COVID-19 | Top 10 Global Developments This Thursday Morning

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1. The total number of global coronavirus cases has topped 96.8 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 2.07 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

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2. In its latest update on Thursday morning, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 96,823,968 and 2,073,866, respectively.

3. The US is the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 24,432,807 and 406,001, respectively, according to the CSSE.

4. India comes in second place in terms of cases at 10,595,660, while the country’s death toll soared to 152,718.

5. Indonesia plans to start giving the general public COVID-19 vaccinations sometime between late April to May, health minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on Thursday.

6. The COVID-19 vaccine developed jointly by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE will likely protect against the new, mutant variant of the coronavirus that was first detected in the United Kingdom, a study has found.

7. President Joe Biden will attempt to jump-start the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic with a string of immediate executive orders on Wednesday after his inauguration to lead a country reeling from its worst public health crisis in more than a century.

8. The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to approve several COVID-19 vaccines from Western and Chinese manufacturers in coming weeks and months, a document published yesterday shows, as it aims for rapid rollouts in poorer countries.

9. COVAX, a global scheme co-led by the WHO, wants to deliver at least 2 billion COVID-19 doses across the world this year, with at least 1.3 billion going to poorer countries. But it has so far struggled to secure enough shots due to a shortage of funds, while wealthy nations have booked large volumes of vaccines for themselves. (Reuters)

10. Amazon.com Inc on Wednesday offered to help with the United States’ efforts involving the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a letter addressed to President Joe Biden, seen by Reuters.

The world’s largest online retailer has an agreement with a healthcare provider to administer vaccines at its facilities and will move forward once doses are available, Dave Clark, chief executive of Amazon’s worldwide consumer business, said in the letter.

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