Wire Service
2 minute read
23 Dec 2021
3:02 am

Coronavirus: Latest global developments


The US has suffered the most Covid-related deaths with 810,164, followed by Brazil with 617,948, India with 478,325 and Russia with 300,269.

Expired AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine vials are seen at the Gosa dump site in Abuja, Nigeria on December 22, 2021. - According to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC) alongside the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), one million, sixty-six thousand, two hundred and fourteen (1,066,214) doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine which expired in November were destroyed. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

– China locks down 13 million –

All 13 million residents of the northern Chinese city of Xi’an are ordered to stay at home after 52 new cases are found there.

– Fourth jab for Israelis –

Israel says people over the age of 60 and medical staff should get a fourth vaccination as it struggles to contain the spread of the Omicron variant while trying to avoid a lockdown. 

– 300,000 Russians dead –

Russia passes the grim milestone of 300,000 dead, according to an AFP tally from official sources, making it the fourth worst-hit country in the world.

– Britain bets on pills –

The UK government is to buy millions of doses of new Covid antiviral pills from Pfizer and US rival Merck/MSD as the Omicron variant rages through the country.

– French fears –

France fears cases there could top 100,000 a day by the end of December due to the faster-spreading Omicron.

– Finns close bars early –

Bars in Finland will be forced to close at 9 pm on Christmas Eve with further controls on hospitality opening hours and alcohol sales starting on December 28.

– US life expectancy falls –

Life expectancy in the United States drops by 1.8 years to 77, the steepest fall in more than 75 years, driven in large part by the pandemic.

The country has the world’s worst virus death toll.

– French fries rationing in Japan –

McDonald’s is forced to ration French fries in Japan as Covid supply problems and floods in Canada squeeze potato imports.

– Nadal possible for Oz Open –

Australian Open chiefs are confident Rafael Nadal will play in Melbourne next month despite testing positive as fresh doubts emerge over world number one Novak Djokovic, who refuses to say if he has been vaccinated.

– More than 5.3 million dead – 

The coronavirus has killed at least 5.368,777 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally Wednesday from official sources compiled by AFP.

The US has suffered the most Covid-related deaths with 810,164, followed by Brazil with 617,948, India with 478,325 and Russia with 300,269.

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.