Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
- Virus deaths top 971,000 -
The virus has killed at least 971,677 people since the outbreak emerged in China late last year, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Wednesday.
More than 31.6 million cases have been confirmed.
The United States is the worst-hit country with 200,818 deaths, followed by Brazil with 138,108, India with 90,020, Mexico with 73,348 and the United Kingdom with 41,825.
- Europe cases top five million -
Europe has recorded more than five million infections, according to official sources, with a total of 5,000,421 cases now registered.
More than half of these were in Russia, followed by Spain, France and the United Kingdom.
More than 380,000 new cases were reported in the past week, the highest number in the region since the start of the pandemic.
- US-China spat -
US President Donald Trump casts blame for the pandemic on China in an address before the United Nations, whose chief warns against a new "Cold War" between the two world powers.
Trump attacks Beijing and the UN for not stopping the disease and even uses the loaded term "China virus".
China's ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, tells reporters that Trump's tone was "incompatible with the general atmosphere" of the world body.
"If we do have to hold anyone accountable, it should be the United States held accountable for losing so many lives with their irresponsible behaviour", he says.
- Stricter measures for Paris -
The French government prepares to announce stricter measures for Paris, where infections have exploded since an end to lockdown.
Ministers will hold two meetings -- including one of the defence council -- during the day to analyse the worsening situation.
- And Madrid too -
Madrid, the epicentre of an explosion of new infections in Spain, will on Friday extend partial lockdown measures to more areas to try to stem the surge in new infections, officials say.
- Relaxing visa entry -
Japan is considering easing strict border restrictions from October to allow more foreign nationals to enter, local media reports.
Tourists would still be banned and only longer-term visas approved, the reports say.
- World's workers -
The pandemic is taking a heavier toll on employment than previously feared, the United Nations says, with hundreds of millions of jobs lost and workers suffering a "massive" drop in earnings.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) found that by mid-year, global working hours had declined 17.3 percent compared to last December -- equivalent to nearly 500 million full-time jobs.
- Anti-flu drug -
The maker of anti-influenza drug Avigan says it will apply for the medication to be approved for treating coronavirus patients after trials show it can shorten recovery time.
Manufacturer Fujifilm Toyama Chemical says its phase three trial in Japan, which began in March, is now complete.