World News in Brief: June 1

Monday, 2020-06-01 16:12:28
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People waiting for information about their relatives at the Regional General Hospital number 2 of the Mexican Institute of Social Security in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo: Reuters)
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Mexico's Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said on Sunday (May 31) there were 151 new coronavirus deaths and 3,152 new cases, for an accumulated total of 9,930 fatalities and 90,664 cases.

* The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday reported a total 1,761,503 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 23,553 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 915 to 103,700.

* Brazil registered 16,409 new cases of novel coronavirus on Sunday, raising the total of infected cases to 514,849 in the second worst outbreak of COVID-19 in the world after the United Sates, the health ministry said. It said there were 480 new deaths reported in the last 24 hours in Brazil, for a total death toll of 29,314, the fourth highest in the global pandemic after the United States, Britain and Italy.

* Malaysian health authorities on Monday (June 1) reported 38 new coronavirus cases, bringing the cumulative total to 7,857 cases. The health ministry also reported no new deaths, keeping total fatalities at 115.

* The Philippine health ministry on Monday reported three new deaths and 552 more confirmed cases of the coronavirus. In a bulletin, the ministry said total deaths increased to 960 and confirmed cases reached 18,638, of which 3,979 have recovered. The government on Monday eased strict quarantine measures in the capital, allowing millions of people to return to work and partially restart the virus-ravaged economy.

* Indonesia reported on Monday 467 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of cases to 26,940, said Health Ministry official Achmad Yurianto. The Southeast Asian country also reported 28 new deaths from COVID-19, taking the total to 1,641. Meanwhile, 7,637 people have recovered as of Monday.

* Italian bond yields edged down on Monday as markets prepared for Thursday's European Central Bank meeting, after posting their best monthly performance since January. Economists expect the ECB to increase its bond-buying, probably by EUR500 billion. The purchases have been a key factor holding down Italy's borrowing costs.

* Several Australian states eased social distancing restrictions further on Monday, allowing restaurants to host more people and public attractions to reopen, as the government moves to revive an ailing economy through accelerated infrastructure spending. Australia has recorded about 7,200 coronavirus cases and 103 deaths. And, with new infections now largely under control, the government has embarked on a three-step plan to remove the bulk of curbs by July.

* The Costa Atlantica cruise ship, which docked in southern Japan with over 100 crew members testing positive for COVID-19, has left the country and is en route to the Philippines, local government officials said on Monday. The ship departed Nagasaki on Sunday over a month after it became the second virus-stricken cruise ship to dock in Japan. The 86,000 tonne Costa Atlantica docked for maintenance in late April carrying no passengers and 623 crew, most of whom were eventually quarantined inside the ship after 149 tested positive. Six remain hospitalised in a non-life-threatening condition, Nagasaki prefecture officials said.

* British Business Secretary Alok Sharma said on Monday that the quarantine for international travellers that has so angered some airlines was important to take care of the health of the country.

* The coronavirus crisis could cause an already constrained Palestinian economy to shrink by as much as 11% in the coming year, the World Bank said on Monday. In a report, the bank also cautioned that the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the occupied West Bank, could face a financing gap of more than US$1.5 billion in 2020 due to reduced revenues and increased health spending. Prior to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the bank had predicted 2.5% growth in the Palestinian economy in the coming year.

* Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Monday said he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, speaking during a Facebook live video. Armenia, with a population of 3 million, had registered 9,402 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Monday and 139 deaths.

* Egypt shortened a night curfew by one hour on Sunday as it recorded new highs in the daily increases in novel coronavirus cases and deaths. The Health Ministry said 1,536 new cases had been confirmed including 46 deaths, bringing total cases to 24,985 and deaths to 959.

* A senior United Arab Emirates official said on Monday that any unilateral move by Israel to annex parts of the occupied West Bank would be a serious setback for the Middle East peace process. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said cabinet discussions would begin on July 1 on his plan to extend Israeli sovereignty to territory Palestinians want for their own state.

* Iran will continue fuel shipments to Venezuela if Caracas requests more supplies, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday, despite Washington's criticism of the trade between the two nations, which are both under US sanctions.

* The Saudi-led coalition has shot down two drones launched by Yemen's Houthi group in the direction of Saudi Arabia, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said, citing a coalition spokesman.