PARIS: Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
– Russia tops Covid daily record –
The Russian government reports a record number of new coronavirus cases after the Kremlin warned of a looming surge in cases driven by the Omicron variant.
– Virus lands in Pacific island nations –
Kiribati and Samoa enter lockdowns after overseas arrivals brought Covid to the Pacific island nations that had avoided the worst of the pandemic for two years.
– Scientists track Omicron ‘sub-variant’ –
Scientists are keeping a close watch on a recently discovered sub-variant of the Omicron version of the Covid-19 virus, dubbed BA.2, to determine how its emergence could affect future pandemic spread.
– Thousands protest in Sweden –
Thousands of protesters demonstrate in Sweden’s two biggest cities against the use of vaccine passes, in marches that passed off peacefully despite concern about clashes between neo-Nazi groups and their opponents.
– Thousands march in France –
Around 38,000 people protest across France, according to government figures, two days before everyone aged 16 and above has to start showing a proof of vaccination to access restaurants, bars and transport.
– French govt deputy assaulted –
French government deputy Romain Grau is punched by a protestor after demonstrators in the southern city of Perpignan gather at his constituency office and he goes out to talk to them.
– Arab summit postponed –
The Arab League has for a third year in a row postponed its annual summit because of Covid-19. There is no new date yet for the event originally scheduled for March 22 in Algiers.
– More than 5.5 million dead –
The coronavirus has killed at least 5,583,378 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources on Saturday.
The United States has recorded the most Covid deaths with 864,564, followed by Brazil with 622,563, India on 488,884 and Russia 325,433.
Taking into account excess mortality linked to Covid-19, the WHO estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.