Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
More than 633,000 dead
The pandemic has killed more than 633,000 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, with more than 15.5 million people infected, according to an AFP tally at 1100 GMT on Friday based on official sources.
The United States has the most deaths with 144,305, followed by Brazil with 84,082, Britain with 45,554, Mexico with 41,908 and Italy with 35,092.
India passes the 30,000-death mark to overtake France as the sixth worst-hit country.
France imposes tests on 16 nations
French prime minister Jean Castex announces on-the-spot tests for travellers visiting from 16 high-risk countries including the United States.
As France has not yet resumed general travel to and from these countries the tests will be for French citizens and residents.
Meanwhile, Germany decides to offer non-mandatory free tests to all returning travellers, as concerns grow over a rise in infections due to summer travel.
US Republican convention off
US President Donald Trump announces he is scrapping next month’s Republican convention in Florida which was expected to nominate him as the party’s candidate against Democrat Joe Biden for the November 3 election.
“The timing for this event is not right,” he says, as the number of coronavirus cases in the world’s worst-hit country tops four million, with a surge, particularly in southern and western states, including Florida.
Britain imposes masks
Britain joins the growing list of countries imposing the use of face masks. It is compulsory to wear a face covering in shopping centres, banks, takeaway outlets, sandwich shops and supermarkets, following the lead of Scotland.
WHO worried about Europe
The World Health Organisation expresses concern over the resurgence of coronavirus cases on the European continent, saying countries should impose tighter restrictions if necessary.
The number of infections in Europe crossed three million on Thursday, a fifth of the world’s cases. It remains the hardest hit in terms of deaths.
Schlumberger to lay off 21,000 workers
Texas-based oil services group Schlumberger says it expects to lay off more than 21,000 employees — a quarter of staff, also reporting a $3.4 billion quarterly loss. Like other oil firms it has been hit by a trough in demand caused by coronavirus lockdowns.
Disney in new box-office blow
Disney announces that the pandemic has forced it to indefinitely postpone the release of big-budget film “Mulan” while pushing back upcoming instalments of “Star Wars” and “Avatar” by a year, in another blow to the box offices. – AFP