(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Vaccine nationalism risks ‘catastrophic moral failure’-WHO
The world is on the brink of a “catastrophic moral failure” on distributing vaccines, the head of the World Health Organization said, urging countries and manufacturers to share COVID-19 doses more fairly.
For example, more than 39 million doses of vaccine have been administered in 49 higher-income countries whereas in one poor country, just 25 doses have been given, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
Economy picks up speed in China but so do infections
China’s economy picked up speed in the fourth quarter, with growth beating expectations and poised to expand further this year even as the global pandemic rages unabated.
The country reported more than 100 new COVID-19 cases for the sixth consecutive day, with rising infections in the northeast fuelling concerns of another national wave when hundreds of millions travel for the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday.
Japan to press ahead with Olympics
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vowed to forge ahead with preparations to hold the Tokyo Olympics this summer, in the face of growing public opposition as Japan battles a surge in coronavirus infections.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) expects only 6,000 athletes at the opening ceremony, just over half of initial estimates, as organisers enforce precautions.
Tennis causes tensions with stranded Australians
As top tennis stars descended on Melbourne for the upcoming grand slam, many Australians questioned the decision to host the tournament when thousands of citizens are stranded overseas due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Singapore wants its airline to be first to vaccinate staff
Singapore urged workers at its national airline to help make it the world’s first carrier with all staff vaccinated against COVID-19. The island state is planning to host events such as the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting and the Shangri-La Dialogue Asian security summit in a few months’ time.
Germany says new COVID variants require new measures
Germany’s health minister said new measures would be needed to slow the spread of new, more infectious variants of the coronavirus, including more health checks for cross-border commuters and intensified gene sequencing of virus samples.
(Compiled by Karishma Singh and Philippa Fletcher)