Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
- 'Alarming' tipping point -
The World Health Organization's European branch says more needs to be done to deal with what it calls "a tipping-point in the course of the pandemic".
"This is an alarming situation, which means that for a short period of time we need to do more than we have done and to intensify the public health and social measures," regional director Hans Kluge says.
- Pfizer vaccine allergies -
Roughly one in 100,000 Americans who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have had severe allergic reactions -- 10 times more than a normal flu vaccine.
But US health officials say its benefits still greatly outweigh the risks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention documented 21 cases of potentially fatal anaphylaxis from 1,893,360 shots given from December 14 to December 23.
- Japan calls emergency -
Japan's government declares a month-long state of emergency in the Tokyo area as the capital reports another record surge in daily infections.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga describes a "great sense of crisis" as he announces the measure.
Tokyo records 2,447 new cases -- shattering the previous record of 1,591 logged a day earlier.
- China alarm bell -
China reports 63 new infections -- the highest daily tally since July -- as authorities try to stamp out an outbreak in the city of Shijiazhuang in northern Hebei province.
- Scramble for beds -
Hospital chiefs in England are scrambling for beds as the surge in cases risks knocking over the system, medics say.
A leaked briefing suggests that even in a relatively positive scenario, London's hospitals could be overwhelmed in less than two weeks.
- Ryanair grim forecast -
Irish no-frills airline Ryanair slashes its annual traffic forecast after axing more flights, now saying it expects to carry between 26 million and 30 million passengers in the months ahead, down from a forecast of less than 35 million.
- Mexico new record -
Mexico reports 1,165 deaths and more than 13,000 additional cases, setting grim new records in one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic.
- Barricades -
Youths protesting a curfew fight with security forces in the Senegalese capital Dakar, burning tyres and erecting barricades as police fire tear gas.
- 1.8 million dead -
The coronavirus has killed at least 1,884,187 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally at 1100 GMT on Thursday based on official sources.
The US is the worst-affected country with 361,297 deaths, followed by Brazil with 198,974, India with 150,336 and Mexico with 129,987.