By G9ija

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis.

– US cases top two million –
The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the United States, the world’s worst-hit country, tops two million, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says there will be no more shutdowns to stop the pandemic.

“We can’t shut down the economy. I think we’ve learned that if you shut down the economy, you’re going to create more damage,” he says in a television interview, as the outbreak flares in some southern states.

– Virus spreads quickly in Africa –
The speed the new coronavirus jumped from 100,000 to 200,000 confirmed cases in Africa shows just how quickly the pandemic is accelerating on the continent, the World Health Organization says.

“It took 98 days to reach the first 100,000 cases, and only 18 days to move to 200,000 cases,” Doctor Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s regional director for Africa, says.

– More than 417,000 deaths –

The pandemic has killed at least 417,773 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, according to an AFP tally at 1900 GMT on Thursday, based on official sources.

There have been 7,436,660 cases registered in 196 countries and territories.

The United States has 113,209 deaths, followed by Britain with 41,279, Brazil with 39,680, Italy with 34,167 and France with 29,346 fatalities.

Russia meanwhile passed the milestone of 500,000 confirmed cases, and Iran said 180,000 have been infected there.

– EU border plan –

Brussels sets out plans to fully reopen the 27-nation European Union’s internal borders on June 15 and to allow travellers from Balkan countries to enter the bloc from July 1.

Europe’s borders with the rest of the world will open more gradually after that — and only to countries where the pandemic is seen as under control.

– Race for vaccine –
A vaccine against COVID-19 developed by the US biotech firm Moderna will enter the third and final stage of its clinical trial in July with 30,000 participants.

Brazilian officials announce an agreement with China’s Sinovac Biotech to produce its coronavirus vaccine in the state of Sao Paulo, where tests involving 9,000 volunteers are to begin in July.

– La Liga kicks off –
The Spanish top-flight football season resumes behind closed doors, with kick-off between Sevilla and Real Betis the first game played after a three-month hiatus.

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