Coronavirus cases racing towards 100 million globally

Agencies
2021-01-24 | Since 4 Month

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 2,107,903 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally from official sources at 1100 GMT on Saturday.

More than 98,127,150 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 59,613,300 are now considered recovered.

A warning from AstraZeneca that initial supplies of its COVID-19 vaccinations to Europe will be lower than expected has sparked new concern over the rollout of inoculations, with some countries planning for a sharp drop in deliveries.

 

Friday’s announcement by the British pharmaceutical firm followed another last week by Pfizer, which said it would delay shipments of its vaccine for up to a month due to works at its key plant in Belgium.

The companies’ warnings come with worry deepening over new Covid-19 variants, particularly one that emerged in Britain and which is more infectious than the original strain.
Overall, Europe has now recorded more than 692,000 deaths and nearly 32 million infections.

A new test, considered a breakthrough, which determines whether one is infected with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in five minutes from the normal 30 minutes, has been invented.

University of Birmingham-College of Life and Environmental Sciences (UoB-UK Campus) Biotechnology professor Dr Tim Dafforn said this new method is still useful in answer to Gulf Today’s question of its relevance, in relation to the rollout of vaccines in some countries, against the infectious and mutated SARS-CoV2. He added the new method has nothing to do with the entry of the new SARS-CoV2 variant. The laboratory research totalled nine months in 2020. Its brainchild is UoB-Chemistry PhD student Jake Carter.

The Chinese city of Wuhan marked one year since the start of its traumatic 76-day coronavirus lockdown Saturday, while the pandemic raged elsewhere and governments scrambled to put in place new measures.

Thousands of Hong Kongers in Jordan, one of the city’s poorest and most densely-packed districts, were ordered to stay home Saturday unless they can show a negative test, in the city’s first lockdown.

Around the world, more than 2.1 million people have died of COVID-19 since it emerged in China in December 2019, with over 98 million infected.

US President Joe Biden on Friday said “well over 600,000” Americans could die of the coronavirus as he stepped up federal aid in the world’s worst-hit country, while less wealthy nations anticipated better access to tests and vaccines thanks to several international deals.
“The virus is surging. We’re at 400,000 dead, expected to reach well over 600,000,” Biden told a news conference, giving his highest estimate yet for the US outbreak’s eventual toll.

His new administration boosted stimulus handouts as well as payments to help families buy food, with more poor children going hungry after the school lunches they depended on disappeared as classrooms shuttered.

The World Health Organisation has repeatedly warned that richer countries are hogging the vaccine. But there was good news Friday for poorer nations, as the WHO and pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer announced a deal for up to 40 million initial doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be made available to them through the Covax global pool.

In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a new strain of the virus that has swept his country and beyond could be more deadly as well as more transmissible, with the variant having spread to more than 60 countries already.

A group of British doctors have written to England’s chief medical officer to tell him to cut the gap between doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine to six weeks from up to 12.

Britain is prioritising giving first doses of COVID-19 vaccine, allowing up to 12 weeks before a second dose, to give the maximum number of people some initial protection.


But Pfizer and BioNTech have warned they have no evidence their vaccine would continue to be protective if the second dose is given more than 21 days after the first.

These figures are based on daily tolls provided by health authorities in each country and exclude later re-evaluations by statistical organisations, such as in Russia, Spain and Britain.

On Friday, 16,380 new deaths and 661,495 new cases were recorded Worldwide. Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were United States with 4,151 new deaths, followed by Mexico with 1,440 and United Kingdom with 1,401.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 414,107 deaths from 24,821,814 cases.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 215,243 deaths from 8,753,920 cases, India with 153,184 deaths from 10,639,684 cases, Mexico with 147,614 deaths from 1,732,290 cases, and the United Kingdom with 95,981 deaths from 3,583,907 cases.



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