Covid global

PARIS: Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

Death toll tops 800,000

The pandemic has killed at least 800,004 people worldwide since surfacing in China late last year, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at around 1100 GMT Saturday.

More than 23 million cases have been registered in 196 countries and territories.

The United States has recorded the most deaths with 175,416, followed by Brazil with 113,358, Mexico with 59,610, India with 55,794 and Britain with 41,403 fatalities.

South Korea second wave?

South Korea announces it will ramp up restrictions across the country starting Sunday to try and control a growing outbreak, with 332 new cases reported in the past 24 hours — the highest daily figure since early March.

“We are at a very precarious stage where we could see the beginning of a nationwide second wave,” says health and welfare minister Park Neung-hoo at a press briefing.

The expanded measures include restrictions on gatherings and activities including professional sports, which will be played behind closed doors again, while beaches nationwide will close.

Germany spike in daily cases

The number of new infections in Germany tops 2,000 in the past 24 hours, a high not seen since the end of April, with authorities suggesting large numbers of returning tourists may be bringing the virus with them and other experts highlighting a big increase in testing.

France delays plan launch

The French government says it will unveil a week later than originally planned a 100-billion-euro ($118 billion) plan to nurse its economy back to health.

Businesses had eagerly awaited details of the plan, trailed for August 25, and government spokesman Gabriel Attal had said it was “ready”. 

But in a statement Attal says for now “the government is completely mobilised to prepare for the health deadline” of September 1, when pupils return to school and many workers will be back from summer holidays.

Mass experiment

A German university launches a series of pop concerts under coronavirus conditions, hoping the mass experiment with 4,000 people can determine whether large events can safely resume.

In a bid to limit infection risks only young, healthy volunteers are allowed to attend the three separate performances over the course of the day in the city of Leipzig, which will allow researchers to try out different configurations for the gigs. – AFP