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Coronavirus: latest global developments

View of boxes of Avifavir, a Russian antiviral used in the treatment of the new coronavirus, during its presentation in La Paz, on October 9, 2020. A Bolivian laboratory was authorized for the production of Avifavir. / AFP / AIZAR RALDES

PARIS, Oct 9, 2020 (AFP) – Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

– Trump returns to fray –

US President Donald Trump will address supporters in Florida on Monday at his first rally since testing positive for Covid-19

He will also give a public speech at the White House on Saturday on his favoured theme of “law and order”, giving him an opportunity to dispel lingering doubts about his health.

– Latin America suffers worst –

Latin America and the Caribbean will suffer the worst economic and health impact from the coronavirus, the World Bank said in forecasting a nearly 8.0 percent drop in regional GDP.

“Our region is suffering the worst economic and health impacts of Covid-19 of anywhere in the world,” according to Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, the Bank’s regional vice president.

– Nobel Peace Prize –

The Nobel Committee says the coronavirus pandemic has pushed millions more into hunger as it awards its peace prize to the UN’s World Food Programme.

“In countries such as Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan and Burkina Faso, the combination of violent conflict and the pandemic has led to a dramatic rise in the number of people living on the brink of starvation,” it says.

– Microsoft stay at home –

Software giant Microsoft is to let employees work from home permanently if they choose to, becoming the latest employer to expand work-from-home provisions prompted by the pandemic, Chief People Officer Kathleen Hogan said in a note to employees obtained by tech news outlet The Verge.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged all of us to think, live and work in new ways,” Hogan said.

– Extra support for UK firms –

The British government said it would pay up to two-thirds of staff monthly wages to firms forced to close over the winter months, as infection rates skyrocket.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak extended a scheme launched just two weeks ago for workers taking reduced hours to help businesses required to shut as part of efforts to cut transmission rates.

More than 42,000 people have died in the outbreak in Britain — the worst toll in Europe — and concern is mounting about a potentially deadlier second wave.

– More than 36.5m cases –

Across the world 1,063,766 people have died of the coronavirus since it first emerged in China late last year, according to an AFP tally at 1900 GMT Friday based on official sources.

Almost 37 million cases have been officially diagnosed.

The US has the highest death toll, with 212,789, followed by Brazil with 148,957, India 106,490, Mexico 83,096 and Britain 42,679.

Makati City Pabakuna

– Madrid state of emergency –

Spain’s federal government declares a state of emergency for the virus-hit Madrid area to enforce a new partial lockdown, overriding both strong opposition from the regional authorities and a ruling by judges, who had cancelled the restrictions.

The lockdown covers some 4.5 million people in and around the capital, where the rate of infections is twice the national average, itself the highest in the EU.

– Russia infections record –

Russia registers a record daily number of new coronavirus infections, surpassing its previous high from May.

The 12,126 new infections bring the total number of confirmed cases to 1,272,238 — the fourth highest in the world.

– Merkel warning –

Chancellor Angela Merkel warned coronavirus hotspots in Germany will be given 10 days to tackle their rising case numbers before tougher action is taken.

We all sense that the big cities, the urban areas, are now the arena where we will see if we can keep the pandemic under control in Germany as we have done for months, or if we lose control,” Merkel said after talks with mayors.

Capital Berlin and financial hub Frankfurt both joined a growing list of high-risk zones on Germany’s map this week, after crossing the threshold of 50 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days.

– 2.7m migrants stranded –

More than 2.7 million migrants who wished to return home have been stranded abroad because of restrictions put in place to fight the pandemic, the International Organization for Migration says.

The UN body warns in a report that border closures and travel bans have left large numbers of migrants stranded.

– China’s vaccine pledge –

China becomes the biggest world economy so far to sign up to a deal to ensure future Covid-19 vaccines are distributed to developing countries.

The COVAX pledge to get vaccines to poorer nations as soon as they are developed aims to head off fears that rich countries will limit distribution of game-changing medicines made by their pharmaceutical companies.

– Tokyo marathon postponed –

Next year’s Tokyo marathon, which includes around 38,000 runners, has been postponed until after the delayed 2020 Olympics, organisers say.

This year’s one-day Paris-Roubaix cycling race that passes through northern France, due to take place on October 25, is also cancelled. burs/doc/cdw/tgb

Agence France-Presse