Coronavirus: Latest Global Developments

This photo taken on 16 January, 2022 shows a resident undergoing a nucleic acid test for the COVID-19 coronavirus in Ningbo in China's eastern Zhejiang province. (AFP Photo) 

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

Djokovic Heads Home 

The Australian Open finally begins in Melbourne, as unvaccinated Novak Djokovic heads home, his dreams of becoming the first man to win 21 Grand Slams over, after a court threw out his bid to stay in Australia.

More Bad News For Djokovic? 

All athletes who wish to compete in France will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19, government sources tell AFP, which would dash Djokovic's hopes of defending the title and potentially achieving the 21 Grand Slam record.

China Cases Highest Since March 2020 

The number of daily COVID-19 cases in China reaches its highest level since March 2020, as Beijing races to smother outbreaks just three weeks before hosting the Winter Olympics.

Hit For Jobs 

The COVID-19 crisis is continuing to hit jobs hard around the world, the United Nations’ (UN) International Labour Organization (ILO) says in a report, warning it could take years for employment levels to reach pre-pandemic levels.

Rich Get Richer

The world's 10 wealthiest men doubled their fortunes from US$700 billion to US$1.5 trillion, during the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic as poverty and inequality soared, Oxfam says in a report.

Credit Suisse Head Resigns 

The head of Credit Suisse Antonio Horta-Osorio resigns less than a year after taking the reins of the scandal-hit bank following reports that he had broken COVID quarantine rules.

China-North Korea Trade 

China says that its border with North Korea has reopened for freight train trade, some two years after it was shuttered by Pyongyang because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Red Alert In Ecuador

Ecuador declares a red alert in most of the country, including major population hubs such as Quito and Guayaquil, following a 10-fold increase in COVID-19 cases. Schools have also been shut until 21 January.

Malaysian Hindu Festival 

Hundreds of Malaysian Hindus mark the annual Thaipusam festival at a major temple in celebrations that were scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic.

More Than 5.5 Million Dead 

The coronavirus has killed at least 5,537,051 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources on Monday.

The United States (US) has recorded the most COVID deaths with 850,605, followed by Brazil with 621,045 India on 486,451 and Russia 321,990.

Taking into account excess mortality linked to COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.