More than 75 million people have been infected with Covid-19. Over 1.64 million people have now died after contracting the virus since the first cases were reported in December last year, report agencies.
The worldwide number of Covid-19 cases reached 75,019,857 and fatalities stood at 1,663,523 until early Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
But the numbers are thought to be higher because of insufficient testing in many countries.
The US, the world’s worst-hit country, reported 17,212,496 cases and 307,291 deaths. And India and Brazil had the second highest case tallies.
India reported 9,979,447 cases and 144,789 deaths on Friday. And Brazil’s case tally reached 7,110,434 and fatalities stood at 184,827.
The caseload of Russia, France and Turkey mounted to 2,764,843, 2,483,524 and 1,955,680 and the countries’ fatalities rose to 49,170, 59,733 and 17,364.
The US Covid-19 vaccination campaign has begun, and the few available doses are mostly going into the arms of health care workers and nursing home residents, reports AP.
The panellists are leaning toward putting “essential workers” first because bus drivers, grocery store clerks and similar employees cannot work from home.
They are the people getting infected most often, and where concerns about racial inequities in risk are most apparent.
But other experts say people aged 65 and older should be next, along with people with certain medical conditions. Those are the people who are dying at the highest rates, they say.
“I think we know this isn’t going to be perfect. We don’t have a vaccine for everyone right away, so we’re going to have to make difficult decisions,” said Claire Hannan, executive director of an organisation that represents the managers of state vaccination programs.
The European Union will start vaccination for Covid-19 after Christmas, the bloc’s chief executive Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday. “It’s Europe’s moment. On December 27, 28 and 29 vaccinations will start across the EU.”
Until Wednesday, there were 222 Covid-19 vaccine candidates worldwide, and 56 of them were in clinical trials, according to the World Health Organization.