World Factbox: Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus
Western Australia becoming independent is 'comic nonsense'
Suggestions that Western Australia could survive if it seceded from the rest of the nation have been mocked as 'comic nonsense' by a legal expert.Premier Mark McGowan's coronavirus border closures have reignited debate over whether the should become independent from the rest of the country.
(Reuters) - Death toll from COVID-19 in the United States crossed one million, the Pan American Health Organization said, while nations tightened curbs and closed international borders to combat the spread of new variants of the coronavirus.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS * Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.
* The number of COVID-19 infections in England is starting to fall, possibly reflecting the impact of a new lockdown, but cases are not coming down quickly enough and prevalence remains very high, a study by Imperial College London showed.
Millions of Sydneysiders are welcomed back into Victoria
Victoria reported three Covid-19 cases in hotel quarantine on Saturday morning after 15,711 tests were conducted over the past 24 hours. The state has now gone 17 days without a locally acquired case of Covid-19. It comes as Victoria relaxed its border closures to Sydney at 6pm on Friday, with just one LGA - Cumberland in Sydney's west - still classed as a red zone. © Provided by Daily Mail Millions of Sydneysiders will be welcomed back into Victoria as the state goes another day with zero local coronavirus infections .
* Hospitals in Lisbon flooded with COVID-19 patients are at risk of failing to meet soaring demand for oxygen, as Germany sent military medics to the country to evaluate how they can help.
* The Czech Republic's coronavirus vaccination drive was in chaos after the Health Ministry called for a two-week halt to new vaccinations amid a supply shortage.
* France reported its biggest one-day jump in COVID-19 cases since mid-November.
* Delays to COVID-19 vaccine shipments have forced authorities in Madrid to halt inoculations and are threatening supplies in Catalonia.
* Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin abolished some COVID-19 restrictions, allowing bars, restaurants and nightclubs to open overnight.
* New Zealand's health authorities conducted further tests and began contact tracing efforts after two more cases of the South African variant were confirmed in Auckland.
China spreading doubt on Pfizer jab, saying pandemic originated in US
Beijing's cynical propaganda campaign comes after the recent arrival of World Health Organisation investigators in Wuhan to probe the origins of Covid-19.Beijing's cynical propaganda campaign comes after the recent arrival of World Health Organisation investigators in Wuhan to probe the origins of coronavirus.
* The city of Beijing tightened curbs on inbound travellers ahead of the peak Lunar New Year travel season kicking off on Thursday.
* Vietnam confirmed its first two locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in nearly two months.
* AstraZeneca Plc will make more than 90 million coronavirus vaccine shots in Japan, a top government spokesman said, as concerns mount over whether the country will have enough doses to begin its delayed inoculation campaign.
* Coronavirus border curbs separating Australia's three most populous states were set to be eased, authorities said, as the country recorded its 11th straight day of zero COVID-19 cases.
* Over one million people in the Americas have now died from complications from COVID-19, the head of the Pan American Health Organization said.
* Chile's health regulator approved the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use among its population by a unanimous vote of its advisory board.
Five days that shaped the outbreak
Before Wuhan was locked down in January 2020 officials said the outbreak was under control - but the virus had spread inside and outside the city.This is the story of five critical days early in the outbreak.
* Colombia will restrict flights to and from Brazil for a month to prevent the spread of a new strain of the coronavirus circulating there.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* South Africa expects the flight carrying its first 1 million coronavirus vaccine doses to arrive on Feb. 1.
* Morocco will start rolling out its mass coronavirus vaccination programme on Thursday, the first African country to do so.
* President John Magufuli said Tanzania did not need a coronavirus lockdown because God would protect his people and homespun precautions were better than dangerous foreign vaccines.
* The University of Oxford expects efficacy data from a study of its COVID-19 vaccine against the British variant of the novel coronavirus by next week.
* Laboratory testing found that Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc's COVID-19 antibody cocktail can combat the South Africa variant, but a similar drug from Eli Lilly and Co is inactive against it.
* Asian shares slid on Thursday while the safe-haven dollar rallied as a sudden sell-off on Wall Street and delays with coronavirus vaccines served as an excuse to book profits on recent hefty gains.
* The Federal Reserve left its key overnight interest rate near zero and made no change to its monthly bond purchases, pledging again to keep those economic pillars in place until there is a full rebound from the pandemic-triggered recession.
(Compiled by Uttaresh.V, Aditya Soni, Bartosz Dabrowski and Jagoda Darlak; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Arun Koyyur)
Urgent alert as Covid-19 fragments are found in wastewater .
People from three Victorian towns have been urged to get tested for Covid after the virus was detected in wastewater. Residents of Gisborne, Leongatha and Hamilton have been alerted.An alert has been issued for Gisborne, Leongatha and Hamilton after Covid-19 was detected in wastewater at the Leongatha wastewater treatment plant on January 19.