Coronavirus: Latest global developmentsWednesday, May 12, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis, compiled by AFP.
- The scale of the Covid disaster could have been prevented, a panel of independent experts assembled by the World Health Organization declared, also blaming the UN body for not sounding the alarm sooner.
It also urged rich countries to donate one billion vaccine doses by September.
- India's coronavirus death toll passed 250,000 but comparisons of official data with reports from people on the frontlines suggest the true number is several times higher.
- The WHO says that the B.1.617 variant blamed for India's explosive outbreak has been found in dozens of countries all over the world.
- Rich Indians can no longer escape their country's raging pandemic by holidaying in the Maldives, after the island paradise banned travel from South Asia while it battles a surge in infections blamed on tourists.
- Pope Francis staged his first public audience since early last year in Rome, greeting a baby, chatting with masked children outdoors and donning a hat handed to him from the crowd.
- France's parliament backed President Emmanuel Macron's plan to introduce a Covid "health pass" despite some deputies arguing it was discriminatory for those not yet vaccinated.
- Japan plans to vaccinate its Olympic athletes before the Tokyo Games, a move that would put them ahead of the general population as the government faces pressure over a slow rollout.
- The tiny Pacific nation of Nauru congratulated itself for a "world record" vaccination drive which resulted in all its adult population receiving their first jab.
- Canada's most populous province suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a first dose, citing new data showing increased risks of blood clots.
- Fully vaccinated New York Yankees baseball coach Phil Nevin tested positive, a rare "breakthrough" case where people can catch the virus even after their jabs.
The pandemic has killed at least 3,319,512 people worldwide since the virus first emerged in late 2019, according to an AFP compilation of official data.
The United States is the worst-affected country with 582,848 deaths, followed by Brazil with 425,540, India 254,197, Mexico 219,323 and Britain 127,629.
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