World News in Brief: May 10

Sunday, 2020-05-10 18:15:34
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Russian President Vladimir Putin makes an address near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Victory Day, which marks the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in central Moscow, Russia May 9, 2020. (Photo: Sputnik/Kremlin via Reuters)
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President Vladimir Putin told Russians on Saturday (May 9) they are invincible when they stand together as he presided over celebrations of victory in World War Two that were slimmed down because of the coronavirus outbreak. His speech, beamed to the nation, sent a message of unity as the Kremlin tries to contain the coronavirus after Russia passed Germany and France to register the fifth-highest number of cases globally.

* China's National Health Commission reported 14 new confirmed coronavirus cases on May 9, the highest number since April 28, including the first for more than a month in the city of Wuhan where the outbreak was first detected late last year. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in mainland China reached 82,901 as of May 9, while the total death toll from the virus stood at 4,633, according to the commission.

* The Russian authorities said on Sunday (May 10) they had recorded 11,012 new cases of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, bringing the nationwide tally to 209,688. Russia's coronavirus taskforce said 88 people had died in the past day, pushing the national death toll to 1,915.

* Japanese Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Sunday the government is looking to lift the state of emergency in "many of 34 prefectures" that are not among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic before the nationwide deadline of May 31. About 15,777 coronavirus infections and 624 deaths have been confirmed in the country as of Sunday, excluding cases from a cruise ship previously quarantined in Yokohama, according to NHK.

* The number of people who have died from coronavirus infections in France rose by 80 to 26,310 on Saturday, the health ministry said, a much smaller daily increase than the previous day when it was 243. The number of people in hospital with the coronavirus also fell, to 22,614 from 22,724, continuing an uninterrupted three-week fall, and down 30% from an April 14 peak of 32,292. France will start lifting its almost two-month-old national lockdown from Monday.

* Spain's daily death toll from the coronavirus fell to 143 on Sunday, down from 179 the previous day, the health ministry reported. It marks the lowest daily death toll since mid-March. Overall deaths rose to 26,621 from 26,478 on Saturday and the number of diagnosed cases rose to 224,390 from 223,578 the day before, the ministry said.

* New coronavirus infections are accelerating again in Germany just days after its leaders loosened social restrictions, raising concerns that the pandemic could once again slip out of control. The Robert Koch Institute said on Sunday the confirmed number of new coronavirus cases had increased by a daily 667 to 169,218, while the daily death toll had risen by 26 to 7,395.

* The British government wants to slowly and cautiously restart the economy, housing minister Robert Jenrick said on Sunday ahead of a televised address from the prime minister to set out plans to begin easing the coronavirus lockdown measures. Jenrick said the easing of the lockdown would be conditional on keeping the spread of the virus under control, and if the rate of infection begins to increase in some areas, more stringent measures could be re-introduced.

* Thailand reported five new coronavirus cases but no deaths on Sunday, bringing the total to 3,009 cases and 56 deaths since the outbreak started in the country in January. Slowing numbers of new cases have prompted Thailand to allow some businesses to reopen after weeks of semi-lockdown.

* Malaysian health authorities on Sunday reported 67 new coronavirus cases, bringing the cumulative total to 6,656. The health ministry reported no new deaths, with total fatalities at 108.

* The Philippines' health ministry on Sunday confirmed 184 new coronavirus cases, taking the Southeast Asian nation's total reported infections to 10,794. Fifteen more deaths related to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new virus, were recorded, bringing the toll to 719, while 82 patients have recovered to bring total recoveries to 1,924, it said in a bulletin.

* Singapore registered 876 new coronavirus infections, its health ministry said on Sunday, taking the city-state's total to 23,336 cases.

* Thousands of soldiers marched in Belarus on Saturday to celebrate the Soviet victory in World War Two, as President Alexander Lukashenko rejected calls for lockdown measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic. There are 21,107 confirmed coronavirus cases in Belarus, with 121 deaths.

* Iran is ready for a full prisoner exchange with the United States, Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei was quoted as saying by Khabaronline news website on Sunday, adding that Washington has yet to respond to Iran's call on a prisoner swap.

* Kyrgyzstan will end the toughest restrictions it introduced to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, such as curfews, and allow certain businesses to reopen from Monday, the Central Asian nation's government said on Sunday. The former Soviet republic will in the meantime keep in place lockdown regulations barring travel between provinces, the cabinet said. Kyrgyzstan has confirmed 1,002 COVID-19 cases, of which 12 have died and 675 people have recovered.

* Coronavirus patients were being turned away from hospitals in the Mexican capital on Saturday, as both public and private medical facilities quickly fill up and the number of new infections continues to rise. Public health officials have confirmed at least 31,522 infections and 3,160 deaths to date, although both figures almost certainly undercount the true extent of the outbreak in Mexico due to very limited testing.

* Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez said on Saturday that talks with bondholders to restructure US$65 billion of the country's foreign debt would continue with the two sides still deadlocked over what the final offer should look like. Fernandez tweeted that he and economy minister Martin Guzman continued to "dialogue in good faith" with creditors with the aim of reaching a sustainable agreement after a deadline to do so expired on Friday.

* Confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in Panama reached 8,282 on Saturday, a rise of 212 from the previous day, and deaths climbed by six to 237, the health ministry said.