Coronavirus: latest global developments

·3-min read

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- European cases soar - 

Europe confronts a surge in coronavirus cases, with Spain announcing a national state of emergency and overnight curfews across the country except the Canary Islands and France setting a daily record of more than 50,000 infections.

Hugely unpopular new restrictions also come into force in Italy, including the closure of theatres, cinemas and gyms and earlier last orders for bars and restaurants.

Stock markets are lower in European afternoon trading as traders worry about the economic impact of new containment measures.

- Trump 'ignored' Covid 19: Biden -

With nine days to go to the US presidential election, Democratic challenger Joe Biden accuses Donald Trump of giving up in the fight against Covid-19.

Trump's strategy has been "to wave the white flag of defeat and hope that by ignoring it, the virus would simply go away," Biden says in a statement. "It hasn't, and it won't."

- More than 1.1 million dead - 

The virus has claimed at least 1,155,301 lives worldwide since it first emerged in China late last year, according to an AFP tally at 1100 GMT on Monday based on official sources.

At least 43,080,506 cases have been registered across the globe.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 225,239 deaths, followed by Brazil with 157,134, India with 119,014, Mexico with 88,924  and Britain with 44,896.

- Melbourne lockdown lifted -

Australia's second-biggest city Melbourne will midnight Tuesday into Wednesday exit its coronavirus lockdown following more than three months under onerous restrictions.

The easing comes after Melbourne and the surrounding Victoria state recorded the first 24-hour period without any new Covid-19 cases since June 8, ahead of a major outbreak in July.

It is good news for the city's big-ticket sporting events, with fans expected to be allowed into the blockbuster Boxing Day cricket Test between Australia and India, while the tennis Australian Open is expected to take place in January. 

- Merkel party postpones leadership congress -

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party says it will push back a congress planned for early December to elect a new leader due to a surge in coronavirus infections.

The conservative party's top brass will reexamine the situation in mid-December to determine its next steps, general secretary Paul Ziemiak says.

- Lufthansa could shed 30,000 jobs -

Europe's largest airline Lufthansa warns that 30,000 jobs are under threat as it scales down its winter schedule to levels not seen since the 1970s as demand for travel collapses because of the pandemic.

The executive board of the German flag carrier says in a letter to employees that it is now "harder than ever" to predict how the aviation industry will develop given there is little clarity over how long travel warnings would be applied or how quickly any recovery could come.

- Israel to begin vaccine trial -

Israel will begin its first clinical trials of a novel coronavirus vaccine next month as the country grapples with a second wave of infections. 

"Our final goal is 15 million rations for the residents of the state of Israel and for our close neighbours," says the Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), which has been tasked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with developing a vaccine.