COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 19 January

FILE PHOTO: Health workers move equipment between ambulances outside of the Royal London Hospital, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in London, Britain, January 7, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo


1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 334.1 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths has now passed 5.55 million. More than 9.73 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

Japan is set to widen COVID-19 curbs to the capital, Tokyo, and a dozen regions covering half the population as the Omicron COVID-19 variant drives record new infections.

There is no evidence at present that healthy children and adolescents need booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said yesterday.

China has reported its lowest daily count of local confirmed COVID-19 infections in two weeks.

The US government’s new website that allows American households to order four free COVID-19 tests is up and running ahead of its official launch today, the White House said yesterday.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned against travel to 22 countries and territories as a result of rising COVID-19 cases.

Finland is set to ease COVID-19 restrictions from mid-February, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said yesterday.

Britain has reported its highest daily COVID-19 death toll in almost a year, with 438 new deaths.

Viet Nam has reported its first cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in the community, state media has reported.

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in selected countries

2. Record COVID-19 case numbers reported around the world

Countries around the world continue to report record daily COVID-19 infections as the Omicron variant causes cases to surge.

The Czech Republic has reported 28,469 new COVID-19 cases – the highest figure since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

In Bulgaria, more than 11,000 confirmed daily COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time, as infections hit 11,181. Total confirmed infections are more than 840,000 in the eastern European nation.

Mexico has reported its own record daily confirmed caseload – some 49,343 in a single day.

New daily COVID-19 cases have crossed 100,000 in Germany for the first time, reporting 112,323 on Wednesday.

And in Brazil, 137,103 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said yesterday.

3. Vaccine equity vital to ending COVID-19 pandemic

An expert panel has told a Davos Agenda virtual session that vaccine equity is vital to getting out of the pandemic phase of COVID-19.

World Health Organization’s (WHO) Emergencies Director Mike Ryan said that over half of the world’s population has received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, but only 7% of the population has been fully vaccinated in Africa.

“The problem is we are leaving huge swathes of the world behind…But vaccines are absolutely central. There is no way out of the pandemic right now without vaccines as the central strategic pillar.”

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