Global weekly Covid-19 cases surpass 10 million
Almost twice as many people were diagnosed with Covid-19 in the past seven days as the pandemic’s previous weekly record thanks to a tsunami of Omicron, the new variant, that has swamped every aspect of daily life in many parts of the globe.
The highly mutated and infectious variant drove cases to a record 10 million in the seven days through Sunday, almost double the previous record of 5.7 million seen during in a week in late April.
Soaring infections - with a record number of cases reported from Australia and the US to Italy and France - disrupted the holiday season a year after vaccines first started rolling out and two years after the emergence of the virus that many initially hoped would be fleeting.
Israel begins 4th shot
Israel began on Monday administering fourth vaccine shots to people over 60 and health workers amid a surge driven by the new Omicron variant.
The US is expanding Covid-19 boosters as it confronts the Omicron surge, with the Food and Drug Administration allowing extra Pfizer shots for children ages 12-15.
French MPs on Monday began debating draft legislation that would require most people to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter public spaces such as bars, restaurants and long-distance public transport.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the right measures were in place to tackle the surge in Covid-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant given the high levels of vaccination in the country.
“The way forward for the country as a whole is to continue with the path that we are on,” he said.
The man charged with killing seven people at an Independence Day parade confessed to police that he unleashed a hail of bullets from a rooftop in suburban Chicago and then fled to the Madison, Wisconsin, area, where he contemplated shooting up an event there, authorities said Wednesday. The parade shooting left another American community reeling — this time affluent Highland Park, home to about 30,000 people near the Lake Michigan shore.
On the first anniversary of the death of Father Stan Swamy, the Jesuit priest accused in the Bhima Koregaon/Elgar Parishad case who died in custody, a United States (US) Congressman has introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives commemorating Swamy's life and demanding that the Government of India set up an independent investigation into his “arrest, incarceration and death”. India has, in the past, rejected international criticism around Swamy's arrest.
Amid a string of resignations, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday told a parliamentary committee that he was not going to resign, and that an election is 'the last thing the country needs'. Senior ministers of Johnson's government were reportedly geared up to ask Johnson to quit as prime minister, British media said, over the latest developments. Were Johnson to go, the process to replace him may take a couple of months.
China on Wednesday said it hopes India would conduct investigations into the Chinese smartphone company Vivo according to law and provide a “fair” and “non-discriminatory” business environment for Chinese firms. China is closely following developments related to the raids on the offices of Vivo in India, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, said on Wednesday when asked about the case.
A Brazilian model who had joined the Ukrainian army and trained as a sniper to help fight against invading Russian forces has been killed in combat, according to media reports. Thalita also took part in humanitarian missions and fought the Islamic State in Iraq, according to a report by the Daily Mail. Ex-Brazilian soldier Douglas Burigo, 40, who returned to find Thalita was the only soldier left after the first strike took place, British publication Daily Mail claimed.