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Coronavirus: latest global developments

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

– Curfew in France –

A nightime curfew comes into force for at least a month in Paris and other major cities across France, which suffered a record 32,000 new cases in 24 hours..

About 20 million people — about a third of the French population — will have to stay indoors from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am or risk a fine of 135 euros.

– Italy closes Lombardy bars, restaurants –

Authorities have ordered bars and restaurants closed from midnight in the northern region of Lombardy, the area worst hit by the second wave and where the first European cases emerged in February.

– Germans urged to stay home –

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urges citizens to stay at home whenever they can.

How the country manages to enjoy Christmas depends on how people behave now, she says in her weekly podcast address.

– More than 1.1 million dead –

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 1,106,856 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Saturday.

At least 39,441,781 cases have been registered. Of these, at least 27,139,699 are now considered to have recovered.

Friday saw 6,118 new deaths and 403,629 new cases recorded. The United States remains the worst-affected country with 218,766 deaths from 8,069,385 cases ahead of Brazil, India and Mexico. The United Kingdom remains Europe’s worst-hit nation in terms of fatalities.

– Iran toll tops 30,000 –

Iran’s death toll in Iran has surpassed 30,000, the health ministry announced, with 253 deaths over the past 24 hours, spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said.

Iran’s overall death toll now stands at 30,123 since it reported its first fatalities eight months ago and the country has recorded a total of 526,490 cases.

– Half of England restricted –

About 28 million people in England, more than half the population, are now living under restrictions imposed amid a surge in virus cases.

Some virus hotspots are seeing bans on household mixing and the closure of pubs in Britain, Europe’s hardest-hit country with over 43,000 deaths from almost 700,000 cases.

The government has come out against a new complete lockdown to preserve the economy, despite calls by scientific advisers and the opposition Labour party.

– Poland shuts schools –

Poland shuts down schools and colleges in several major cities, switching to remote learning. Restaurants will have to close from 9:00 pm and marriage ceremonies have been banned.

– Slovenia insists on masks –

The compulsory wearing of masks in public spaces outdoors comes into effect Saturday.

– Slovakia testing –

Slovakia announces it will test everyone over 10 for the virus, though Prime Minister Igor Matovic does not say if the testing will be compulsory for the country of 5.4. million.

– Belgium readies curfew –

Belgium says it will impose a midnight to 5:00 am curfew from Monday as well as shutting cafes and restaurants for four weeks.

– Czech prepares field hospital –

The authorities in the Czech Republic have asked the military to prepare a field hospital with 500 beds on the outskirts of Prague, as cases soar there.

– Politicians test positive –

Austria’s Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg has tested positive for Covid-19, his ministry said, although he has no symptoms as yet.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s spokesman says the 64-year-old is in self-isolation after a bodyguard tested positive for the virus.

Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes has also tested positive.