Coronavirus: Latest Global Developments


Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- Virus survives 9 hours on skin -

The coronavirus remains active on human skin for nine hours, say Japanese researchers, which they say shows the need for frequent hand-washing to combat Covid-19.

The pathogen that causes the flu survives on human skin for about 1.8 hours by comparison, says the study, published this month in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal. 

- More than 1.1 million dead - 

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 1,111,152 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Sunday.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 219,289 deaths from 8,106,752 cases, followed by Brazil with 153,675 deaths, India (114,031), Mexico (86,059), and the United Kingdom (43,579).

- Israel loosens lockdown -

Israel starts emerging from a second coronavirus lockdown after a month of tight restrictions, reopening preschools, kindergartens, beaches and national parks, with numbers of new infections falling.

Public radio says about one million young children will return to kindergartens and other facilities Sunday.

Businesses not involving face-to-face contact with the public are allowed back to work, and a contentious ban on individuals moving more than one kilometre from their homes is lifted.

- Melbourne eases restrictions -

Lockdown restrictions in Australia's second biggest city are eased slightly after more than 100 days following a steady decline in new cases, a controversial "stay-at-home" rule remains in place.

As of midnight, Melbourne's five million residents no longer have a two-hour limit on the time they can spend outside their homes for permitted activities.

They can also travel 25 kilometers (15 miles) from home for exercise, shopping for essentials, socializing and work in essential professions -- up from five kilometers previously.

- Switzerland tightens restrictions -

The Swiss government says it is making the wearing of masks in indoor public spaces compulsory after a "worrying" rise in coronavirus infections.

Gatherings of more than 15 people in public will also be banned under the rules to take effect on Monday, while service in restaurants and bars will be restricted to seated customers only.

- A new case in New Zealand -

New Zealand confirms a new community case of Covid-19, two weeks after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared that the South Pacific nation had "beat the virus again".

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says the latest case involves a port-side worker who returned a positive test on Saturday afternoon -- the day Ardern was re-elected in a landslide victory.

- Italy unlocks 39 billion euros -

Italy's government agrees 39 billion euros in extra spending to tackle the coronavirus crisis there: 18 billion euros in EU aid and the rest from a decision to increase the country's deficit.

Measures include 1.4 billion euros to extend short-term contracts of doctors and nurses, 400 million towards vaccines and 1.2 billion to hire 25,000 teachers.

- First night of French curfew -

Paris and eight other cities experience their first night under the new curfew as the number of new cases in France reach a new record, with 32,000 recorded.

The nine cities most affected by the surge now live under a 9 pm to 6 am curfew, which will last at least four weeks.

- Public figures infected  -

Among the latest public figures to test positive are Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

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