World News in Brief: June 13

Saturday, 2020-06-13 15:38:35
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People travel inside a bus while the Mexico's government ask to the citizens hold social distancing as a measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Mexico City, Mexico June 9, 2020. (File photo: Reuters)
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The mayor of Mexico City said on Friday (June 12) the Mexican capital will next week lift restrictions on car traffic and public transport, and allow 340,000 factory works to get back to work, even though new cases of coronavirus are still rising. Mexico City and the adjacent urban sprawl are home to more than 21 million people, and the region accounts for more than 40% of some 139,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country. On Friday Mexico reported a record of more than 5,000 new cases along with 504 additional fatalities on Friday, bringing the total in the country to 139,196 cases and 16,448 deaths.

* Brazil's COVID-19 death toll overtook Britain's on Friday to become the second highest in the world with 41,828 dead, but the World Health Organization said the nation's health system was standing up to the pressure. The system as such from the data we see is not overwhelmed," the WHO's top emergencies expert Dr. Mike Ryan said, with few areas of Brazil using more than 80% of their hospitals' intensive care bed capacity. The Ministry of Health reported on Friday a cumulative total of 828,810 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 25,982 new infections in the last 24 hours, and another 909 deaths, numbers second only to the United States.

* US health officials on Friday urged Americans to continue adhering to social distancing and other COVID-19 safety measures, and warned that states may need to reimpose strict restrictions if COVID-19 cases spike. In recent weeks, experts have raised concerns that the reopening of the US economy could lead to a fresh wave of infections. About half a dozen states, including Texas and Arizona, are grappling with a rising number of coronavirus patients filling hospital beds.

* Russia on Saturday (June 13) reported 8,706 new coronavirus cases, bringing its cumulative infection tally to 520,129. The authorities said 114 people had died of the virus in the last 24 hours, raising the official national death toll to 6,829.

* France will lift restrictions at its borders for EU travellers on June 15, the French Interior and Foreign ministries said in a statement on Friday. Travellers from the member states of the European Union, as well as from Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and Vatican will also be able to enter the French territory without restrictions, the statement said.

* Singapore reports 347 new coronavirus cases, taking total to 40,197, according to the Health Ministry on June 13.

* Police in Nepal arrested 10 people, including seven foreigners, on Saturday as demonstrations against the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis continued with hundreds of protesters gathering in the capital city Kathmandu, officials said. The Himalayan nation imposed a complete lockdown in March after reporting its second confirmed coronavirus case. But the number of infections have since increased to 5,062, with 16 deaths, and the government has come under fire for not doing enough to contain the outbreak.

* Australia's largest state of New South Wales on Saturday reported its first locally transmitted COVID-19 case since late May, a sign the threat from the pandemic is far from over as social distancing restrictions continue to be eased. The state recorded four new coronavirus cases overnight, taking the total number in Australia to nearly 7,300. Australia has so far been successful in curbing the spread of the coronavirus, with many parts of the country claiming to have eliminated the disease already. The country has reported 102 deaths and is on track to fully re-open its economy by next month.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 348 to 186,022, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday. The reported death toll rose by 18 to 8,781 the tally showed.

* Egypt on Friday confirmed 1,577 new coronavirus cases, the health ministry said, the highest daily increase in almost two weeks. In total, the Arab world's most populous country has registered 41,303 cases including 1,422 deaths, the ministry said in a statement.

* Slovenia will open its borders for citizens of Montenegro and neighbouring Italy on June 15, the government said in a statement on Friday. It also said it will from Saturday introduce an obligatory 14-day quarantine for most people coming to Slovenia from 31 states where the epidemiologic situation has worsened over the past weeks, including Sweden, Britain, Russia, United States and Brasil.

* Thousands of people across Australia attended Black Lives Matter protests on Saturday wearing masks and practising social distancing amid warnings from state leaders to call off the events on fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections. The rallies, dominated by a heavy police presence, were mostly peaceful.

* Pakistan on Friday announced its annual budget for financial year 2020-21, setting ambitious targets of 2.1% GDP growth, a 7% fiscal deficit and an increase in tax revenues, even as it reels from a surge in novel coronavirus cases. The GDP target is much higher than a recent World Bank projection that Pakistan will have another year of negative growth at -0.2%, while the fiscal deficit is much lower than the 9.4% it is expected to hit in the current year. Official statistics showed a record 6,397 new cases and 107 deaths on Thursday, taking the tally to 125,933 cases and 2,463 fatalities.

Reuters