By Ciara Linnane
Germany, which is struggling to persuade its population to get vaccinated, has renewed its effort to get those people to get their shots, with Health Minister Jens Spahn warning Friday that 1% of Germany’s population is currently infected, ABC News reported.
The country recorded 74,352 new cases on Friday and 390 fatalities, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute.
Spahn said that the number of unvaccinated residents who are infected and seriously ill is much higher than their share of the overall population: “If all German adults were vaccinated, we wouldn’t be in this difficult situation,” he told reporters in Berlin.
In Norway, at least 17 cases of suspected omicron cases of COVID have been detected after a Christmas party in Oslo, AFP reported. Up to 120 people, all vaccinated, including one who had recently traveled to southern Africa, gathered for the party.
“So far 60 people have tested positive (for Covid) with PCR tests, and four with antigen tests,” the city of Oslo said in a statement.
Chinese media reported that China may ban spectators from one of the bigger venues at the Winter Olympics, if the coronavirus outbreak worsens, AFP reported.
In medical news, a study published in British journal The Lancet found that seven COVID-19 vaccines can produce an immune response when given as a booster. This is the first research to directly compare COVID-19 booster shots. The study involved 2,878 volunteers who had received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or AstraZeneca /zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite AZN +2.59% /zigman2/quotes/203048482/delayed UK:AZN +2.38% vaccines as their primary shots.
The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness climbed above 264.4 million on Friday, while the death toll edged above 5.23 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University .
The U.S. continues to lead the world with a total of 48.8 million cases and 785,932 deaths.
India is second by cases after the U.S. at 34.6 million and has suffered 470,115 deaths. Brazil has second highest death toll at 615,179 and 22.1 million cases.
In Europe, Russia has the most fatalities at 273,463 deaths, followed by the U.K. at 145,731.
China, where the virus was first discovered late in 2019, has had 111,515 confirmed cases and 4,809 deaths, according to its official numbers, which are widely held to be massively understated.