Wire Service
2 minute read
21 Dec 2021
2:02 am

Coronavirus: Latest global developments


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under pressure to tighten restrictions with nearly 83,000 new cases there within 24 hours.

Paramedics works inside an ambulance parked outside the Royal London hospital in London on December 20, 2021. - UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday faced pressure to tighten coronavirus restrictions to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant, despite opposition to do so before Christmas. The UK reported 82,886 Covid-19 cases on Sunday as the new variant rages, with the highest number of infections in London. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP)

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

– Fauci’s bleak warning –

Top US pandemic advisor Anthony Fauci warns of a bleak northern hemisphere winter with the Omicron variant “raging through the world”. “Our hospitals are going to be very stressed,” particularly in areas of low vaccination, he says.

– EU decision on Novavax –

The EU’s drug regulator will decide whether to approve a more conventional vaccine by Novavax, which the US biotech firm hopes will reduce vaccine hesitancy.

– Johnson under the cosh –

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under pressure to tighten restrictions with nearly 83,000 new cases there within 24 hours.

– Ramaphosa back –

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa returns to work after spending a week in isolation following a positive test for Covid.

– Dubai back –

Dubai airport, one of the world’s busiest travel hubs, is fully operational for the first time since the pandemic began despite rising infections in the United Arab Emirates.

– Nadal tests positive –

Tennis legend Rafael Nadal says he has tested positive after returning to Spain from Abu Dhabi where he took part in an exhibition tournament.

– Spurs out of Europe –

Tottenham Hotspur’s European campaign is over after UEFA awarded Rennes victory in their final Europa Conference League group match which the English club was unable to play because of a swathe of Covid-19 cases.

– Over 5.3 million dead – 

The coronavirus has killed at least 5,352,288 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally Monday from official sources compiled by AFP.

The countries with the highest per capita number of new infections are Denmark with 1,094 per 100,000 inhabitants followed by the United Kingdom with 798, the Netherlands with 678, Switzerland with 671 and Ireland with 668.

The US has suffered the most Covid-related deaths with 806,438, followed by Brazil with 617,803, India with 477,554 and Russia with 298,222.

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