PARIS: Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
– Police probe Partygate –
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson vows to cooperate with police on any formal probe into coronavirus lockdown-breaking parties at Downing Street, further intensifying pressure on his position.
– IMF slashes growth estimate –
The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is creating an obstacle course for the global economy, which will slow growth this year, notably in the world’s two largest economies the US and China, the IMF says.
– Omicron vaccine? –
Pfizer and BioNTech say they have begun enrolment for a clinical trial to test the safety and immune response of their Omicron-specific Covid-19 vaccine in adults aged up to 55.
– Half a million new Covid cases in France –
France posts more than half a million new infections in 24 hours, in its latest daily case record since the start of the pandemic.
– Dutch bars and restaurants to reopen –
The Netherlands is to lift some of Europe’s toughest Covid restrictions with bars, restaurants and museums allowed to reopen their doors from Wednesday.
– Poland schools partly shift online –
Older schoolchildren in Poland are to switch to remote learning for a month as the EU member struggles against soaring Covid-19 infection numbers.
– Covid fraud –
South African investigators have referred 940 cases of corruption and malfeasance involving millions of dollars of Covid funds for prosecution and disciplinary action, President Cyril Ramaphosa says.
– Bolsonaro guru dies –
Olavo de Carvalho, who was considered a guru to President Jair Bolsonaro and like the far right leader sceptical of the danger of the coronavirus, dies in the United States after contracting the virus.
– Royal Mail axes jobs –
British postal operator Royal Mail announces plans to cut 700 management jobs to slash costs, as it reveals that thousands of staff are off work with Covid.
– Elton John positive –
Pop megastar Elton John postpones two concerts in Dallas — part of what is expected to be a lengthy farewell tour — after testing positive for Covid-19.
– Neil Young on ‘fake’ vaccine news –
In an open letter, US singer-song-writer Neil Young demands Spotify remove his music from the platform he says is spreading vaccine disinformation via the popular podcaster Joe Rogan.
– 5.6 million dead –
The coronavirus has killed at least 5,602,767 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources on Tuesday.
The US has recorded the most Covid deaths with 868,512, followed by Brazil with 623,356, India on 490,462 and Russia 327,448.
Taking into account excess mortality linked to Covid-19, the WHO estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.