PARIS: Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
– Covid worsens hunger –
The Covid pandemic caused an estimated 18 percent increase in the number of people facing hunger, a UN report finds, dealing a massive setback to efforts to ensure everyone has access to food.
– ´Freedom Day´ –
Britain´s government confirms it will press ahead with “Freedom Day” on July 19 by lifting most pandemic curbs in England, but urges caution as experts warn that politicians are moving too fast, with daily cases averaging more than 30,000.
– French riposte –
French President Emmanuel Macron announces mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for health staff and says a “Covid pass” system will be extended to restaurants, bars and other public venues from August, as France seeks to weather the onslaught from the Delta variant.
– Dutch apology –
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte admits his government made a mistake by easing a raft of measures to combat Covid-19, apologising as daily infection rates rocket to peak levels, particularly among young people.
– Jabs for Greek health workers –
Greece is ordering mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for all health workers, including those working in retirement homes, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis says.
– SAfrica jab delay –
South African chemists helping the government´s Covid-19 vaccination campaign warn that the unrest gripping the country will slow inoculations in the continent´s worst-hit country.
– 110 mn Chinese doses to Covax –
Two Chinese vaccine makers, Sinovac and Sinopharm, have agreed to immediately begin making more than 100 million Covid vaccine doses available to the Covax distribution facility, says the vaccine alliance Gavi, one of the scheme´s main backers.
– ´Generational catastrophe´ –
Schools remain shut in 19 countries due to the pandemic, affecting 156 million children in what risks being “a generational catastrophe,” the heads of two UN agencies, UNICEF and UNESCO, warn.
– Bali kicks out tourists –
Four foreign tourists are kicked out of Bali for breaking the Indonesian holiday island´s zero-tolerance virus rules, as the country is slammed by its deadliest Covid-19 wave.
– Israel gives third shot –
Israel begins administering a third shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to patients with compromised immune systems, as cases in the country rise.
– Four million dead –
The pandemic has killed at least 4,035,506 people since the virus first emerged in December 2019, according to an AFP compilation of official data.
The United States is the worst-affected country with 607,156 deaths, followed by Brazil with 533,488, India with 408,764, Mexico with 234,969, and Peru with 194,387.
The figures are based on reports by health authorities in each country, but do not take into account upward revisions carried out later by statistical bodies.
The WHO says up to three times more people have died directly or indirectly due to the pandemic than official figures suggest.