Wire Service
3 minute read
27 Nov 2021
3:02 am

Coronavirus: Latest global developments


The coronavirus has killed at least 5,180,276 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally.

Security guards stand guard at the gate of a university that is under restrictions following a recent coronavirus outbreak in Hangzhou, in China's eastern Zhejiang province on November 26, 2021. (Photo by AFP) / China OUT

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

– EU bans Africa flights –

The European Union and Britain ban travel from southern African countries to slow the spread of a new more infectious strain of the virus that scientists fear could be more resistant to vaccines.

– Stocks plunge on variant fears –

Stocks fall sharply over fears about the new highly-contagious variant first detected in South Africa that has multiple mutations. The dollar and oil prices are hit by worries over new lockdowns.

– ‘Weeks to understand variant’ –

The World Health Organization says it will take weeks to understand the new B.1.1.529 variant, and cautions against snap travel restrictions.

But a top British government advisor says the strain is the “most worrying we’ve seen”.

– New variant in Israel –

Israel identifies a case of the new variant in a man who had returned from Malawi. Two more suspected cases are detected in people who have returned from abroad. All three were vaccinated.

– Singapore bars African arrivals –

The city state and major transport hub says all non-Singaporeans who have recently travelled from southern Africa will be barred from entery or transit.

– Caribbean violence –

Ten police officers are injured and several journalists shot at — including an AFP photographer — on the French Caribbean island of Martinique as protests sparked by vaccine measures spread despite a curfew. The unrest follows similar violence on neighbouring Guadeloupe.

– Dutch to tighten lockdown –

The Netherlands is set to tighten its partial lockdown as cases soar with police preparing for possible rioting against the restrictions after four nights of trouble last week.

– Czech leader back in hospital –

Czech President Milos Zeman returns to hospital, just hours after being released, following a positive Covid test as neighbouring Slovakia goes into lockdown. The ailing 77-year-old left-winger had been treated for liver problems.

– Shanghai scare –

Hundreds of flights are cancelled and some schools shut after three virus cases are reported in Shanghai, as China continues a strict zero-Covid policy.

– Chile jabs three-year-olds –

Chile joins Venezuela, Colombia and Argentina in vaccinating children from age three. They will receive the Chinese CoronaVac shot already used for six-year-olds.

– Bolsonaro no to carnival –

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he is against resuming carnival celebrations in February, a rare nod in support of virus social distancing measures from the far-right leader.

– Philippines opens up –

The Philippines is going ahead with welcoming back fully-vaccinated tourists next week 20 months after shutting its borders despite rising fears about the virus elsewhere.

– More than 5.1 million dead – 

The coronavirus has killed at least 5,180,276 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Friday. 

The United States has suffered the most Covid-related deaths with 775,797, followed by Brazil with 613,642, India with 467,468, Mexico with 293,449 and Russia with 270,292.

The countries with the most new deaths are Russia with 1,235, followed by Ukraine with 628 and India 488, a figure that follows an upward revision of the Asian nation’s official toll.

Taking into account excess mortality linked to Covid-19, the World Health Organization estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.