Coronavirus: Latest on COVID-19 from around the world

The death toll in the COVID-19 pandemic is now up to 2.2 million, with 104 million confirmed infections. 

Here's the latest from around the world.

New Zealand

An Auckland woman tested positive for COVID-19 after two of her family members caught the virus during managed isolation at the Pullman Hotel, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Thursday.

The woman was placed in self-isolation as a result of these two infections on January 27, which was required from all close contacts of positive community cases in New Zealand.

The woman was tested negative on both January 27 and January 30. She was then tested twice on February 1 and February 2, the latter swab returning a positive result.

United Kingdom

There have been 3,903,706 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the UK as the vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi says the UK is "getting safer everyday".

Almost one in five adults have now had their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. More than nine in 10 people over the age of 80 have had their first dose of the vaccine. 

"Our vaccination programme is our way out of this pandemic," Zahawi said, "but this remains a deadly virus and it will take time for the impact of vaccinations to be felt."

British researchers will test mixing Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses in a bid to find ways to swiftly reduce infections as new variants emerge.



Portugal has suffered the highest seven-day rolling average of deaths in the past fortnight, but the spread of infections seem to be slowing. The country reported 7,914 new cases on Thursday, less than half of the record 16,432 cases a week ago.


Italy reported 421 coronavirus related deaths on Thursday, against 476 the day before. The Ministry also reported 13,659 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours, up from 13,189 the day before.


Spain's government announced the creation of a 100 million euro fund to support small and medium sized companies in the aerospace sector, which has been slammed by the pandemic.

Spain's Catalonia region has removed some restrictions, allowing gyms to reopen and people to move outside their municipalities.


Sweden plans to launch a digital coronavirus 'vaccine passport' by June 2021 if an International standard is in place.


Norway will not offer the AstraZeneca vaccine to individuals over the age of 65, making it the latest European country to restrict its use. France, Poland and Sweden will also restrict its use.


United States

More than 27 million Americans have received a first shot of the coronavirus vaccine and more than six million are fully inoculated. The country has reported 26,574,522 cases and 451,454 deaths.


Canada says it has signed an agreement with US vaccine firm Novavax to produce millions of its COVID-19 vaccines at a facility in Montreal. Just over 2 percent of Canada's population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 



Japan has imposed a new COVID-19 penalty law passed late on Wednesday (local time) as it prepares for the summer Olympics. Infected people will face fines of up to 500,000 yen (NZ$6625) if they refuse hospitalisation or leave hospital before recovery. Individuals who do not cooperate with public health officials conducting infection tests or interviews will be fined up to 300,000 yen (NZ$3974).


Malaysia's government expects to complete its immunisation programme by February 2022, covering 80 percent of its population.


A member of the World Health Organization-led team searching for clues to the origins of COVID-19 in the central Chinese city of Wuhan said work was needed to try to trace genetic elements of the virus in bat caves.


About 21.5 percent of India's 1.35 billion people may have been infected with COVID-19, according to government research.


The Australian Open will begin as scheduled on Monday although a worker at a Melbourne hotel where players quarantine tested positive.

Africa and the Middle East


Qatar re-imposed restrictions on education, leisure and business activities, including closing indoor swimming pools and theme parks and reducing restaurant capacities.


China will send 150,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine to Syria as aid.