World News in Brief: July 17

Saturday, 2021-07-17 18:29:11
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Vendors resume business as the COVID-19 restrictions ease at one of the oldest market in Bangalore, India, July 16, 2021. (Str/Xinhua)
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The top priority for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders is "achieving widespread access for vaccines globally and working collaboratively to provide them to everyone as soon as possible," New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday.

* Philippine ruling party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), elected Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi as the new president during a national assembly convened by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday.

* Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was sworn in on Saturday for a seven-year term in office following his successful re-election in May.

* China administered about 11 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines on July 16, taking the total to 1.437 billion doses, data from the National Health Commission showed on Saturday.

* Russia reported 25,116 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, including 4,561 in Moscow, taking the official national tally since the pandemic began to 5,933,115.

* India on Saturday reported 38,079 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 31.06 million, health ministry data showed. The number of deaths rose by 560, taking the total to 413,091, according to ministry data.

* Some 92 Cuban doctors and nurses who lent a hand to Mexico during the pandemic in recent months have been flown home, Mexico's foreign ministry said.

* The Delta variant of COVID-19 is now the dominant strain worldwide, accompanied by a surge of deaths around the United States almost entirely among unvaccinated people, US officials said.

* Thailand is looking to introduce more restrictions on movement as authorities on Saturday reported record numbers of new cases and deaths, despite partial lockdowns in Bangkok and nine other provinces this week.

* The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported on Saturday 6,040 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 1,502,359. The death toll climbed to 26,598 after 122 more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH said.

* Rescue workers searched flood-ravaged parts of western Germany for survivors on Saturday as water levels remained high in many towns and houses continued to collapse in the country's worst natural disaster in half a century. At least 133 people have died in the flooding, including some 90 people in the Ahrweiler district south of Cologne, according to police estimates on Saturday. Hundreds of people are still missing.

* Record high temperatures in northwestern United States had caused a surge in heat-related illness and hospital visits, according to a study released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Friday.

* Emergency services in the Netherlands remained on high alert on Saturday as overflowing rivers threatened towns and villages throughout the southern province of Limburg.

* United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed warned on Friday that the world is facing a "bloody surge" in humanitarian crises, while calling on member states and the Security Council to do everything possible to end attacks on humanitarians and assets.

* India has ordered 660 million vaccine doses for August-December, its largest procurement, local news reports said.

* Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has signed a law authorizing the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines by veterinary facilities, as well as the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

* Moscow residents will no longer have to present a QR code showing they have been vaccinated or have immunity in order to sit inside cafes, restaurants and bars from July 19.

* Nearly 50 African countries will receive 25 million COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by the United States, US officials and the Gavi vaccine alliance said.

* The US health regulator will review Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE's application for full approval of their COVID-19 vaccine in people 16 years and older by January, the companies said.

* France reported more than 10,000 new cases again due to the rapid spread of the more contagious Delta variant. The country's health authority said it should consider whether to make vaccination mandatory for the general public.

* Spain's two-week contagion rate rose to 537 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on Friday, as the country struggled to cope with a surge in cases.

* The Australian city of Sydney on Saturday ordered a shutdown of building sites, banned non-essential retail and threatened fines for employers who make staff come into the office as new COVID-19 cases kept rising three weeks into a citywide lockdown.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,608 to 3,743,389, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday. The reported death toll rose by 22 to 91,359, the tally showed.

* Canada reported 389 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the cumulative total to 1,422,641, including 26,489 deaths, according to CTV.

* Britain has recorded more than 50,000 new daily coronavirus cases, the highest number since mid-January, according to official data released Friday.

* Greece imposed restrictions allowing only vaccinated people to be served at indoor restaurants, bars and cafes.

* Israel's health ministry announced on Friday that all passengers entering Israeli borders will have to go through a mandatory quarantine. The new regulation starts from Friday, the ministry added.

Xinhua,Reuters