- This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news and updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
- Top stories: COVID-19 case rises in China; COVAX secures 2 billion vaccine doses; Variant first seen in UK detected in Mexico and France.
1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 90.2 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 1.93 million.
Indonesia has extended a ban on foreign visitors for a further 14 days, in an effort to control the transmission of the coronavirus.
Oil prices have fallen, as a result of concerns about global demand in the face of restrictions in Europe and new measures in parts of China to tackle the coronavirus.
Mexico has reported more than 10,000 new COVID-19 cases – although the real number is likely to be much higher, officials say. Authorities have also confirmed the presence of the new variant first seen in Britain in the north of the country.
The new variant has also been detected in the port city of Marseille and in the Alps, according to French authorities.
The UK is opening seven large-scale vaccination centres today, to help accelerate the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Israel has begun to roll out COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, as three weeks have passed since the start of the country’s inoculation programme.
Belgium’s death toll from COVID-19 has reached 20,000 – one of the highest per capita in the world.
Authorities in Cuban capital Havana have announced new measures to control COVID-19 infections, including a suspension of interprovincial travel, use of some public spaces and other activities.
2. China sees biggest daily COVID-19 case rise in over five months
Mainland China has seen its biggest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in more than 5 months, according to the national health authority.
Of the 85 new local infections reported on 10 January, 82 were in Hebei province. Eighteen new imported infections were also reported, with the 103 total the highest since 127 new cases were reported on 30 July.
Authorities have moved quickly in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus, with a lockdown introduced in Shijiazhuang, Hebei’s capital. People and vehicles are barred from leaving the city, with public transport also halted.
3. COVAX secures 2 billion vaccine doses
COVAX, which aims to secure equitable global access to vaccines, has secured 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines, World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday. It also has first refusal on an additional 1 billion doses.
But, he warned that high and middle-income countries continue to buy up vaccines. “This potentially bumps up the price for everyone and means high-risk people in the poorest and most marginalized countries don’t get the vaccine,” he said.
He called on manufacturers to prioritize supply and rollout through COVAX, and on countries that have secured more doses than they need to “donate and release them to COVAX immediately”.
“Vaccinating equitably saves lives, stabilizes health systems and would lead to a truly global economic recovery that stimulates job creation,” he added.