What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

A woman reacts as she receives a dose of the Sinovac vaccine at the emergency hospital for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients in the Athlete Village in Jakarta, Indonesia, January 27, 2021. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

A roundup of the latest developments of how the world is grappling with COVID-19

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

COVID-19 cases surpass 100 million globally

Global coronavirus cases surpassed 100 million on Wednesday, January 27, according to a Reuters tally, as countries around the world struggle with new virus variants and vaccine shortfalls.

Almost 1.3% of the world’s population has now been infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and more than 2.1 million people have died. One person has been infected every 7.7 seconds, on average, since the start of the year.

China, India’s COVID-19 vaccinations to stretch to late 2022

COVID-19 vaccination programs in China and India will stretch until late 2022 due to the sheer size of their population, and more than 85 poor countries will not have widespread access to vaccines before 2023, a study showed on Wednesday.

The report said vaccine deliveries to poor countries by global vaccine sharing scheme COVAX, backed by the World Health Organization, may be slow due to delays in delivery to wealthy nations first and poor infrastructure in the developing world.

Vaccine demand and delay

The United States aims to acquire an additional 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech, and Moderna Incorporated each, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday, enough to inoculate most Americans by summertime, as he races to curb a pandemic he warned could still get worse.

Meanwhile, Europe urged pharmaceutical companies on Tuesday to honor their commitments to supply coronavirus vaccines, as delivery cuts and delays dim hopes of a quick fix to COVID-19 and increase talk of protectionism and hoarding.

Olympic hurdles for Japan’s vaccine roll-out

Japan’s vaccination roll-out faces logistical hurdles that could further delay the slow-moving campaign, experts and officials say, complicating plans to deliver wide-scale coronavirus inoculations in time for the Olympics.

Already the last major industrial country to start mass vaccinations, Japan is likely to be hampered on the ground by a lack of containers and dry ice, and difficulties in recruiting medical staff, more than a dozen people involved in the inoculation drive told Reuters.

South Korea outbreak in Christian schools

South Korean authorities were scrambling on Wednesday to contain coronavirus outbreaks centred around Christian schools as it reported a jump in infections, dampening hopes of a speedy exit from a third wave of the pandemic.

The Christian organisation responsible for the facilities, International Mission, was ordered to test everyone linked to 32 of its 40 schools and churches around the country. It said that while some infected students may have been asymptomatic it had also failed to require students with cold-like symptoms to get tested.

Calm returns to Dutch cities

With shops boarded up and riot police out in force, it was relatively calm in Dutch cities on Tuesday night after three days of violence during which around 500 people were detained.

In several cities, including the capital Amsterdam, some businesses closed early and emergency ordinances were in place to give law enforcement greater powers to respond to the rioting, which was prompted by a nighttime curfew to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Working from home losing its effectiveness

Working from home has been surprisingly successful for global banks during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic but is losing its effectiveness, two prominent industry executives said on Tuesday at a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

For employees to focus, Mary Erdoes, who runs asset and wealth management for JPMorgan Chase & Co, said: “It takes a lot of inner strength and sustainability (without) the energy that you get from being around other people.” –

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