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Coronavirus: latest global developments

Published on July 27, 2020

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

– Toll passes 650,000 –

The global death toll from the pandemic passes 650,000, with nearly a third of that number in Europe, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources at 1600 GMT.

Since emerging in China late last year, the virus has killed a total of 650,011 people and infected 16.3 million. The global toll has doubled in just over two months.

The United States has the most deaths with 146,968, followed by Brazil with 87,004, Britain with 45,752, Mexico 43,680 and Italy with 35,112.

– Trump aide positive –

US President Donald Trump’s national security advisor Robert O’Brien becomes the latest and most senior White House aide to contract the virus and is self-isolating.

– Germany to test travellers –

Germany will make coronavirus tests mandatory for travellers returning from risk areas, Health Minister Jens Spahn says, as fears rise that summer travel could spark a new surge in infections.

– Belgium tightens rules –

Belgium, which has seen a rapid rise in cases centred on the port city of Antwerp, announces new rules under which Belgians will be allowed to see a maximum of five people outside of their families, reducing the permitted “social bubble” from 15.

– Google extends home working –

Google says it will allow most employees to work from home through to July 2021 in response to the pandemic.

– Chinese surge –

China, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year, records its highest daily tally of new virus cases since April 14.

The 61 new cases are propelled by clusters in three separate regions that have sparked fears of a fresh wave. However, there has been no death from the virus in China since mid-May.

– Hong Kong: masks mandatory –

Authorities in Hong Kong unveil the toughest social distancing measures yet to combat a new wave of coronavirus infections, with everybody forced to wear masks in public from this week.

Measures to deal with what Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung describes as a “remarkably severe” outbreak also include a ban on more than two people gathering in public and restaurants only being allowed to serve takeaway meals.

– Record cases in Australia –

Australia posts its highest number of new cases, 549, since the pandemic began, almost entirely driven by an outbreak in the southeastern state of Victoria.

Authorities admit a second wave of clusters in Australia’s second city Melbourne is taking longer to suppress than hoped.

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