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Poonam Singh

Washington: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill. Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus crisis from around the globe on Sunday.

The overall number of global coronavirus cases has topped 71.6 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.60 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Sunday, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 71,623,753 and 1,603,577, respectively.

The US is the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 16,045,596 and 297,789, respectively, according to the CSSE.

India comes in second place in terms of cases at 9,826,775, while the country's death toll soared to 142,628.

The other countries with more than a million confirmed cases are Brazil (6,880,127), Russia (2,602,048), France (2,405,255), the UK (1,835,949), Italy (1,825,775), Turkey (1,809,809), Spain (1,730,575), Argentina (1,494,602), Colombia (1,417,072), Germany (1,320,588), Mexico (1,229,379), Poland (1,126,700) and Iran (1,100,818), the CSSE figures showed.

Brazil currently accounts for the second highest number of fatalities at 181,123.

The countries with a death toll above 20,000 are Mexico (113,019), the UK (64,123), Italy (64,036), France (57,671), Iran (51,949), Spain (47,624), Russia (45,923), Argentina (40,668), Colombia (38,866), Peru (36,544), South Africa (23,106), Poland (22,676) and Germany (21,651 ).

US sets new record in single-day Covid-19 cases

 The US has set yet another record for single-day Covid cases after more than 244,000 people tested positive for the virus, as the country, currently the hardest-hit by the pandemic, is preparing the distribution of the first vaccine against the disease.

In its latest update on Saturday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 244,011 new cases and 3,013 fatalities, which increased the overall infection tally and death toll to 16,045,596 and 297,789, respectively.

The new data brought the seven-day average daily case increase to a record-high of more than 209,000 cases, and the seven-day average daily death increase to nearly 2,400, highest since late April.

There are over 108,000 people currently hospitalized due to the disease across the US, a new all-time record since the onset of the pandemic, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

Cases and hospitalizations have kept soaring in the country recently, pushing medical centers to a breaking point and leaving health care staff burned out with extreme pressure.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday issued authorisation for emergency use of the Covid-19 vaccine of American drugmaker Pfizer in partnership with German company BioNTech, the first vaccine in the US.

The authorisation came amid one of the worst days of the pandemic for the US, with record numbers of new cases, deaths and hospitalizations.

The emergency use authorisation allows the vaccine to be distributed in the country and used for people 16 years of age and older.

The first shipments of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine will begin arriving in the states on Monday, US media quoted an official as saying on Saturday.

Shipping companies UPS and FedEx will deliver the vaccine to nearly 150 state locations, Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of President Donald Trump's administration's Operation Warp Speed, was quoted as saying.

Perna said the vaccine was timed to arrive on Monday morning so that health workers would be available to receive the shots and then begin giving them.

A key CDC panel met on Saturday and voted unanimously to recommend Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, according to the US media reports.

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, an outside group of medical experts that advises the agency, voted 11 to 0 to recommend the vaccine for use in people 16 and older under the FDA's emergency authorization, according to a CNBC report.

Chile: Covid cases on rise in ten regions

n regions of Chile have seen an increase in Covid-19 cases, while another six reported a decline in the number of infections, the Ministry of Health reported.

Authorities have expressed concern over the current trend, which projects between 3,000 and 9,000 daily cases of the disease in January, Xinhua reported.

"This worries us deeply and that is why we are taking stricter measures in relation to the advance of the pandemic in the Metropolitan region and at the national level, in some specific regions," said Health Minister Enrique Paris at a press conference.

A total of 1,807 new cases of Covid-19 were registered in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number to 569,781, and 64 more deaths were reported, pushing the death toll to 15,846.

According to the ministry, 651 people are currently hospitalized in intensive care units, including 472 on ventilators and 61 in critical condition.

According to health authorities, intensive care unit (ICU) occupation is currently at 35 percent, though officials fear this could drastically increase during the second wave.

(With IANS Inputs)

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