Coronavirus: Latest global developments

·2-min read
French President Emmanuel Macron

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- France's Macron positive -

French President Emmanuel Macron becomes the latest world leader to test positive for Covid-19 and goes into isolation for the next week.

A list of leaders who have had contact with him also go into isolation, including EU chief Charles Michel, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Macron's Prime Minister Jean Castex.

- Twin US records -

The United States, the world's worst hit country, sets a double record with more than 3,700 deaths and over 250,000 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, according to Johns Hopkins University.

- EU vaccinations -

The EU is to start Covid-19 inoculations on December 27, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says. The rollout is conditional on the European Medicines Agency authorising the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine when it meets on Monday.

- New German record -

Germany sees record daily virus infections of over 30,000 as it struggles to cope with the outbreak by imposing a new partial lockdown.

- Tokyo hospitals overwhelmed -

Tokyo's hospitals are struggling to provide routine care because of a sharp spike in coronavirus cases, health officials warn, as new infections in the Japanese capital hit another record high of 822.

- Nearly 1.65 million dead -

The coronavirus has killed at least 1,649,927 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Thursday.

The US is the worst-affected country with 307,512 deaths, followed by Brazil with 183,735, India with 144,451, Mexico with 115,769 and Italy with 66,537.

- US meeting on Moderna -

US experts meet to decide whether to recommend approval of Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine, potentially paving the way for rollout early next week.

- Putin vaccination plan -

Russian President Vladimir Putin, 68, says he will receive the Russian-developed Sputnik V coronavirus jab once it is approved for people his age.

- Saudi vaccinations -

Saudi Arabia kicks off a three-phase Covid-19 vaccination programme, with the health minister and a woman in a wheelchair among those inoculated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

- Australian Open delayed -

The Australian Open will start three weeks late on February 8 after coronavirus disrupted preparations for the first tennis Grand Slam of 2021.