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Coronavirus: latest global developments

Khaleej Times 2020-05-22 03:52:23

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis.

- Cases double in a month -

The number of officially recorded cases of the novel coronavirus has doubled in one month, according to an AFP tally based on official sources.

Infections now top five million, with surges in particular in countries in Latin America. There have been 2,065,464 recoveries.

Brazil leads the pack, logging the third-highest number of cases in the world after the US and Russia. Peru, Mexico and Chile are also seeing steady increases in infections.

- Almost 330,000 deaths -  

The pandemic has killed 329,799 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, according to an AFP tally at 1900 GMT (11pm UAE) on Thursday based on official sources.

There have been at least 5,049,390 officially recorded cases in 196 countries and territories, with There have been 2,065,464 recoveries.

The United States has recorded the most deaths at 93,863. It is followed by Britain with 36,042, Italy with 32,486, France with 28,215 and Spain with 27,940.

- China says it is 'transparent' -

In a low-key rebuttal of the accusations by US President Donald Trump of mass killing, China maintains it has "always had an open, transparent and responsible attitude" as it battled the pandemic.

Speaking a day after Trump's remarks, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian tells a press briefing: "We have persisted in speaking the truth, presenting the truth and speaking with reason, doing our utmost to protect the lives and health of the people."

- Exchanging sanctions threats -

Beijing says it will retaliate if the US Congress passes legislation threatening sanctions against China over the pandemic.

"We firmly oppose these bills, and will make a firm response and take countermeasures based on the deliberation of these bills," says Zhang Yesui, the spokesman for China's parliament.

- Saving Lufthansa -

German aviation giant Lufthansa confirms it is in talks with the government over a nine-billion-euro (Dh36.73 billion) rescue that will see Berlin take a 20 per cent stake in the coronavirus-stricken airline.

- Easyjet eases back -

British airline EasyJet says it will return to the skies on June 15, with "a small number of flights", after grounding its entire fleet at the end of March.

- Japan lifts emergency -

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifts a state of emergency in several big cities in western Japan -- Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo -- and hints that the measure will be removed nationwide as early as next week.

- Russia gold mine cluster -

A worker at Russia's largest gold mine has died from the virus, the operating company says, as troops set up quarantine camps to contain a major outbreak at the facility. 

More than 140 workers at the Olimpiada mine and processing plant in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk are currently hospitalised and hundreds have tested positive.

- Astra gets $1 bl from US -

British pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca secures more than one billion dollars from the US to help fund production of its vaccine.

AstraZeneca is partnering with University of Oxford to develop and distribute a vaccine being trialled in the UK.

- Oxfam cuts 1,500 jobs -

International charity Oxfam announces it will close 18 offices around the world and cut nearly 1,500 jobs, or almost a third of its workforce, due to a decrease in its financial resources linked to the pandemic.