World News in Brief: July 14

Helen Clark, co-chair of a World Health Organization (WHO) panel to review the WHO-coordinated global response to COVID-19, said they would look at reforming international institutional response to a pandemic, media outlets have reported.

Mounted police officers wearing face masks are seen in Mexico City, Mexico, July 13, 2020. Mexico registered 4,685 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the nationwide count to 304,435, the country's health ministry said Monday. (Photo: Xinhua)
Mounted police officers wearing face masks are seen in Mexico City, Mexico, July 13, 2020. Mexico registered 4,685 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the nationwide count to 304,435, the country's health ministry said Monday. (Photo: Xinhua)

* Dengue cases in Laos have reached 3,089 with eight deaths since January, according to Lao Ministry of Health report. Deputy Director General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control under Lao Ministry of Health, Latsamy Vongkhamsao, told a press conference on Tuesday that the highest number of dengue patients were reported in the Lao capital Vientiane with 642, while 395 cases were reported in Vientiane province, and 358 cases were reported in Bolikhamxay province.

* Over 7,000 army soldiers have been deployed to the eastern part of China for flood control and emergency rescue operations, according to the Chinese military. Among them, over 3,800 soldiers were sent to Jiujiang City and Poyang County in Jiangxi Province, where they were tasked with patrolling, reinforcing embankments and transferring residents affected by floods, among others.

* Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to mutually ease travel restrictions introduced due to the COVID-19 outbreak and resume some necessary travels between the two countries, the two foreign ministries said Tuesday.

* Cambodia confirmed nine more cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, raising the total number of infections in the country to 165, according to a Health Ministry's press statement. The latest cases are nine Cambodian men, aged between 24 and 30 years old, the statement said, adding that they all travelled from a foreign country, with a connecting flight in Malaysia.

* Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry announced on Tuesday morning that based on advance estimates, the country's GDP for the second quarter fell 12.6 percent year on year, compared to a 0.3-percent decline in the first quarter. On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, Singapore's economy shrank by 41.2 percent in the second quarter.

* Thailand's government tightened regulations for the entry of foreigners on Tuesday, after two new imported coronavirus cases with possible exposure to the public raised concern about a second wave of infections. Thailand has been 50 days without confirmed local transmission of the coronavirus, but two cases among foreigners this week has led to the self-isolation of more than 400 people and fears on social media of a new contagion.

* The Philippines' health ministry on Tuesday reported six new coronavirus deaths and 634 additional infections, the lowest daily increase in cases in nearly two weeks. In a bulletin, the ministry said total deaths had increased to 1,603, while confirmed cases had reached 57,545.

* Chinese health authority said Tuesday that it received reports of three new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Monday, and all of them were imported. No new suspected cases or deaths related to the disease were reported Monday, the National Health Commission said in its daily report.

* The United States on Monday recorded 59,222 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases over 3.36 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. Another 411 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 135,582 in the country. The surge of coronavirus infections has pushed some states to reinstate tougher anti-epidemic measures.

* Brazil on Monday reported a total of 1,884,967 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 72,883 people have died from the disease. In the past day, tests detected 20,286 new cases of infection and 733 more patients died, according to the Health Ministry.

* Mexico registered 4,685 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the nationwide count to 304,435, the country's health ministry said Monday. Meanwhile, a total of 485 new deaths were reported, taking its total to 35,491, the ministry said.

* Russia on Tuesday reported 6,248 new cases of the novel coronavirus, pushing its confirmed national tally to 739,947, the fourth largest in the world. Officials said 175 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 11,614. Moscow, the country's worst-hit region, reported 613 new confirmed cases, taking its tally of infections to 230,642.

* The Tokyo metropolitan government on Tuesday confirmed 143 new COVID-19 infections, with the number staying below the 200-mark for the second straight day but spiking above the 119 cases detected a day earlier. Monday's figure marked the first time the number of daily COVID-19 cases had dropped below 200 in five days.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 412 to 199,375, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday. The reported death toll rose by four to 9,068, the tally showed.

* Australian states on Tuesday tightened restrictions on movement as authorities struggle to contain a fresh outbreak of COVID-19 in the country's southeast that has pushed the national tally of cases beyond 10,000. With growing fears of a second coronavirus wave nationally, two states extended border restrictions and Australia's most populous state imposed limits on the number of people allowed in large pubs.

* German Health Minister Jens Spahn on Monday urged German vacationers to follow COVID-19 social distancing rules, saying that Germany could prevent a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the autumn given continued public vigilance.

* Egypt confirmed on Monday 931 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of cases in the country since mid-February to 83,001, said the health ministry. It is the fifth consecutive day for the country's daily COVID-19 infections to be below 1,000 since May 28.

* Honduras will extend the curfew for another week in an effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the security ministry said on Sunday. Honduras first imposed a curfew in March and has extended it several times to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. As of Sunday, the country has reported 28,090 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 774 deaths, according to the health ministry.

* Zimbabwe registered 49 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the country's tally to 1,034. The country has so far done a total of 91,103 COVID-19 tests. President Emmerson Mnangagwa warned that the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown could be further tightened due to a spike in new infections.

* Saudi-led coalition involved in a war in Yemen announced on Monday the referring of a military operation to its Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) for investigation.

* A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Tuesday delivered remarks on the Iranian nuclear issue, reiterating China's firm support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a phone conversation on Monday, discussing the preparations for a summit among the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

* German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday called for a quick and convincing European response to the coronavirus crisis ahead of the special summit of the European Union (EU) member states' leaders this weekend. The European Commission's proposed recovery fund includes EUR500 billion in grants and EUR250 billion in loans to the countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Austria reject non-repayable grants and want to link the aid to binding economic reforms.

* Republic of Korea outlined a plan on Tuesday to spend KRW114.1 trillion (US$94.6 billion) on a "New Deal" to create jobs and help the economy recover from the coronavirus fallout, anchored in part by "green" investment in electric vehicles and hydrogen cars.

* Hungary's nationalist government will seek parliamentary support on Tuesday to press the European Union to distribute the bloc's coronavirus rescue package fairly and not to make EU funds conditional on rule-of-law conditions. EU leaders meet this week to agree details of the bloc's 2021-28 budget and post-pandemic recovery.

* Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have ended a most recent round of talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and agreed to submit their final reports to the African Union (AU), Sudan's Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Yasir Abbas said Monday. The three countries have been holding video meetings to discuss issues related to the filling and operation of the GERD under the patronage of South Africa, the current chair of the AU.