Latest global Coronavirus developments

Covid global

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

New York may shut schools

The US city worst hit by the first wave of the pandemic could close schools from Monday if its seven-day rolling average infection rate rises over three percent, Mayor Bill de Blasio has warned.

Bars and restaurants in “the city that never sleeps” have also been forced to close at 10 pm. More than 23,000 New Yorkers died in the first wave.

Greece, Austria follow suit

With hospitals saturated with Covid-19 cases, Greece is also shutting its schools and kindergartens until the end of the month.

Austria’s government announces a return to tougher anti-coronavirus restrictions including shutting schools and non-essential shops.

Vaccine hopes

The European Medicines Agency adds to growing hopes that an effective vaccine could be available soon.

The EU body’s director Guido Rasi tells the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore in an interview he expects the EMA to give a favourable opinion on a vaccine by the end of the year if test results proved positive. That would allow distribution from January.

Lebanon locks down

Beirut’s usually traffic-snarled streets were almost empty Saturday as the country went into a two-week lockdown with a night-time curfew beginning at 5 pm.

Salah tests positive

Egypt and Liverpool football star Mohamed Salah will miss his country’s African Cup of Nations qualifier against Togo on Saturday as well as at least two Premier League matches after testing positive.

The two-time African Footballer of the Year had attended his brother’s wedding in Egypt. Aston Villa’s Mahmoud Trezeguet was also at the marriage.

Anti-maskers march in Germany

Protests are held in several Germans cities against enforced mask-wearing, with police saying they used water cannon to disperse nearly 1,000 people in Frankfurt.

Czech crematoriums struggle

Faced with the highest death rate in Europe from the virus, Czech crematoriums are struggling to keep up.

Since the end of October some 200 people a day have been dying in the Central European nation of 10.7 million people, which was only lightly touched by the first wave.

Deaths top 1.3 million

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 1,305,039 people since emerging in China late last year, according to a tally compiled by AFP from official sources at 1100 GMT Saturday.

Some 9,995 new deaths and 660,538 new cases were recorded worldwide Friday. The countries with the most new deaths were the United States with 1,596, followed by France with 932 and Mexico with 568.

The US is also the worst-affected country with 244,364 deaths followed by Brazil with 164,737, India with 129,188, Mexico with 97,624 and the United Kingdom with 51,304.

Poland’s record deaths

A record 548 deaths in one day from the virus in Poland comes after the government ruled out a national lockdown.

Virus avoids Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan’s strongman leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov insists his country has never had a coronavirus case as he opens a new hospital for infectious diseases.  

Authorities urged people to wear masks in July due to “pathogens” and “high concentrations of dust” in the air.

Beyond Pacific island nations, only Turkmenistan and North Korea have yet to report a case of the virus. 

Ukraine’s quiet weekends

Restaurants, shopping centres, sports centres and non-essential stores close for the next three weekends across the eastern European country.

Italy and Portugal also step up restrictions with the Naples and Tuscany regions partially locked down. – AFP