World News in Brief: July 26

Around one million people have been directly affected by raging floods due to heavy rainfall in India's eastern state of Bihar over the past few days, as several railway lines and road routes have been submerged in flooding waters. A total of 22 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) have been deputed for carrying out the relief and rescue operations.

Health workers disinfect a livestock market in Rabat, Morocco, on July 25, 2020. Morocco warned on Saturday that anyone who refuses to wear a mask in public could face a maximum fine of US$140 or up to three months in prison. (Photo: Xinhua)
Health workers disinfect a livestock market in Rabat, Morocco, on July 25, 2020. Morocco warned on Saturday that anyone who refuses to wear a mask in public could face a maximum fine of US$140 or up to three months in prison. (Photo: Xinhua)

* Hurricane Hanna pummeled the south Texas coast of America on Saturday (July 25) night with howling winds and a surging sea that threatened a broad area already contending with an intense spike in coronavirus deaths. Hanna is the first hurricane for the 2020 Atlantic storm season, which is expected to be unlike any other in recent memory. Authorities will have to contend with sheltering and evacuating people while also maintaining social distancing protocols and other pandemic restrictions.

* China reported 46 cases of the new coronavirus in the mainland for July 25, up from 34 cases a day earlier, the health commission said on Sunday (July 26). Of the new infections, 22 were in the far western region of Xinjiang, according to a statement by the National Health Commission. Thirteen were in the northeastern province of Liaoning, while the remaining 11 were imported cases. China reported two new asymptomatic cases, down from 74 a day earlier.

* The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Saturday reported 4,099,310 cases of the coronavirus, an increase of 74,818 cases from its previous daily count, and said the number of deaths had risen by 1,145 to 145,013.

* Brazil registered 1,211 new COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking its total to 86,449, the Ministry of Health announced Saturday. Meanwhile, 51,147 new confirmed cases were reported, bringing the nationwide count to 2,394,513, the ministry said. The state of Sao Paulo, the hardest hit in terms of death toll, has so far registered 21,517 deaths, including 311 deaths reported in the past day, followed by Rio de Janeiro with 12,808 deaths, and Ceara with 7,476 deaths, it added.

* For the first time, a record number of 420,898 COVID-19 tests in a single day have been conducted in India, federal health ministry said Saturday. The number of COVID-19 cases in the country reached 1,336,861 including 31,358 deaths, the ministry said earlier Saturday. Meanwhile, the ministry said 849,432 people have been discharged from hospitals after showing improvement, which has pushed the recovery rate to 63.53 percent. Globally India is the third worst-hit country due to COVID-19 pandemic.

* Mexico's Health Ministry on Saturday reported 6,751 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 729 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 385,036 cases and 43,374 total deaths.

* Cambodia on Saturday confirmed 23 new imported COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 225, said a Health Ministry's statement. The Southeast Asian country has so far recorded a total of 225 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 143 patients cured and 82 remained in hospital.

* The confirmed COVID-19 cases in Japan topped 30,000 on Saturday, according to the latest figures from the health ministry and local authorities, with the figure including cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama near Tokyo.

* Australia's COVID-19 new cases and death toll continue to rise as the second most populated state of Victoria struggles to contain a second wave of the virus. As of Saturday afternoon there had been 13,950 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia and the number of new cases in the last 24 hours is 372, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health. Of the new cases, 357 were in Victoria and 15 in New South Wales (NSW).

* Spain said on Saturday it was a safe country with localised, isolated and controlled outbreaks of the coronavirus, after Britain indicated it would force all travellers arriving from Spain to quarantine for two weeks. A Spanish Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Spain "respects decisions of the United Kingdom" and was in touch with the authorities there.

* Kim Jong Un, the Chairman of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), declared a state of emergency in Kaesong after the border city reported a suspected case of COVID-19, said Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Sunday. Kim noted that he took preemptive measures on Saturday to completely block Kaesong city and isolate each district and region immediately after the case was reported. So far, the DPRK has not reported any confirmed case of COVID-19.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 305 to 205,269, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll was unchanged with 9,118, the tally showed.

* New Zealand reported no new case of COVID-19 overnight, said the Ministry of Health in a statement on Sunday, as the total number of confirmed cases remained at 1,206. The total number of active cases in New Zealand's managed isolation and quarantine facilities remained at 21. There was no one receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19, it is said. It has been 86 days since the last case of COVID-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source, said the ministry statement.

* Kyrgyzstan will designate July 30 as the day of national mourning for citizens who died of COVID-19, President Sooronbai Jeenbekov said on Saturday. In an interview with the state radio station, Jeenbekov said that Kyrgyzstan will celebrate Kurman Ait (Feast of Sacrifice) on July 31, and July 30 will be declared the day of national mourning throughout the country. As of Saturday, 1,249 people have died in Kyrgyzstan since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 32,124 COVID-19 cases have been registered in the country, and 19,203 of them have recovered.

* Tunisian President Kais Saied on Saturday designated the interior minister as the new prime minister to succeed Elyes Fakhfakh, who resigned over allegations of a conflict of interest, the presidency said. New premier Hichem Mechichi pledged to respond to the social and economic demands that have spawned constant protests in the North African country.

* The number of people to test positive for coronavirus in Israel topped 60,000 on Saturday as the government struggles to contain a resurgence in infection rates. The latest daily tally showed 1,770 new infections, bringing the total number of cases to 60,496, the country's health ministry reported. With a population of 9 million, Israel has reported a total of 455 fatalities from the pandemic.

* The Peruvian government will reevaluate the national health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to determine if "tougher measures" are needed, Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti said Saturday. According to the latest official report, Peru has so far registered 379,884 COVID-19 infections, with 18,030 deaths and 263,130 recoveries. A total of 13,043 people are currently hospitalized due to the disease.

* Portuguese government announced on Saturday that it will invest EUR1.8 million (US$2.09 million) from the European Social Fund to help homeless people. Seven projects financed by the Lisbon 2020 Regional Operational Program will receive the investment in seven municipalities in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area until the end of July.

* An outbreak of 119 COVID-19 infections was detected at a wagon factory in Drobeta-Turnu Severin, southwestern Romania, as the country reported 1,284 new infections on Saturday, the fourth straight day with daily cases over 1,000. The epidemic is getting worse in Romania with daily cases over 1,000 for four consecutive days since it topped the mark on July 22. Latest statistics showed that 15 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours, pushing the total to 2,165. As of Saturday, the country with a population of some 19 million has registered 43,678 COVID-19 cases, of whom 25,373 people have recovered.

* Egypt recorded on Saturday 511 new COVID-19 infections, taking the total cases registered in the country since mid-February to 91,583, said the Egyptian Health Ministry. In a statement, Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said 40 patients died from the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 4,558. Also on Saturday, 933 patients were cured and discharged from hospitals, raising the total number of recoveries in the country to 32,903.

* The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Saturday said that 72 illegal immigrants have been rescued by the Libyan coast guard off the country's western coast. The UNHCR stressed that Libya is not a safe port for disembarkation, and called for alternatives to the detention of migrants.

* Egyptian and French naval forces carried out on Saturday maritime drills in the Mediterranean Sea, the Egyptian Armed Forces said in a statement. Two stealth frigates, one from each navy, participated in the exercise, an Egyptian military spokesman said in a statement. The drills focused on methods of organizing cooperation to implement combat missions against hostile naval formations as well as engaging with surface and air targets.