- The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared Covid-19 a pandemic one year ago today
- Since then, there have been more than 116 million cases and 2.5 million deaths across nearly 200 countries
- The US has the highest number of deaths, with 522,818 now recorded
- But Brazil, badly hit by the pandemic, recorded more than 2,000 deaths in a single day, taking its total to 268,370
- More than 150 million doses of vaccine have now been administered
- In the UK, politicians in Northern Ireland are discussing a full return to school
- Research suggests cancer patients are less protected against Covid-19 than other people after one dose of the Pfizer vaccine
- An early second dose appears to boost cancer patients' protection, and cancer charities are calling for a review of the UK's vaccine strategy
Good morning and welcome to our coronavirus coverage.
We’ll be bringing you the latest news about the pandemic from around the world.
Headlines from around the worldToday marks a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 a pandemic . Since then there have been more than 116 million cases and more than 2.5 million deaths across the globe, but there is also some good news with 150 million vaccine doses being given.
Here are some of the headlines from the UK and around the world today:
- Cancer patients are much less protected against Covid-19 than other people after one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, a study suggests
- A 12-week wait for the second dose could leave them vulnerable, says the King's College London and Francis Crick Institute research team
- The Northern Ireland Executive meets later to discuss when all children should return to school , with Education Minister Peter Weir wanting all pupils in classrooms by 12 April
- Meanwhile in Wales shop owners say they are being "treated like children" with a lack of detailabout when non-essential retailers can reopen
- Brazil has exceeded 2,000 Covid-related deaths in a single day for the first time , as infection rates soar, with experts warning of more contagious variants
- Supporting Covid vaccination rollouts is expected to top the agenda at a meeting of the leaders of US, Japan, Australia and India
- Biden pledges to share surplus vaccines with rest of world. US president Joe Biden has pledged surplus vaccines will be shared with the rest of the world, after he announced the purchase of an additional 100m Johnson & Johnson doses.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared Covid-19 a pandemic one year ago today. Since then there’s been over 116 million cases and 2.5 million deaths across nearly 200 countries. The US has the highest number of deaths, with 522,818 now recorded and over 319 milion vaccines have been administered worldwide.
- The Australian government has walked away from its promise to ‘fully vaccinate’ all Australians by October. Officials told the Senate’s Covid-19 inquiry that supply constraints and the longer 12-week window between AstraZeneca doses meant some may have to wait until December to get their second shot.
- Russia reports 9,270 new COVID-19 cases, 459 deaths. Russia reported 9,270 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, including 1,281 in Moscow, taking its total case tally to 4,360,823 since the pandemic began.
- South Korea extends AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged 65 and over. South Korea will extend vaccination for people aged 65 years and older with AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine to ramp up its immunisation drive, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun told a government meeting on Thursday.
- Cambodia reports its first coronavirus death. Cambodia reported its first death from the coronavirus on Thursday amid its biggest Covid outbreak so far, after a 50-year-old man succumbed to the virus after testing positive less than two weeks ago.
- Hungary reports record high 8,312 daily tally of new Covid cases. Hungary has reported a record 8,312 new coronavirus infections and 172 deaths. There were 8,329 coronavirus patients in hospital, 911 of them needing a ventilator, putting a strain on the healthcare system, the government said on its website.
- Germany sees jump in infections amid third wave warning. Covid cases in Germany rose sharply over the last 24 hours up to 14,356, a level not seen since February 4, the latest data from disease control agency Robert Koch Institute shows.
- Rich, developing nations wrangle over Covid vaccine patents. Richer members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) blocked a push by over 80 developing countries on Wednesday to waive patent rights in an effort to boost production of Covid vaccines for poor nations.
Third wave in Germany and Estonian lockdown: Latest around Europe
- Germany’s third wave of Covid has already begun, according to RKI public health agency head Lothar Wieler, and he says he’s very worried. Infections are up on last week - 14,356 in the past 24 hours – and Mr Wieler says there’s a race to get people vaccinated with the finish line is in sight.
- Estonia begins a new month-long lockdown today with schools largely moving online. Non-essential stores are shut and a new 2+2 rule has come into force, allowing up to two people to move around together at a distance of two metres from others.
- The EU’s medicines agency EMA is set to approve a fourth vaccine today across all 27 states. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one dose.
- There’s bad news for music fans in Germany and Switzerland where promoter Eventim Live says seven big music festivals will not take place this summer, including Rock am Ring at Nürburgring. Meanwhile, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic says she’s speechless that one of the country’s biggest bands, Crvena Jabuka (Red Apple), have held two gigs in Belgrade. She says it was “against all rules and measures”.
- Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has asked for the country’s state of emergency to be extended until 31 March as ministers prepare to approve plans for a gradual lifting of lockdown. The lockdown has been in place since mid-January but daycare and nurseries could start reopening next week.
- Weekend lockdowns have been extended in France’s northern city of Dunkirk and in the Alpes-Maritimes and Nice areas on the south coast because of a continuing spike in infections.