Coronavirus live news: Finland announces lockdown plan; Ukraine registers 40% jump in new cases

Finnish PM announces three-week lockdown from 8 March; Ukraine registered 8,147 cases on Wednesday; EU leaders to debate certificates for people who had Covid jabs

11.20am GMT

The African Union is backing calls for drugmakers to waive some intellectual property rights on Covid-19 medicines and vaccines to speed up their rollout to poor countries.

John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a news conference that IP transfer was a “win-win for everybody” that would address the huge inequalities in global public health.

In 1996, HIV drugs were available, and we saw how mortality in the developed world decreased drastically. But it would take 10 years before those drugs were accessible in Africa in any meaningful way.

In between, 12 million Africans died, so I just use those numbers to say: any IP transfer will be beneficial to everybody, because nobody wants to sit back and be proud of that sad event … We want to be on the right side of history.

11.00am GMT

Croatia will allow bars and restaurants to open their outdoor terraces next week after a more than three-month closure due to Covid-19 restrictions, Reuters reports.

The move comes despite a small rise in the number of daily infections over the seven days. Croatia reported some 4,500 new daily cases three months ago but that number has since fallen to several hundred a day. On Thursday there were 544 new cases reported, compared with 365 of a week ago, figures which count among the lowest weekly incidences in the European Union.

Thousands of people, mainly owners of small businesses like restaurants, bars and fitness centres, jammed the capital Zagreb’s main square a few weeks ago to protest at closures preventing them from working.

The indoor areas of bars and restaurants remain closed. Sports-training sessions indoors will also be permitted starting on Monday.

Continue reading… Source: The Guardian: Coronavirus live news: Finland announces lockdown plan; Ukraine registers 40% jump in new cases ———