Coronavirus: Latest global developments

·3-min read
At least a fifth of the world's population may not have access to a vaccine until 2022, with wealthier nations reserving more than half of next year's potential doses, a study finds.

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- All together now -

The European Union's 27 member countries want to start vaccinations on "the same day" as pressure mounts on the bloc to catch up with the United States and Britain.

- Record Germany toll -

Germany registers a record number of deaths on the first day of a new partial lockdown.

- Bezos ex gives $4.2 billion -

MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, gives $4.2 billion to US pandemic relief organisations involved in food banks, debt relief, employment training, legal defence funds and civil rights advocacy groups.

- Record US cases -

The US sets a new daily record of cases with more than 248,000 infections.

- Doggface positive -

Viral sensation Doggface (@doggface208) -- who shot to fame skateboarding to work to Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" -- posts a screen grab of his positive test on Instagram saying "Dis Bitch got me plz send prayers".

Thousands of well-wishers including actor Kevin Bacon and rap legends Cypress Hill wish him a speedy recovery.

- One in 10 had virus -

One in 10 people in Spain -- one of Europe's worst-hit countries -- have contracted the virus, a new government antibody study finds.

- Covid origin team -

The World Health Organization says it will send a team to China in January to investigate the origin of the virus while warning of a "further resurgence" in Europe in early 2021.

- London pubs close -

London closes theatres, pubs and restaurants and bans people from socialising with anyone not from their household or support bubble, except outside in groups of no more than six.

- Anything for love -

A 28-year-old roofer from Scotland who made a four-hour jet-ski journey to the Isle of Man and a 15-mile hike to his girlfriend's home is jailed for four weeks for defying a pandemic ban on travelling to the island.

- Valneva jab -

French-Austrian biotech firm Valneva will begin clinical trials of its vaccine candidate in Britain, where the government has already ordered at least 60 million doses.

- Poor may wait for shots -

At least a fifth of the world's population may not have access to a vaccine until 2022, with wealthier nations reserving more than half of next year's potential doses, a study finds.

- 1.6 million dead -

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 1,636,687 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP on Wednesday.

The US is the worst-affected country with 303,867 deaths, followed by Brazil with 182,799, India with 144,096, Mexico with 115,099 and Italy with 65,857.

- Rio carnival axed -

Rio de Janeiro's annual New Year's Eve beach mega-party is cancelled as well as the city's 2021 carnival, normally held in late February.

- Saudi Arabia deficit -

Saudi Arabia projects its 2020 budget deficit will soar to around $79 billion, as the world's top crude exporter reels from low oil prices and a virus-led downturn.

- California swamped -

Record cases across southern California leave Los Angeles with fewer than 100 available intensive care beds for 10 million people, with similar situations in neighbouring counties sparking fears of a big spike in mortality.

- Afghan help -

The United Nations expects to have to help five million more Afghans in 2021 because of the pandemic and an increase in conflicts.

- MLB delay? -

Major League Baseball favours delaying the 2021 season and reducing the number of games unless all players can be vaccinated before spring training, which usually kicks off in February.