Paris, Nov 21 (AFP/APP):Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
– Pfizer/BioNTech seek US vaccine approval –
US biotech giant Pfizer and German partner BioNTech seek approval to roll out their coronavirus vaccine early, a first step towards relief as surging infections prompt a return to shutdowns that traumatised nations and the global economy earlier this year.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says its vaccines committee will meet on December 10 to discuss the request for emergency use authorisation.
– Russia cases, deaths hit new highs –
Russia registers record numbers for daily infections and deaths from the coronavirus, two days after having passed two million cases.
Health officials reported 24,822 new infections and 476 deaths, bringing the national total to 2,064,748 million cases and 35,778 fatalities since the beginning of the year.
Those figures suggest a lower death rate than elsewhere in the world, but the official Russian death toll only includes those in which Covid has been established as the primary cause of death after an autopsy.
– Poland urges no travel over Christmas –
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki warns Poles against any travel over the Christmas period, and says most coronavirus restrictions will be extended but shops will re-open.
The government is looking at ways of imposing movement restrictions, he says. Theatres, bars and restaurants will remain closed until after Christmas, and schools will maintain distance learning.
But shopping centres will be allowed to re-open fully from November 28.
– More than 1.3 million deaths –
The coronavirus has killed at least 1,373,381 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT Saturday.
At least 57,583,290 cases of coronavirus have been registered, of which at least 36,725,500 are now considered recovered.
The United States is the worst-affected country with 254,424 deaths from 11,913,945 cases. It is followed by Brazil with 168,613 deaths; India with 132,726 deaths; Mexico with 100,823 deaths; and the United Kingdom with 54,286 deaths.
– G20 urged to plug virus funding gap –
G20 nations must help plug a $4.5 billion funding gap for a WHO-led program to distribute coronavirus vaccines and pave the way for an end to the pandemic, according to a letter seen by AFP Friday.
The letter, sent ahead of this weekend’s virtual G20 summit, is signed by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission.
– France poised to reopen stores –
France is preparing to reopen stores for the crucial Christmas shopping season, encouraged by new data suggesting the country is past the worst of its second wave of infections.
Thanks to curfews and partial lockdowns, confirmed new infections dropped by 40 percent last week, admissions to hospital fell by 13 percent, and the number of new intensive care patients was down by nine percent, according to the national health agency.
– Trump’s eldest son tests positive –
US President Donald Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr has tested positive for Covid-19 and is quarantining without symptoms, the latest in a long list of infections among those with links to the White House.
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