PARIS: Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
– Covid deaths hit four-month high in Peru –
Peru, the country with the highest Covid-19 death rate in the world, records more than 100 deaths on Friday, a figure not seen for four months.
The country begins requiring vaccine certificates in stores, banks and airports due to the increase in cases and deaths. It also bans social gatherings including ones in family homes over Christmas and New Year.
– Denmark sees Omicron surge –
Denmark sees 1,840 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant, health authorities say on Saturday, up by 44 percent from Friday. Earlier in the day, the Epidemic Commission raises the risk level for the spread of the infection to four, on a scale of five, indicating there is a “potential for a high disease burden”.
– Mauritius sees first Omicron cases –
The Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius records its first two infections of the Covid-19 Omicron variant, both linked to people returned from South Africa, with a dozen more contact cases feared.
Health Minister Kailesh Jagutpal tells a news conference the pair were asymptomatic and had tested negative the day before.
– France approves antibody therapy for high-risk cases –
French health authorities approve the use of an anti-body treatment made by AstraZeneca for high-risk people who show resistance to vaccines against coronavirus.
Evusheld, developed by the British-Swedish pharma company, this week received emergency use authorisation in the United States for adults and children aged 12 and above.
– Thousands protest compulsory jabs in Austria –
Tens of thousands gather in Austria’s capital Vienna to protest mandatory Covid vaccines and home confinement orders for those who have not yet received the jabs.
Police say an estimated 44,000 people attended the demonstration, the latest in a string of huge weekend protests since Austria last month became the first EU country to say it would make Covid vaccinations compulsory.
– Nearly 5.3 million dead –
The coronavirus has killed at least 5.29 million people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP on Saturday.
The United States has suffered the most Covid-related deaths with 796,765, followed by Brazil with 616,691, India with 475,128, Mexico with 296,385 and Russia with 288,351.
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.