The total number of deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide has increased to 2,679,063 with the global confirmed cases reaching 121,130,924 as of 10 am BJT on Thursday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Current status (data as of 10 am BJT, March 18):
The World Health Organization on Wednesday reported in its weekly update a surge in new COVID-19 cases as more countries are declaring the presence of the contagious coronavirus variants within their borders.
The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday warned that the European Union might restrict vaccine exports to countries who have higher vaccination rates, stressing the necessity to ensure reciprocity and proportionality of the vaccine exports.
Spain's Health Minister Carolina Darias on Wednesday called on the public not to lower their guard and act with "prudence" over the forthcoming holiday weekends, which see the celebration of San Jose on March 19 and the Easter holidays next month.
France will implement stricter rules in more regions, including Paris and its surrounding areas, from this weekend to curb COVID-19 resurgence as daily infections hit the new highest level since mid-November 2020.
Authorities raided Ecuador's Health Ministry as part of a corruption investigation into the country's vaccination process against COVID-19, the Attorney General's Office said on Wednesday.