World News in Brief: June 19

Friday, 2020-06-19 14:15:12
 Font Size:     |        Print

German clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccine approved
 Font Size:     |  

The first trial results of a coronavirus vaccine being developed by CureVac are expected in two months, German news website Focus Online reported on Friday (June 19). CureVac, an unlisted German company, this week said first meaningful results could be available in September or October and, under favourable conditions, it could be approved by the middle of next year.

* People in Singapore reunited with lovers and friends on Friday as the city-state lifted strict curbs on socialising, shopping and dining out after more than two months of lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many residents have been forbidden from mixing with those outside their families since early April under measures to contain infections that have topped 41,000 - one of Asia's highest tallies.

* Thailand on Friday reported five new coronavirus cases, all of which were found in quarantine, making it 25 days without a confirmed domestic transmission of the virus. Thailand has recorded 58 deaths related to COVID-19 among some 3,146 confirmed cases, of which 3,008 patients have recovered.

* In much of Cuba, restaurants welcomed back customers on Thursday (June 18) while families escaped cities for the beaches as the government started to ease the Caribbean island's three-month-old lockdown restrictions after curbing the coronavirus outbreak there. Only the capital and neighboring Matanzas province have reported new cases in recent weeks.

* The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday reported 2,155,572 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 22,834 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 754 to 117,632.

* Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in on Friday accepted the resignation of the minister responsible for relations with Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as tensions with Pyongyang rise over the activities of defectors in the South and stalled diplomacy. ROK Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul, who oversees engagement with the DPRK, offered on Wednesday to step down, making himself accountable for the worsening ties.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 770 to 188,534, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday. The reported death toll rose by 16 to 8,872, the tally showed.

* The Australian government and other organisations are being targeted by a "sophisticated state-based cyber actor", Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday. The attacks have targeted all levels of the government, political organisations, essential service providers and operators of other critical infrastructure, Morrison said in a media briefing in Canberra.

* Egypt said it registered 1,218 new cases of the new coronavirus on Thursday, edging the total number of cases up to more than 50,000 a fortnight before it is set to further ease restrictions. The Arab world's most populous nation closed itself off in March to curb the spread of the disease, shutting schools, restaurants and halting almost all international flights.

* Canada officially racked up 100,000 cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday and although the outbreak is slowing, health experts said major challenges remain. Authorities admit they were not prepared for how fast the pandemic ripped through nursing homes, where more than 80% of the deaths occurred.

* Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Thursday that "an agreeable solution is possible" for the U.N. nuclear watchdog's request for access to two nuclear sites in the country. France, Britain and Germany, all parties to Iran's nuclear deal with major powers, have submitted a draft resolution to the International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors calling on Iran to stop denying the agency access to two old sites and to cooperate fully with it, diplomats taking part in an IAEA virtual meeting said.

* The number of people who died from coronavirus infection in France rose by 28 to 29,603 on Thursday, the same increase as Wednesday, but the number of new confirmed cases crept up again to reach a five-day high. Those cases rose by 467, at 158,641, a figure above the daily average of 440 seen over the last seven days. Since the beginning of the month of June, that average stands at 383.

* Hungary's government will take the necessary legal and economic measures to protect lives in case there is a second wave of the novel coronavirus epidemic, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state radio on Friday.

* Kuwait's cabinet decided on Thursday to eases curfew hours to start from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. effective June 21, Kuwait TV citing government spokesman's live conference. The cabinet also decided to extend working with the first phase in a 5-phases plan to go back to normal life for one more week, also total lockdown on Hawally area has been lifted.

* Concerned about the biggest rise in new cases of coronavirus in seven weeks, Slovenia will introduce an obligatory 14-day quarantine from Friday for most people coming from Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo, the government said on Thursday. So far the country has confirmed a total of 1,511 cases and 109 deaths.

* Azerbaijan has extended coronavirus lockdown restrictions, including the closure of its borders, until Aug. 1, the government said on Thursday. It said people in big cities, including the capital Baku, would be allowed to leave their homes only with special permission from June 21 until July 5, after the number of COVID-19 infections rose.

* A landslide on the outskirts of Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan in the early hours of Thursday caused by heavy rains killed at least 13 people, the defence minister said. The landslide occurred on the northern outskirts of Abidjan, where some neighbourhoods saw more than three times as much rain between June 12 and 15 than is usual, according to Ivory Coast's weather service.