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Coronavirus: Latest global developments

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Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

– AstraZeneca stumbles again –

AstraZeneca is hit by another snag after a US government agency says the Anglo-Swedish company may have included out-of-date data in results of US trials for its vaccine announced on Monday.

The company says it will release more data “within 48 hours”.

– Britain reflects –

Britain marks the anniversary of its first lockdown with a minute’s silence in tribute to the more than 126,000 people who have died.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warns that Britain needs to stay on its guard, as a third wave now sweeps across Europe, and calls for reflection on the losses of the past year.

– Lockdowns fuel oil slump –

Oil prices slump on lower demand prospects after Germany announces a strict shutdown for five days over Easter and as EU nations struggle to roll out vaccines.

– Spain allows in Brits –

Spain will on March 30 lift restrictions on arrivals from Britain that have been in place since December to prevent the spread of new coronavirus strains.

Restrictions on arrivals from Brazil and South Africa will be extended until April 13.

– Get jabbing –

France should be vaccinating “morning, noon and evening” says President Emmanuel Macron, who faces criticism that the country’s inoculation drive has been too slow.

A government minister says the country will open 35 mass vaccination centres “in the coming days”.

– Banksy for NHS –

A painting by the British street artist Banksy sells for a record £16.75 million ($23.1 million, 19.4 million euros) with proceeds going to benefit state health service staff.

The signed oil painting by the elusive artist,  “Game Changer”, first appeared at Southampton General Hospital on England’s south coast, during the first wave of the global coronavirus crisis in May last year.

– Putin vaccinated –

Russian President Vladimir Putin receives his first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov says, without specifying which jab was administered.

– Oxygen running out –

Oxygen supplies for respirators for seriously ill Covid patients have fallen to “worrying” levels in six Brazilian states, where cases are surging, according to the public prosecutor’s office.

– Belgium lockdown imminent –

Belgium appears headed for a new lockdown to stem a variant-fuelled surge in infections, according to reports on the eve of an emergency government meeting.

– Netherlands extends curbs –

The Netherlands government extends its coronavirus restrictions until April 20, but will shorten its controversial nighttime curfew by one hour.

– Vietnam approves Russian jab –

Vietnam approves Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, two weeks after it kicked off its inoculation campaign.

– Norway tightens up –

Norway will temporarily ban the sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants, and oblige travellers coming from abroad to quarantine in a hotel to battle a rise in cases.

– 2.7 million dead –

At least 2,723,899 people have died of coronavirus 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 542,949 deaths, followed by Brazil with 295,425, Mexico with 198,239, India with 160,166 and Britain with 126,172.

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