Coronavirus: latest global developments

Coronavirus: latest global developments


Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- 1.7 billon confined -

More than 1.7 billion people have been asked to stay home in over 50 countries and territories around the world, including 700 million people in India alone.

France announces new restrictions, with Prime Minister Edouard Phlippe saying confinement could last "several more weeks".

Italy, which is also in lockdown, bans domestic travel and shuts down a range of industries.

South Africa announces a three-week national lockdown from Thursday, while the Netherlands extends a ban on public gatherings until June 1.


- Trump fears for economy -

However, US President Donald Trump warns against the economic shutdown caused by mass quarantine measures, tweeting "WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF."


- Global ceasefire call -

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appeals for an "immediate global ceasefire" to protect vulnerable civilians in conflict zones from the pandemic, saying: "The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war."


- Economic rescue plans -

Group of 20 (G20) finance ministers say they are ready to support the most vulnerable countries.

EU finance ministers suspend rules on running public deficits in the bloc to allow member states to spend freely to tackle the crisis.

The German government agrees hundreds of billions of euros to cushion the impact of measures to contain the coronavirus.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the world economy is facing more "severe" economic damage from the pandemic than the 2008 financial crisis.


- Pandemic 'accelerating': WHO -

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns the pandemic is clearly "accelerating", but says it is still possible to "change the trajectory" of the outbreak, urging countries to go on the "attack".


- More than 360,000 cases - 

At least  16,146 deaths have been recorded since the virus first emerged in December, according to an AFP tally compiled at 1900 GMT on Monday based on official sources. 

More than 361,510 declared cases have been registered in 174 countries and territories.

Italy has most deaths with 6,077, out of 63,927 declared infections.

Mainland China has 3,270 deaths out of 81,093 cases.

The third worst hit country is Spain with 2,182 fatalities and 33,089 cases, followed by Iran with 1,812 fatalities and 23,049 cases, France with 860 deaths and 19,856 cases, and the United States with 499 deaths and 41,511 cases.


- Clinical trials -

China has started the first phase of a clinical trial for a novel coronavirus vaccine.

Russia has started to test a vaccine on animals.

A group of European countries launch clinical trials to test four experimental treatments, while Canadian researchers start to study the use of a powerful anti-inflammatory drug to reduce the risks of COVID-19 pulmonary complications and death.


- Border tightening -

Hong Kong has banned all non-residents from entering.

The United Arab Emirates will suspend from Wednesday, for two weeks, all passenger flights, including transit.


- Olympics: not 'feasible' -

World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe calls for the Tokyo Olympics to be postponed, writing to the International Olympic Committee holding the Games in July 2020 is "neither feasible nor desirable".

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledges for the first time that a postponement could be "inevitable'.