Coronavirus: Latest global developments

·2-min read
Healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) make their way out one of the temporary wards dedicated to the treatment of possible COVID-19 coronavirus patients at the Nasrec Field Hospital in Soweto.

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- WHO enter Wuhan -

A team of experts from the World Health Organization leave quarantine in Wuhan to begin a heavily scrutinised probe into the origins of the pandemic, after Washington urged a "robust and clear" investigation.

- Vaccine may nix strains -

The vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech appears effective against worrying new virus mutations in Britain and South Africa, the firm says.

- Stay locked down -

The WHO's European branch says it is too early to ease tight restrictions in Europe despite a drop in new cases in most countries.

- Germany travel ban -

Germany is banning most travellers from countries hardest hit by the new variants including Britain, Portugal, South Africa and Brazil, to stop the strains from reversing recent progress on lowering infections.

- More doses for Africa -

The African Union has secured an additional 400 million doses of vaccines for its members.

- Vietnam cluster -

Vietnam records its first outbreak in almost two months, with more than 80 new cases reported as authorities begin testing tens of thousands of people to contain the spread.

- Games without fans? -

Olympic chief Thomas Bach says organisers are committed to holding a "successful and safe" Tokyo Games this year, dismissing cancellation talk as "speculation" -- but admits for the first time that fans may not be allowed.

- Looming loans crisis -

The eurozone's big banks have successfully weathered the crisis so far but could be exposed to major losses on loans, the European Central Bank says.

- Sea of red -

Global stocks fall further as investors track surging infections, vaccine worries and a stuttering economic recovery.

- EasyJet's 90% slump -

British no-frills airline EasyJet says revenues collapsed by almost 90 percent in its last quarter as the pandemic ravages travel demand.

American Airlines says it lost $8.9 billion last year.

- Cases top 100 million -

At least 2,176,000 people have died of coronavirus since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally from official sources.

More than 100,829,878 cases have been registered.

The US has suffered the highest toll with 429,202 deaths, followed by Brazil with 220,161 and India with 153,847.

The number of deaths globally is underestimated. The toll is calculated from daily figures published by national health authorities and does not include later revisions by statistics agencies.