BFF-41 Coronavirus: latest global developments





Coronavirus: latest global developments

PARIS, July 15, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Here are the latest developments
in the coronavirus crisis:

– Vaccine hope –

American biotech firm Moderna says it will start the final stage of
human trials for its vaccine candidate on July 27, after promising
results from earlier testing. The study should run until October 2022
but preliminary results should be available long before then.

– Markets boost –

News of the US vaccine candidate, along with another round of US
stimulus, hands strong gains to most stock markets, although advances
are tempered by the reimposition of lockdown measures, and China-US
tensions weigh on Hong Kong and Shanghai.

– Staying home in Catalonia –

Following a standoff with the courts, the Catalan regional
government in Spain tells residents to stay home in and around the
city of Lerida, a measure affecting 160,000 people.

Regional officials issue a similar call in several districts of
Hospitalet de Llobregat, a city near Barcelona.

– Hong Kong tones down –

Bars, gyms, and beauty salons close again in the city, a ban on
gatherings with more than four people comes into force and while most
residents voluntarily adopt facemasks, the government now requires
passengers on public transport to wear them or risk a fine.

– Tokyo top alert –

Tokyo is on its highest coronavirus alert level after a spike in new
cases, the city’s governor warns, as experts say the rising infections
are a clear “red flag”, though the move to a top alert does not mean
the city will ask businesses to close or events to be postponed.

– More than 578,000 deaths –

The pandemic has killed at least 578,746 people worldwide since it
surfaced in China late last year, according to an AFP tally at 1100
GMT on Wednesday based on official sources.

The United States is the worst-hit country with 136,466 deaths. It
is followed by Brazil with 74,133, Britain with 44,968, Mexico with
36,327, and Italy with 34,984 fatalities.

– Australia urges caution –

Authorities in Australia plead with the public to heed social
distancing guidelines, with some five million people locked down in
Melbourne. The appeal comes days after a group was fined Aus$26,000
(US$18,200) when their house party was exposed by a large takeout food

– No hugs with Mickey –

Disneyland Paris, Europe’s biggest private tourist attraction,
reopens its gates, but with limited access, a ban on hugging the
famous characters and no princess makeovers.