Coronavirus: Latest global developments

·2-min read
Dignitaries pay their respects during a Remembrance Sunday service at The National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas in central England on November 8, 2020.
Dignitaries pay their respects during a Remembrance Sunday service at The National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas in central England on November 8, 2020.

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- More than 50 million cases -

The virus has claimed at least 1,251,980 lives worldwide since it first emerged in China late last year, according to an AFP tally on Sunday at 1615 GMT based on official sources.

More than 50,010,400 cases have been registered across the globe.

Europe, with 12.6 million cases and more than 305,700 deaths, is once again the epicentre of the pandemic.

After Europe, the regions most affected are Latin America and the Caribbean with 11.6 million cases and 411,700 deaths, Asia with 11 million cases and 176,600 deaths and the United States and Canada with 10.1 million infections and 247,600 fatalities.

- Biden to name scientist -

President-elect Joe Biden vows to name a group of top scientists to his coronavirus task force as early as Monday, making the pledge during his first speech since being projected as winner of the US election.

- Portugal curfew -

Portugal will introduce a curfew across most of the country from Monday in an effort to combat surging case numbers, Prime Minister Antonio Costa announces.

- Algeria extends curfew -

Algeria's government extends a night-time curfew already in place in 20 of the country's 48 regions to a further nine areas.

The curfew will start at 8 pm (1900 GMT), three hours earlier than previous restrictions, but will still end each morning at 5 am (0400 GMT).

The new measures will come into effect from Tuesday for 15 days.

- Switzerland deploys reservists -

More than 200 army reservists -- who have undertaken four months' training -- are deployed in Switzerland on Sunday to help hospitals as new admissions soar.

- School meals U-turn -

The UK government caves in to a campaign by Manchester United star Marcus Rashford, promising to give free meals to poorer children over the coronavirus-afflicted Christmas holidays and beyond.

The government has already made one U-turn over the free school meals scheme for the summer holidays.

- UK honours war dead on virus-hit Remembrance Day -

Britain pays tribute to its war dead as royals and politicians commemorate a low-key Remembrance Day without the usual solemn pageantry owing to the pandemic.

- Gymnastics showing the way -

A gymnastics competition in Japan provides a glimpse of what the delayed Tokyo Olympics may look like next summer as fans attend the country's first international sporting competition since the shutdown.

The gymnastics "Friendship and Solidarity Competition" gathers around 30 athletes from Japan, China, Russia and the US to compete in tightly controlled bio-secure conditions.