Coronavirus: Latest global developments

Coronavirus: Latest global developments

Saturday, November 28, 2020

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Germany cases top million

Germany yesterday saw more than 22,000 new daily cases, pushing the country's total beyond the one-million mark.

More than 60.9 million people have been infected by COVID-19 around the world, and 1.4 million have died, according to an AFP tally from official sources compiled yesterday.

The US is the worst-affected country with 263,462 deaths, followed by Brazil with 171,460 deaths; India with 135,715; Mexico with 104,242; and the United Kingdom with 57,031.

AFP's specialised database shows that while Europe remains the centre of the pandemic, with an average of 236,900 new cases daily — far ahead of the US and Canada's 174,000 a day — the rise in infections is slowing sharply.

India Sputnik launch

One of the developers of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine announced that India-based drugmaker Hetero will produce over 100 million doses of the shot. Apart from India, the Russian Direct Investment Fund says Sputnik V will also be produced in Brazil, China, and South Korea.

And Russia's military has started a mass coronavirus vaccination campaign which aims to innoculate more than 400,000 servicemen, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced.

S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit records

S&P 500 and Nasdaq in New York both closed at records as markets continued to look past rising coronavirus cases toward a better 2021 economy with likely COVID-19 vaccines.

European markets also advanced.

More studies needed

The head of British drug maker AstraZeneca said further research is needed on its vaccine after it showed an average 70 per cent effectiveness.

That rate jumped to 90 per cent if a half dose was given first, scientists discovered after a mistake was made during the clinical trials. But US scientists said the higher success rate came only during tests in people under 55.

General to lead Canadian vaccinations

A general who led NATO's mission in Iraq as well as Canadian troops in Afghanistan and Bosnia, Major General Dany Fortin, will spearhead efforts to immunise most Canadians against the novel coronavirus by September 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced.

Ireland eases restrictions

Ireland announced a staggered easing of lockdown restrictions to allow some businesses to reopen and for families to gather ahead of Christmas, with Taoiseach Micheal Martin saying it will offer “some respite from the hardships of 2020 and in particular, the last six weeks”.

Cyprus sets curfew

Cyprus imposed a nationwide eight-hour night-time curfew from November 30 until December 13 to tackle rising coronavirus cases, but lifted lockdowns in the two key coastal cities of Limassol and Paphos.

New restrictions for Wales

Wales will introduce more stringent restrictions, including the closure of cinemas, bowling alleys and other indoor entertainment venues, in an attempt to bring down rising infection rates ahead of an easing of the rules over Christmas.

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