World News in Brief: May 19

Tuesday, 2020-05-19 15:18:27
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Workers from US auto parts maker Aptiv Plc arrive at the plant during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico May 18, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)
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Authorities in eastern India and Bangladesh were relocating tens of thousands of villagers away from the coastline on Tuesday (May 19) ahead of a super cyclone that is expected to inflict large-scale damage as both countries struggle to contain the coronavirus.

* Thailand on Tuesday confirmed two new coronavirus cases and no additional deaths, bringing its total to 3,033 infections, a senior official said. There have been 56 deaths since the outbreak began in January and 2,857 patients have recovered.

* Coronavirus cases in India reached 100,000 on Tuesday, matching its number of intensive care beds, and the rate of increase of new infections showed little sign of slowing. India reported 4,970 new cases over the previous 24 hours, taking its total to 101,139. Deaths rose by 134 to 3,163.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany rose by 513 to 175,210, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday, with new infections accelerating after decelerating the previous four days. The reported death toll rose by 72 to 8,007, the tally showed.

* The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday (May 18) reported 1,480,349 cases of the coronavirus, and said the number of deaths had risen to 89,407. Over the weekend, the CDC updated its case count to 1,467,065 and said 88,709 people had died across the country, but that the numbers were preliminary and had not been confirmed by individual states.

* France reported a small dip in the daily tally of new coronavirus deaths on Monday, though it also saw a slight uptick in confirmed cases, a week after authorities started easing lockdown restrictions. It reported 131 further fatalities over the past 24 hours from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, or a slowing increase of 0.5%, bringing the total death tally to 28,239.

* Thailand's cabinet approved a plan to restructure troubled Thai Airways International Pcl's finances through a bankruptcy court, the Southeast Asian country's prime minister said on Tuesday. The plan for a court-led restructuring of the national carrier replaces a previous proposal of a government-funded rescue package that was heavily criticised in the country. The state-controlled airline's troubles are the latest example of how the coronavirus pandemic is crippling the global airline industry.

* France's foreign minister said European Union countries which are skeptical about a Franco-German proposal for a EUR 500 billion (US$546 billion) coronavirus recovery fund should back it or risk making it even harder to get out of the crisis.

* The number of new coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic showed its biggest daily rise in four weeks and climbed above 100 for the first time this month, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday. The ministry said 111 new cases had been recorded on Monday, bringing the total in the central European country to 8,586. It reported no new deaths, leaving the toll at 297.

* Poland could re-open its borders on June 15, before lifting all remaining coronavirus curbs on July 1, Deputy Prime Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz told the Puls Biznesu daily in an interview published on Tuesday. In a separate interview with state radio, Michal Dworczyk, the chief of staff to the prime minister, said he hoped the Polish presidential election would be held on June 28.

* Deaths from the coronavirus in Latin America have surpassed 30,000, a Reuters tally showed on Monday. The figure represents 9.61% of all deaths worldwide, according to data compiled by Reuters.

* Brazil recorded 674 new coronavirus deaths on Monday, the health ministry said, and announced a total of 254,220 confirmed cases, overtaking Britain to become the country with the third highest number of infections. There are now 16,792 people who have died from the outbreak, the health ministry said.

* Qatar will close all shops and halt all commercial activities, from May 19 to May 30, to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, state news agency QNA said on Monday, citing a decision by Qatar's Cabinet. The closure excludes pharmacies, food supply stores and food deliveries.

* Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said on Monday that 309 people have died of pneumonia since January in the Central American country, 87 more people than in the same period last year, but that only some deaths were linked to the coronavirus. Nicaraguan authorities have reported only eight deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and 25 total cases of infection.

* Mexico registered 2,414 new cases of the coronavirus and 155 more deaths on Monday, the health ministry said, raising its overall number of infections since Mexico recorded its first cases in late February to 51,633. The country has tallied 5,332 overall deaths from the virus.

* A rocket landed on an empty house inside the heavily fortified green zone in Baghdad without causing any casualties, military statement said on Tuesday. The rocket was launched from an eastern district of Baghdad, according to the statement.