Coronavirus: latest global developments

Coronavirus: latest global developments

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis.

Beijing Coronavirus - AFP

The pandemic has killed at least 443,821 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, according to an AFP tally on Wednesday, based on official sources.

The United States has the most deaths with 116,963 followed by Brazil with 45,241, Britain with 41,969, Italy with 34,405 and France with 29,547 fatalities.

- India: 2,000 deaths daily -

India's official death toll leaps by more than 2,000 in 24 hours. Authorities say the sharp increase in fatalities to 11,903 is mainly due to Mumbai and Delhi updating their figures. 

Germany urges its nationals in India to consider leaving for their own safety while France warns its citizens in New Delhi to stay home unless going to an airport to return to Europe.

- Brazil cases surge -

Brazil records its highest daily jump in new cases, with nearly 35,000 registered in 24 hours, the health ministry says.

The grim new record comes as the WHO's top official for the Americas again voices concern over the situation in Brazil.

"Brazil has 23 percent of all cases and 21 percent of all deaths in our region. And we are not seeing transmission slowing down," Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organisation, tells a news conference.

- Germany eyes big events ban -

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government is seeking to ban large events until at least the end of October, according to an official draft policy document seen by AFP.

If agreed on by state premiers, the ban could affect shows such as the Frankfurt book fair. 

- Honduras president -

The president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, becomes the latest public figure to test positive for the virus. He tells journalists his symptoms are mild and he will work from home. His wife has also tested positive and she is asymptomatic.

- Putin's 'disinfection tunnel' -

Officials in Russia say visitors meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin at his country residence must first pass through a walk-through device that sprays them with disinfectant.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells reporters that two of the  machines have also been installed in the Kremlin.

- Beijing battles new outbreak -

China closes schools in Beijing and restricts air travel from the capital -- cancelling more than 1,200 flights -- to halt an outbreak linked to the capital's largest wholesale food market.

It reports 31 more cases, taking the total to 137 in the past six days.

- WHO hails 'breakthrough' -

The World Health Organisation hails as a "lifesaving scientific breakthrough" the British use of a basic steroid to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients, saving about a third of them.

"This is great news and I congratulate the Government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough," WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says. 

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