World News in Brief: June 29

Thailand will allow pubs and bars to re-open on Wednesday (July 1) and plans to let in some foreign travellers after recording five weeks without any community transmission of the coronavirus, a government official said. Foreigners with work permits, residency and families in Thailand will also be able to enter the country, but will be subject to a 14-day quarantine. The coronavirus has killed 58 people in Thailand, among 3,169 infections, while 3,053 patients have recovered.

People enjoy food and drinks at a restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo: AFP)
People enjoy food and drinks at a restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo: AFP)

* China reported 12 new confirmed COVID-19 cases as of end of June 28, down from 17 reported a day earlier as the country's capital tries to curb a new wave of infections that emerged from a wholesale market in mid-June. The total number of COVID-19 cases for mainland China now stands at 83,512, while the total death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.

* Brazil recorded 30,476 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours and 552 additional deaths, the Health Ministry said on Sunday (June 28). The nation has now registered 1,344,143 total confirmed cases of the virus and 57,622 deaths.

* Mexico's health ministry reported on Sunday 4,050 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 267 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 216,852 cases and 26,648 deaths.

* Russia on Monday (June 29) reported 6,719 new cases of the novel coronavirus, the lowest one-day reported increase since April 29, pushing its nationwide tally to 641,156. The national coronavirus taskforce said 93 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 9,166.

* Republic of Korea's health authorities called on Monday for citizens to stagger vacation schedules ahead of the holiday season and avoid gatherings at workplaces and religious facilities, as coronavirus infections from small clusters persist. As of midnight Sunday, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 42 new coronavirus cases, for a total of 12,757 cases with 282 deaths. On June 20, the daily tally reached 67, its highest since in more than three weeks.

* Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday said the reopening of state borders will support jobs growth despite a fresh outbreak of the coronavirus in the country's second most populated state. Australia has been relatively successful in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus with total cases of around 7,700, including 104 deaths.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 262 to 193,761, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday. The reported death toll rose by four to 8,961, the tally showed.

* Airbus plane output will be 40% lower for two years compared to pre-crisis plans, its chief executive said in remarks published on Monday, underscoring the threat to jobs as it draws up rapid restructuring plans due to a travel slump. Airbus has till now said it was cutting output by a third on average.

* A substantial part of the European Union's package of measures to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic must consist of grants rather than loans, the International Monetary Fund's chief economist told Der Spiegel. EU leaders agreed in April to build an emergency fund to help the 27-nation bloc rebound from the pandemic, but the final details have yet to be agreed.

* The daily number of new coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic rose to 305, the highest since April 3, Health Ministry data showed on Monday. That is the fourth straight daily rise and brings the total number of cases to 11,603. There have been 348 deaths in the country of 10.7 million.

* Qatar aims to further ease coronavirus curbs from July 1, allowing the limited reopening of restaurants, beaches and parks, as infections have passed their peak and the rate was subsiding, authorities said. The nation of about 2.8 million people has the second highest tally of infections among the six Gulf Arab states, after much larger neighbour Saudi Arabia. It announced 750 new cases on Sunday, taking its total to 94,413, with 110 deaths.

* The United Arab Emirates will not receive passengers coming from Pakistan as of June 29 until a special COVID-19 lab is set up to test them, the civil aviation authority said on Sunday. The decision also applies to transit flights originating from Pakistan, where the number of cases is rising rapidly, the General Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement carried on state media. Dubai state carrier Emirates had already said it was suspending flights from Pakistan effective June 24.

* The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed Sunday it had approved key certification test flights for the grounded Boeing 737 MAX that could begin as soon Monday.

* Saudi Arabia has raised SAR8.495 billion (US$2.27 billion) in sukuk, or Islamic bonds, in June, the finance ministry said on Sunday.

* Sudan is extending a lockdown in the state of Khartoum aimed at curbing the spread of the new coronavirus by one week until July 7, the government spokesman said on Sunday. Sudan has confirmed 9,258 cases of the novel coronavirus, including 572 deaths. Authorities have extended the closure of Khartoum's international airport until July 12.