Coronavirus: Latest global developments

·2-min read
Sunday is the first day for 12- to 16-year-olds in Israel to get vaccinated, with 55 percent of the population so far having received two doses in the Middle Eastern nation.

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- Delta variant 'more transmissible' -

The Delta variant of the coronavirus first identified in India is "around 40 percent more transmissible" than the Alpha variant that caused the last wave of infections in Britain, health minister Matt Hancock says.

Delta has since become the dominant strain in the UK, according to official data, threatening next steps in the country's reopening plan later this month.

- Israel to vaccinate teenagers -

Sunday is the first day for 12- to 16-year-olds in Israel to get vaccinated, with 55 percent of the population so far having received two doses in the Middle Eastern nation.

The move came despite the country's health ministry recently releasing findings suggesting a "possible link" between the Pfizer/BioNTech shot and cases of myocarditis -- inflammation of the heart muscle -- among younger men.

- US donates vaccines to Taiwan -

Washington will donate 750,000 vaccine doses to ally Taiwan, a cross-party delegation of US senators say as they arrive on the island.

The high-profile delegation and gift come as Taiwan accuses China of hampering its efforts to secure enough doses as part of Beijing's ongoing campaign to keep the island isolated.

- Over 3.7 million dead -

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 3,723,381 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1000 GMT Sunday.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 597,377 deaths from 33,357,240 cases.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 472,531 deaths, India with 346,759, Mexico with 228,754 and Peru with 186,073.

The World Health Organization estimates that the pandemic's overall toll could be two to three times higher than official records, because of the excess mortality that is directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19.