Coronavirus: Latest global developments

·2-min read
82-year-old Brian Pinker receives the Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Sam Foster at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, southwest England.

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- First Oxford/AstraZeneca jab -

An 82-year-old man from Oxford in Britain becomes the first person in the world to receive AstraZeneca and Oxford University's new Covid jab outside a clinical trial.

The shot is more than six times cheaper than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and can be stored in normal fridges.

- Under pressure -

The French government faces growing pressure to accelerate its vaccination drive, with President Emmanuel Macron reportedly furious over the slow pace of progress.

Just a few hundred people have received the jab so far in the country.

- Chinese New Year -

Thousands of people line up in Beijing to receive a vaccine as China races to innoculate millions before the Chinese New Year mass travel season in February.

More than 73,000 people in the capital have received the first dose of the vaccine over the last couple of days, state media reports, including community workers and bus drivers.

- 'Real' US deaths -

US officials reject US President Donald Trump's claim that the national Covid-19 death toll of more than 350,000 has been exaggerated, but defend the stumbling campaign to vaccinate millions of Americans.

In response to the president's claim that the number of cases and deaths was "far exaggerated", top US scientist Anthony Fauci says "those are real numbers, real people and real deaths."

- Getting serious in Japan -

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says he is considering declaring a state of emergency in the greater Tokyo area over a "very severe" third wave of cases in the country.

Speaking at his New Year press conference, Suga also says he hopes vaccinations will begin in Japan in late February.

- Singapore slump -

Singapore's economy takes its worst ever annual hit in 2020 as the pandemic hammers the city-state's vital trade and tourism sectors, official data shows.

The 5.8 percent decline is not as bad as feared, but the financial hub was plunged into its first recession since the 2008 global financial crisis in the second quarter when the government closed most workplaces.

- 1.84 million dead -

The coronavirus has killed at least 1,843,631 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally on Monday based on official sources.

More than 85 million cases have been registered.

The US is the worst-affected country with 351,590 deaths, followed by Brazil with 196,018, India with 149,649 and Mexico with 127,213.

The tallies are based on daily tolls provided by health authorities in each country and exclude later re-evaluations by statistical organisations, as has happened in Russia, Spain and Britain.