Sat, 16 Jan 2021

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

The pandemic has killed at least 690 363 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, with more than 18 million people infected, according to an AFP tally at 18:00 GMT on Monday based on official sources.

The United States has the most deaths with 154 944, followed by Brazil with 94 104, Mexico 47 746, the United Kingdom with 46 210 and India with 38 135 fatalities.

Belgium has the highest per capita death rate with 849 per million of the population.

Melbourne under curfew

As Australia's second city starts a six-week curfew, officials order non-essential businesses to close from midnight Wednesday as they struggle to control a coronavirus outbreak.

Meat production and construction firms will also be ordered to scale down operations from Friday.

Manila back in lockdown

President Rodrigo Duterte puts the Philippines capital Manila and four surrounding provinces on the main island of Luzon back under lockdown from Tuesday, a measure affecting 27 million people.

Since the beginning of June, when much of the country emerged from one of the world's longest stay-at-home orders, confirmed infections in the archipelago have increased fivefold, surging past 100 000.

Norway clamps down on cruises

Norway announces restrictions on cruises along its coast after dozens were infected with coronavirus on board a ship run by Hurtigruten, which suspends its operations.

Ships bearing more than 100 people - including crew - will be barred from stopping off or disembarking passengers in Norwegian ports for at least two weeks.

Russia aims at vaccines

Russia says it aims to launch mass production of a coronavirus vaccine next month and turn out "several million" doses per month by next year.

The country is pushing ahead with several vaccine prototypes and officials say that one prepared at the Gamaleya institute in Moscow has reached advanced stages of development.

Tour de France Danish start postponed

The planned start of the Tour de France from Copenhagen, scheduled for 2021, has been pushed back to 2022 to avoid an overlap of sporting events disrupted by Covid-19, the city's mayor says.

The postponement would avoid a clash with the Tokyo Olympics and the European football championship, for which Copenhagen is one of the host cities, Danish organisers say.

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