PARIS: Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
– Covax’s half a billion –
The Covax scheme aimed at more equitable access to vaccines has now delivered more than 500 million doses around the world.
– Novavax decision ‘within weeks’ –
US pharmaceutical giant Novavax applies for authorisation for its vaccine in the EU with a decision possible “within weeks”, Europe’s drugs regulator says.
– Sweden vaccine pass –
Sweden — which has taken a relatively light-touch virus approach — will introduce a vaccination pass on December 1 for public indoor events of more than 100 people.
– Burkina to reopen borders –
Burkina Faso is to reopen its land borders — closed since march 2020 — allowing road and rail travel from December 1, a government spokesman says.
– Spain boosts boosters –
Spain says it will widen its booster shot programme to include those aged over 60 and health professionals to increase their resistance to a resurgent coronavirus that is on the rise again.
– Teleworking and mask-wearing in Belgium –
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announces that it will be compulsory to wear masks in public and that those who can work from home should do so at least four days a week from Monday
– Portugal eyes new Covid measures –
Portugal says it is considering new coronavirus measures as cases and hospitalisations rise, even with one of the world’s highest vaccination rates.
– Uber restarts sharing –
Uber resumes its cut-price ride-sharing service in the United States after suspending it last year because of the pandemic.
– FedEx closes Hong Kong base –
Freight giant FedEx is closing its crew base in Hong Kong — the world’s busiest international cargo hub — and relocating pilots because of the city’s strict quarantine measures.
– Times Square party back –
New York City will allow crowds back into Times Square on New Year’s Eve to ring in 2022 after last year’s muted celebrations.
– Ireland works at home –
Ireland is asking people to work from home again and expanding its booster vaccination drive as cases and hospitalisations rise.
– More than five million dead –
The coronavirus has killed at least 5,115,601 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1930 GMT Wednesday.
The United States has suffered the most Covid-related deaths with 765,913, followed by Brazil with 611,478, India with 464,153, Mexico with 291,241 and Russia with 259,084.
Taking into account excess mortality linked to Covid-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.