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Coronavirus: latest global developments

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

EU seals giant rescue deal

European Union leaders agree on a 750-billion-euro ($858-billion) rescue plan for the bloc’s economies, battered into recession by the coronavirus pandemic.

The deal emerged from a marathon four-day and four-night summit in Brussels that saw fierce opposition from the Netherlands and Austria to what they said was too generous a package for coronavirus-hammered and highly indebted Italy and Spain.

Trump backs masks…finally

US President Donald Trump finally speaks out in favour of mask-wearing after months of stonewalling, as polls suggest he faces defeat at November’s election after the US emerged as the world’s worst-hit country in the pandemic.

“Many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance,” Trump writes on Twitter, pictured wearing a mask. “There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favourite President!” he writes, as the US records more than 60,000 new cases of infection for the seventh consecutive day.

More than 610,600 dead

The pandemic has killed at least 610,604 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, according to an AFP tally at 1100 GMT on Tuesday based on official sources.

The United States has the most deaths with 140,909, followed by Brazil with 80,120, Britain with 45,312, Mexico with 39,485 and Italy with 35,058.

Brazil passes 80,000 deaths

Brazil’s death toll surpasses 80,000, according to health ministry figures, as the second-hardest hit country in the world after the United States continues struggling to control the pandemic.

Experts say under-testing means the real numbers are probably much higher. President Jair Bolsonaro, who is infected himself, faces criticism for downplaying the virus and urging state governors to reopen their economies despite health officials‘ recommendations.

Record daily toll for Iran

Iran, the Middle East’s worst-hit country, reports a new single-day record death toll of 229 from the coronavirus, after weeks of rising numbers, according the health ministry.

The Islamic republic has been battling a resurgence of the virus, with official figures showing a rise in both new infections and deaths since a two-month low in May.

Eight Australian magazines close

Bauer Media is closing eight of Australia’s best-known magazines due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, including the Australian editions of Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, InStyle, Men’s Health and Women’s Health.

The German media conglomerate was last month bought by a private equity firm.

Hajj to start July 29

This year’s hajj, which has been scaled back dramatically to include only around 1,000 Muslim pilgrims due to the pandemic, will begin on July 29, Saudi authorities say.


Brazil has record week for virus cases


© 2020 AFP

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Coronavirus: latest global developments (2020, July 21)
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