Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

– India locks down millions –

The northern Indian state of Bihar, which has a population of around 125 million people, will go into lockdown on Thursday for 15 days, the local government says.

The announcement comes as the southern city and IT hub Bangalore, home to more than 13 million people, begins a week-long lockdown at 8:00 pm (1430 GMT).

– 570,000+ deaths –

The pandemic has killed at least 574,278 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, according to an AFP tally at 1900 GMT on Tuesday based on official sources.

The United States is the worst-hit country with 136,113 deaths. It is followed by Brazil (72,833), Britain (44,968), Mexico (35,491) and Italy (34,984).

– UK slump –

Britain’s economy contracted by almost one-fifth during the country’s lockdown and remains set for its sharpest decline in annual output for 300 years, official data shows.

The Office for National Statistics says gross domestic product plunged by 19.1 percent in the three months to the end of May.

– France pushes mask-wearing –

“I would like to make masks mandatory in all enclosed public spaces,” says French President Emmanuel Macron in a televised interview marking Bastille Day, amid signs that infections in the country are picking up again and warnings from doctors of a potential second wave.

Government officials are weighing the face mask requirement, which could take effect in August.

– England too –

Facemasks will be compulsory in shops and supermarkets in England from July 24, the government says, in a U-turn on previous policy.

People who fail to cover their face risk a fine of up to £100 ($123) with enforcement to be carried out by the police.

– Travel trouble –

Thailand suspends all inbound flights after an Egyptian soldier skips self-quarantine and visits a shopping mall before testing positive for the virus. Authorities are now scrambling to trace around 1,700 people at the mall and the surrounding area.

Story continues

Cyprus threatens to fine or turn away incoming passengers who fail to complete its online arrival forms aimed at preventing a resurgence of the virus, after a visitor who misrepresented their itinerary later tested positive.

– Virgin Atlantic rescue –

Virus-hit airline Virgin Atlantic, part-owned by British tycoon Richard Branson, says it has secured its future thanks to a private recapitalisation worth £1.2 billion ($1.5 billion).

Having not received aid from the UK government, Virgin has sought a privately-funded package, which it has now secured with the help of Delta Air Lines, which owns 49 percent of Virgin Atlantic.



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