* The pandemic has killed at least 534,306 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, according to an AFP tally at 1100 GMT on Monday based on official sources.

* The United States is the hardest-hit country with 129,947 deaths. It is followed by Brazil with 64,867, Britain with 44,220, Italy with 34,861 and Mexico with 30,639 fatalities.

* Stock markets in Asia and Europe rallied, choosing to pin their hopes on the economic recovery from the coronavirus as lockdowns end, rather than worry about the spread of cases.

* Pakistan’s health minister Dr Zafar Mirza on Monday tested positive for Covid-19, becoming the latest senior minister in the country to be hit by the deadly virus.

* Australian officials say they plan to effectively seal off the state of Victoria from the rest of the country after it announced a record 127 new cases as the virus spreads through Australia’s second city Melbourne.

* Meanwhile in the Balkans, Kosovo’s government re-imposed nightly curfews in the capital Pristina and three other towns in a bid to curb an increase of coronavirus infections.

* Chinese authorities detained Xu Zhangrun, a law professor who published essays criticising President Xi Jinping over the coronavirus pandemic and Xi’s efforts to consolidate power, according to friends of the man.

* The world’s most visited museum, the Louvre in Paris, reopened after nearly four months of coronavirus closure, with a restricted number of visitors enjoying a rare chance to view the “Mona Lisa”, the “Venus de Milo”, and the Louvre’s vast antiquities collection.

* The first-ever online Paris fashion week clicked off with the world of glitzy and sweaty catwalk shows thrown into an existential crisis by the coronavirus.

* The British government has said it will spend nearly $2 billion to help theatres, art galleries and other cultural institutions survive the coronavirus crisis.


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