Amid the rise in Covid-19 infections across the globe, over 90 million people have been infected with the virus until Monday, according to the Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
The total case count reached 90,237,469 with 1,934,096 deaths as of today.
JHU data also show that the virus is surging in many regions and areas of 191 countries.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 22 million on Saturday.
Amid the mass vaccination programme, the US has registered 22,385,975 cases with 374,072 fatalities as of Monday morning.
India, the second worst hit country in number of cases recorded 10,450,284 cases and the death toll rose to 150,999.
Besides, Brazil reported another 469 deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the national count to 203,100, said the health ministry.
Also Read: Covid-19 immunity may lasts for years: Study
Meanwhile, 29,792 more cases were registered in the last 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 8,105,790.
Sao Paulo is the hardest-hit state with 48,351 deaths and 1,546,132 cases.
Also Read: UK coronavirus variant now has no significant impact on vaccines: WHO
The health ministry reported in a Sunday statement that it received a notification from Japan about the detection of a new variant of the coronavirus in four travelers who had visited the state of Amazonas before returning to Japan on January 2.
Bangladesh recorded 25 more Covid-19 related deaths in the last 24 hours until Sunday morning, taking the national fatality tally to 7,781.
“The mortality rate is 1.49 percent,” a handout from the Directorate General of Health Services said.
Meanwhile, the country also identified 1,071 new cases, taking the local caseload to 522,343.
Bangladesh reported its first cases on March 8 and the first death on March 18.
In his first major speech of the year, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has underlined the need for global cooperation to address today’s challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
The UN Chief was speaking on Sunday during a virtual event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the first meeting of the UN General Assembly, which was held in London.
“The work of the General Assembly has helped to boost global health, literacy, and living standards, and to promote human rights and gender equality,” he said, reflecting on some of its accomplishments since then.
Delivering for the world’s people
The General Assembly is familiarly known as the world’s town hall.
It is the place where UN Member States can peacefully address their differences and find solutions to global challenges, according to the current President, Volkan Bozkir of Turkey.
“Over the past 75 years, we have achieved more together than we could have apart,” he said in a video message for the online commemoration, which was co-hosted by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom.
“As we move into the next 75 years and our world becomes ever more connected, let us tighten those bonds, so we can best protect and deliver for the peoples we serve.”
While the international community can be proud of its collective accomplishments, the Secretary-General stressed the need for greater action in the face of pressing issues, including the pandemic.
Nearly two million COVID-19 deaths have been reported worldwide as of Sunday, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Secretary-General has frequently spoken of how the crisis has exposed inequalities and fragilities, both within and among countries, including threats to women and girls. It has further highlighted serious gaps in global cooperation and solidarity.
“We have seen this most recently in vaccine nationalism, as some rich countries compete to buy vaccines for their own people, with no consideration for the world’s poor,” he said.
Meanwhile, global response to the climate emergency has been “utterly inadequate,” he added.
Climate action a top priority
Although the UN chief described the pandemic as “a human tragedy”, he emphasized that it can be an opportunity to achieve a more sustainable and equitable world, as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
“The central objective of the United Nations this year is to build a global coalition for carbon neutrality by the middle of the century. We need meaningful cuts now, to reduce global emissions by 45 per cent by 2030, compared with 2010 levels,” he said.
Mr. Guterres also reported that a global survey conducted last year revealed climate action is a top priority for the world’s people, more than 1.5 million of whom shared their hopes and fears as part of events marking the UN’s 75th anniversary.
People worldwide also want to see better access to healthcare, education, safe water and sanitation, according to the survey. The majority, or a staggering 97 per cent, called for improved international cooperation to address global challenges.
UK Minister of State, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, acknowledged the collective concern over the damaging impact of climate change on the natural environment and global security.
“We all need to find new ways of doing things, so our progress is not at the expense of our planet but by us working together,” he said, recalling that the UK will co-host the latest global climate change conference, known as COP26, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.
Dialogue with youth
Following the official segment, the Secretary-General answered questions from several young people working in areas such as climate action, gender equality, global health and peace.
Josie Naughton, co-founder of Choose Love, an organization that supports people displaced by conflict or persecution, asked about his appeal for a global ceasefire during the pandemic. She wondered if it could be a reality.
Mr. Guterres reported on tentative progress, including in Syria, Libya and South Sudan, but noted that conflict still rages in places such as Yemen. He cited mistrust and “spoilers”, or external involvement in a country’s affairs, as obstacles to peace.
“Look at Libya: the spoilers are making it much more difficult to move forward after the ceasefire into a political solution. And we need to make sure that we are able to put an end to this kind of interference of countries that undermine the possibility of those that are in conflict in one country to come together,” he said.
Also Read: Carbon neutrality by 2050: The world's most urgent mission
The Secretary-General underscored the importance of a unified UN Security Council, and for major powers to overcome their differences and work together.
“We need a strong Security Council able to take decisions and to implement them to make sure the ceasefires that are declared are implemented, and those that have not yet been possible become possible.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday the House will proceed with legislation to impeach President Donald Trump unless the vice president and Cabinet invoke constitutional authority to force him out, calling Trump a threat to democracy after the deadly assault on the Capitol.
Pelosi made the announcement in a letter to colleagues, framing it as an ultimatum to Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the powers of the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. If not, she said, the House would proceed with impeachment. Trump could become the only president to be impeached twice.
“In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both,” she said, and added: “The horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.”
Pelosi’s plan seeks a vote on Monday on a resolution calling on Pence and Cabinet officials to invoke the 25th Amendment. Under rules when the full House is not convened, any objection would reject the resolution. Pelosi would then put the resolution before the full House on Tuesday. If it were to pass, Pence and the Cabinet would have 24 hours to act before the House would move toward impeachment.
With impeachment planning intensifying, two Republican senators said they want Trump to resign immediately as efforts mounted to prevent Trump from ever again holding elective office in the wake of deadly riots at the Capitol.
House Democrats were expected to introduce articles of impeachment on Monday. The strategy would be to condemn the president’s actions swiftly but delay an impeachment trial in the Senate for 100 days. That would allow President-elect Joe Biden to focus on other priorities as soon as he is inaugurated Jan. 20.
Rep. Jim Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat and a top Biden ally, laid out the ideas Sunday as the country came to grips with the siege at the Capitol by Trump loyalists trying to overturn the election results.
“Let’s give President-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running,” Clyburn said.
Pressure was mounting for Trump to leave office even before his term ended amid alarming concerns of more unrest ahead of the inauguration. The president whipped up the mob that stormed the Capitol, sent lawmakers into hiding and left five dead.
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania on Sunday joined Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in calling for Trump to “resign and go away as soon as possible.”
“I think the president has disqualified himself from ever, certainly, serving in office again,” Toomey said. “I don’t think he is electable in any way.”
Murkowski, who has long voiced her exasperation with Trump’s conduct in office, told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday that Trump simply “needs to get out.” A third Republican, Sen. Roy Blunt, of Missouri, did not go that far, but on Sunday he warned Trump to be “very careful” in his final days in office.
Corporate America began to tie its reaction to the Capitol riots by tying them to campaign contributions.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s CEO and President Kim Keck said it will not contribute to those lawmakers — all Republicans — who supported challenges to Biden’s Electoral College win. The group “will suspend contributions to those lawmakers who voted to undermine our democracy,” Kim said.
Citigroup did not single out lawmakers aligned with Trump’s effort to overturn the election, but said it would be pausing all federal political donations for the first three months of the year. Citi’s head of global government affairs, Candi Wolff, said in a Friday memo to employees, “We want you to be assured that we will not support candidates who do not respect the rule of law.”
House leaders, furious after the insurrection, appear determined to act against Trump despite the short timeline.
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said an impeachment trial could not begin under the current calendar before Inauguration Day, Jan. 20.
While many have criticized Trump, Republicans have said that impeachment would be divisive in a time of unity.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said that instead of coming together, Democrats want to “talk about ridiculous things like ‘Let’s impeach a president’” with just days left in office.
Still, some Republicans might be supportive.
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse said he would take a look at any articles that the House sent over. Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a frequent Trump critic, said he would “vote the right way” if the matter were put in front of him.
The Democratic effort to stamp Trump’s presidential record — for the second time — with the indelible mark of impeachment had advanced rapidly since the riot.
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I, a leader of the House effort to draft impeachment articles accusing Trump of inciting insurrection, said Sunday that his group had 200-plus co-sponsors.
The articles, if passed by the House, could then be transmitted to the Senate for a trial, with senators acting as jurors to acquit or convict Trump. If convicted, Trump would be removed from office and succeeded by the vice president. It would be the first time a U.S. president had been impeached twice.
Potentially complicating Pelosi’s decision about impeachment was what it meant for Biden and the beginning of his presidency. While reiterating that he had long viewed Trump as unfit for office, Biden on Friday sidestepped a question about impeachment, saying what Congress did “is for them to decide.”
A violent and largely white mob of Trump supporters overpowered police, broke through security lines and windows and rampaged through the Capitol on Wednesday, forcing lawmakers to scatter as they were finalizing Biden’s victory over Trump in the Electoral College.
Toomey appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Clyburn was on “Fox News Sunday” and CNN. Kinzinger was on ABC’s “This Week,” Blunt was on CBS’ “Face the Nation” and Rubio was on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”
New Zealand’s central bank said Sunday that one of its data systems has been breached by an unidentified hacker who potentially accessed commercially and personally sensitive information.
A third party file sharing service used by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to share and store sensitive information had been illegally accessed, the Wellington-based bank said in a statement.
Governor Adrian Orr said the breach has been contained. The bank’s core functions “remain sound and operational,” he said.
Also Read: US government agencies hacked
“We are working closely with domestic and international cybersecurity experts and other relevant authorities as part of our investigation and response to this malicious attack,” Orr said.
“The nature and extent of information that has been potentially accessed is still being determined, but it may include some commercially and personally sensitive information,” Orr added.
The system had been secured and taken offline until the bank completes its initial investigations.
“It will take time to understand the full implications of this breach and we are working with system users whose information may have been accessed,” Orr said.
The bank declined to answer emailed questions seeking more details.
It’s unclear when the breach took place or if there were any indications of who was responsible, and in what country is the file sharing service based.
Also Read: Hack against US is 'grave' threat, cybersecurity agency says
Several major organizations in New Zealand have been the target of cyber interference in the past year, including the New Zealand Stock Exchange, which had its servers knocked out of public view for nearly a week in August.
Dave Parry, professor of computer science at Auckland University, told Radio New Zealand that another government was likely behind the bank data breach.
Also Read: Public, election officials may be kept in the dark on hacks
“Ultimately if you were coming from a sort of like criminal perspective, the government agencies aren’t going to pay your ransom or whatever, so you’d be more interested probably coming in from a government-to-government level,” Parry said.
Almost 90 million people have been infected with coronavirus as COVID-19 cases hardly show any sign of slowing down, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
The total case count has reached 89,611,443 as death toll from COVID-19 climbed to 1,926,343 as of Sunday morning.
JHU data also show that the virus is surging in many regions and areas of 191 countries.
Also Read: Covid-19 immunity may lasts for years: Study
COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 22 million on Saturday. The US has recorded 22,132,397 cases with 372,428 fatalities.
The seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths in the US rose over the past two weeks, going from 2,368.1 on December 25 to 2,982.7 on Friday, reports AP.
India's COVID-19 tally reached 10,431,639 while the death toll rose to 150,798.
Brazil's COVID-19 death toll reached 202,631 on Saturday after 1,171 more patients died from the novel coronavirus during the past 24 hours, official data showed.
In the last 24 hours, tests detected 62,290 new cases, bringing the nationwide tally of confirmed cases to 8,075,998.
Brazil has the world's second-largest COVID-19 death toll, after the United States, and the third largest outbreak, after the United States and India.
COVID-19 in Bangladesh
Bangladesh recorded 22 more deaths and 692 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours until Saturday morning.
The infection tally stood at 5,21,382 with the new cases.
So far, a total of 7,756 people have lost their lives and 4,66,064 recovered from the disease since the first death was reported on March 18.
The country saw a daily infection rate of 5.36 percent with 89.39 percent recovery and a mortality rate of 1.49 percent.
Until now, 3,344,399 tests, including 12,524 new ones, have been carried out.
The country’s infection number reached the 500,000-mark on December 20. The first cases were reported on March 8. The death toll exceeded 7,000 on December 12.