Covid-19: The latest global news - in 420 words

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Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

Italy bars unjabbed

Unvaccinated people in Italy are barred from restaurants or taking domestic flights under new rules which exempt only those who have recently recovered from the virus.

Djokovic 1, Australia 0

World tennis number one Novak Djokovic wins a stunning victory over the Australian government after a judge orders him to be freed and overturns the cancellation of the unvaccinated star's visa.

But the country's immigration minister could yet deport him.

Kyrgios positive

Maverick Australian player Nick Kyrgios tests positive, casting major doubt over whether he can play at next week's Australian Open, where Djokovic still hopes to compete.

India boosters begin

India begins its booster shot campaign for frontline workers and vulnerable people aged 60 and above as daily case numbers approach the enormous figures seen last year when thousands died every day.

More Chinese cases

China reports more cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, with a possible outbreak in Tianjin - just 150 kilometres from Beijing - where 14 million residents have been ordered to be tested.

World needs 'reality therapy'

Pope Francis urges more vaccination saying "reality therapy" was needed to battle "baseless information" putting people off getting jabbed.

'Don't help crash victims'

Beijing police warn residents not to help any Winter Olympics vehicle involved in a crash - to avoid breaching the Games' strict bubble as the final countdown for the event next month begins.

Uganda schools finally reopen 

Uganda ends the world's longest Covid schools closure, ordering millions of students back to the classroom nearly two years after learning was suspended because of the pandemic.

US troops grounded

US troops in Japan will stop making non-essential visits off-base for two weeks as local officials in areas hosting the forces link them with a sharp rise in virus infections.

Algae-bargy

A French MP is pelted with seaweed and dirt by protesters angry at the country's vaccination pass outside his home in the North Atlantic overseas territory of Saint-Pierre-and-Miquelon off Newfoundland.

Nearly 5.5 million dead 

The coronavirus has killed at least 5 486 519 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources.

The United States has recorded the most Covid deaths with 837 664, followed by Brazil with 619 981, India on 483 936 and Russia 316 904.

Taking into account excess mortality linked to Covid-19, the World Health Organisation estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.

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