Coronavirus: Latest global developments

Paris, France: Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

'Missing link' animal

A mission of international experts to Wuhan concludes it is very likely that Covid-19 first passed to humans from a bat through an intermediary animal, and all but rules out a laboratory leak.

J&J for Europe, Africa

Johnson & Johnson says it plans to start delivering its one-shot vaccine to Europe on April 19, giving the continent a boost as it struggles to speed up its vaccination drive.

It also says it will deliver up to 400 million doses to African countries, with the first shipments expected to arrive in the third quarter of 2021.

'Happy Monday'

England begins easing its lockdown on what newspapers dub "Happy Monday" with people flocking to parks and pools as stay-at-home orders are relaxed to allow outdoor gatherings of up to six people and the resumption of amateur sports.

Debt relief

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls for greater debt relief and new creative financing to help poorer nations deal with the pandemic.

Muted Holi

Indian authorities clamp down on Holi, one of the country's biggest Hindu festivals, banning it in some states and territories including Delhi, as the country passed 12 million cases and Mumbai records its steepest-ever rise in daily infections.

Merkel clash

The leader of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party, Armin Laschet, rebuffs her criticsm of Germany's 16 federal states for straying from agreed coronavirus measures, insisting they are taking the pandemic seriously.

Chinese jabs for Palestinians

The Palestinian Authority receives 100,000 doses of the Chinese Sinopharm jab, the largest single batch of coronavirus vaccines yet to reach the Palestinian territories.

Portugal flight ban

Portugal's government extends its suspension of flights to and from Brazil and Britain until April 15, in a bid to limit the spread of Covid-19 variants.

Nearly 2.8 million dead

At least 2,784,276 people have died of Covid-19 around the world since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally from official sources.

The US is the worst-affected country with 549,335 deaths followed by Brazil with 312,206 fatalities, Mexico with 201,623, India with 161,843, and Britain with 126,592 deaths.

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