World News in Brief: July 10

Friday, 2020-07-10 15:13:49
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In April, the two multilateral institutions already held the 2020 IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings in a virtual format.
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The 2020 annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group will likely be held in a primarily virtual format, the leaders of the two institutions announced Thursday (July 9). In a joint statement, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank Group President David Malpass said they are recommending the annual meetings, scheduled for Oct. 12-18, be held in a "primarily virtual format," given the ongoing health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

* More than 12.3 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 553,813 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

* Chinese health authority said Friday (July 10) that it received reports of four new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Thursday and all of them were imported. By the end of Thursday, a total of 1,962 imported cases had been reported on the mainland. Of them, 1,891 had been discharged from hospitals after recovery, and 71 remained hospitalized, with no one in serious conditions. No deaths from the imported cases had been reported.

* The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday reported 3,047,671 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 64,771 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 991 to 132,056.

* Brazil recorded 42,619 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours as well as 1,220 deaths, the Health Ministry said on Thursday. Brazil has registered more than 1.7 million cases since the pandemic began, while cumulative deaths total 69,184, according to the ministry.

* Mexico on Thursday posted a fresh record for new coronavirus cases reported on a single day, with 7,280 cases, bringing its overall tally of infections to 282,283, health ministry data showed. The country also recorded 730 additional fatalities, bringing its overall death toll to 33,526.

* Japan's economy minister said on Friday that new measures were needed to prevent a further spread of coronavirus infections in night clubs and bars, which have emerged as a hot-spot since the country lifted a state of emergency in late May.

* US Army Chief of Staff General James McConville met with Thailand's prime minister and its army chief on Friday, in the first high-level visit by a foreign delegation to Thailand since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted international travel. The US delegation visited under a special arrangement to follow strict coronavirus safety measures that required members to wear face masks.

* The scheduled video conference of European Union (EU) economy and finance ministers on Friday is expected to focus on COVID-19's economic impact and EU's recovery measures, according to the meeting's agenda. The ministers will exchange views on the progress achieved on the measures to respond to the COVID-19 crisis at the EU level, including the safety nets of the European Investment Bank, the European Stability Mechanism and SURE (support to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency), according to the agenda.

* German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday called on the Europeans to take courageous reforms before she discussed with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte the European Union's post-pandemic recovery fund. Aid not linked to reforms or an orientation not towards the future would ultimately not help, Merkel said at the joint press conference with Rutte before their meeting.

* US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that the United States is "very hopeful" to continue dialogue with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) at various levels, though the latter has signaled its unwillingness to do so. President Donald Trump suggested earlier this week that he is open to another summit with DPRK Chairman Kim Jong Un.

* Australia's second most populous state of Victoria said on Friday the number of its new coronavirus infections had hit a daily record. State Premier Daniel Andrews, who said 288 new cases were detected in the last 24 hours, urged residents of metropolitan areas of Melbourne to wear masks outdoors.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 395 to 198,178, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday. The reported death toll rose by six to 9,054, the tally showed.

* The US Department of Transportation said it has revoked permission for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to conduct charter flights to the United States, citing Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) concerns over Pakistani pilot certifications. The information is contained in a revocation of special authorisation dated July 1 provided by the department to Reuters on Friday.

* Three days of intensive behind-the-scenes Brexit talks concluded Thursday in London. Britain's chief negotiator David Frost and the European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and their teams had been locked in informal discussions in the British capital since Tuesday.

* Hotel stays in Italy plunged by 80.6 percent in June 2020 compared with the same month last year, the Italian Federation of Hotel and Tourism Associations (Federalberghi) said in a statement Thursday. Flows from abroad are still paralyzed, down 93.2 percent, while the domestic market is "well beyond the alarm threshold", plummeting 67.2 percent, Federalberghi said.

* Algeria will reimpose travel restrictions on Friday and increase testing in a bid to stop a rise in novel coronavirus infections, the government said on Thursday. The North African country has reported 17,708 confirmed infections and 988 deaths.

* Egypt confirmed on Thursday 950 new COVID-19 infections and 53 fatalities, bringing the total cases registered in the country to 79,254 and the death toll to 3,617, said the health ministry. A record 1,774 daily infections was seen in Egypt on June 19.

* Jeanine Anez, head of Bolivia's opposition-backed interim government, said Thursday that she has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be in quarantine. As of Wednesday night, Bolivia had 42,984 coronavirus cases, with 1,577 deaths and 12,883 recoveries.

* The Bulgarian Health Ministry on Friday morning reported a record high of 330 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the national tally to 6,672. The previous daily record of new cases, 240, was reported on Thursday. The nationwide death toll now stands at 262 after three more patients died in the last 24 hours, the ministry said.

* Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Friday he may sack his cabinet if its second, two-week lockdown fails to curb the coronavirus outbreak in the oil-rich Central Asian nation. Kazakhstan, which imposed a new lockdown on July 5, has confirmed almost 55,000 COVID-19 infections, including 264 deaths. The number of new cases rose on Thursday to a daily record of 1,962 before declining to 1,726 on Friday.