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Coronavirus: Latest global developments

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Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

The United States and 13 allies voice “shared concerns” over a World Health Organization-backed report on the origins of Covid-19 and urge China to provide “full access” to experts.

The EU says separately the report, which concluded that Covid-19 probably passed to humans from bats via an intermediary animal, is a “helpful first step” but more work is needed.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urges a deeper investigation into whether the Covid outbreak originated with a leak from a lab, after the international experts judged the hypothesis “extremely unlikely”.

Brazil’s army, navy and air force commanders resign, a day after far-right President Jair Bolsonaro changed six key ministers as he faces mounting pressure over the country’s virus death toll — the world’s second highest.

Germany’s vaccine commission recommends suspending use of AstraZeneca’s Covid jab for under-60s, as further reports emerge of blood clots among younger people who have received it.

Local authorities in Berlin and Munich had announced earlier that they were suspending the vaccine for younger people.

Economic growth led by the United States and China is accelerating, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva says.

She says prospects have been boosted by the US passage of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic relief package and an expected bounce from coronavirus vaccines increasingly available in larger economies.

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European nations can expect “a sound recovery path” for their pandemic-battered economies in the second half of 2021, boosted by stepped-up vaccination drives, Georgieva says.

Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic resigns following heavy criticism of his handling of the pandemic and his decision to buy Russian Sputnik V vaccines.

Italy is imposing a five-day quarantine on all arrivals from other EU countries and its own citizens, as Germany says it will step up checks at its land borders to ensure travellers have tested negative, as concern grows over Easter holiday travel.

German firm BioNTech says it is on track to manufacture 2.5 billion doses of its vaccine this year with US partner Pfizer, 25 percent more than previously expected.

Nepal is set to restart Covid-19 inoculations after receiving a donation of 800,000 Sinopharm doses from China, resuming a campaign that was put on hold because India slowed vaccine exports.

At least 2,792,586 people have died of Covid-19 around the world 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 550,036 deaths followed by Brazil with 313,866 fatalities, Mexico with 201,826, India with 162,114 and Britain with 126,615 deaths.

[AFP]

Source: Vanguard News

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