World News in Brief: July 8

Thailand expects to delay plans for so-called travel bubbles given a resurgence in coronavirus infections in countries and territories that had managed to contain the initial outbreak, a senior official told Reuters on Wednesday (July 8). Thailand recorded 6.7 million foreign arrivals in the first five months and is allowing business travelers and tourists seeking medical treatment to enter for the rest of the year.

(Illustrative Image). Fresh outbreaks are creating uncertainty on whether it is safe for Thailand to open its borders.
(Illustrative Image). Fresh outbreaks are creating uncertainty on whether it is safe for Thailand to open its borders.

* Chinese health authority said Wednesday that it received reports of seven new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Tuesday, of which all were imported. No deaths related to the disease nor suspected infections were reported Tuesday (July 7). As of Tuesday, the overall confirmed cases on the mainland had reached 83,572, including 390 patients who were still being treated, with six in severe conditions. Altogether 78,548 people had been discharged after recovery, and 4,634 had died of the disease on the mainland, the commission said.

* Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced on Tuesday that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Brazil has suffered the second largest COVID-19 outbreak in the world, just after the United States. The country's death toll has surpassed 65,000 on Monday, with 1,623,284 confirmed cases.

* India's federal health ministry said Wednesday morning that 482 new deaths due to COVID-19, besides 22,752 positive cases, were reported during the past 24 hours across the country, taking the number of deaths to 20,642 and total cases to 742,417. According to ministry officials, so far 456,831 people have been discharged from hospitals after showing improvement. Presently the country has entered Unlock 2.0 phase, though restrictions remain in full force inside the COVID-19 Containment Zones.

* US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said Wednesday that his country strongly supports cooperation between Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) amid Seoul's efforts to resume inter-Korean cooperation. His comment came as the ROK is seeking a US support for the resumption of inter-Korean cooperation projects that have been suspended under international sanctions toward Pyongyang.

* The total number of cases of the novel coronavirus in Russia passed 700,000 on Wednesday, as the country reported 6,562 new infections in the past 24 hours. The country's coronavirus crisis response centre said 173 people had died from the virus overnight, taking the official death toll to 10,667. Total infections stand at 700,792. Russia says 472,511 people have recovered.

* The ROK reported 63 more cases of COVID-19 as of midnight Wednesday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 13,244. The daily caseload rose above 60 in three days due to the continued small cluster infections and imported cases. No more death was confirmed, leaving the death toll at 285. The total fatality rate stood at 2.15 percent.

* A hard lockdown in Australia's second-largest city will likely erase nearly AUD5 billion of economic output over six weeks, slowing a broader national recovery and forcing the government to expand its already massive debt-funded stimulus. Australia has been among the most successful countries in curbing the spread of the coronavirus but the lockdown in the state of Victoria and its capital Melbourne has hurt hopes of a faster and sharper economic recovery.

* New French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Wednesday that any new lockdown will be targeted, and not imposed nationwide, if there is a major new coronavirus outbreak. The previous French government enforced a strict nationwide lockdown from mid-March to May 11 to try to curb the spread of COVID-19, and some restrictions on public gatherings are still in place.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 397 to 197,341, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday. The reported death toll rose by 12 to 9,036, the tally showed.

* The Pakistani government said on Tuesday that COVID-19 may widely spread in the country during the forthcoming Eid al-Adha festival if people do not follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) formed to contain the spread of the disease.

* Austria has launched a website explaining its stopp-corona mobile phone track and trace app and inviting suggestions in a bid to boost trust and convince more people to use it. Countries around the world are racing to develop apps to help to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Austria was one of the first in Europe. Austria has seen an increase in new infections since restrictions were lifted. The country has reported a relatively low 18,418 infections and 706 deaths.

* Peru's COVID-19 caseload reached 309,278 on Tuesday after tests detected 3,575 more cases of infection in the previous 24 hours, yet the figure still marked a "sustained decline" in the number of new transmissions, according to Health Minister Victor Zamora. While the reopening of the economy has seen many more Peruvians circulating in the streets, it has not worsened the outbreak, he said.

* Chile on Tuesday reported a total of 301,019 cases of novel coronavirus infection and 6,434 deaths from the disease. In the previous 24 hours, tests detected 2,462 new cases of infection and 50 more patients died, according to the Health Ministry. Of the newly detected cases, 1,946 presented symptoms and 266 were asymptomatic. Around the country, 26,340 cases remain active, while 268,245 patients have recovered from the disease.

* Uzbekistan will impose a second wave of lockdown restrictions between July 10 and Aug. 1 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Central Asian nation's government said on Wednesday.

* India's agricultural ministry Tuesday said it has carried out locust control operations on 275,887 hectares of land in nine states. Of the 275,887 hectares, Locust Circle Offices (LCOs) in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have carried out control measures on 143,422 hectares, as local governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhatisgarh, Haryana and Bihar have carried out control measures on 132,465 hectares.

* Austria is issuing travel warnings for Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova because of the worsening coronavirus situation in those countries and clusters in Austria involving people arriving from the region, the government said on Wednesday.

* A group of 52 migrants who were rescued from the high seas on Saturday were allowed to disembark in Malta, local media reported on Wednesday. The migrants were transferred to an Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) vessel Tuesday evening from a livestock carrier ship, the Talia, which had housed them for days. Then they were brought to Malta by the AFM vessel and disembarked at Boiler wharf early Wednesday morning.