PARIS: Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
– US boosters for kids –
US health authorities approve Pfizer’s Covid-19 booster shot for children as young as 12, and reduce the wait time between initial vaccination and an extra dose from six months to five, for all ages.
– Cruise chaos –
More than 2,000 people on a cruise ship in Indian waters are prevented from disembarking, while some 3,000 passengers, mostly Germans, see their Canary Islands-bound cruise halted in Lisbon after Covid-19 outbreaks.
– Dutch schools to reopen –
Dutch schools will reopen next week as planned after a longer than usual Christmas holiday, the government announces, despite a tough lockdown amid rising infections fuelled by the Omicron Covid-19 variant.
– French vaccine pass debated –
French MPs begin debating draft legislation on a “vaccine pass”, that would require most people to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter public spaces such as bars, restaurants and long-distance public transport.
– Israel eases travel curbs –
Israel begins administering fourth Covid vaccine shots to over 60s and health workers, and will from Sunday allow entry to vaccinated visitors from low-risk countries, five weeks after it shut its borders to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.
– Football hit again –
Tottenham are hit by fresh coronavirus concerns ahead of their League Cup semi-final first leg at Chelsea on Wednesday, while Bayern Munich’s Covid crisis grows deeper with Lucas Hernandez and Tanguy Nianzou the latest players to test positive.
– More than 5.4 million dead –
The coronavirus has killed at least 5,441,446 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources on Monday.
The US has recorded the most Covid deaths with 826,064, followed by Brazil with 619,133, India with 481,893 and Russia with 311,353.
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.