New measures, new assessments and highlights: an update on the latest developments of the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide.
In his inaugural speech, US President Joe Biden warned against the arrival of “the hardest and deadliest phase” of the pandemic, calling on Americans to set aside their differences to face this “dark winter.”
“We will do it together,” he assured, before observing a minute of silence in tribute to the 400,000 “mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends, neighbors and colleagues” killed by Covid-19.
On Wednesday, the UK recorded an additional 1,820 deaths, a new daily record that brings the toll of the pandemic in the country to 93,290 deaths, the heaviest in Europe.
Judging these figures “appalling”, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned: “This will continue because what we are witnessing is the result of the new variant.”
Contaminations jumped by almost 50% and daily deaths reached a new peak in Portugal, where the British variant is increasing.
The country recorded 14,647 new cases against 10,455 the previous day and 219 deaths.
After a new Health Defence Council, France has chosen to keep the restrictions in place to curb the epidemic, to the displeasure of ski resorts, which will not reopen on 1 February, or students, who took to the streets to protest their living conditions.
The deficit almost doubled last year, due to the considerable expenditure mobilized to support the economy, from some 93 billion euros to €178.2 billion, the Ministry of the Economy said.
The English variant of the virus continues to spread throughout the world. It has been detected in at least 60 countries and territories, 10 more than on 12 January, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The South African variant, also much more contagious than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, diffuses more slowly and is present in 23 countries and territories, 3 more.
Beijing announced the strict containment of five neighborhoods in the southern suburbs of the Chinese capital, after the discovery of the British variant among a handful of cases of contamination.
Several sporadic outbreaks that have emerged in recent weeks cause concern to the Chinese authorities.
At least 51.28 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered worldwide, according to a counting carried out by AFP from official sources on Wednesday.
Israel is by far the most advanced country, since more than a quarter of its population (26.1%) has already received at least one dose, or 2.3 million people.
In volume, the United States is leading the race (15.7 million doses administered), ahead of China (over 15 million doses) and the United Kingdom (4.7 million doses).
Panama received the first doses of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine on Wednesday, a much smaller than expected batch that will, however, relieve this country, the most hit in Central America.
For its part, Cuba hopes to produce 100 million doses of its Soberana 2 vaccine in 2021 and immunize its entire population this year, announced the director of the Finlay Institute.
The pandemic has left more than 2.05 million deaths worldwide and more than 96.1 million cases of infection have been diagnosed, according to a record established by AFP from official sources on Wednesday.
The United States is the most affected country with at least 401,777 deaths, followed by Brazil (211,491 deaths), India (152,718 deaths), Mexico (142,832), and the United Kingdom (91,470).
Overall, the number of casualties worldwide is underestimated. It is based on the daily reviews of the national health authorities.