Coronavirus: Latest global developments

Paris (AFP) –


Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- US deaths top 250,000 -

The death toll in the US, the world's worst affected country, tops the quarter of a million mark.

At least 1,751 new deaths were recorded there in the last 24 hours.

Overall, the virus has killed at least 1,350,275 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100GMT on Thursday.

There were 11,013 new deaths and 582,654 new cases recorded worldwide in the previous 24 hours.

The second worst-affected country is Brazil with 167,455 deaths followed by India with 131,578, Mexico with 99,528 and the United Kingdom with 53,274.

- 2 million Russia cases -

Health officials report 23,610 new infections and 463 virus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, both record highs since the start of Russia's outbreak. Total infections now stand at 2.02 million -- the fifth-highest in the world -- with 34,850 people dead.

- Mask robocop -

In Japan, a company is testing a robot that uses a camera and laser scanner to detect people not wearing masks or standing too close together in queues. It politely asks them to put on a mask, or to move further apart, and bows in thanks when the customer obliges.

Japan is on "maximum alert" after logging a record 2,000 daily infections with nearly 500 in the capital Tokyo alone, though no immediate restrictions are planned.

- NYC schools close -

New York's public schools will close to battle a sharp rise in infections, its mayor announces.

- Shot for seniors? -

Phase 2 trials of a leading vaccine candidate developed by Britain's Oxford university and AstraZeneca shown it safely produces a robust immune response in healthy older people, while producing fewer side effects than in younger people.

- No unicorns -

The World Health Organization's emergencies director warns vaccines won't arrive in time to defeat the second wave of the pandemic and should not be seen as a "unicorn" magic solution.

- Mink mutation managed -

Denmark's health ministry says a mutated version of the virus detected in minks that raised concerns about the effectiveness of a future vaccine has likely been eradicated.

- Uruguay stricken -

Uruguay's football federation reports seven new cases in the national football team's training camp, bringing the number of positive cases to 11.

- Tennis trouble -

Travel restrictions could make it impossible for Australian Open players to take part in crucial warm-up events, a scenario Brazilian doubles specialist Bruno Soares describes as "physically very dangerous".

- NFL crackdown -

The US National Football League says it will require masks during practice sessions, a strict 15-minute time limit in the dressing room and a negative test for all players and coaches before being allowed into a club's facilities.

- Pacific no more -

Previously untouched, the Pacific island nation of Samoa confirms a man who flew into the country tested positive in isolation.

In the past two months, Vanuatu, the Solomon and the Marshall Islands have lost their virus-free status. Kiribati, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Tonga, and Tuvalu are believed to still be free of the virus.