World News in Brief: May 27

Wednesday, 2020-05-27 16:19:42
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Russia has stepped up its measures to slow the coronavirus pandemic's spread within its borders. (Photo: TASS)
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Russia said on Wednesday (May 27) 161 people with the coronavirus had died in the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide death toll to 3,968. Officials reported 8,338 new cases on Wednesday, pushing Russia's overall case tally to 370,680.

* The euro zone economy is likely to shrink between 8% and 12% this year as it struggles to overcome the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Wednesday. The ECB earlier said the economy could shrink by between 5% and 12%, but speaking in a youth dialogue, Lagarde said that the "mild" scenario is already outdated and the actual outcome would be between the "medium and "severe" scenarios.

* China reported 1 new confirmed coronavirus case in the mainland as of end-May 26, up from 7 a day earlier, the National Health Commission reported. It also reported 28 new asymptomatic cases - patients who are infected but do not show symptoms - versus 29 a day earlier. The total number of cases to date in the mainland stands at 82,993. The death toll remains unchanged at 4,634.

* The Republic of Korea reported the highest daily number of new coronavirus cases in 49 days on Wednesday, as one of the country's largest e-commerce companies battled an outbreak linked to a now-shuttered logistics facility. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 40 new cases as of midnight Tuesday, bringing the country's total number to 11,265. A day earlier the country recorded 19 new cases.

* Finland's number of unemployed jobseekers nearly doubled in April to 433,100 from 229,700 a year earlier, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment said on Wednesday. The number of jobseekers increased by 124,000 in April from the previous month, it said. The spread of the coronavirus has slowed in Finland, with the number of cases per capita well below those of neighbouring Sweden, Norway and Estonia.

* Falling numbers of active coronavirus cases in Australia and New Zealand are paving the way for the easing of travel restrictions between the two countries, health officials said on Wednesday, even as Australia recorded its youngest coronavirus death. In Australia, active COVID-19 cases have dropped below 500 people, while New Zealand's last coronavirus patient was discharged from hospital on Wednesday.

* Poland is preparing for difficult talks with the European Union over a planned recovery fund, a deputy prime minister was quoted on Wednesday as saying, amid government fears that Warsaw may become a net contributor, not a net beneficiary, of the fund.

* China will take necessary countermeasures to foreign interference regarding the new Hong Kong security legislation being deliberated, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday. Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made the remarks during a daily briefing in response to a question about US President Donald Trump's comments that Washington is working on a strong response to the legislation that will be announced before the end of the week.

* Malaysian health authorities on Wednesday reported 15 new coronavirus cases, raising the cumulative total to 7,619 cases. The health ministry also reported no new deaths, keeping total fatalities at 115.

* The Philippines' health ministry on Wednesday reported 18 new coronavirus deaths and 380 additional infections, the highest single-day increase in cases in more than seven weeks. In a bulletin, the ministry said total deaths have reached 904, while confirmed cases have risen to 15,049. It said 94 more patients have recovered, bringing total recoveries to 3,506.

* Thailand on Wednesday reported nine new coronavirus infections, bringing its total to 3,054 confirmed cases. There were no new deaths reported. There are 2,931 patients who have recovered since the outbreak started. The country has recorded 57 deaths.

* Singapore's health ministry on Wednesday reported 533 new coronavirus cases, taking its total to 32,876.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 362 to 179,364, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday. The reported death toll rose by 47 to 8,349, according to the tally.

* Iran's new parliament convened on Wednesday after the Feb. 21 elections under strict health protocols and social distancing rules to ward off the coronavirus in one of the hardest-hit Middle Eastern countries. Iran's health ministry said on Tuesday that the death toll in Iran had reached 7,508 with 139,511 confirmed cases. State TV said all 268 lawmakers who attended the opening ceremony had tested negative for the coronavirus.

* Bulgaria will allow restaurants, bars and cafes to reopen at full capacity on Monday as the Balkan country further eased restrictions imposed in mid-March to stop the spread of the coronavirus. As of Wednesday, Bulgaria has 2,460 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 133 deaths, a relatively low number in Europe.

* The Panama government said on Tuesday that in June it will start to relax some measures imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, permitting sectors such as construction, nonmetallic mining and pharmaceuticals to resume operations.

* Saudi Arabian police in Assir, a region close to the Yemeni border, are investigating after a shooting incident in which six citizens died on Tuesday, state-run news agency SPA reported on Wednesday.