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Monday, 21 September 2020

Coronavirus crisis: Latest global developments

AFP , Sunday 28 Jun 2020
France
Voters wearing face masks wait prior to casting their ballot during the second round of the mayoral elections on June 28, 2020 AFP
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Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- Cases top 10 million -

The total number of global infections has now surpassed 10 million, according to an AFP tally at 0930 GMT on Sunday based on official sources.

The rate of infections worldwide has doubled since May 21, with one million new cases recorded in just the last six days.

The pandemic has killed at least 498,779 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, according to the count.

- Half a million confined in Beijing -

China imposes a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people in a province surrounding the capital to contain a fresh cluster, as authorities warn the outbreak is still "severe and complicated."

Health officials say Anxin county -- about 150 kilometres (90 miles) from Beijing -- will be "fully enclosed and controlled", the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year.

The move comes after another 14 cases of the virus are reported in the past 24 hours in Beijing, taking the total to 311 since mid-June and spurring the testing of millions of residents.

- UK city lockdown? -

The English Midlands city of Leicester could face a local lockdown, the UK's Home Secretary Priti Patel says, after a spike of 658 new cases reported in the two weeks up to June 16.

- Iran masks up -

The Islamic republic says it will make mask-wearing mandatory in certain areas as of next week and continuing until July 22, with the possibility of the measure being extended.

During a televised meeting of the country's anti-virus taskforce, President Hassan Rouhani also says authorities are allowing hard-hit provinces to reimpose restrictive measures if required.

- Sport with spectators -

South Korea says it will begin allowing limited numbers of spectators at sports games, despite concerns over a second wave of infections.

The sports ministry is expected to hold a meeting this week to discuss the details, Yonhap news agency reports, and the Korea Baseball Organisation is preparing to fill around 30 percent of stands at its games.

And in Brazil, the state of Rio de Janeiro will allow football fans into stadiums from July 10, initially at one-third capacity, according to an official decree.

Capacity will move to two-thirds from August 1, while stadiums will be able to function with no restrictions from August 16.

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