Coronavirus: latest global developments

·2 min read
The travel industry has been hit hard by the pandemic

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- Australia gets tough -

Hundreds of people infected with the virus in Australia's worst-hit state Victoria have been caught flouting stay-at-home orders, authorities say, prompting tougher fines.

Some 800 infected people -- or more than 25 percent of those doorknocked across Victoria -- were not at home when authorities conducted recent checks, which state Premier Daniel Andrews calls "completely unacceptable".

- More than 694,500 dead -

The pandemic has killed at least 694,507 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, according to an AFP tally at 1100 GMT on Tuesday based on official sources.

There have been at least 18.3 million cases registered in 196 countries and territories.

The United States has the most deaths with 155,471, followed by Brazil with 94,665, Mexico 48,012, Britain with 46,210 and India with 38,938 fatalities.

- Iran new daily record -

The Islamic republic confirms over 2,700 new infections, the country's highest single-day count in more than a month.

The health ministry calls for those without masks to be fined, but adds those "financially unable to buy masks must be exempted," without elaborating how that could be determined.

- France beware -

The French government's COVID-19 scientific council warns the country could "at any moment" lose control over the spread of the virus.

Official data shows the first rise in France of intensive care patients since April.

The council also warns of a possible "resumption of circulation of the virus at a high level" by autumn 2020, after the August summer holidays.

- Hard times for travel -

Online travel agency says it will cut up to a quarter of staff worldwide, leading to thousands of job losses.

The Amsterdam-based booking site, which employs around 17,500 people around the world, declines to give an exact number of posts that will be slashed but promises details "in the coming weeks and months".

And Frankfurt Airport operator Fraport says it plans to shed nearly one-fifth of its workforce of around 22,000 across the group's companies after air traffic plummeted in the second quarter.

- Pizza Express slims down -

British restaurant chain Pizza Express says it could cut 1,100 jobs and close around 67 pizzerias in Britain as it grapples with the "unprecedented challenges" of the virus.

The chain, which has 600 restaurants globally, including 449 in Britain, says it is putting itself up for sale as part of a restructuring plan.