Italy reports highest daily Covid cases
Italy has registered its highest ever daily spike in Covid-19 cases with 219,441 infections diagnosed in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry announced.
More than 1.13 million coronavirus tests were conducted since yesterday, said the ministry.
The country’s total number of cases stands at over 6.97 million while there are nearly 1.6 million coronavirus patients in the country, among which 1,467 are currently receiving treatment in the intensive care units (ICUs) of hospitals.
French national assembly approves vaccine pass bill
After heated debates and fierce opposition, the French national assembly adopted the bill to transform health pass into vaccine pass that seeks to prohibit entry into public places to unvaccinated people.
Lawmakers approved the bill with 214 votes in favor, 93 against, and 27 abstentions. It will head to the Senate next week before seeking the final approval from the parliament.
Omicron dents UK retail recovery
Restrictions imposed in the wake of the Omicron coronavirus variant have “wiped out” much of a recent recovery enjoyed by UK bricks-and-mortar stores, the British Retail Consortium revealed Friday.
The number of shoppers visiting UK stores slid 18.6 percent in December compared with two years earlier, or before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the BRC.
The UK, already among the worst hit countries in Europe by the pandemic with a virus death toll of nearly 150,000, has seen a fresh surge i n cases owing to the arrival of the Omicron variant in late November.
Mexico reports 128 more Covid deaths
Mexico has registered 128 more Covid-19 deaths, according to the Health Ministry data, bringing the death toll to 299,933.
Argentina breaks Covid-19 case record
Argentina has reported a record number of Covid-19 cases on Thursday for a third day in a row at nearly 110,000, as the highly infectious Omicron variant drives a third pandemic wave in the South American nation.
The record tally of 109,608 in the middle of the Southern Hemisphere summer holiday season with tourist centers full of travelers, has not translated into a similar exponential rise in Covid-related deaths, which totaled 40, the governnent said.
Argentina accelerated its vaccination campaign in recent months, which started with the Sputnik V vaccine, then added AstraZeneca and Sinopharm and, later, CanSino, Pfizer and Moderna.