Hard Numbers: South African lockdown, Croatia earthquake, Iran’s vaccine trial, windfall for banks

South Africa has now officially surpassed 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases. Reuters

1 million: South Africa, the African country hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, has now officially surpassed 1 million confirmed cases. In response, the government has imposed fresh restrictions on public gatherings and alcohol sales, and mandated mask-wearing in public. In South Africa, as elsewhere on the continent, there are worries about the availability of vaccines.


6.4: An earthquake ringing up 6.4 on the Richter scale rocked a small city near the Croatian capital on Tuesday, killing at least seven people and sending tremors throughout the Balkans. Neighboring Slovenia, which felt the tremors, shut down its main nuclear plant as a precaution.

65,000: More than 65,000 Iranians reportedly "volunteered" to participate in the first phase of human testing of an Iranian-made coronavirus vaccine. Of those, 56 were selected for the trial, which will last up to two months. Iran has already suffered more than 50,000 coronavirus deaths, the eighth highest total in the world.

125 billion: With the world mired in its worst economic crisis in decades, investment banks this year generated a record $125 billion in fees. The surge came as lenders and underwriters helped companies raise cash to weather the pandemic and its economic effects.
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