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Coronavirus: Latest global developments

  • Cyril Ramaphosa has tested positive for Covid-19 and is receiving treatment for mild symptoms, the presidency says
Published December 13, 2021
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PARIS: Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

South Africa's Ramaphosa tests positive

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has tested positive for Covid-19 and is receiving treatment for mild symptoms, the presidency says.

Ramaphosa, who is fully vaccinated, began feeling unwell after leaving a state memorial service for former deputy president FW de Klerk in Cape Town earlier in the day but is in good spirits and being monitored by doctors, it says.

British PM warns of Omicron 'tidal wave'

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warns of a looming "tidal wave" of Omicron, and brings forward a target to give over-18s a booster jab by one month to the end of December.

"No-one should be in any doubt: there is a tidal wave of Omicron coming," he says in a televised address, after the country's medical advisers raise the Covid Alert Level due to a "rapid increase" in infection from the variant.

WHO says Omicron spreads faster, weakens jabs

The Omicron coronavirus variant is more transmissible than the Delta strain and reduces vaccine efficacy but causes less severe symptoms according to early data, the World Health Organization says.

The WHO says Omicron has spread to 63 countries as of December 9.

Faster transmission has been noted in South Africa, where Delta is less prevalent, and in Britain, where Delta is the dominant strain.

Thousands protest compulsory jabs in Austria

More than 25,000 demonstrators turned out in several cities in Austria to protest against the country's compulsory vaccination plan, forcing citizens to be jabbed or face fines from February.

Partial confinement orders in place since last month are lifted for the vaccinated but remain in force for those who have not received a jab, who will have to remain at home.

Over 5.3 million dead

The coronavirus has killed at least 5,301,468 million people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP on Sunday.

The United States has suffered the most Covid-related deaths with 797,258, followed by Brazil with 616,744, India with 475,434, Mexico with 296,620 and Russia with 289,483.

Taking into account excess mortality linked to Covid-19, the World Health Organization estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.


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