PARIS: Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
– Holiday chaos –
Holiday travel chaos around the world continues with around 2,700 flights cancelled Monday and 860 more on Tuesday, according to flight tracker FlightAware.
– No ‘panic’ –
President Joe Biden says some US hospitals could be “overrun”, but that the country is generally well prepared to meet the latest Covid surge and Americans need not “panic”.
– Chinese lockdown tightened –
The locked-down Chinese city of Xi’an, where 13 million residents are facing their fifth day of home confinement, tightens Covid-19 controls to the “strictest” level, banning residents from driving cars around town.
– New records –
Denmark, Greece and Iceland report record daily coronavirus cases as the Omicron variant makes Europe the global hotspot for infections and deaths.
– New French measures –
The French government will order companies to oblige employees to work from home for at least three days a week, where possible, in a bid to stem a fifth wave of Covid infections, says Prime Minister Jean Castex.
– Fourth jab? –
An Israeli hospital launches a clinical trial on the impact of a fourth shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, as the health ministry weighs up a national fourth jab rollout.
– Premier League stricken –
England’s Premier League reports a record 103 players and staff tested positive for the coronavirus in the period from December 20 to 26.
– Barcelona players positive –
Two Barcelona defenders, Clement Lenglet and Dani Alves, also test positive, the club announces.
– From skiing to tennis –
American double Olympic alpine ski gold medallist Mikaela Shiffrin and tennis star Andrey Rublev become the latest sports stars to test positive for Covid-19.
– More than 5.4 million dead –
The coronavirus has killed at least 5,400,024 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally Monday from official sources compiled by AFP.
Overall, the United States has recorded the most Covid deaths with 816,819, followed by Brazil with 618,448, India with 479,997 and Russia with 305,155.
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.