Global Covid-19 cases cross 100 million as countries battle new strains
Worldwide coronavirus cases surpassed 100 million on Monday, according to global counters, as nations around the globe scramble to procure vaccines and continue to extend or reinstate lockdowns to fight new coronavirus variants.
The new Covid-19 variants discovered initially in the United Kingdom and South Africa are rapidly spreading globally.
The total number of recoveries as on January 25 is 72 million while the death toll has risen to 2.1 million. Global total active cases stand at nearly 26 million.
The novel coronavirus has picked up pace in the past few months with about one-third of total cases registered in the last few weeks.
Latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
Chinese President Xi Jinping warns global leaders at an all-virtual Davos forum against starting a “new Cold War”, urging global unity in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
US biotechnology firm Moderna says lab studies showed its Covid-19 vaccine will remain protective against coronavirus variants first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
The European Union warns drugs firm AstraZeneca that delays to agreed deliveries of the coronavirus vaccine are unacceptable.
US pharmaceutical firm Merck announces it is halting work on two potential Covid-19 vaccinations — including one developed with the Pasteur Institute — following disappointing initial clinical results.
European stock markets fall on news that France might be headed for a fresh coronavirus lockdown and at the prospect of new global travel curbs and delays with vaccines.
The EU executive calls on the 27 member states to impose pre-trip PCR tests for all travellers allowed into the bloc and quarantine on arrival if they come from zones where virus variants are spreading.
Mexico agrees to acquire 24 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador “is well and strong, coordinating matters,” one day after announcing he was infected with the novel coronavirus, his interior minister says.
The UN’s International Labour Organization says the pandemic took a “massive” toll on the global labour market last year with the equivalent of more than a quarter of a billion jobs lost.
Athletes who have not been vaccinated would face “extremely difficult” conditions at the Tokyo Games this summer, the president of the French National Olympic Committee says.
Chocolate company Godiva says it will shut or sell its 128 North American stores due to a steep downturn in customer foot traffic from Covid-19.
At least 2,129,368 people have died of coronavirus since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally from official sources.
More than 99,144,232 cases of coronavirus have been registered.
The US has suffered the highest death toll with 419,220 fatalities, followed by Brazil with 217,037 and India with 153,470.