The total number of deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide has increased to 2,431,260 with the global confirmed cases reaching 109,943,604 as of 6:00 pm BJT on Thursday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Current status (data as of 6:00 pm BJT, February 18):
Around half of South Africa's population is thought to have contracted COVID-19, studies and statisticians say, suggesting the virus has claimed tens of thousands more lives than officially recorded. The country worst hit by coronavirus in Africa has registered more than 140,000 excess natural deaths since May 2020, according to the South African Medical Research Council.
The World Bank has approved 97.5 million US dollars in grant for Afghanistan to combat the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and droughts in the war-torn Asian country, the World Bank office in Afghanistan said in a statement reaching here Thursday.
Senegal on Wednesday night received the first batch of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine. Speaking at the ceremony, Senegalese President Macky Sall expressed his "sincere thanks" to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for the acquisition of these doses of vaccine.
A dry run of the end-to-end process shows New Zealand's COVID-19 vaccination program is ready to roll from Saturday, when the first border workers will receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said on Thursday.
Australia's coronavirus vaccine program will begin on Feb. 22, the government has confirmed. Health Minister Greg Hunt and Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy on Thursday announced that the vaccine rollout will begin in more than 200 aged care facilities in 190 towns across Australia next Monday.