BFF-35 Coronavirus: Latest global developments





Coronavirus: Latest global developments

PARIS, Nov 16, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

– Million US cases in week –

The US tops 11 million cases, with one million new ones in less than a week, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Local and state officials are taking more drastic steps to reduce the disease’s spread with hospitals warning that they are running out of resources.

– But no lockdown –

Biden advisor Vivek Murthy says the incoming US president will not impose a national lockdown, instead using targeted measures to limit the disease’s spread.

– Olympic cheer –

International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach says he is “very, very confident” that spectators will be able to attend next year’s pandemic-postponed Tokyo Olympic Games in July.

– Australia anxiety –

A cluster emerges in Adelaide, which had gone seven months without a significant outbreak after the country managed to squash a second-wave outbreak in Melbourne.

With state borders due to be almost fully reopened by Christmas, other Australian states immediately impose new restrictions on anyone travelling from South Australia.

– Sputnik sale –

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro says his government has agreed to buy 10 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.

– Tougher curbs –

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to push for tougher curbs including masks in all schools and smaller class sizes in a proposal to regional leaders of Germany’s 16 states.

– Algeria too –

The prime minister announces closures of sport and cultural centres as well as beaches after a spike in infections. A nightime curfew is also to be imposed across much of the country.

– Terrorism trial halted –

The trial of terror suspects accused of the Charlie Hedbo and Hyper Cacher attacks in Paris in January 2015 is suspended for a week as one main defendants continues to show Covid-19 symptoms.

– ‘Butcher’s dog’ –

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he is “fit as a butcher’s dog” despite self-isolating after an MP he was in contact with tested positive.

Johnson spent three days in intensive care after falling ill with the virus in April.

– Italy tops deaths toll –

The coronavirus has killed at least 1,319,561 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Monday.

That includes 6,225 new deaths, while 498,768 new cases were recorded worldwide.

Italy has the most new deaths with 546, followed by the US with 540 and Iran with 486.

The US is the worst-affected country with 246,224 deaths, followed by Brazil with 165,798, India with 130,070, Mexico with 98,542 and the United Kingdom with 51,934.

– Chill vaccine –

Paris-based pharma giant Sanofi says its vaccine won’t need to be super-cooled and can be kept in a normal fridge.

The Pfizer vaccine that has proven 90 percent effective requires storage at -70 degrees Celsius (-94 degrees Fahrenheit) — well beyond the capability of most hospital freezers.

– IMF talks paused –

Talks on a new rescue package for crisis-ravaged Argentina are suspended and Economy Minister Martin Guzman and other top Argentine officials placed in isolation after a member of a visiting IMF mission tests positive.

– Korea striker scare –

Tottenham Hotspur striker Son Heung-min is confined to his room when not training after six of his South Korea team-mates test positive.

– No-way Norway –

Norway has pulled out of co-hosting the women’s European handball championship in December together with Denmark due to restrictions linked to the pandemic, its federation says.

– VAR bug –

Angry over VAR decisions in a match his team lost to Uruguay, Colombia’s coach Carlos Queiroz likens the use of the technology in football to Covid-19, saying it should be rebranded “COVAR”.

BSS/AFP/IJ/1939 hrs