World News in Brief: June 28

Sunday, 2020-06-28 10:52:24
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A researcher works in a lab at the Duke-NUS Medical School, which is developing a way to track genetic changes that speed testing vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Singapore March 23, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)
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Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday (June 28) that a global pandemic requires a coordinated global response, especially in scientific research and government actions. He wrote that Singapore has been doing its part collecting and analyzing data on the COVID-19, in order to better understand this new threat. "But our efforts alone are not enough," he added.

* Chinese health authority said Sunday it received reports of 17 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Saturday (June 27), including 14 domestically transmitted and three imported ones. As of Saturday, the overall confirmed cases on the mainland had reached 83,500, including 415 patients who were still being treated, with eight in severe condition. Altogether 78,451 people had been discharged after recovery and 4,634 people had died of the disease, the the National Health Commission said.

* Five states of the US hit record daily highs for coronavirus cases on Saturday, and Vice President Mike Pence canceled planned campaign events in hard-hit areas as the virus surged in the US South and West, halting economic reopening plans. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Saturday reported 2,459,472 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 44,602 cases from its previous count, and said the number of deaths had risen by 651 to 124,976.

* Brazil recorded 38,693 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours and 1,109 additional deaths, the Health Ministry said on Saturday. The nation has now registered 1,313,667 total confirmed cases of the virus and 57,070 deaths.

* Mexico's health ministry on Saturday reported 4,410 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 602 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 212,802 cases and 26,381 deaths. The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

* The British government is considering imposing a lockdown in the city of Leicester after a surge of coronavirus cases there, the Sunday Times newspaper reported, citing senior government sources. Health Secretary Matt Hancock is examining a legislation required for the shutdown after it was disclosed that Leicester, a city of around 350,000 people in the East Midlands, has had over 650 COVID-19 cases in the fortnight to June 16, the newspaper reported.

* Cambodia on Sunday confirmed two new imported COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 141, according to a Health Ministry's press statement. The Southeast Asian country has recorded a total of 141 confirmed COVID-19 cases to date, with 129 patients cured and 12 remained hospitalized, said Vandine.

* Myanmar government announced late Saturday further extension of preventive measures against COVID-19 until July 15. The total number of COVID-19 cases in Myanmar has increased to 296, with three more confirmed cases reported on Sunday morning, according to a release from the Ministry of Health and Sports. As of Sunday morning, a total of 71,692 samples were tested for COVID-19 and 5,878 patients are under investigation at present, the ministry's figures said.

* Malaysia reported another 10 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, pushing the national total to 8,616, the Health Ministry said. Another 14 cases have been discharged, bringing the total cured and discharged to 8,308 or 96.4 percent of all cases. Among the 187 remaining cases, two are being held in intensive care and none are in need of assisted breathing. No new deaths had been reported, leaving the total deaths at 121.

* Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 291 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 43,246. Of the new cases, 97 percent are linked to known clusters, while the rest are pending contact tracing. A total of 338 more cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 37,163 have fully recovered and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities, the ministry said. The country has reported 26 deaths due to COVID-19 infection.

* The Italian Health Ministry said Saturday that 97 COVID-19 patients are in the ICU, of whom almost half, or 43 patients, are in the northern Lombardy region. Eight people succumbed to the virus over the past 24 hours (compared to 30 victims on Friday), pushing the overall death toll to 34,716.

* New Zealand reported four new cases of COVID-19 overnight, said the Ministry of Health in a statement on Sunday. The current total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand is 1,176, which is the number New Zealand report to the World Health Organization.

* The COVID-19 pandemic has now spread in all 77 districts of Nepal as cases in the Himalayan country surpassed 12,000, a senior official of Nepal's Ministry of Health and Population said. On Saturday, Nepali government reported 554 new cases as the number of cases reached 12,309. Nepal has been witnessing a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases since May.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 256 to 193,499, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll rose by three to 8,957.

* The Brazilian Ministry of Health announced on Saturday an agreement with the United Kingdom to acquire technology to locally produce a vaccine against COVID-19 that is currently being developed by the University of Oxford and British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

* Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has been elected as new prime minister of Ireland in a vote held here on Saturday at a special meeting of the lower house of the Irish parliament. Announcing the voting results, Sean O Fearghail, speaker of the lower house of the Irish parliament, said that Micheal Martin received 93 votes in favor of his nomination for the country's new prime minister with 63 votes against and three abstentions.

* Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Saturday reported 1,372 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of the infections to 195,883. In a single day, 17 more patients died, taking the death toll to 5,082 in Turkey, the minister tweeted. Turkey conducted 45,213 tests for coronavirus in the last 24 hours, bringing the overall number of tests carried out so far to 3,231,835, he said.

* The Peruvian Health Ministry reported Saturday 3,625 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the national tally to 275,989 with a total of 9,135 deaths. A total of 10,762 people are still hospitalized, including 1,169 in intensive care units, according to the ministry.

* The Chilean Ministry of Health raised on Saturday the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus to 267,766, with 5,347 deaths. Of the number of new cases, 3,481 presented symptoms and 426 were asymptomatic, while the situation of the other 499 cases is still unknown.

* The Israeli Ministry of Health reported 621 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the highest daily number since April 2, taking the tally to 23,421. The number of death cases has risen to 317, including a 19-year-old patient, the youngest COVID-19 victim in Israel.

* Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye announced on Saturday a series of stricter restrictions against COVID-19 following the rapid increase of infections in the Palestinian territories. Ishtaye made this announcement during a meeting in Ramallah with the heads of the security services.

* Iran and Turkey on Saturday stressed the importance of cooperation on maintaining common border security, official IRNA news agency reported. The remarks were made in a telephone conversation between Iran's Border Guards Commander Ahmad Ali Goodarzi and Commander of Turkey's Gendarmerie Arif Chetin. Chetin expressed hope that mutual coordination and cooperation would lead to a further deepening of friendship between the two nations.

* Local government in India's capital Delhi Saturday issued an advisory on measures to contain and control the menace of desert locusts in its territory. The advisory was issued as swarms entered neighboring Gurugram in the morning and some of them in Delhi's border districts in south and west. Reports said in the afternoon the invading insects were seen attacking farms in Chhatarpur in south Delhi.

* A suspect has been charged with three counts of murder over a knife attack in the English town of Reading on June 20 described by police as a terrorist incident, the Crown Prosecution Service said on Saturday. The suspect in the June 20 attack in Forbury Gardens, a park in Reading, was named as 25-year-old Khairi Saadallah.