A health official collects a nasal swab sample from a man for a Covid-19 coronavirus test. AFP
More than 27.85 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 902,216 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
The country with the most coronavirus deaths is the United States with over 190,000 fatalities, followed by Brazil.
With billions of people around the world still suffering from the fallout of the crisis, a worldwide race for a vaccine is underway, with nine companies already in late-stage Phase 3 trials.
However clinical trials on one of the most advanced experimental Covid-19 vaccines, which is being developed by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University, were "paused" this week after a volunteer developed an unexplained illness.
Russian trials 'too small'
Russia has already approved a vaccine and on Wednesday began inoculating volunteers in Moscow, the capital's deputy mayor said.
Russia announced last month that its vaccine, named "Sputnik V" — after the Soviet-era satellite that was the first launched into space in 1957 — had received approval.
Research published in The Lancet medical journal last week said patients involved in early tests in Russia developed antibodies with "no serious adverse events", although scientists cautioned the trials were too small.
High-profile Russians have already been vaccinated, including President Vladimir Putin's daughter, Moscow's mayor, and nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
Clinical trials of a Chinese-made vaccine in Brazil have shown "extremely positive" results, and a widespread vaccination campaign could begin as early as December, the governor of Sao Paulo state said.
AstraZeneca said it had "voluntarily paused vaccination to allow review of safety data", adding that in large-scale trials, illnesses will sometimes happen by chance, but must be reviewed independently.
Britain's health minister Matt Hancock said it was not the first pause in the trials of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
"It's a standard process in clinical trials. There was a pause earlier in the summer and that was resolved without a problem," he told Sky News.
China, meanwhile, put its homegrown vaccines on display for the first time at a Beijing trade fair this week, and authorities hope one will be approved for use by the end of the year.
The economic impact of the virus continues to wreak havoc on economies around the world, with governments desperate to get back to normality.
Latin America and the Caribbean surpassed 300,000 virus deaths. Argentina's caseload surpassed the half-million mark, while in Peru, which has the highest per capita coronavirus death rate in the world, fatalities climbed beyond 30,000.
The milestone comes more than 13 months into a vaccination drive that has been beset by misinformation and political and legal strife, though the shots have proved safe and highly effective at preventing serious illness and death.
The United States on Wednesday recorded 1,082 new COVID-19 deaths over a 24 hour period, raising the total to 113,000 deaths, according to figures published by Johns Hopkins University.
The country has officially logged 1,809,109 cases of COVID-19, the tracker set up by the Baltimore-based university showed at 8:30pm (0030 GMT Tuesday). The death toll and number of cases in the United States are by far the worst in the world.
Gupta, who was designated as X's Head of Global Government Affairs for India and South Asia, declined to comment to Reuters. X did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The fire began on Friday night at the factory in Pingtung county and raged overnight. Authorities said rescuers were still looking for four factory workers and one firefighter who remained unaccounted for.
ENEC is now utilising its experience, skills and clean electricity from Barakah to accelerate the development of clean molecules such as clean hydrogen, heat and steam.