Can't connect right now! retry
Sunday May 16 2021

Coronavirus: Latest global developments


PARIS: Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- Bengal lockdown -

All offices, stores and public transport in India´s West Bengal state are told to close for 15 days after the region reports its biggest spike yet in deaths and infections, blamed by experts at least in part on mass election rallies.

West Bengal along with a host of southern states are bearing the brunt of a Covid-19 surge in India that has taken the nation´s infection total to nearly 25 million, with more than 265,000 deaths.

- Olympics ´suicide mission´? -

Holding the Tokyo Olympics this summer would be a "suicide mission" as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage around the world, the head of Japan´s e-commerce giant Rakuten Hiroshi Mikitani tells CNN.

With just over 10 weeks until the Games open on July 23, Japanese public opinion remains opposed, with most favouring a further delay or cancellation.

- Lisbon protest -

Hundreds of people, most not wearing masks, gather in the Portuguese capital Lisbon to demonstrate against the government´s infection control measures in the name of "individual freedom".

The protest comes as Portugal prepares to reopen to tourists coming from European countries where virus cases are below 500 per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days, following in Greece´s footsteps.

- France hits vaccine target -

France tops 20 million injected vaccine doses days ahead of a hugely anticipated reopening of restaurant terraces, part of an easing of the nationwide lockdown.

The government aims to have 30 million initial doses injected by June 15, when President Emmanuel Macron has said all adults will be able to sign up for a jab currently reserved for priority groups and adults over 50.

- China bars Everest climbers -

State media reports that Beijing has barred all attempts to scale Mount Everest from its territory to avoid risks of contamination by climbers coming from Nepal.

Nestled between India and Tibet, Nepal has been hit hard by a second virus wave -- just as the Himalayan state hoped to restart tourism this summer and make up for the total loss suffered in 2020.

- Taiwan tightens -

People in Taiwanese capital Taipei and surrounding areas must observe stricter social distancing after a sudden spike in cases, the government says.

No more than five people can gather indoors and 10 outdoors after 180 new domestic coronavirus infections were confirmed, up from 29 cases the previous day.

- 3.3 million dead -

At least 3,359,726 people have died since the coronavirus outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally from official sources at 1830 GMT.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 585,232 deaths, followed by Brazil with 432,628, India with 266,207 Mexico with 220,159 and Britain with 127,668.