Coronavirus: Latest global developmentsSaturday, May 08, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis, compiled by AFP.
- India reported a record 4,187 new COVID-19 deaths and more than 400,000 new cases as the country grapples with the world's worst coronavirus surge.
Members of the opposition called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order a national lockdown.
- Infections are also spiralling in neighbouring Nepal, including at the Everest base camp, threatening the climbing season. In the last three weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases has shot up with two out of five people testing positive.
- Pakistan began a nine-day shutdown affecting travel and tourist hotspots in a bid to prevent a surge during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. Businesses, hotels and restaurants as well as markets and parks will be closed, while public transport between provinces and within cities has been halted. International flights have also been slashed and border crossings with Iran and Afghanistan closed, except for trade.
- French President Emmanuel Macron urged the United States to end its de facto ban on coronavirus vaccine exports. "I call very clearly on the United States to put an end to export bans not only on vaccines but on vaccine ingredients, which prevent production," Macron said.
- Influential voices have risen to back the push to waive patents, not least Pope Francis, who criticised putting "the laws of the market or intellectual property above the laws of love and the health of humanity".
- The EU concluded a deal with BioNTech/Pfizer for up to 1.8 billion extra doses of their COVID-19 vaccine, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said.
The contract, on top of the 600 million BioNTech/Pfizer doses the commission has already secured, aims to supply the bloc -- population 450 million -- with enough jabs for booster shots, the EU said.
- The World Health Organization said countries should not offer vaccination to children until elderly people and those at risk have received jabs.
Canada this week became the first nation to authorise the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in children aged 12 years and up. The US is set to follow suit next week and Germany said it will do the same by the end of August.
The novel coronavirus has killed at least 3,272,332 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP compilation of official data.
Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were India with 4,187 new deaths, followed by Brazil with 2,165 and the United States with 826.
The United States is the worst-affected country with 580,901 deaths from 32,652,028 cases.
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