Coronavirus: Latest Global Developments

Designer Nora Bourelly (C) poses with her creations in a street outside Valentino's Spring/Summer 2021 women's and men's show, during the Milan Fashion Week on 27 September, 2020. (AFP Photo)

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis.

Biden Vaccine Pledge

President Joe Biden says the United States (US) will donate 500 million more Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to poorer countries, bringing its total commitment to 1.1 billion doses.

Biden is also to urge leaders at a virtual summit on the side lines of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to make sure 70 percent of their populations are covered by next September.

Six Billion Shots

More than six billion doses of vaccines have been given around the world, according to an AFP tally based on official sources. 

Bat Origin Clue

Scientists have discovered another clue to the origins of the virus, with bats living in caves in Lao found to be carrying a similar pathogen that experts suggest could potentially infect humans directly.

Delta Dominates

Delta has all but elbowed out the three other virus variants of concern, which now represent less than one percent each of the samples being sequenced, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

Brazil's Health Minister Positive 

Brazil's Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga tests positive for COVID-19 after attending the UN General Assembly in New York where President Jair Bolsonaro – who refuses to say if he has been vaccinated – spoke.

Asian Growth Hit

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) warns of "lasting scars" from the pandemic as it cut its 2021 growth forecast for developing Asia to 7.1 percent from 7.3 percent.

Sri Lanka Seeks Loan

Sri Lanka will seek an emergency loan of US$100 million from the World Bank for its vaccination drive as the country struggles with a currency crisis.

Shots For Myanmar's Rebels

China has not only delivered vaccines to Myanmar's junta but also quietly to rebel groups that are the generals' sworn enemies, multiple rebel groups said. 

Germany Gets Tough

Germans who have not been vaccinated will no longer receive compensation for lost pay if they have to quarantine from November.

Two Billion Jabs Call

Amnesty International demands two billion doses of vaccines for poorer nations by the end of the year, accusing vaccine manufacturers of putting profit before lives.

New Term For Tedros?

Germany says it is backing WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for a second term, with diplomatic sources saying the former Ethiopian health minister appeared to be the sole candidate. 

Milan Fashion 

The first Milan fashion week with mostly live audiences in 18 months begins with Fendi going back to the disco age for inspiration.

Cricketer Positive

Sunrisers Hyderabad bowler Thangarasu Natarajan becomes the first Indian Premier League player to test positive but his team's match on Wednesday will still go ahead, organisers say.

4.7 Million Dead 

The coronavirus has killed at least 4,705,691 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally from official sources.

The US is the worst-affected country with 678,420 deaths, followed by Brazil with 591,540, India with 445,768, Mexico with 272,580 and Russia with 200,625.

Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were the US with 2,294, followed by Russia with 817 and Mexico with 815. – AFP