Coronavirus: Latest Global Developments

In this file photo taken on 27 April, 2021 a medical worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) takes a nasal swab sample from a man to test for the COVID-19 coronavirus at the Bangkok Youth Center in Thailand. (AFP Photo) 

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

Three Million New Infections Per Day 

The world recorded more than three million coronavirus cases per day on average between January 13 and 19, the latest AFP tally shows, with the Omicron variant fuelling new infections.

Austria To Make Jabs Compulsory 

Austria's parliament is expected to approve a bill making vaccinations mandatory for adults from next month, the first European country to do so.

Natural Immunity 'More Powerful' 

Unvaccinated people who survived the Delta variant were better protected than those who were vaccinated and not previously infected, a new American study says.

Generic Anti-Virus Pill 

Generic drug makers are to be allowed to manufacture a more affordable version of Merck's anti-COVID pill for 105 of the world's poorer nations, the United Nations (UN)-backed Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) announces.

Thailand Quarantine-Free 

Thailand will resume its quarantine-free travel scheme for vaccinated tourists from 1 February after it was suspended because of the Omicron variant.

Spain Calls It A Flu 

Spain is spearheading calls for governments to start tackling COVID-19 as any other endemic respiratory virus like seasonal flu, despite World Health Organization (WHO) opposition and warnings that the approach is premature.

France Peaks 

France, which has recorded more than 400,000 daily cases over the last two days, is to announce its timetable for lifting virus restrictions on Thursday.

Johnson Clings On 

A rebellion within embattled United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Boris Johnson's own party over lockdown parties in Downing Street appears to be fizzling out despite one former minister telling him to go "in the name of God".

Djokovic's COVID Treatment 

Unvaccinated Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic is co-founder and majority shareholder of a biotech firm developing a COVID-19 treatment, the Danish company tells AFP.

'Lax' Australian Open 

The Australian Open – where Djokovic was to play before he was deported – is under pressure to make tests mandatory after leading players question its seemingly lax policy.

Tunisia Lose 12 Players 

Tunisia's preparations for their final Africa Cup of Nations group match against Gambia are thrown into disarray after 12 players test positive.

More Than 5.5 Million Dead 

The coronavirus has killed at least 5,563,359 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources on Thursday.

The United States (US) has recorded the most COVID deaths with 857,778, followed by Brazil with 621,855, India on 487,693 and Russia 324,060.

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