved Covid-19 vaccines for children.

– UK-France rugby ties off –

This weekend’s European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup matches between clubs from the UK and France are postponed due to strict coronavirus travel rules.

– Over 5.3 million dead – 

The coronavirus has killed at least 5,335,968 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP Friday. 

The US has suffered the most Covid-related deaths with 803,652, followed by Brazil with 617,395, India with 476,869 and Mexico with 297,356.

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