World News in Brief: July 12

Sunday, 2020-07-12 16:22:35
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Rescue personnel evacuate students trapped in floodwaters from a middle school in Duchang county, Jiujiang city of Jiangxi province, July 8, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
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China on Sunday (July 12) raised its flood response alert to the second highest grade as downpours continued to batter regions along the Yangtze River, with the eastern provinces of Jiangsu and Jiangxi among the worst hit, state media reported. Regional flooding in the Poyang county of Jiangxi has made water levels of China's Lake Poyang, its biggest freshwater lake, surge to above 22.52 meters, a historical high and well above the alert level of 19.50 metres. China has a four-tier flood control emergency response system, with level one representing the most severe.

* Brazil's mayors and governors need to reopen the country for business, said President Jair Bolsonaro on July 10 in an online broadcast. The president emphasized that a potential economic crisis is more dangerous than the novel coronavirus, warning the consequences will be harmful to the country.

* US President Donald Trump was seen wearing a mask while visiting a military hospital near Washington, DC, on Saturday (July 11), the first time he did so on camera since the coronavirus pandemic broke out in the country. Trump has been refusing to wear a mask himself since the pandemic broke out, citing his good health and frequent negative tests for the virus.

* Russia on Sunday reported 6,615 new coronavirus cases, taking its nationwide tally of infections to 727,162. The country's coronavirus crisis response centre said 130 people had died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 11,335. Russia said 501,061 people have recovered from the virus.

* Brazil, the world's No. 2 coronavirus hotspot after the United States, recorded 1,071 new deaths from the outbreak on Saturday, with a total of 1,839,850 confirmed cases, the Health Ministry said. Brazil has now recorded a total of 71,469 deaths, the ministry said.

* Mexico's Health Ministry on Saturday reported 6,094 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 539 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 295,268 cases and 34,730 deaths.

* The Venezuelan government on Friday prolonged the country's state of emergency for a month, the fourth time in a row, due to the COVID-19 crisis. The state of emergency, declared on March 13, will run through Aug. 10 in accordance with the presidential decree. Venezuela has reported 8,803 COVID-19 cases so far, with 83 fatalities, far fewer than other Latin American neighbors like Brazil. But its cases have surged at a brisker pace recently.

* Spain's southern Autonomous Community of Andalusia will become the fourth region in the country to make wearing face masks obligatory both indoors and outdoors, regional leader Juan Manuel Moreno confirmed on Saturday. The largest autonomous community in Spain will follow the example of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Extremadura in adopting the measure to curb local COVID-19 outbreaks. Spain saw 2,944 new COVID-19 cases from July 3 to July 10, compared to 2,028 during the previous week and 1,758 two weeks ago, according to the country's Health Ministry.

* Republic of Korea reported 44 more cases of the COVID-19 as of 0:00 a.m. Sunday local time compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 13,417. Of the new cases, 23 were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 1,829. It continued to increase in double digits for 17 straight days. One more death was confirmed, raising the death toll at 289. The total fatality rate stood at 2.15 percent.

* One new case of COVID-19 was reported in managed isolation facilities in New Zealand, said New Zealand Ministry of Health on Sunday. The new case brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 1,194, which is the number New Zealand reported to the World Health Organization. The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 25. There is no one in the country receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19.

* Pakistan has opened two key trade routes with neighbor Afghanistan that will help boost bilateral trade, Pakistani officials said on Saturday. Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistani Prime Minister's Special Representative for Afghanistan, said the Angor Adda crossing with Afghanistan in South Waziristan tribal district was opened on Friday, two days ahead of its scheduled opening. Meanwhile, officials in Kurram tribal district said that the Kharlachi border crossing was opened on Saturday.

* Chile reported on Saturday that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country has risen to 312,029, with 6,881 deaths. According to the Ministry of Health, 2,755 new cases and 100 more deaths from the virus were registered in the past 24 hours. The ministry also reported that there are currently 24,034 active cases of COVID-19, and that 281,114 people have recovered from the disease.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 248 to 198,804, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported COVID-19 death toll rose by three to 9,063, the tally showed.

* The United Kingdom's death toll from confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to 44,798, up 148 on the previous day, the government said on Saturday.

* The number of positive COVID-19 patients in Sri Lanka surpassed 2,500 on Sunday after 43 new patients were detected mainly from a drug rehabilitation center in the north central part of the country, the government information department said. The number of patients reached 2,511 on Sunday morning out of which 1,980 patients have recovered and been successfully discharged. Sri Lanka has reported 11 deaths from the virus.

* Kyrgyzstan reported a record high of 719 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, raising the national count to 10,629. The Republican Headquarters for the Prevention of the Spread of COVID-19 said that the new cases were recorded after 2,479 laboratory tests were conducted across the country during the past 24 hours. The headquarters also confirmed seven more deaths during the day, raising the death toll to 132.

* Dubai has announced a new package worth AED1.5 billion (US$408 million) to help the economy cope with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the crown prince of the emirate, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum, said on Twitter on Saturday. The package is the third announced by Dubai, the second-largest and second-wealthiest member of the United Arab Emirates federation. The three packages are worth a total of AED6.3 billion, Sheikh Hamdan said.

* The Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar said on Saturday the country's oil fields and ports are "closed until the orders of the Libyan people are implemented", indicating a blockade on exports will continue.

* A total of 16 people including 12 militants and four policemen have been killed as clash erupted in Pato district of the relatively peaceful central Daikundi province in Afghanistan on Sunday, deputy to provincial police chief Naqibullah Malistani said. Taliban militants have yet to make comment.