The WHO said there were about 4 million coronavirus cases reported globally last week, marking the first major drop in new infections in more than two months.

In recent weeks, there have been about 4.4 million new Covid-19 cases.

In its weekly update released on Tuesday, the UN healthinfo-icon agency said every region in the worldinfo-icon saw a drop in Covid-19 cases compared to the previous week.

Although the worldwide number of deaths decreased to about 62,000, with the sharpest decline in Southeast Asiainfo-icon, there was a 7 per cent increase in deaths in Africainfo-icon.

The highest numbers of cases were seen in the USinfo-icon, Britaininfo-icon, Indiainfo-icon, Iraninfo-icon and Turkeyinfo-icon and the highly contagious delta variant has now been reported in 180 countries.

WHO also said children and teenagers continue to be less affected by Covid-19 when compared to adults, adding that deaths of people under 24 due to the disease account for fewer than 0.5 per cent of global deaths.

WHO has previously said children should not be prioritized for Covid-19 vaccinations given the extreme vaccine shortages globally.

Parisinfo-icon: Health care workers in Franceinfo-icon face suspension from their jobs starting Wednesday if they haven't been vaccinated against Covid-19. With about 300,000 workers still not vaccinated, some hospitals fear staff shortages will add to their strain.

Vaccines are now compulsory for medical care, home care and emergency workers in France, and Wednesday is the deadline for such staff to have had at least one shot. Failing that, they face having pay suspended or not being able to work. But a top courtinfo-icon has forbidden staff to be fired outright.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday the action was being taken to allow children to return safely to school after a long absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In an audio message to province and municipality chiefs posted on his Facebookinfo-icon page, he said more than 1.8 million children were expected to get their jabs under the program, which will use Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine.

He also said he was considering having children 3-5 years-old be vaccinated soon.