Hello and welcome to today’s live global coronavirus coverage.
My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest developments for the next few hours. As always, you can get in touch on Twitter here.
An independent panel reviewing the global handling of the pandemic said on Monday that Chinese officials could have applied public health measures more forcefully in January and criticised the World Health Organization for not declaring an international emergency until 30 January.
Meanwhile the US is on the brink of the heartbreaking milestone of 400,000 deaths – the highest toll of any country worldwide and one in five global deaths.
Here are the other key developments:
Morocco’s health ministry has confirmed its first imported case of the more contagious variant of coronavirus first discovered in the UK.
The variant was detected in the northern port of Tangier in a Moroccan national returning from Ireland via Marseille, the ministry said in a statement.
The UK had the highest Covid death toll in the world in the week to 17 January,
with 16.5 deaths per 1 million people on average, according to Our World in Data
Brazil on Monday reported 23,671 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the new total to 8,511,770,
the country’s health ministry said.Deaths rose by 452 to 210,299 in Brazil, which has the world’s highest death toll from the pandemic outside the US.
Spain reported a record rise in coronavirus infections over the weekend
and the number of new cases measured over the past fortnight spiked to 689 per 100,000 people on Monday from 575 on Friday, health ministry data showed.
The Czech Republic has confirmed the detection of the new, more transmissible variant of coronavirus first found in Britain
Scientists have found new biological evidence that a South African Covid variant of binds more readily to human cells
, making it more infectious, according to one of the world’s leading infectious disease experts.
Portugal’s daily Covid death toll reached a record high of 167 on Monday,
bringing the total to 9,028 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Stricter lockdown rules are now being enacted there
Steffen Seibert, Germany’s government spokesman, said on Monday that the number of Covid infections in the country is too high
amid rising fears about new variants of the virus.
Japan has detected a variant of the new coronavirus first discovered in Britain
in three people who had not travelled there.
The Welsh first minister, Mark Drakeford, has defended the slower rollout of the inoculation programme in Wales,
saying the Pfizer vaccine could not be used all at once as supplies had to last until the start of February.