Coronavirus: Latest Global Developments

This picture taken on 1 May, 2021 shows medical officers wearing face shields and face masks as they collect swab samples to test for the COVID-19 coronavirus in southern Thailand's Yala province. (AFP)

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

India: 20 Million Infected 

India's COVID cases soared to 20 million as oxygen shortages in hospitals exacerbate a devastating second wave and much-needed foreign assistance continues to pour in.

Experts warn that even the nightmarish official infection figures are likely to be an underestimate, with some patients dying in queues to enter hospital.

Denmark Drops J&J

Denmark says the COVID-19 vaccine from United States (US) drug maker Johnson & Johnson will not be included in its national vaccination campaign, citing worries over serious side effects involving blood clots, following a similar move against the AstraZeneca jab.

Jabs For Children

Europe's drugs regulator says it has begun evaluating the use of Pfizer BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds after a similar request in the US, a move seen as a crucial step towards achieving herd immunity.

And US biotech firm Novavax says it has started clinical trials of its proposed COVID-19 vaccine on children, in a programme that will involve up to 3,000 adolescents aged 12-17.

Philippine President Jabbed, After All 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte receives his first shot of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, weeks after saying he would waive his chance to be inoculated, as the country struggles to secure jabs amid a resurgence in infections.


The COVAX scheme which provides free vaccines to developing countries signed an advance purchase agreement with Moderna for half a billion doses of its jab.

EU Opens 'To Vaccinated'

Travellers fully vaccinated with EU-approved jabs from countries where the pandemic is under control could soon be allowed to enter the bloc.

The European Commission is eyeing easing restrictions, likely starting with Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

Greek Tavernas Reopen

Greek cafes and restaurants reopen their terraces after six months of shutdown, with customers flocking to soak up the sunshine and toast a return to "normal life".

Oktoberfest Cancelled

Germany's iconic Oktoberfest beer festival will be cancelled this year for the second year running due to the pandemic, Bavarian state premier Markus Soeder says.

Jordan Opens Border

Jordan reopens two border posts closed nine months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic – one with Saudi Arabia, the other with Syria – but with strict limits on the numbers allowed in each day and testing requirements.

Europa League Spectators

Up to 9,500 spectators will be allowed to attend the Europa League final in the Polish city of Gdansk later this month, UEFA announces.

Over 3.2 Million Dead

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 3.2 million people worldwide since the virus first emerged in late 2019, according to an AFP compilation of official data. 

The US is the worst-affected country with 577,045 deaths, followed by Brazil with 407,639, India 218,959, Mexico 217,233 and Britain 127,524. – AFP