Covid global

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

China to resume direct flights

Starting September 3, China will resume direct international flights to Beijing from eight countries with low rates of the coronavirus, after a freeze of more than five months.

The new rules will apply to flights from Thailand, Cambodia, Pakistan, Greece, Denmark, Austria, Sweden and Canada, but travellers will be subject to centralised quarantine on arrival for 14 days and have to take two Covid-19 tests.

Australia joins recession train

Australia falls into recession for the first time in three decades, joining countries such as Brazil and India, leaving China as the only major nation still recording economic growth during the pandemic.

The country’s economy shrunk a record seven percent in the second quarter, as households altered their behaviour and restrictions were put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Venice Mostra opens, masked

The Venice Film Festival opens with strict safety measures in place, including masks, for the industry’s first international competition since the coronavirus hit.

“La Mostra” — now in its 77th year — opens despite film festivals around the world opting to cancel, including Venice’s French rival, the Cannes Film Festival.

First infection in Greek migrant camp

Greece announces a first infection in its largest migrant camp of Moria on the island of Lesbos, where more than 12,700 people live in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions.

The infected man is a 40-year-old Somali, who had recently returned to the island from Athens.

More than 857,800 dead

The pandemic has killed 857,824 people worldwide since surfacing in China late last year, according to an AFP count at 1100 GMT Wednesday, based on official sources.

More than 25.8 million cases have been registered.

The United States has recorded the highest number of deaths with 184,689, followed by Brazil with 122,596, India with 66,333, Mexico 65,241 and Britain 41,504 fatalities.

Maldives tightens entry requirements

Exclusive tourist hotspot the Maldives tightens entry requirements after a spike in coronavirus infections at more than a dozen resorts.

The Indian Ocean archipelago re-opened its luxury resort islets in mid-July after a months-long lockdown, but since then 29 local staff and 16 foreigners have tested positive at the resorts, officials say.

Medics in Syria dying

Human Rights Watch says that frontline staff battling the coronavirus in government-held areas of Syria are dying in growing numbers for want of personal protective equipment.

It reported multiple deaths of doctors in August from Covid-19-related symptoms, many of which did not appear in government figures because no tests were carried out. – AFP