Coronavirus: latest global developments

Coronavirus: latest global developments

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis.


The pandemic has killed 416,343 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, according to an AFP tally on Thursday, based on official sources.

There have been 7,383,140 cases registered in 196 countries and territories.

The United States is the worst-hit country with 112,924 deaths, followed by Britain with 41,128, Brazil with 39,680, Italy with 34,114 and France with 29,319 fatalities.

- G20: bad start to 2020 -

Measures to curtail the outbreak caused a 3.4 percent drop in GDP for the Group of 20 major economies in the first three months of 2020, the largest decline since records began in 1998, the OECD says.

- Asylum seekers stay away -

The number of asylum applications in Europe plunged 87 percent in April, falling to the lowest level since 2008, the EU's asylum coordination agency says.

There were 8,730 asylum applications registered, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) says, following a report that covered the European Union plus Norway and Switzerland, but not Britain after its exit from the EU.

- Lufthansa slashes jobs -

German airline Lufthansa says it will have to slash 22,000 full-time jobs as it predicts a muted recovery in demand for travel following the pandemic.

About 100 aircraft will remain grounded after the crisis, leading to "a total of 22,000 fewer full-time positions in the Lufthansa Group, half of them in Germany".

- China rejects August claim -

Beijing criticises a preliminary study by US researchers suggesting the virus may have been circulating in China since August 2019, calling it proof of a disinformation campaign.

- EU border plan -

Brussels sets out plans to fully reopen the EU's internal borders on June 15 and to allow travellers from Balkan countries to enter the bloc from July 1.

- No Mecca for Malaysia -

Malaysia follows neighbouring Indonesia and pulls out of the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.

Religious Affairs Minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri says it is not safe for the 31,600 pilgrims from Malaysia who had been due to go this year to take part.

- Disneyland without hugs -

Disneyland in California announces plans to reopen next month -- but at "significantly limited" capacity, and with no opportunities for visitors to hug Mickey Mouse or high-five Donald Duck.

"While character meet-and-greets will be temporarily unavailable, characters will be in the parks in new ways to entertain and delight guests," Disney says in a statement.

- La Liga kicks off -

The Spanish top-flight football season resumes behind closed doors, with kick-off between Sevilla and Real Betis the first game to be played after a three-month hiatus. 

- California's Coachella cancelled -

California's premier desert music fest Coachella, postponed until October, has been cancelled for 2020, health officials announce, ending fans' hopes of seeing on stage headliners that had included Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean.

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