Nurses Angela Bedard, left, and Andrea Blake tend to a patient suffering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Humber River Hospital's intensive care unit, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada [File: Cole Burston/AFP]

COVID news from January 17: Canada authorises pill for adults with mild, moderate COVID who are at high risk of becoming seriously ill.

By Federica Marsi and Usaid Siddiqui-Aljazeera

Canada’s health regulator has approved a pill by Pfizer that treats the effects of COVID-19 amid soaring numbers of infections across the country.

Meanwhile, the health minister of Poland said the country is experiencing a fifth wave of COVID-19 cases

Several Chinese cities are on high alert as hundreds of millions of people travel around China before the Lunar New Year celebration on February 1.

Governments around the world are also enforcing stricter measures to contain the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant.

In the Philippines, unvaccinated commuters have been banned from accessing public transport, despite opposition.

This live blog is now closed, thanks for joining us. Here are the updates for January 17.