Tuesday Dec 21, 2021
PARIS: Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus calls for the world to pull together and make the difficult decisions needed to end the Covid-19 pandemic within the next year.
As the end-of-year festivities approach, he says it is better to cancel events "now and celebrate later than to celebrate now and grieve later."
The European Union approves a vaccine from US company Novavax as its fifth official Covid jab, which uses a more conventional technology that the biotech firm hopes will reduce vaccine hesitancy.
US vaccine maker Moderna expresses confidence that its booster shot is effective against the Omicron variant, after the announcement of laboratory results it describes as "reassuring.
Germany plans to limit private New Year's Eve parties to 10 people, a draft document shows, as it tightens Covid restrictions in a bid to slow the spread of Omicron.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson defies pressure to tighten coronavirus rules over Christmas to curb surging Omicron cases, but vows to keep the situation "under constant review".
Premier League clubs decide against a temporary halt to the football season, despite a surge in coronavirus cases that has forced a number of matches to be postponed.
Global equity and oil markets slump on investor panic over the impact of worldwide measures to contain the Omicron variant.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) says it "will defer" until the early summer its annual meeting in Davos in the light of continued uncertainty over the Omicron variant.
Tennis legend Rafael Nadal says he has tested positive, which puts in doubt his participation in the Australian Open next month.
The forthcoming Test and one-day international series between South Africa and India will be played without spectators because of the pandemic.
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.