Coronavirus: Latest Global Developments

Paris, Jan 10 (AFP/APP): Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

German virus deaths top 40,000

The total number of Germany’s coronavirus deaths crosses 40,000 Sunday, as Chancellor Angela Merkel warns that worse is to come. In her weekly video message Saturday, Merkel said the full impact of socialising over the Christmas and New Year’s period was yet to show up in the statistics.

Belgium virus deaths pass 20,000

Coronavirus deaths in Belgium pass 20,000, health officials say Sunday, with more than half the victims from retirement care homes. The country of 11.5 million people has one of the highest death rates from the pandemic in the world, with 1,725 per 100,000 people, according to an AFP tally.

More than 1.9 million people dead worldwide

The pandemic has killed more than 1.9 million people worldwide, according to a tally compiled by AFP using official sources and information from the World Health Organization (WHO). The United States is the country most affected with more than 372,000 deaths, followed by Brazil (more than 202,000), India (over 150,000), Mexico (over 132,000) and the United Kingdom (over 80,000).

$1bn raised for ‘vulnerable’ countries

Britain says it has helped raise $1 billion (818 million euros) from global donors to help “vulnerable countries” access coronavirus vaccines, by match-funding contributions from other countries. It has also committed £548 million to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), says Britain’s Foreign Office.

Czechs seek Israeli help

With daily cases at record rates, Czech President Milos Zeman says he has asked Israel “for help with organising the vaccination campaign because Israel is absolutely perfect at that”, having already vaccinated 1.5 million people. His appeal comes as thousands spill into central Prague to protest against an ongoing vaccination campaign and tight government anti-virus restrictions.

France extends curfew restrictions

France extends its longer overnight curfew restrictions to eight more departments from Sunday, including second city Marseille, after a family cluster of the mutation identified in the UK is found.

Quebec starts overnight curfew

The Canadian province of Quebec starts an overnight 8-5 curfew to try to curb the spread of the virus. One on this scale has not been ordered in Canada since a devastating flu swept the globe a century ago, according to historians.

Vaccine scepticism ‘suicidal denial’, says Pope

Pope Francis urges people to get the vaccination, calling opposition to the jab “suicidal denial” and saying he will get inoculated next week.

“There is a suicidal denial which I cannot explain, but today we have to get vaccinated,” the pontiff says in segments from an interview with Canale 5 to be broadcast in full on Sunday.

UK vaccines for all adults by autumn

Britain’s government said it hoped to vaccinate all adults in the country by autumn, having so far suffered Europe’s worst toll with over 80,000 dead.

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