Covid-19 pandemic timeline - December 2020

Susan Ramsay
  • Surges on top of surges as holiday season arrives
  • Hope for vaccines before Christmas
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  • Experts have identified the virus as a coronavirus, the same kind of pathogen as that which caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which killed more than 800 people in 2002/03 and also started in China. 
  • As events are reported, we will insert them on the day they happened, so some new reports might be further down the timeline.

Here’s the latest:

2019 - January February March April May June July August September October November January

Dec 31

France records first case of South African coronavirus strain known as N501Y.V2

Sydney a ghost town as Australia rings in New Year with TV fireworks

Britain records a high of 55,892 new infections over the last 24 hours.

Brazil rings in 2021 with nearly empty Copacabana beach

Curfew-busting New Year party-goers attack French police

Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami urges politicians to speak sincerely about virus in a 2 hour live New Year’s Eve radio show

United States

  • No New Year’s hangover for US NYC’s Times Square after massive annual celebration is cancelled
  • Live free or die if you must, say Colorado urbanites - but not in my hospital

As of 7 pm, 83,178,283 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 58,957,940 and 1,814,649 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 11 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, New Caledonia, North Korea, Samoa, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

South Korea's Justice Ministry apologizes for the rapid spread of the coronavirus among inmates and staff of the Seoul Dongbu prison in the capital.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel uses her traditional New Year's Day address to appeal for social cohesion in the struggle against the pandemic, even as hope dawns in the form of vaccines. Germany says it has vaccinated 130,000 as virus caseload spikes again

New Zealand to party, attend festivals as normal over New Year's Eve

Dec 30

The South African variant of Covid-19, known as N501Y.V2, has been found in Hong Kong

The global death toll for the last 24 hours peaks at 15,126 to set a record

Cuba to restrict flights to limit spread

Mongolia records its first death

Luxembourg plans coronavirus tests for all airline passengers

Sweden to allow flights from Britain but requires virus test

Argentina approves AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-vaccine

The world sees a spike in new cases over the last 24 hours, registering 

Fresh record as Germany registers 1,129 Covid deaths in 24 hours

Britain becomes the first nation to approve a lower-cost vaccine partially developed by Oxford University

China grants “conditional” market approval to a Sinopharm vaccine with a reported 79 per cent efficacy rate against Covid-19, health authorities say. China ramps up to vaccinate its population for free. The Sinopharm vaccine is an inactivated, two-dose vaccine.

The US records a spike of 3,880 deaths, up from 3,717 on December 28.

As of 7 pm, 82,423,842 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 58,429,017 and 1,799,086 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 11 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, New Caledonia, North Korea, Samoa, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 29

Iran begins first human trial of locally made virus vaccine, produced by Shifa Pharmed

Iceland begins vaccinations with vaccine from BioNTech/Pfizer

China clamps down in hidden hunt for coronavirus origins, orders virus specialists not to speak to press, tails AP journalists.

‘Get moving!’ US President Donald Trump blames states for COVID vaccine distribution failures

Ukraine to buy 2 mln doses of China's CoronaVac vaccine

The head of the World Health Organization, marking a year since the first cases of the novel coronavirus were reported by China, urges countries to ensure that vaccines are made available to people at risk everywhere, not just in rich nations.

Britain

  • Records a high of 53,135 new cases in 24 hours.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that people who have diabetes or Alzheimer’s are dying because of covid, with states reporting more than 10 increased deaths from both causes.

United States

  • Nation decides that doses will only "be made available" to states, but the delivery of the vaccine to the public will, again, be the responsibility of the state.
  • Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said she “barely felt” the vaccine shot in her left arm after she was inoculated with the first of two Moderna doses at a Washington hospital in the heart of the city’s Black community.

Amid virus fears, China urges workers to skip holiday travel. Beijing tightens coronavirus restrictions after new local cases

Russia will start issuing coronavirus vaccine passports next month

804 More people died from Covid-19 in Lithuania than previously thought

Philippines temporarily bans foreign visitors from 20 countries where the new virus strain has been reported

As of 7 pm, 81,757,696 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 57,898,180 and 1,783,818 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 13 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: Brunei, Fiji, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Samoa, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 28

South Africa logs million virus cases

China sentences lawyer Zhang Zhan who reported on outbreak to four years in prison on charges of “picking fights and provoking trouble". She was arrested in May amid tough nationwide measures aimed at curbing the outbreak and heavy censorship to deflect criticism of the government’s initial response. Zhang reportedly went on a prolonged hunger strike while in detention, prompting authorities to forcibly feed her, and is said to be in poor health.

United States

  • The US records a spike in deaths at 3,717 in the last 24 hours, up from 3,614 on December 16.
  • Record-breaking 4,370 new cases and hospital patients reported in South Carolina
  • Los Angeles vaccine recipients can put the proof in Apple Wallet. The offering is being provided starting this week through a partnership with the startup Healthvana. It’s initially geared toward ensuring people receive both doses of the two-shot regimens that have been authorized in the US, including through follow-up notifications before a second appointment. It will also give recipients a way to verify they have been vaccinated, which they can put into an Apple Wallet or competing Google platform “to prove to airlines, to prove to schools, to prove to whoever needs it,” said Healthvana Chief Executive Officer Ramin Bastani.

Mexican singer-songwriter Armando Manzanero, famed for his romantic ballads that were sung by an array of international stars, has died, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says. He was 85.

Russia says its coronavirus death toll was more than three times higher than it had previously reported, making it the country with the third-largest number of fatalities. Using the massive jump in fatalities in the country, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova, claimed that more than 186,000 Russians have died from Covid-19. The official tally is 55,265.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says vaccine will be available to Brazilians 5 days after approval

Spain plans register for citizens who refuse vaccine

Britain reports a record 41,385 new infections. The number is expected to have been pushed up by the fact that Northern Ireland stopped updating its tally over the Christmas holidays.

Sydney bans New Year crowds as Australian virus cluster grows

As of 6 pm, 81,204,532 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 57,354,424 and 1,773,404 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 12 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: Brunei, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Samoa, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 27

Globally, there are 80,719,574 infections, 56,901,093 recoveries and 1,764,426 deaths. 

US virology expert Anthony Fauci believes the worst of the pandemic could be ahead.

Trump signs sweeping coronavirus relief measure after bipartisan appeals

Across Europe, health workers and care home residents became the first on the continent to receive vaccinations against the coronavirus

Dec 26

The Chinese economy is set to overtake the U.S. faster than previously anticipated after weathering the coronavirus pandemic better than the West, according to the Center for Economics and Business Research. The world’s biggest and second-biggest economies are on course to trade places in dollar terms in 2028, five years earlier than expected a year ago

The United States surpasses 19 million coronavirus cases: Johns Hopkins

Visit from infected Santa to care home in Antwerp, Belgium kills 18 residents after 121 fell ill in outbreak. Santa did not know he was positive when he visited.

A Black doctor who died battling COVID-19 complained of racist medical care in widely shared social media posts days before her death, prompting an Indiana hospital system to promise a “full external review“ into her treatment.

Britain

  • British, Polish soldiers help clear Channel lorry backlog

As of 11 am, 80,206,910 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 56,471,240 and 1,757,639 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 14 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: Brunei, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Samoa, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 25

Slovakia has record of more than 4,000 new virus cases in a day

Pope Francis calls for vaccines for all in his Christmas message

The first batch of the vaccine for Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has reached Italy, the Italian Health Ministry confirms.

In the US, the GOP blocks US$2,000 checks as Trump leaves Covid aid in chaos

  • Christmas arrived in Los Angeles County with hospitals in a full-blown coronavirus crisis. There are now so many patients that some hospitals are running dangerously low on oxygen and other supplies critical to treating those with Covid-19. Patients are waiting as many as eight hours in ambulances before they can enter the emergency room. With intensive care units at 0-per-cent available capacity, health officials are urging that people avoid emergency rooms or dialling 911 for assistance unless absolutely necessary. Scientists are checking to see if either of the new, more virulent variants are to blame.

France detects first case of virus variant in arrival from Britain

Hong Kong extends its compulsory quarantine to three weeks for almost all international travellers from today, saying the measure was needed to prevent new, more infectious, coronavirus variants from spreading.

Ireland confirms UK coronavirus variant present

South Africa

  • South Africa’s normally joyful and lively Christmas celebrations have been dampened by the spike in new cases and deaths driven by the country’s variant. A record number of 14,305 news cases have been confirmed in the past 24 hours, and with no sign of South Africa reaching a peak, threatening the country’s health systems, experts said.
  • South Africa has a cumulative total of 968,563 confirmed cases, including 25,983 deaths, by far the most cases in all of Africa. Africa’s 54 countries, representing 1.3 billion people, have together reported more than 2.59 million cases, including more than 61,000 deaths, according to figures released Friday by the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • South Africa’s health minister Zwelini Mkhize rejects his British counterpart’s claim that the new variant 501.V2, is more contagious or dangerous than a similar one in spreading. The British minister’s words “have created a perception that the variant in SA has been a major factor in the second wave in UK,” Mkhize said. “This is not correct.” He pointed to evidence that the British strain, which bears a similar mutation to the South African one, appeared as early as September in southeastern county Kent - “approximately a month before the South African variant appears to have developed”.

  • 501.V2, was discovered in Nelson Mandela Bay by a network of scientists around South Africa who have been tracking the genetics of the SARS-COV-2 virus.

  • 501.V2 is different from others circulating in South Africa because it has multiple mutations in the important “spike” protein that the virus uses to infect human cells.

  • Between 80% and 90% of new cases in the country are carrying 501.V2, according to health authorities.

  • 501.V2 and the UK share a common change in the spike protein that may make them more infectious. But they are different variants, and sequence analysis revealed that they originated separately, the World Health Organization said.

  • South African authorities say it is too early to say whether any vaccines currently being used, or others in development, will protect against the new variant.

Britain

  • British soldiers help clear Channel lorry backlog
  • US to require negative virus test from arrivals from Britain by air
  • French fire brigade tests truckers in Dover to help clear traffic

Hong Kong reports 57 new cases, including 55 locally transmitted infections, of which 25 had unknown origins, health authorities announce. 

Scientists seek to determine if new virus strain will deepen pandemic

As of 11.58 pm, 79,894,218 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 56,291,959 and 1,752,197 people have died.

Dec 24

Children of the world can rest easy. The global pandemic won’t stop them from tracking Santa Claus’ progress as he delivers gifts around the globe on Christmas Eve.

World crosses 79 million infections barrier.

Some 100,000 people in southern Germany step out on their balconies and front yards on Christmas Eve to join in some traditional Christmas carols. The Bavarian Music Council had called on people to open their windows at 3 pm Thursday and sing the popular carols Oh du froehliche (Oh, how joyfully) and Alle Jahre wieder (Every year again), as many could not celebrate with friends and family due to coronavirus-related restrictions.

South Africa

  • A second new strain of Covid-19 has been found in Britain and is said to be "more transmissible" than the previous version, Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock says.
  • 14,046 new cases are recorded in 24 hours, setting a new record

Britain

  • Records a new high of 39,237 new infections in the last 23 hours. Up from 36,804 the day before. It adds 744 deaths far off its April 21, record of 1,166.
  • Stuck British lorry drivers waiting to get rapid Covid-19 tests
  • First Eurostar passengers depart for Paris as border reopens

  • Britain announces South Africa travel curbs over new virus strain 501.V2

In the US, California becomes first state to surpass 2 million cases.

Peru's coronavirus caseload tops 1 million.

As of 9 am, 79,025,203 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 55,602,878 and 1,736,331 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 14 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: Brunei, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Samoa, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 23

The world crosses the 78 million infections barrier, and the 55 million recoveries barrier.

Switzerland starts immunization ahead of EU

Relatives of Italian virus victims want 100m euros from government.

The vaccine stirs rare hesitation in nearly virus-free Singapore. In a city-state where compliance with the authorities is generally high, some Singaporeans fear potential side effects - even if minimal - are not worth the risk when daily cases are almost zero and fatalities are among the world’s lowest.

After managing against the odds to keep the coronavirus largely in check for most of the year, Thailand has suddenly found itself challenged by an expanding outbreak among migrant workers in Samut Sakhon province on the doorstep of the capital, Bangkok.

Virus success helps Taiwan buck global downturn with enviable growth

Chile's military reports at least 36 cases in its Bernardo O’Higgins base base in Antarctic. 

Britain

  • Britain records a new high of 36,804 new cases in 24 hours, besting its December 20 spike of 35,928 new cases. It records 691 deaths in the last 24 hours, far off its April 21, record of 1,166.
  • Swiss firm Roche says its tests can detect mutant virus

  • France and other EU countries to allow travel from Britain to resume today

  • Denmark, Norway extend flight bans over new virus strain

  • Philippines, South Korea, Japan ban flights

  • New strain of virus 501.V2 from South Africa is "more transmissible" Health Secretary Matt Hancock said two new cases of the variant, which is connected to South Africa, have been found in Britain. "This new variant is highly concerning because it is yet more transmissible and it appears to have mutated further than the new variant that has been discovered in the UK," he said.

  • Moderna expects its vaccine to be protective against variants of the virus recently described in Britain.

  • Virus samples from two students who returned to Hong Kong in December appeared to match the British variant, but more analysis was needed, Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection, an agency under the Department of Health, told a news briefing.

The first deliveries of the Pfizer BionTech vaccine within the European Union start today.

More than a million people in the US have been vaccinated.

Face masks reduce the risk of spreading large Covid-linked droplets when speaking or coughing by up to 99.9 per cent, according to a lab experiment with mechanical mannequins and human subjects, researchers report in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

Brazil institute says CoronaVac efficacy above 50 per cent, but delays full results. China has not released its phase 3 trials.

Hard-hit Mexico becomes the first Latin American country to get vaccines for mass immunization.

The WHO says the Wuhan probe is not looking for 'guilty' parties

As of 10 am, 78,336,750 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 55,100,192 and 1,708,235 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 14 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: Anguilla, Brunei, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Saint Pierre Miquelon, Samoa, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

The US state of Texas shatter its prior record for the number of new cases reported in a single day with 19,185 cases. The previous record for new infections was 16,864 set on December 17 of 16,864.

A giant fiscal jolt for the US economy finally won approval on Monday, but the half-year of political dysfunction that preceded the deal showcased a near-breakdown in American politics. In a year marked by Trump’s impeachment trial and the government’s inability to suppress the deadly pandemic, the bitter Republican-Democratic fight over another Covid-19 relief package served as the final 2020 example of national interest being held hostage to political manoeuvering. After six months of fruitless negotiations, lawmakers were forced into action this month. With Covid-19 the number-one cause of death for Americans in recent weeks and the job market’s recovery coming to a halt, the consequences of inaction became too great for either side to head home for the holidays without a deal. The moment shows Congress and the White House fumbling with their most basic responsibility with daily deaths of Americans from Covid-19 sometimes passing 3,000 and tens of millions caught in in a calamitous financial slide. Historian Robert Dallek sees political dysfunction unparalleled in the US since the early years of the Great Depression under President Herbert Hoover. “It’s a glaring failure of leadership,” said Dallek, a biographer of presidents including Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. (Bloomberg)

Dec 22

Although they still lead the world in number of deaths, the US death rate over the last 24 hours has dropped dramatically to 1,458

India is contact-tracing passengers who have arrived from Britain over the past two weeks and carrying out further tests on recent Covid-19 samples to trace any presence of Britain's mutated coronavirus, health officials said

Britain

  • The boss of Germany's BioNTech, Ugur Sahin, is confident that his pharmaceutical company's coronavirus vaccine will also work against the new mutation of the virus that has emerged in Britain. From a scientific point of view, the probability is high, he tells dpa. "We have already tested the vaccine against around 20 other virus variants with other mutations. The immune response generated by our vaccine has always deactivated all forms of virus," he said.
  • Countries and territories currently banning travel from Britain: Europe: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey. Africa: Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritius, Morocco Asia: Hong Kong, India, Israel, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia. North America: Canada, El Salvador, Panama. South America: Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Peru

The new variant of the coronavirus that has alarmed Britain has also been found in single individuals in Australia, Iceland, Italy and the Netherlands, as well as a few cases in Denmark, World Health Organization officials say. Although the new variant is spreading more quickly than previously known variants, the transmission is nowhere as fast as measles, mumps and chickenpox, WHO health emergencies chief Mike Ryan tell a press conference. The new variant that has been found in South Africa is similar to the one in Britain, but the two are not connected, WHO chief Covid-19 researcher Maria Van Kerkhove said.

Peru reaches 1 million confirmed coronavirus infections

Taiwan reports first locally transmitted coronavirus case in months

Japan says the total cost of postponed Tokyo Olympics now almost US$16 billion

US President Donald Trump signals he might not sign Covid-19 relief, demands changes, sending US stocks and futures down. In a video posted on his Twitter account, Trump said the bill included “wasteful and unnecessary” items and demanded that lawmakers increase the stimulus checks due to go out to most Americans from the “ridiculously low” amount of US$600 to US$2,000, or US$4,000 for a couple.

“I am asking Congress to amend this bill,” Trump said, adding he wanted Congress to “send me a suitable bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a Covid relief package and maybe that administration will be me and we will get it done.”

  • Delivery-only 'ghost' kitchens flourish in the US during pandemic. You can’t eat there or collect your meal. But so-called ghost kitchens, which only prepare food for delivery, are booming
  • To the alarm of California health officials, Christmas is looking an awful lot like Thanksgiving, when social gatherings put an already unprecedented surge of the coronavirus into overdrive. The Thanksgiving "superspreader" events helped fill hospitals with Covid-19 patients, forcing more restrictions on businesses and pushing the health care network to the brink. But even the most dire public health warnings seemed to have failed to sink in. And in some cases, they are no match for the basic human need to spend time with loved ones, maintain family traditions and turn to others for support during challenging times.

As of 9 am, 77,686,841 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 54,561,756 and 1,708,235 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 14 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: Anguilla, Brunei, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Saint Pierre Miquelon, Samoa, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 21

United States

 

  • Nation surpasses 18 mn reported Covid-19 cases: Johns Hopkins
  • President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill, receive his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, in televised event
  • Clergy, doctors and activists tackle Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy. Leaders working to inoculate communities of color are often battling an entrenched mistrust of science and medicine, the fallout of long-term systemic racial disparities in health care and historical medical abuses of minority patients.
  • In the US, Native Americans lack trust in vaccine, but being crushed by the virus. Among the areas hardest hit by the pandemic, reservations may also be among the places most resistant to the clearest way out. “There is going to be pushback to this vaccine,” said Jonathan Nez, president of the country’s largest reservation, the Navajo Nation, which has lost more than 700 residents to the virus.
  • Sacked US data scientist Rebekah Jones sues Florida over police raid on her home. During the early days of the pandemic in Florida, Jones was the principal force behind the state’s coronavirus dashboard. She was fired from her post as manager of Geographic Information Systems at the Florida Department of Health in early May. Jones says she was fired because she refused to fudge figures about the virus. The state says she was fired for insubordination. In addition to this most recent lawsuit, Jones also has a pending whistleblower lawsuit against the state over her firing. After leaving the Florida Department of Health, Jones set up her own coronavirus dashboard to present the state’s data to the public.
  • California’s overwhelmed hospitals are setting up makeshift extra beds for coronavirus patients, and a handful of facilities in hard-hit Los Angeles County are drawing up emergency plans in case they have to limit how many people receive life-saving care.

UN epidemiologist Dr Francesco Zambon say he filed an internal ethics complaint with the WHO in May after he said he was pressured by a senior WHO official to falsify data to obscure that Italy hadn’t updated its influenza pandemic preparedness plan since 2006.

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton says he needs to exercise hard after losing four kilos during his recent  infection.

The Vatican's doctrinal office clears the way for Catholics to be inoculated with coronavirus vaccines even if aborted foetal tissue was used to develop them.

Kuwait suspends flights in, out of its airport

Saudi Arabia suspends international flights over new variant

Oman closes air, sea, land ports over new strain fears

Israel says 'closing skies' over mutation

Famed German Christmas ornament firm Kaethe Wohlfahrt seeks relief from coronavirus

Denmark approves ban on mink farming until end of 2021. Over 15 million mink have been culled since November after a mutated form of coronavirus was found to have been transmitted between minks and humans. Concerns triggering the cull focused on one of the five mink-related viral variants found to weaken humans' ability to form antibodies, possibly rendering future vaccines ineffective. Denmark is one of the world's leading producers of mink furs.

Britain

WHO says new virus strain can be contained. "This situation is not out of control but it cannot be left to its own devices," WHO health emergencies chief Mike Ryan tells a press conference in Geneva, urging countries to implement tried-and-tested health measures.

Britain records a new high of 35,928 new cases in the last 24 hours

  • According to the WHO, people who catch the new variant infect 1.5 other people on average, compared to a reproduction rate of 1.1 for previously known variants in Britain. There is no evidence so far that the new strain causes more severe or deadly diseases.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the issues surrounding the blocked border between France and Britain are due to be resolved "in a few hours."

  • English fishing boats forced to remain in port during virus border closures

  • List of nations banning flights from Britain over new strain grows. Turkey joins the list. Germany only accepts cargo planes. India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Canada also restrict flights
  • Ireland will institute a 48-hour flight ban to Britain while ferries will be limited to freight travel.
  • Germany has banned nearly all flights from Britain starting from midnight, with a few exceptions, including cargo planes. Scores stranded overnight at Frankfurt Airport amid travel bans
  • German post no longer accepting parcels for Britain 

  • Malta introduces quarantine rules for passengers from Britain

  • Norway to require negative coronavirus test for arrivals from Britain
  • Italy’s health ministry said a patient who entered the country in recent days from the UK was diagnosed with the new virus variant. The person and his close contacts are in isolation and followed all protocols, the ministry said in a press release.
  • Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended all international passenger flights for citizens and residents over fears about the fast-spreading new variant of the coronavirus.
  • British Suppliers Sound Alarm With Routes Hobbled. Britain’s biggest port stopped all traffic heading to Europe and food supplies into the nation face major disruption after the discovery of a new variant of the Covid-19 virus prompted its nearest neighbours to limit travel links. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson to convene a meeting of the government’s emergency committee in a bid to keep goods flowing.
  • British Health Secretary Matt Hancock raised the prospect that London could be under lockdown for months as he has warned it will be "very difficult" to keep a virulent new strain of the coronavirus under control until vaccinations are rolled out.

Family of first Covid victim to die in US ICE custody file lawsuit

EU executive approves Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine after agency gives OK

European markets plunge on new virus strain

Sweden blocks travel from Denmark over new virus strain

Israel bans foreigners from all countries amid virus strain fears

Korea’s Cases Fall Below 1,000 for First Time in Week

Singapore gets Asia's first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses

Pandemic byproduct? US Colleges see soaring interest in health fields

The world crosses the 77 million infections mark, with a total of 77,172,509, 54,092,575 recovered and 1,699,511 dead.

Dec 20

The Netherlands is the first EU country to bans flights from Britain over new strain grows. Belgium, Austria, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Sweden. Germany plans on restricting travel with Britain and South Africa, where a new variant of the coronavirus is spreading.

Lockdown rules in London and parts of south and eastern England have been tightened due to concerns about a new variant of the coronavirus, as Scotland and Wales took their own measures in response to the new strain.

South Africa’s Mediclinic International Plc said it’s struggling with capacity constraints as the country experiences a second wave of coronavirus infections. Mediclinic said coronavirus patients had climbed from less than 100 admissions to more than 500 in a month in its facilities across the Western Cape.

The World Health Organization is working with scientists in the Britain. to understand if a new coronavirus variant reported there spreads easier, causes more severe illness and evades the antibody response generated by vaccination, Maria van Kerkhove, the agency’s technical lead on Covid-19, tells BBC

World infections 77,158,924, total recovered 54,078,484, total dead 1,699,147

Top US leaders in Congress announced an agreement on a coronavirus stimulus package, just hours ahead of the government funding deadline. The nearly US$900-billion-dollar package will boost jobless benefits and send 600 dollars direct to many Americans, among other measures.

The Danish government has secured a political majority for a plan to dig up and destroy the carcasses of millions of mink that were culled last month, a cabinet member says.  About 4 million bodies of the culled animals have been dumped in pits on land owned by the military, causing fears that the decomposing carcasses could contaminate drinking water or areas where people swim. More than 15 million mink have been culled since November after a mutated form of coronavirus was found to have been transmitted between minks and humans

The world has a total of 76,613,766 infections, 53,746,069 recovered and 1,691,358 dead.

Dec 19

Nine people die after a fire broke out at an intensive care unit treating Covid-19 patients in southern Turkey, state news agency Anadolu reported.

New Africa CDC survey reveals "predominant majority" of Africans would take COVID-19 vaccine

Britain passes the 2 million infection mark

World infections 76,612,168, total recovered 53,744,593, deaths 1,691,206

Dec 18

EU countries to start vaccinating against virus from December 27 says Brussels

Britain's Prince Charles says he is way down the list for a vaccination

The US records a new high of 255,809 cases in 24 hours

Austria plans free movement privileges for people who get virus tests

United States

  • A record of more than 114,200 people were hospitalised in the United States amid a surge in case numbers, according to Covid Tracking Project data. The authorities announced 233,271 new cases and 3,270 deaths due to the virus in the past day, Johns Hopkins University reports
  • Moderna Inc.’s vaccine is cleared for us in the US.

Coronavirus-positive French President Emmanuel Macron suffering from headache, cough, fatigue

Sweden extends restrictions as virus cases and deaths rise

Severe Covid variant detected in South Africa which could explain the rapid spread of a second wave that affects younger people, the health minister Zwelini Mkhize says. Known as the 501.V2 Variant, it was identified by South African researchers and details have been sent to the World Health Organisation. The news comes as South Africa's cases cross the 900,000 mark

Anti-vaccine, alt-right groups team up to stoke Covid-19 vaccine fear by aligning with small-business owners and far-right groups, an effort that some experts fear could supercharge mistrust of government at a crucial moment for public health. (DPA)

As of 6 pm, 75,371,570 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 52,928,369 and 1,670,455 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 14 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: Anguila, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Saint Pierre Miquelon, Samoa, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 17

New Zealand will support its Pacific neighbours to access safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines, the government says. The country has set aside US$53 million to support Pacific and global vaccine access, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Pacific countries have worked hard to keep Covid-19 out, or to stamp it out, and New Zealand has been committed to supporting them in this.”. 

WHO Europe advises mask use at family gatherings during holidays

French study, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine finds Covid-19 mortality rate is far higher than for flu

Tokyo confirms a record 822 new coronavirus infections, marking the highest daily increase for the second straight day.

French President Emmanuel Macron tests positive 

Slovakian prime minister enters quarantine after catching coronavirus

Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf says country has 'failed' in response to virus. Sweden, which has a population of some 10 million, has reported over 7,800 virus-related deaths, a far higher toll than its Nordic neighbours.

Some 7.04 million people have been infected with the coronavirus in Brazil, the country's Health Ministry announced.

Australia hails faster economic recovery as COVID-19 outbreak suppressed

California hospitals buckle as virus cases surge. They have all but run out of intensive care beds for COVID-19 patients, ambulances are backing up outside emergency rooms, and tents for triaging the sick are going up as the nation’s most populous state emerges as the latest epicenter of the US outbreak.

As of 6 pm, 74,654,906 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 52,479,168 and 1,657,939 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 13 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Saint Pierre Miquelon, Samoa, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 15

China is ramping up to vaccinate 50 million people against Covid-19  before the start of the peak Lunar New Year travel season early next year.

US President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration will take place without broad public attendance, the congressional committee in charge of the planning announce.

As of 6 pm, 74,539,019 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 52,360,935 and 1,654,609

US Navy sends replacement sailors to USS Essex after crew members catch COVID-19

Dec 16

French-Austrian biotech firm Valneva says it will begin clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate in Britain, where the government has already ordered at least 60 million doses.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tightens containment guidance surrounding Christmas a week before Britons visit their families.

China's Fosun Pharma to import 100 million BioNTech vaccine doses

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he w ill be the first in Israel to be inoculated against the coronavirus with his jab on Saturday, a day before the country officially rolls out its vaccination campaign.

The world's airlines hope to get their industry off the ground with the help of a health passport app that stores coronavirus test or vaccine information on travellers mobile phones.

Cybercurrency Bitcoin exceeds 21,000 dollars for the first time

Alaska health care worker hospitalised over what was presumed to be a reaction to the Pfizer/BioNtech  vaccine. She has no history of allergies

The US sees a spike in deaths over the last 24 hours, to 3,614 for a new record.

The state of California records 61,569 new cases in 24 hours to shatter its previous record of 37143 on December 11.

As of 6 pm, 73,895,841 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 51,895,348 and 1,643,970 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 13 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Saint Pierre Miquelon, Samoa, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 15

Singapore will allow business travellers and visiting officials from all countries to enter from next month

Top US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci says US President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris should be vaccinated as possible.

Fed up with what they say is too much screen time, some students from one Philadelphia high school refused to log on for school, staging a protest they hope will draw attention to the plight of stressed teenagers across the city and beyond.

Crede Baily, the director of the White House security office, who fell ill with Covid-19 in September is recovering after three months in the hospital, though he lost his right foot and lower leg in his battle against the virus, according to a friend.

Mainland China reports 12 new cases

A Covid-19 test made by Australian firm Ellume that can be taken at home won approval from U.S. regulators.

Sweden's health officials misjudged virus resurgence says Prime Minister Stefan Lofven

WHO to sift Chinese samples, data in hunt for virus origins. Mission member Fabian Leendertz, a biologist at Germany’s Robert Koch Institute who specialized in emerging diseases, said that the goal is to gather data to be better prepared for possible future outbreaks.

Moderna Inc.’s vaccine was deemed safe by US regulators, clearing the way for a second shot to quickly gain emergency authorization.

The US FDA clears first at-home, over-the-counter

Iraqis have mostly stopped wearing facemasks as they worry more about the pandemic’s economic impact than the virus itself.

Germany demands EU agency approve vaccine before Christmas

French pharmaceutical firm Valneva will start the first clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate at four sites in England, Britain’s business ministry says.

South Africa closes beaches throughout the festive season

Unicef says teachers should receive vaccine priority

US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris aim to take their oaths of office outside the U.S. Capitol building as inauguration planners seek to craft an event that captures the traditional grandeur of the historic ceremony while complying with pandemic protocols.

As of 7 pm, 73,270,606 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 51,413,632 and 1,630,029 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 14 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: Falkland Islands, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Saint Pierre Miquelon, Samoa, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 14

Unwelcome elsewhere, Americans flee lockdowns and flock to Mexico

Pentagon chief Christopher Miller is one of the first Americans to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, on camera to encourage the rest of the country to follow suit.

New Zealand hopes to open a travel bubble with Australia by April next year and is working to finalise the necessary anti-coronavirus border measures, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said

Senior U.S. government officials, including some White House officials who work in close proximity to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, will be offered coronavirus vaccines as soon as this week, while its public distribution is limited to front-line health workers and people in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

As of 7 pm, 72,692,481 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 50,897,090 and 1,619,801 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 14 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: Falkland Islands, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Saint Pierre Miquelon, Samoa, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 13

Total cases 72,631,545, total deaths, 1,618,562 and total recoveries 50,854,439

Italy eclipses Britain to become the nation with the worst official coronavirus death toll in Europe. Italy, where the continent’s pandemic began, registered 484  deaths in one day, one of its lowest one-day death counts in about a month.

Passenger Isaias Hernandez dies aboard United Airlines Flight 591, despite receiving CPR from passengers. He will later be confirmed to have died of Covid-19.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro faces scathing criticism over his government’s plan -- or lack thereof, opponents said -- to vaccinate the population

Trump says he's nixing plan for early vaccine at White House while public distribution of stock is limited. Trucks begin shipping millions of doses of Pfizer vaccine in the US, part of an enormous logistics operation that should see some vulnerable people being vaccinated as early as Monday

Eswatini PM Ambrose Dlamini, 52, dies in S. African hospital from Covid-19

Indonesia arrests firebrand Islamist cleric Rizieq Shihab over virus rule breaches

Japan’s daily coronavirus cases exceed 3,000 for the first time while the government delays stricter measures for fear of hurting the economy ahead of the holiday season. The 3,030 new cases, including 621 in Tokyo, took Japan’s national tally to 177,287 with 2,562 deaths, the Health Ministry reports.

South Korea sets another record for its daily coronavirus tally with 1,030, as authorities struggle to suppress the viral spread.

Dec 12

The world crosses the 72 million boundary of infections with 72,092,256 recorded, 1,610,912 people have died and 50,497,625 have recovered

Singapore approves Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, expects first shots by year-end

Philippines targets deal for 25 mln doses of Sinovac

Dec 11

Australia abandons trials of local vaccine candidate after test subjects see false positive tests for HIV. The vaccine was being developed by the University of Queensland and biotech company CSL

President Donald Trump tweets directly to FDA Administrator Stephen Hahn’s account, saying “Get the dam (sic) vaccines out NOW” and “Stop playing games.”

US green lights Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine emergency use order

At least 26 Nigerian generals have tested positive for the novel coronavirus after they attended a conference in the nation’s capital and one has died

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca’s Russian branch says it will use part of Russia’s homemade Sputnik V vaccine in further clinical trials, a major sign of recognition for a jab that has been viewed with scepticism by the West.

Peru temporarily suspends clinical trials of the vaccine made by Chinese drug giant Sinopharm after detecting neurological problems in one of its test volunteers. The National Institute of Health says that it had decided to interrupt the trial after a volunteer had difficulty moving their arms, according to local media.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, has received its first shipment of a Chinese-made vaccine from Sinopharm, state media reported

Uber says its drivers should get priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine because they provide crucial transportation to healthcare workers and the general public.

Outbreak at Hong Kong estate linked to sewage design which has been used in more than 90 per cent of HK flats.

Hong Kong fourth wave: airlines face tougher new Covid-19 ban, with KLM the first to be sidelined

Italian scientists find perfect match of Wuhan strain in sample taken from boy. The sample was collected on December 5, 2019 in Milan from a boy who was first thought to have contracted measles, according to the researchers from the University of Milan.

World recorded infections pass the 70 million mark. Recoveries pass 49 million. The US tops the list with 217,779 new cases and 2.974 new deaths. 

As of 6 pm, 70,835,5536 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 49,260,905 and 1,591,037 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 14 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: Falkland Islands, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Saint Pierre Miquelon, Samoa, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 10

The number of infections world wide passes the 69 million mark. In the previous 24 hours the US reported 3,260 deaths and 226,762 new infections.

Japan will buy 10,500 freezers for coronavirus vaccines

Tommy “Tiny” Lister, a former wrestler who was known for his Deebo character in the “Friday” films, has died. He was 62. Lister’s manager, Cindy Cowan, said Lister was found unconscious in his home in Marina Del Rey, California. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cowan said Lister was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this year. She said the actor overcame the virus, but he became sick about a week ago and recently had trouble breathing.

US comic Ellen DeGeneres tweets that she has tested positive

Egypt  receives its first shipment of a Chinese coronavirus vaccine, which was tested in the United Arab Emirates and is said to be 86% effective.

The speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives died of COVID-19, a medical examiner rules

US experts vote to approve Pfizer vaccine

Bethlehem to hold midnight mass without public, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas says.

Rudy Giuliani is discharged from hospital and reveals that he received Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody cocktail, a drug that is unavailable to most Americans

Doses of a COVID-19 vaccine made by China’s Sinovac Biotech are rolling off a Brazilian production line, drawing interest around the country and across Latin America from governments struggling to procure costlier vaccines.

Australian scientists say they had developed a rapid genome sequencing method that would cut to within four hours the time taken to trace the source of coronavirus cases, helping to quickly contain any future outbreaks.

India’s largest hospital chain Apollo says it’s ready to administer one million coronavirus vaccine doses a day, but the government has not made clear how vaccines will be distributed and whether private health-care networks will be involved.

As of 6 pm, 69,304,316 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 48,055,051 and 1,577,026 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 12 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: British Virgin Islands, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Samoa, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 09

In the previous 24 hours, the US recorded 2,960 deaths and 209,756 new cases

America’s billionaires have seen their wealth rise by more than $1 trillion since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study by Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness, fueling a debate about higher taxes on the rich.

UK issues anaphylaxis warning after adverse vaccine reactions. Britain’s medicine regulator said anyone with a history of anaphylaxis to a medicine or food should not get the vacine.

Kenyan doctors decry the death of a 28-year-old physician Stephen Mogusu as the latest example of dangerous and unjust working conditions in government hospitals. Mogusu was employed on a temporary contract and was never paid for the five months he worked in a COVID-19 ward at a public hospital in the town of Machakos, doctors who knew him

Get ready for another roaring '20s, UCLA economic forecast predicts

Thirty-one countries around the globe have reserved more COVID-19 vaccine per capita than the U.S., according to a Bloomberg analysis of country vaccine agreements. The U.S. Operation Warp Speed program is credited with shaving years off the typical development timeline for vaccines that are now on the brink of being deployed. But after leading that effort, the U.S. has yet to exercise some options to lock down additional supplies that could offer extra insurance against manufacturing problems or scientific delays.

South Africa, the country most affected by the coronavirus on the continent, has entered a second wave of the pandemic, the health minister Zweli Mkhize declared

US drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech say documents related to their development of a COVID-19 vaccine had been “unlawfully accessed” in a cyberattack on Europe’s medicines regulator. The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which assesses medicines and vaccines for the European Union, said hours earlier it had been targeted in a cyberattack. It gave no further details.

 Canada's health regulator approves Pfizer's vaccine

Singapore 'cruise to nowhere' cut short after virus case

The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has slams South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha as “impudent” for casting doubt over Pyongyang’s claim that the country has no coronavirus cases, state media reports

Only one-third of a panel of 13,000 nurses said they would voluntarily take a vaccine, another third said they wouldn’t and the rest said they were unsure, according to a late October survey by the American Nurses Association. They will not be forced to take the vaccine.

The UAE says a Chinese coronavirus vaccine tested in the federation of sheikhdoms is 86% effective. The UAE, home to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, conducted a trial beginning in September of the vaccine by Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm involving 31,000 volunteers from 125 nations. Volunteers between 18 and 60 years old received two doses of the vaccine over 28 days.

As of 6 pm, 68,664,440 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 47,564,703 and 1,565,361 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 12 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: British Virgin Islands, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Samoa, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 08

The world passes 68 million infections and 47 million recoveries.

The German parliament suspends the country's "debt brake" a curb on taking on new debts in 2021, a big shift from fiscal orthodoxy amid a sustained second wave of coronavirus infections.

In Boise, Idaho, public health officials about to vote on a four-county mask mandate abruptly ended a meeting fearing for their safety amid anti mask demonstrations. In California, Sacramento County health officials had to suspend a meeting Tuesday after more than two dozen protesters pounded on the chamber doors during a debate over whether to strengthen enforcement against businesses that violate virus restrictions. And in South Dakota, the mayor of Rapid City said City Council members were harassed and threatened over a proposed citywide mask mandate that failed this week even as intensive care units across the state filled with COVID-19 patients.

Next year’s pandemic-hit Oscars will be produced by “Contagion” director Steven Soderbergh, the Academy announces, as Hollywood’s biggest night finally begins to take shape

The Philippines reports more than 7 million households experiencing food shortages, with 2.2 million families experiencing severe hunger.

China says it has tested more than a quarter of a million people after a handful of new cases were detected in the southern city of Chengdu. An elderly couple were diagnosed as confirmed cases on Monday, and authorities have been tracing their close contacts and testing food samples. Local health officials said the virus was detected on food stored in their fridge and on a chopping board in their flat.

Four lions at Barcelona Zoo have test positive, veterinary authorities said. Three females named Zala, Nima and Run Run and Kiumbe, a male, were tested after keepers noticed they showed slight symptoms

Indonesian vaccine maker Bio Farma says China's Sinovac vaccine has 97-per-cent immune response. 

As of 6 pm, 68,016,572 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 47,109,374 and 1,552,301 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 13 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: British Virgin Islands, Greenland, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Samoa, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 07

Britain inoculates a 90-year-old grandmother in the first shot of a mass Western vaccine programme.

British study suggests health workers 7x as likely to get severe Covid-19 compared to those employed in most "non-essential" jobs, according to research published in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine

Sinovac secures US$515 mln funding to boost vaccine production

US President Donald Trump holds "Operation Warp Speed" summit, to discuss vaccine delivery in the US, but none of president elect Joe Biden's team is invited. The Trump administration has secured 100 million doses of the Pfiezer BioNtech vaccine which has been cleared for use. But, the New York Times reports, officials failed to exercise an option for a second 100 million shots from Pfeizer. Trump claims that anyone who wants a vaccine will be able to have one by the end of the second quarter next year.

Melbourne welcomes first international flight in 5 months as coronavirus curbs ease

Austrians have been slow to take part in a countrywide testing drive fso far, prompting Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to appear at a Vienna screening centre to get his sample taken in front of cameras. "I ask the population to participate," Kurz tells reporters. "It's better to spend half an hour for a test than weeks in lockdown."

Ethiopia’s month-long war in its northern Tigray region has severely hampered efforts to fight one of Africa’s worst coronavirus outbreaks, as the fighting has displaced almost 1 million people and strained local humanitarian services to the breaking point.

China's exports skyrocketed 21.1 per cent year-on-year in November, data shows. Altogether, China's foreign trade rose 13.6 per cent in November, with the trade surplus jumping 102.9 per cent, to 75.4 billion dollars.. Factories are humming along as Beijing has managed to contain the virus outbreak, which is still ravaging other parts of the world.

Denmark records 2,046 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, topping Sunday's record of 1,745 new cases, which led the government to temporarily close bars and restaurants in the country's main cities. A 10-person limit for public gatherings was also extended until the end of February. In Denmark, Prince Christian, 15, Queen Margrethe's oldest grandchild and future heir to the throne, has tested positive, the palace said.

An overwhelming majority of California’s residents go into lockdown, putting 33 million people under stay-at-home orders

Turkey reports 203 Covid-19-related fatalities within one day, the highest number to date, which brings the country's total death toll to 15,103.

As of 6 pm, 67,451,392 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 46,638,515 and 1,542,803 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 13 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: British Virgin Islands, Greenland, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Samoa, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 06

Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, 76, tests positive, says he's feeling good, but is admitted to Georgetown University Medical Center hospital.

Toll from Covid-19 has passed the 60,000 mark in Italy, according to an official toll

1.2 million doses of the Chinese company Sinovac’s vaccine arrive in Indonesia

Americans should shun the example set by President Donald Trump when it comes to indoor gatherings, Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator says. Asked about White House and State Department plans to throw indoor parties all month while on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Birx said it was “really important that every single person understands that the way this virus is spread is if you’re with anyone indoors without a mask, that’s a viral spreading opportunity.”

Hundreds protest against coronavirus restrictions in Germany

In Britain, the queen, 94, will be given a vaccine within weeks, as will her husband Prince Philip, 99.

At least six patients died after “criminal negligence” resulted in a delayed supply of oxygen to a hospital in northwest Pakistan, officials say. More than 200 patients -- including nearly 100 with coronavirus -- were left for hours with limited supplies of oxygen at a government-run hospital in Peshawar.

Austria postpones some virus testing after huge snowstorm in the Austrian Alps

Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech secures half a billion dollars in extra funding to produce its Covid-19 vaccine,

New York City pub owner slams car into sheriff deputy while trying to escape arrest over virus rules

Clusters break out in Japan's coldest city of Asahikawa on the northern island of Hokkaido as winter closes in

The world passes the 67 million infections rate.

As of 6 pm yesterday, 67,377,463 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 46,572,440 and 1,541,373 people have died

Dec 05

Overshadowed by pandemic, polls close in Kuwait's parliamentary vote

Hospitals in Pakistan are struggling to cope with overwhelming numbers of coronavirus infections during a second wave of the outbreak in the country.

The world crosses the 66 million cases mark

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha tells a forum in Bahrain that it was “hard to believe” that the North had no coronavirus cases, adding that Pyongyang had been unresponsive to Seoul’s offers to help tackle the disease.

India’s single-day cases remain below 50,000 for a month

Moscow opens 70 vaccinations centres and begins inoculating willing recipients, making Russia the first country in the world to have a mass public vaccine programme. The Russian-designed Sputnik-5 vaccine has yet to complete the advanced studies needed to ensure its effectiveness and safety in line with established scientific protocols.

The United States notched a record number of coronavirus cases in 24 hours for the third day running, with nearly 230,000 new cases and 2,527 deaths reported in the last 24 hours.

Some, 66,842,445 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 46,235,812 and 1,533,836 people have died. 

Dec 04

France says it will get a vaccine when possible.

Austria starts mass virus screening against the advice of experts

World daily new cases in 24 hours peaks at 688,333

As of 6 pm yesterday, 64,933,345 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 45,028,806 and 1,501,302 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 13 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: British Virgin Islands, Greenland, Isle of Man, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 03

World daily deaths in 24 hours peaks at 12,834.

With deaths and hospitalizations surging, Trump plans a weekend rally in Georgia, ahead of US Senate races

Three former US presidents say they’d be willing to take a coronavirus vaccine publicly, once one becomes available and once those who really need it have been inoculated, to encourage all Americans to get inoculated against a disease that has already killed more than 275,000 people nationwide. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George Bush have all committed to having the vaccine in public. Current President Donald Trump has also agreed to take it, under advisement, lest he be thought of as selfish.

US President Elect Joe Biden says he will call for 100 days of mask-wearing after inauguration.

The US marks a record 2,918 deaths in 24 hours, breaking yesterday's record of 2,611 deaths. It also marks a record 218,576 new infections in 24 hours,breaking the record of 206,073 set in the previous 24 hours.

IBM warns hackers targeting COVID vaccine 'cold chain' supply process

Top US infectious disease specialist, Anthony Fauci to stay on as top US disease official under Biden

Associated Press publishes a report detailing how China's testing blunders stemmed from secret deals with firms

Covid-19 has claimed 1.5 million lives world wide. Some 45 million have survived infections. The United States leads the world in deaths and infections and set a record for deaths at 2,833 in the last 24 hours. It counted 203,737 infections in the same time.. It's record of daily infections was set on November 20, at 204,166. The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is also at an all-time high at 100,226.

As of 6 pm yesterday, 64,933,345 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 45,028,806 and 1,501,302 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 14 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: British Virgin Islands, Greenland, Isle of Man, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, North Korea, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 02

In historic first, Britain will introduce Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next week, and vaccines start leaving Brussels for London by truck.

World crosses 64 million cases barrier. 

US records 2,611 deaths in 24 hours, the previous record was set on April 22 at 2,413 deaths. The country also records 206,073 new infections in 24 hours up from the record breaking .204,166 recorded on November 20.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany says if it's safe to loot, it's safe to party. The White House plans to hold at least 25 Christmas and Hanukkah parties during Trump’s final holiday season in Washington

Putin orders Russia to begin mass coronavirus vaccination next week

Poland eyes starting Covid-19 vaccination in February

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

Poland surpasses 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases

Japan announces bill to give free coronavirus vaccines to all of its residents as cases surge

As of 6 pm yesterday, 63,135,973 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 44,528,406 and 1,488,734 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 13 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: British Virgin Islands, Greenland, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, New Caledonia, North Korea, Timor Lestse, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Dec 01

Virus strikes US mink farms

WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus chief asks for ‘extreme caution’ during holiday season

Tiered system of coronavirus controls gets British Parliament backing

US CDC says blood samples taken in nine states before cases were reported in Wuhan tested positive for antibodies for the pathogen

Study: Race a defining factor in Covid-19 in nursing facilities in California. Nursing facilities with more black and Latino residents are being hit harder than those with fewer residents of colour, according to a new study.

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton tests positive for the coronavirus and will miss Sunday's Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain, his Mercedes team says.

Hong Kong, Singapore 'travel bubble' is delayed indefinitely after a surge in cases

A record 98,691 Americans were hospitalised

China has provided North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his family with an experimental coronavirus vaccine, US analyst Harry Kazianis, says. Kazianis is North Korea expert at the Center for the National Interest think tank in Washington, says the Kims and several senior North Korean officials had been vaccinated.

As of 6 pm yesterday, 63,135,973 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands  at 43,612,353 and 1,466,289 people have died. The number of countries and territories with no active cases is 13 with the addition of several Pacific islands and countries which have not declared any cases: British Virgin Islands, Greenland, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, New Caledonia, North Korea, Timor Lestse, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu

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