Coronavirus: Latest global developments

September 19, 2021 People's Tonight 197 views

PARIS (AFP) – Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis.

– US experts back booster jab for over-65s –

A panel of leading US medical experts advising the government vote in favour of authorising boosters of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for everyone aged 65 and up, as well as people at high risk of developing severe Covid-19.

The same committee however rejected an initial proposal, submitted by Pfizer and backed by President Joe Biden’s administration, to fully approve boosters to everyone aged 16 and over.

Tens of millions of Americans will soon be eligible for a third shot.

– 200 arrested in Melbourne lockdown protest –

Several police officers are wounded and over 200 protesters arrested in Australia’s second-most-populous city Melbourne in violent clashes at an anti-lockdown march.

Officers use pepper spray and several hundred attendees flout stay-at-home orders and march through an inner-city suburb.

Melbourne is under its sixth lockdown since the pandemic started, with the wider state of Victoria reporting over 500 cases of Covid-19 on Saturday.

– Cases numbers dropping in North Africa –

Weeks after a spike in coronavirus cases overwhelmed intensive care units across North Africa with severe oxygen shortages sparking public anger, case numbers are sharply declining.

– Guantanamo 9/11 trial halted by Covid scare –

The pretrial hearing in the case against accused 9/11 attacks mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others is suspended amid a coronavirus scare in the courtroom at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

An official of the Office of Military Commissions, which conducts the Guantanamo trials, says the confirmed infection of a media reporter who was at the court all last week and the suspected infection of another person in the courtroom caused the judge to halt the hearing.

It would have been the final day after two weeks in which the new judge, Air Force Colonel Matthew McCall, sought to get the long-festering case back on track after an 18-month delay due to the pandemic.

– New York Philharmonic resumes performances –

Following 556 days of pandemic-inflicted cancellations, and $21 million in lost revenues, the New York Philharmonic opens its new season, a “homecoming” for musicians limited to live streams, one-off and outdoor shows for more than a year.

After enduring months of crisis, the Phil, one of America’s oldest musical institutions, reopened its subscription season with a program featuring Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, Anna Clyne’s “Within Her Arms”, Aaron Copland’s “Quiet City” and George Walker’s “Antifonys”.

– Over 4.6 million dead –

The coronavirus has killed at least 4,676,743 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP compilation of official data.

The US is the worst-affected country with 672,643 deaths, followed by Brazil with 589,573, India with 444,529, Mexico 270,538 and Peru 198,948.