Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
NEW RESTRICTIONS IN BELGIUM, POLAND
Poland shuts kindergartens, sports facilities and more non-essential shops and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki urges Poles to spend Easter at home with their immediate families, but stops short of announcing restrictions on movement and a full lockdown.
Belgium limits access to non-medical services such as hairdressers for four weeks, and customers can only visit stores selling “non-essential” items such as clothing and books by appointment.
Next week, the last before Easter, only primary schools will remain open.
MANILA IN LOCKDOWN
The Philippines announces that more than 24 million people in and around Manila will go into lockdown next week.
The tougher restrictions in the country’s economic heartland — which accounts for about a fifth of the population — come as more contagious variants of the virus fuel a resurgence in cases.
CHILE RAISES RISING INFECTIONS
Chile, a world leader in coronavirus vaccinations where nearly one in three people have received a first dose, puts more than 80% of its population of 19 million in lockdown.
With new virus variants, believed to be more contagious, spreading across the continent, cases have been soaring in Chile despite its vaccination drive.
KENYA SHUTS SCHOOLS, LOCKDOWN NAIROBI
Kenya places Nairobi and nearby counties under partial lockdown and closes schools and bars in those areas as a deadly third wave of Covid-19 grips the country.
President Uhuru Kenyatta warns the emergency measures are required to curb the highest rates of coronavirus infection seen in Kenya since the pandemic began a year ago.
NEW DAILY DEATH TOLL IN BRAZIL
Brazil set a new daily Covid-19 death toll record of 3,650 on Friday, the health ministry says, as the pandemic spins out of control in Latin America’s largest economy.
RECORD NEW INFECTIONS IN ARGENTINA
Argentina registers nearly 13,000 new infections, the highest number in more than two months as the government suspends flights arriving from Brazil, Chile and Mexico.
FRANCE TOUGHENS BORDER CHECKS
French authorities step up checks at airports and motorways to enforce a ban on movement between 19 different regions, including Paris, where the situation is described as “critical”.
MORE THAN 2.7 MILLION DEAD
The novel coronavirus has killed at least 2,768,431 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP.
The United States is the worst-affected country with 548,089 deaths followed by Brazil with 307,112 fatalities, Mexico with 200,862, India with 161,240 and Britain with 126,515 deaths.
These figures are based on daily tolls provided by health authorities in each country and exclude later re-evaluations by statistical organisations, as has happened in Russia, Spain and Britain.