Coronavirus has already killed more than 3 million people worldwide

COVID-19 death toll nears 3 million as India cases surge

A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court seeking direction to provide Covid-19 vaccine to people in the age group of 18 and above, citing exponential rise in Covid cases in the country.

Even as the USA and Britain see their vaccination drives hit their stride, other places both rich and poor, France and India among them, are lagging behind in putting shots in arms and have imposed new lockdowns and other restrictions as cases soar.

New cases of the virus have steadily dropped with 309 confirmed yesterday - bringing the five-day moving average to 358, down 12 percent on last week. The U.S. has averaged 70,117 cases a day in the past week, up 8% from the average two weeks ago. The death toll in Japan topped 9,500.

Alcohol sales will be banned in Bangkok restaurants from Sunday, while entertainment venues will be shuttered across the country for two weeks. The public has been asked to stay away because of the pandemic. Brazil has reported nearly 370,000 deaths, Mexico has reported more than 211,000, India has reported about 175,000 deaths and the United Kingdom has had more than 127,000 deaths from COVID-19. By then, more than 140,000 people had received the jab.

But there was better news in Europe, where some countries are easing their lockdowns in response to not only fatigue, but falling infection numbers and progress with vaccinations.

Expressing "cautious optimism", Prime Minister Mario Draghi said his government was taking a "calculated risk". The other places are Britain (4.4 million), Turkey (4.1 million), Italy (3.8 million), and the ten most important countries in the world are Spain (3.4 million) and Germany (about 1.2 million).