Coronavirus: Latest global developments

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PARIS, June 19, 2021 (BSS/AFP) – Here are the latest developments in the
coronavirus crisis:

– Moscow record surge –

Russia’s capital registers 9,056 new infections in 24 hours, a record since
the start of the pandemic, leading the city to close its Euro 2020 fan-zone
and ban gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

The Delta variant, which first emerged in India, represents almost 90
percent of the cases, mayor Sergei Sobyanin says.

– Africa concern –

The World Health Organization says the trajectory of Covid-19 cases across
Africa “is very, very concerning”, with the spread of new variants as
vaccination rates remain dangerously low.

– Vaccine outages –

Dozens of poorer countries have had to suspend their coronavirus
vaccination programmes due to a lack of doses, the WHO says, adding the
shortages often cause delays for those awaiting a second dose.

– AstraZeneca verdict –

A Belgian court orders AstraZeneca to deliver 50 million doses of its
Covid-19 vaccine to European Union member states by September 27 — far fewer
than Brussels had demanded.

– Euro 2020 doubt –

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says his priority is keeping the
“country safe from Covid”, as a source confirms to AFP that UEFA is keeping
the option open of moving the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final from Wembley to
Budapest.

– Palestinians to get jabs –

Israel is to swap around a million doses of the Pfizer vaccine reaching
their expiry dates for doses the US pharma giant was due to send to the
Palestinian Authority for its 4.5 million population.

– Western Balkans too –

Austria will donate one million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to western
Balkan countries, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz says.

– Italian quarantine for UK –

Italy reintroduces a five-day quarantine on arrivals from Britain after a
spike in coronavirus cases there.

– Norway eases curbs –

Norway will lift a slew of measures to fight Covid-19 in the coming days,
the prime minister Erna Solberg says, opening up travel, sport and partying.

– Jabs for Games staff –

Thousands of Olympic volunteers and officials begin receiving vaccines in
Tokyo five weeks before the Olympics, as experts warn it would be safer to
hold the event without fans.

– 3.8 million dead –

The pandemic has killed at least 3,844,390 people worldwide since the virus
first emerged in December 2019, according to an AFP compilation of official
data.

The US is the worst-affected country with 600,934 deaths, followed by
Brazil with 496,004, India with 383,490, Mexico with 230,792, Peru with
189,757 and Russia with 128,445.

The figures are based on reports by health authorities in each country, but
do not take into account upward revisions carried out later by statistical
bodies.

The WHO says up to three times more people have died directly or indirectly
due to the pandemic than official figures suggest.