Coronavirus: Latest global developments

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(Michael Ciaglo, Getty Images via AFP)
(Michael Ciaglo, Getty Images via AFP)

These are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- Record Brazil deaths -

Brazil registers a record 1 641 deaths from Covid-19 in 24 hours, adding to its quarter of a million toll that is second-highest in the world after the United States.

- Vaccines boost -

Pharma giant Merck is to produce Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine to boost supplies in the US in an unprecedented cooperation between rivals.

- Jabs arrive in Africa -

Millions of shots from the free Covax scheme arrive in Nigeria, Angola and DR Congo following deliveries to Ghana and Ivory Coast last week, as African countries ramp up jab campaigns.

- Test centre blast -

An explosion shatters windows at a Dutch test centre but causes no injuries, weeks after another Covid test site was burned down during riots against a curfew.

- Muslims furious -

Sri Lanka further angers its Muslim minority by floating that those who die of the virus must be buried on a remote islet. Colombo last week revoked its forced cremations policy which goes against Islamic law.

- Italy school closures -

Schools in Italy's highest-risk regions will switch to distance learning from Saturday after data shows the majority of the country's cases are of the more contagious British variant.

- Pele gets jab -

Brazilian football great Pele, 80, gets a jab, posting the moment on Instagram and urging people not to let down their guard against the virus.

- Plasma trials halted -

US experts are halting clinical trials of convalescent blood plasma in patients with mild to moderate virus symptoms after preliminary results showed no benefits.

- Australia closed -

Australia extends its year-long border closure by at least three months to mid-June, continuing the country's self-imposed isolation.

- Texas open -

The governor of the second-largest US state Greg Abbott lifts an order to wear masks and says all businesses can open "100 percent".

- Women's rugby delayed -

The 2021 women's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand is set to be postponed until next year because of the pandemic.

- 2.5 million dead -

The virus has killed at least 2 549 910 people since it emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources.

The US is the worst-affected country with 516 616 deaths, followed by Brazil (257 361), Mexico (187 187), India (157 346) and Britain (123 296).


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