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Coronavirus: Latest global developments

Boris Johnson
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a statement on the current coronavirus statistics and testing and lockdown measures during a virtual press conference inside 10 Downing Street in central London on November 5, 2020, as new lockdown restrictions are introduced in England in an effort to curb rising infections of the novel coronavirus. City centres have reverted to ghost towns as England's 56 million people entered a second coronavirus lockdown on Thursday, amid scepticism that the stringent curbs will work to arrest the worst death toll in Europe. / AFP / POOL / Leon Neal

PARIS, Nov 5, 2020 (AFP) – Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

– Europe the epicenter –

Europe has become the epicentre of the epidemic with more infections than any other region — 11.6 million since it first emerged in China late last year, according to an AFP tally on Thursday at 1100 GMT based on official sources.

The virus has so far claimed 1,226,154 lives worldwide with 48,110,365 registered cases.

The United States remains the most affected country, with 233,734 deaths. The countries with the next-highest death tolls are Brazil with 161,106, India with 124,315, Mexico with 93,228 and the UK with 47,742.

– England locks down –

England’s 56 million people begin a second lockdown as concerns mount about the impact on the economy and on mental health.

The Bank of England unveils an extra £150 billion (165 million euros, $196 million) stimulus as it forecasts a deeper recession than previously thought for the UK economy.

– UN calls special summit –

The UN General Assembly moves to hold a special session focused on international coordination to the coronavirus pandemic from December 3-4 in New York.

– ‘Recovery on hold’ –

The EU says a second wave of the pandemic has stalled a nascent recovery in Europe, warning that the economy will not return to pre-virus normality before 2023.

– Paris tightens rules –

The French capital’s mayor announces some shops will be forced to close at 10:00 pm to prevent virus-spreading gatherings.

Late-night shoppers have continued to fill stores selling takeaway alcohol and food despite the national lockdown.

– WHO warning –

The World Health Organization (WHO) in Europe says it is seeing an “explosion” of coronavirus cases in the region as mortality rates rise.

“It’s going to be a little bit of a tough time, we need to be honest on that,” WHO’s regional director for Europe Hans Kluge says.

– Beijing border curbs –

China defends a ban on non-Chinese arrivals from Britain, Belgium and the Philippines as “reasonable and fair” as it guards against a resurgence of the virus.

– Greece lockdown –

Greece will re-enter a lockdown from Saturday for three weeks to battle a second wave, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announces.

– Sweden PM self-isolates –

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven says he has gone into self-isolation after a person in his “vicinity” met someone with Covid-19.

– Dark skies –

Germany’s Lufthansa — Europe’s largest airline — says it will carry only a quarter of its normal capacity from October to December after it posts a third quarter net loss of 2.0 billion euros.

– Less pollution, more plastic –

Coronavirus lockdowns in Europe have led to some environmental improvements such as better air quality and lower carbon emissions, but they are temporary and coupled with a surge in single-use plastic, the European Environment Agency (EEA) says.

– Off the streets –

Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras will go ahead next year as a seated event instead of its usual glittering street parade to protect revellers from the pandemic, organisers announce. burs-eab/fg/pvh/har