Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus
Several countries welcomed 2021 amid stringent coronavirus restrictions as the world looked to move on from a tumultuous 2020 that saw the pandemic infect and kill millions and companies rush to make vaccines and get emergency approvals.
– The World Health Organization listed Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, in a move seeking to speed access in the developing world.
– British doctors have said a government decision to delay giving a coronavirus vaccine booster shot to vulnerable patients who have already had a first dose will be distressing and disruptive, their trade union said.
– About 4,000 additional positive tests for Covid-19 in the last two to three days have yet to be formally confirmed in Ireland, meaning the situation is worse than recent record daily figures suggest, a senior health official.
– All travellers entering Norway will have to take a Covid-19 test within 24 hours of arrival from Jan. 2, the country’s justice ministry said.
– A more infections variant of Covid-19 that has swept through the United Kingdom has been identified in Florida, marking the third known US state to identify such a case.
– David Perdue, one of two Republican U.S. senators facing a runoff election in Georgia next week that will determine control of the Senate, is quarantining after coming in close contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.
– Canada will require air travellers aged 5 and up to test negative for Covid-19 before arrival, starting January 7.
– Brazil reported more than 1,000 deaths from the coronavirus for a third day in a row.
– Large crowds took to the streets at midnight in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, celebrating the arrival of 2021 after a year marred by a deadly pandemic that killed thousands there and required the city to be locked down between the end of January and early April.
– Australia welcomed 2021 with subdued celebrations as fresh coronavirus restrictions and border closures at its two most populous states forced families to ditch New Year plans.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
– Chad has locked down its capital N’djamena for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic and has declared a dusk to dawn curfew due to a rise in infections.