* French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said "all options are on the table" to protect the public, as doctors warned a third wave of infections could soon overwhelm hospitals.
* 30,151,287 people have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Britain, representing around 57 per cent of all adults.
* Sweden's vaccine co-ordinator said repeated delivery delays meant Sweden would not be able to meet its target of having all adults vaccinated by June 30.
* Russian President Vladimir Putin said he expected Russia to reach herd immunity and lift pandemic-related restrictions by the end of the northern summer.
* A delivery of 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine from the United States landed in Mexico City following an accord US President Joe Biden made with Mexico this month.
* Brazil announced its first two domestically developed vaccine candidates for human trials.
* Russia's RDIF sovereign wealth fund and China's Shenzhen Yuanxing Gene-tech have agreed to produce more than 60 million doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine in China, RDIF said.
* Japan's vaccine minister said the pace of inoculation in the country would accelerate in May, but that the Tokyo Olympics were not factored in the schedule.
* A panel of South Korean advisers said a vaccine from Johnson & Johnson was safe and effective moving the single-dose shot a step closer to receiving regulatory approval.
* Japan is to issue digital health certificates to citizens who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, joining China, the European Union and other countries that have adopted similar measures.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* A new factory in Abu Dhabi will start manufacturing a vaccine later this year under a joint venture between Chinese pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm and Abu Dhabi-based technology company Group 42 (G42).
* South Africa plans to administer vaccines to up to 200,000 people a day beginning around May.
* World shares started the week on cautious ground as uncertainty over the fallout of the default of a US hedge fund tempered relief from the refloating of the ship blocking the Suez Canal.
* United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the world faces intense issues of debt sustainability because of the coronavirus crisis that have not been properly understood or addressed.
DEATHS: 2.78 MILLION
CASES: 127 MILLION
RECOVERED: 72.1 MILLION