Coronavirus: latest global developments | ASEAN Post
Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
Omicron spreads at ‘unprecedented rate’
The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that the new variant of the Omicron coronavirus is spreading “at a rate that we have not seen with any previous variant” and is probably already present in most countries.
“Positive” COVID Pill Results
Pfizer says clinical trials have confirmed that its COVID pill, a new type of antiviral treatment that is expected to resist mutations seen with Omicron, has reduced hospitalizations and deaths among those at risk by nearly 90%.
Netherlands tightens COVID measures
The Netherlands will close primary schools next week and extend the nighttime lockdown until January 14 as fears grow over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.
Increasing cases in Africa, but fewer deaths
Africa has seen a massive increase in COVID cases over the past week, but the death toll is lower than in previous waves, according to the WHO.
Travel ban between UK and Africa lifted
The UK must remove 11 African countries, including South Africa, from its “red list” banning inbound travel, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.
Over 1,000 daily cases in Denmark
Denmark records for the first time more than 1,000 daily cases of the new Omicron variant, which health authorities say will become the dominant strain in Copenhagen this week.
The pandemic has an impact on hunger
Economic slowdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic have exacerbated the main causes of hunger, which has worsened dramatically in Africa, affecting 282 million people in 2020, according to a new United Nations report.
Johnson fights backlash
The UK government insists the country is in a race to prevent the Omicron variant from spiraling out of control as it urges its own MPs not to rebel against the new coronavirus restrictions in Tuesday’s votes.
Premier League increases testing
Premier League players and staff must pass a lateral flow test every time they enter their football club’s training ground as part of strict new measures to curb the threat of the coronavirus.
COVID-19 often disrupts pregnancies, in particular leading to more premature births, according to a study made available by hospitals in Paris (APHP).
More than 5.3 million dead
The coronavirus has killed at least 5,313,726 since the outbreak of the epidemic in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources established by AFP on Tuesday at 18:00 GMT.
The countries with the worst per capita death rates over the past week are Hungary with 13.18 per 100,000 population, followed by Trinidad and Tobago (10.58) and Bulgaria (9.84), closely followed by Croatia and Slovakia.
But the biggest increases in the number of new cases are in southern Africa – where Omicron was first spotted – with an increase of 425% in Lesotho, 346% in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), 327% in Namibia and 312% in Zimbabwe.
Given the excess mortality from COVID-19, the WHO estimates that the total death toll could be two to three times higher.