Coronavirus: Latest global developments

·2-min read
Pedestrians, some wearing a face mask or covering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, walk past shops, temporarily closed down due to current coronavirus restrictions, in Leeds, northern England.

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- Moderna jab gets EU OK -

The European Medicines Agency gives the green light for US firm Moderna's vaccine, the second shot to be cleared for use in the EU.

- US record deaths -

The United States breaks its own record for the number of daily virus deaths yet again, recording 3,936 in 24 hours, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

- China blocks WHO mission -

An expert mission to China to probe the origins of the pandemic is in disarray after Beijing denies entry to the World Health Organization team at the last minute despite months of painstaking negotiations.

With some members of the 10-person team already in transit, China denies them entry visas, prodding WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to say he was "very disappointed".

It is "not just a visa issue", Beijing foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying inists. "The issue of origin-tracing is incredibly complicated," she tells reporters.

- Full lockdown -

The new lockdown in England that began on Tuesday will become law after a vote in parliament.

The public has been ordered to stay at home and work remotely if possible, and only to go out for essential shopping, medical reasons or to exercise.

- UK's vaccine vow -

Britain promises a "massive increase in the numbers" of its vaccination programme, pledging that nearly 14 million people in the coming weeks will get a first dose.

- Nowhere to go -

British new car sales crash to their lowest level for almost three decades, with demand ravaged by chronic coronavirus fallout and Brexit uncertainty, industry data shows.

- Last in line -

The Netherlands administers its first shot to a nursing home worker, as it becomes the last country in the 27-nation EU to start its vaccination programme.

- Media deaths -

More than 600 journalists have died of Covid-19 since March 1, a press freedom organisation says, calling for media workers to have priority access to vaccines.

Of the 602 media workers known to have died from the virus, more than half were from Latin America, with 303 fatalities, Asia recorded 145 deaths, while 94 died in Europe, 32 in North America and 28 in Africa.

- Cricket hotspot? -

Thousands of cricket fans who attended Australia's Boxing Day Test match against India are told to get tested and isolate after a spectator tests positive.

- Cases rise at Man City -

English Premier League club Manchester City confirms three more cases, with goalkeeper Scott Carson, teenage midfielder Cole Palmer and a member of staff. Six other players have already tested positive.

- 1.86 million dead -

The coronavirus has killed at least 1,869,674 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally on Wednesday based on official sources.

The US is the worst-affected country with 357,377 deaths, followed by Brazil with 197,732, India with 150,114 and Mexico with 128,822.