Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
– US virus toll passes 130,000 –
The pandemic has killed at least 535,025 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, according to an AFP tally at 1900 GMT on Monday based on official sources.
The United States is the hardest-hit country with 130,080 deaths. It is followed by Brazil with 64,867, Britain with 44,236, Italy with 34,869 and Mexico with 30,639 fatalities.
– Australia seals off Victoria state –
Australian officials say they will effectively seal off the state of Victoria from the rest of the country after it announces a record 127 new cases as the virus spreads through Australia’s second city Melbourne.
Meanwhile in the Balkans, Kosovo’s government re-imposes nightly curfews in the capital Pristina and three other towns in a bid to curb an increase of coronavirus infections.
– Stock markets optimistic –
Stock markets around the world rally, with optimism at fresh signs of economic recovery overriding concerns at a global surge in coronavirus infections.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones was more than 350 points higher in the late New York morning, while key European markets posted gains of 1.5 percent or more at the close.
– UN worries over AIDS impact –
COVID-19 could cause an additional half a million AIDS deaths if treatment is disrupted long term, the United Nations says in a warning that the pandemic is jeopardising years of progress against HIV.
Key populations at high-risk of HIV/AIDS are being put in further danger as lockdowns and distribution of medicines leaves them “even more vulnerable than usual”, the report at the start of a week of virtual International AIDS Conferences says.
– Israeli carrier gets bailout –
Israeli airline El Al says it has agreed to a government bailout that could pave the way for its renationalisation, after losses linked to coronavirus lockdowns.
– Airborne threat –
An international group of 239 scientists urges authorities including the World Health Organization to recognise that the coronavirus can spread in the air at distances well beyond the two metres (six feet) often recommended for social distancing.
“Hand washing and social distancing are appropriate, but in our view, insufficient to provide protection from virus-carrying respiratory microdroplets released into the air by infected people,” wrote the authors, led by Lidia Morawska of the Queensland University of Technology in the Oxford Academic journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
– Bolsonaro weakens face mask law –
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, whose country has the second highest COVID-19 death toll, makes more changes to weaken a law requiring the wearing of face masks in public places.
Since the beginning of the virus outbreak, Bolsonaro has minimized the risks of what he initially called “a little flu” and flouted social distancing rules and containment measures, such as wearing a mask in public.