Coronavirus: Latest Global Developments

Paris, Jan 14 (AFP/APP): Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

WHO meets over variants

The World Health Organization (WHO) emergency committee meets two weeks early to try to combat more infections variants emerging in South Africa and Britain.

French curfew expanded

The French government will impose a daily nationwide curfew at 6:00 pm starting Saturday and for at least two weeks, Prime Minister Jean Castex announces, saying the situation is “under control”, but still “fragile”. It will also require a negative Covid test for all non-EU arrivals.

China death

China reports its first virus death in eight months as 10 WHO scientists land in the country on a mission to examine the origins of the pandemic.

Lebanon in lockdown

A full lockdown starts in Lebanon, with residents barred even from food shopping and dependent on deliveries.

Turkey takes China jab

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gets vaccinated as his country starts inoculating with China’s Sinovac jab despite conflicting data abouts its efficacy.

UK bans Latam arrivals

Britain says it will ban all arrivals from South American countries and Portugal from 0400 GMT Friday over fears of importing a new coronavirus variant in Brazil.

Two popes get vaccine

Both Pope Francis and his predecessor, former pope Benedict XVI, have received their first jabs, with Italian media saying it was the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine.

Nearly 2 million dead

The pandemic has killed more than 1,979,596 million people worldwide, according to a tally compiled by AFP using official sources and information from the WHO. The US is the country most affected with more than 384,784 deaths, followed by Brazil (205,964), India (over 151,727), Mexico (136,917) and Britain (84,767). The number of deaths globally is broadly under-estimated. The toll is calculated from daily figures published by national health authorities and does not include later revisions by statistics agencies.

Sweden passes 10,000-death mark

Sweden, which is combating the spread of the virus with mostly non-coercive measures, passes 10,000 deaths associated with Covid-19, as it reports a record number of 351 deaths in a day.

Austrian test powers

Austrian MPs approve powers for the government to make a negative coronavirus test result mandatory for entry to cultural and sporting events as well as hospitals and hotel stays.

US jobless up

New filings for unemployment benefits in the US surged 181,000 in the first week of the year, the biggest increase since the coronavirus pandemic began last March.

Delta Air Lines takes hit

Delta Air Lines reports a $12.4 billion loss for 2020, following what its CEO calls “the toughest year in Delta’s history” amid the pandemic.

Murray at Australian Open?

Andy Murray’s participation in the Australian Open which starts on February 8 is thrown into doubt after it is revealed he has tested positive for coronavirus.

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