The global coronavirus caseload has topped 230 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 4.71 million and vaccinations soared to over 5.98 billion, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
In its latest update on Thursday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload, death toll and vaccination tally stood at 230,019,651, 4,717,728 and 5,988,492,186, respectively.
The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 42,539,373 and 681,111, respectively, according to the CSSE. In terms of infections, India follows in second place with 33,531,498 cases.
The other worst countries with over 3 million cases are Brazil (21,283,567), the UK (7,565,554), Russia (7,227,549), France (7,061,323), Turkey (6,932,423), Iran (5,477,229), Argentina (5,245,265), Colombia (4,945,203), Spain (4,940,824), Italy (4,645,853), Indonesia (4,198,678), Germany (4,173,357) and Mexico (3,585,565), the CSSE figures showed.
Nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are Brazil (592,316), India (445,768), Mexico (272,580), Peru (199,060), Russia (197,032), Indonesia (140,954), the UK (135,959), Italy (130,488), Colombia (126,006), Iran (118,191), France (116,981) and Argentina (114,684).
UK records another 34,460 coronavirus cases
Another 34,460 people in the UK have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 7,530,103, according to official figures released Wednesday. The country also recorded another 166 coronavirus-related deaths, reports said.
The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in the UK now stands at 135,621. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.
The latest data came as British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told lawmakers that the government is "working as quickly as possible" to scrap PCR tests for fully vaccinated international travellers after their arrival in the country.
The UK government recently announced its intention for people from non-red list countries who have had both doses of the vaccine to be able to use cheaper lateral flow tests instead.
Meanwhile, scientists at the Rosaline Franklin Institute, a British national research institute, have found llamas produce a unique kind of antibody, known as nanobodies, which they believe could offer new treatment against COVID-19, administered as a nasal spray.
Nanobodies, a smaller and simpler form of antibody produced by llamas and camels, can effectively target the novel coronavirus, new research published in the journal Nature Communication has found.
Public Health England hailed the research as offering "significant potential for both the prevention and treatment of Covid-19" and added that the nanobodies "are among the most effective SARS-CoV-2 neutralising agents we have ever tested".
The nanobodies were found to be binding to the virus particles in cell cultures and could provide a cheaper and easier form of treatment compared to antibodies harvested from humans and shared through an infusion.
Meanwhile, more than 89 percent of people aged 16 and over in the UK have had their first dose of vaccine and more than 82 per cent have received both doses, the latest figures showed.
Turkey reports 28,168 daily Covid-19 cases
Turkey has confirmed 28,168 new Covid-19 cases, raising its tally of infections to 6,932,453, according to its health ministry.
The death toll from the virus in Turkey rose by 242 to 62,307 on Wednesday, while 23,096 more people recovered in the last 24 hours, Xinhua news agency reported. A total of 351,655 tests were conducted over the past day, it said.
Turkey started mass Covid-19 vaccination on January 14 after the authorities approved the emergency use of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine.
More than 53.07 million people have received their first doses of vaccines, while over 42.77 million had their second doses. Turkey has so far administered over 106.49 million doses including the third booster jabs.
Africa's Covid cases near 8.18 mn
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa reached 8,177,919 as of Wednesday noon, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.
The Africa CDC, the specialized healthcare agency of the African Union, said the death toll from the pandemic across the continent stands at 207,132, the Xinhua news agency reported.
Some 7,534,544 patients across the continent have recovered from the disease so far, it was noted. South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Ethiopia are among the countries with the most cases in the continent, according to the agency.
South Africa has recorded the most COVID-19 cases in Africa with 2,886,331 cases, while northern African country Morocco reported 922,222 cases as of Wednesday noon, it was noted.
In terms of the caseload, southern Africa is the most affected region, followed by the northern and eastern parts of the continent, while central Africa is the least affected region in the continent, according to the Africa CDC.