Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
More people vaccinated than total cases to date
More people have now been vaccinated against COVID-19 than the 104.1 million infected by the coronavirus that has swept the globe over the past year, a milestone on the road to ending the pandemic, based on data reported on Wednesday.
Despite the landmark data, it remains unclear how long it will take to vaccinate the world. Many of those vaccinated have received only one of two doses required.
UK plans announcement on quarantine for travellers
Britain’s health minister will make an announcement on further plans to order hotel quarantine for some travellers on Thursday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
Last month Johnson said arrivals from high-risk nations would have to quarantine for 10 days in government-provided accommodation to stop the spread of new variants of the virus, but the measure has not yet been introduced.
Britain trial to combine Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines
Britain launched a trial on Thursday to assess the immune response to doses of the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca combined in a two-shot schedule.
The researchers behind the trial said data on vaccinating people with the two types of vaccines could help them understand if there could be greater flexibility in rolling out shots worldwide. Initial data on immune responses is expected to be generated around June.
Australian Open hotel worker tests positive
Australia’s second-most populous city, Melbourne, reintroduced virus curbs from Thursday, such as mandatory masks indoors and a cap of 15 people on gatherings, after an Australian Open hotel quarantine worker tested positive, sending more than 500 tennis players and officials into isolation.
The cabinet will meet on Friday to discuss if the hotel quarantine programme should be moved to regional areas after recent cases of the virus having escaped into the community from a hotel.
South Korea PM orders revamp of social distancing rules
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun ordered on Thursday a revamp of social distancing guidelines, to build public support for efforts to stop local transmission of the virus.
The country’s five-tier social distancing system has faced a public backlash for imposing unfair limits and curfews on specific businesses, such as a ban on indoor restaurant dining after 9 p.m.