It’s been a busy day for coronavirus news in Australia so we haven’t turned out eyes outward very much. Let’s do that now…
Japan has declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic for Tokyo and three nearby areas as cases continued to surge, hitting a daily record of 2,447 in the capital.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga issued the declaration on Thursday at the government taskforce for the coronavirus.
The declaration kicks in Friday until February 7, and centres around asking restaurants and bars to close at 8pm. and people to stay home and not mingle in crowds.
The UK recorded a new daily record of 62,322 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday local time and more than 1,000 deaths — the highest daily death toll since April.
The news comes as the country organises more than 700 vaccination sites to administer the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The country hopes to vaccine 13 million people from the top four priority groups by mid-February.
It is hoped most aged care workers will be vaccinated by the end of January.
Mexico has reported a new high for a daily increase in coronavirus cases, with 13,345 newly confirmed infections reported on Wednesday for the previous 24 hours. Officials also reported a near-record of 1,165 deaths related to COVID-19.
The country has now seen about 1.48 million infections and almost 130,000 deaths so far in the pandemic. A low testing rate means that is an undercount, and official estimates suggest the real death toll is over 180,000.
Mexico’s vaccination effort continues at a glacial rate, with about 7,500 shots administered on Wednesday, a rate similar to previous days.
In Mexico City, the current centre of the pandemic in the country, 88 per cent of hospital beds are full.
New coronavirus cases in northern China’s Hebei province have more than doubled as officials move to lock down an area that is home to about 75 million people.
Officials announced 51 new cases on Thursday, bringing Hebei’s total to 90 since Sunday. Most of the cases have been in Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital that is due to host some events of next year’s Winter Olympics.
Rail, air and highway connections to Shijiazhuang have been suspended, control measures tightened for urban communities and villages in the region, and classes have been suspended.
Malaysia has reported 3,027 new coronavirus cases, in the biggest daily increase since the start of the pandemic.
The country now has more than 125,000 cases and over 500 deaths.