Sunday May 22, 2022

Latest Covid-19 developments from around the globe

UK PM Boris Johnson said most restrictions deployed to fight the Covid pandemic will be lifted from next week

January 20, 2022
People walk along a platform at Oxford Circus Underground station in London. Agencies
People walk along a platform at Oxford Circus Underground station in London. Agencies

PARIS: Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- Johnson fights on -

Britain's embattled prime minister Boris Johnson vows to fight on as leader to the next general election, despite moves by his own MPs to oust him amid public fury over lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street.

- England lifts curbs -

Johnson says most restrictions deployed to fight the latest wave of the Covid pandemic in England will be lifted from next week.

- Variant recedes in US -

The United States appears to be emerging from its latest coronavirus wave driven by the Omicron variant, data shows, though cases remain far higher than during any previous surge and Covid hospitalisations are at a peak.

- Beijing battles virus -

Beijing reports five new locally transmitted coronavirus cases, raising fears of a fresh outbreak less than three weeks before the city hosts the Winter Olympics.

- Omicron not to derail US growth -

The latest coronavirus variant will weigh on US economic growth in the months ahead but will not derail it, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen assures the nation's mayors.

- 'Tax us now' -

More than 100 millionaires make an appeal to be taxed to pay for Covid vaccines for everyone and pull 2.3 billion people out of poverty.

- Czech jab mandate scrapped -

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala says the government is scrapping plans for obligatory Covid-19 vaccinations for over-60s, an initiative of the previous cabinet.

- Portugal lifts quarantine for polls -

Voters in quarantine because they have tested positive for coronavirus or are contact cases will be allowed to vote at Portugal's January 30 elections, the government announces.

- First Africa jab plant -

South Africa-born biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong opens Africa's first start-to-finish Covid vaccine plant in Cape Town.

- Malkovich turned away -

US actor John Malkovich was turned away from a luxury hotel in Venice last week after failing to present a valid Covid vaccination pass, Italian news media report.

- Dutch curb protest -

Museums and concert halls temporarily turn themselves into beauty salons and gyms in the Netherlands in protest against the Dutch government's coronavirus restrictions.

- More than 5.5 million dead -

The coronavirus has killed at least 5,553,124 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources on Wednesday.

The US has recorded the most Covid deaths with 854,074, followed by Brazil with 621,517, India on 487,202 and Russia 323,376.

Taking into account excess mortality linked to Covid-19, the WHO estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.