World News in Brief: May 8

Friday, 2020-05-08 15:22:24
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A public health campaign message is seen as people walk a dog outside Wembley Stadium, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 7, 2020. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a very limited easing of Britain’s coronavirus lockdown next week, adopting a cautious approach to try to ensure there is no second peak of infections that could further hurt the economy. (Photo: Reuters)
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Two people died and 22 were injured when they fled their homes in panic following an earthquake of magnitude 5.1 that struck northern Iran in the early hours of Friday (May 8), state media said. There were several mild aftershocks, but no serious damage from the quake that struck after midnight on the border of the provinces of Tehran and Mazandaran, authorities said.

* China reported one new coronavirus case for May 7, down from the two cases the day before, data from the national health authority showed on Friday. No new imported cases were recorded on May 7, the National Health Commission said in a statement. China’s total number of coronavirus cases now stands at 82,886, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,633, the national health authority said.

* The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday reported 1,219,066 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 25,253 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 2,495 to 73,297.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,209 to 167,300, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday. The death toll rose by 147 to 7,266, the tally showed.

* The number of new coronavirus cases in Russia rose by 10,699 over the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide tally to 187,859, the coronavirus crisis response centre said on Friday. It was the sixth consecutive day that cases had risen by more than 10,000, but down on Thursday's record daily rise of 11,231. It also reported 98 new fatalities from COVID-19, bringing the total death toll in Russia to 1,723.

* The Republic of Korean health authorities are investigating a small but growing cluster of coronavirus cases linked to a handful of Seoul nightclubs, at a time when the country is moving to less restrictive social distancing measures. At least 15 cases have been identified with connections to clubs in Itaewon, a neighbourhood popular with Koreans and foreigners in the capital, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Friday.

* Japan will look into additional steps to cushion the economic blow from the coronavirus pandemic, its economy minister said on Friday, signalling that more stimulus measures could be forthcoming as the country sinks into deep recession. Japan compiled a record US$1.1 trillion economic stimulus package in April that focused on cash payouts to households and loans to small businesses hurt by the pandemic. Japan has reported over 16,000 coronavirus cases and 603 deaths.

* The Philippines' Health Ministry on Friday recorded 11 new coronavirus deaths and 120 additional confirmed cases. In a bulletin, the ministry said total infections had increased to 10,463 while deaths had reached 696. It added that 116 patients had recovered, bringing total recoveries to 1,734.

* Indonesia is considering plans for a phased resumption of businesses in Southeast Asia's biggest economy from as early as June 1, with the easing of restrictions aimed at curbing the novel coronavirus, government documents showed. The proposals come as medical experts have criticised Indonesia for being slow to respond to the outbreak. Its official death toll of 930 is the highest in East Asia outside China.

* Thailand on Friday reported eight new coronavirus cases but no deaths, bringing the total to 3,000 cases and 55 deaths since the outbreak started in January.

* Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and US President Donald Trump on Friday agreed to cooperate closely on measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including the development of drugs and vaccines, Japan's top government spokesman said.

* Danish museums, amusement parks and cinemas will be allowed to reopen from June 8, the government said on Friday, after it struck a deal with parliament on how restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 could be eased further. In the third phase of its reopening plan, Denmark will also increase the maximum number of people allowed to meet in public to between 30 and 50, up from a 10-person limit, it said.

* Australia will ease social distancing restrictions in a three-step process, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday, as Canberra aims to remove most curbs by July and get nearly 1 million people back to work amid a decline in coronavirus cases. Australia in March imposed strict social distancing restrictions, which coupled with the closure of its borders, are credited with drastically slowing the number of new infections of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

* The Belarusian parliament said on Friday presidential elections would be held on Aug. 9, the news agency Belta reported, with the incumbent Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the country since 1994, widely expected to win a sixth term in office.

* Coronavirus cases in Pakistan surged past 25,000 on Friday, just hours before the government was due to lift lockdown measures, with the country reporting some of the biggest daily increases in new infections in the world. Officials reported 1,764 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours on Friday, taking the total to 25,837. Deaths rose by 30 to 594.

* Mexico's health ministry on Thursday reported 1,982 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 257 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 29,616 cases and 2,961 deaths. The government has said the real number of infected people is significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

* Brazil's Health Ministry on Thursday registered 9,888 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 610 related deaths in the past 24 hours, according to a ministry website. That brought the ministry's total to 135,106 confirmed cases in Brazil, with 9,146 deaths from the COVID-19 respiratory disease – the most deadly outbreak in an emerging market nation.