World News in Brief: July 20

Monday, 2020-07-20 15:08:20
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Intense rain and floods in the Indian state of Assam have killed at least 84 people and displaced more than 2.75 million since May, authorities said on Monday (July 20), as they tried to collect the bodies of nine rare rhinos drowned in the past 10 days. Rescue teams were facing a double challenge of rising flood waters amid the novel coronavirus as villagers driven from their homes huddle in shelters.

* Chinese health authority said Monday that it received reports of 22 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Sunday (July 19), of which 17 were domestically transmitted. As of Sunday, the overall confirmed cases on the mainland had reached 83,682, including 249 patients who were still being treated, with five in severe condition. Altogether 78,799 people had been discharged after recovery, and 4,634 had died of the disease.

* The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday reported 67,574 new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 3,698,161. It said the number of deaths had risen by 877 to 139,659.

* Brazil's COVID-19 death toll raced towards 80,000 on Sunday, after 716 deaths in the past 24 hours pushed the total number to 79,488. The number of people who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus reached 2,098,389, after tests detected 23,529 new cases in the same period, the Health Ministry said. Brazil has the world's second-largest outbreak, after the United States, in both numbers of cases and deaths.

* Russia reported 5,940 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, pushing its total infection tally to 777,486, the fourth largest in the world.
In a daily readout, officials said 85 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 12,427.

* Mexico's Health Ministry on Sunday reported 5,311 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 296 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 344,224 cases and 39,184 deaths. The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

* India's federal health ministry Monday morning said 681 new deaths due to COVID-19, besides fresh 40,425 positive cases, were reported during the past 24 hours across the country, taking the number of deaths to 27,497 and total cases to 1,118,043. This is the highest single day spike in terms of new COVID-19 cases in the country so far. Presently the country has entered Unlock 2.0 phase, though restrictions remain in full force inside the COVID-19 Containment Zones.

* Republic of Korea reported 26 more cases of the COVID-19 as of 0:00 a.m. Monday local time compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 13,771. The daily caseload fell below 30 in 25 days, but it continued to increase in double digits due to imported cases. One more death was confirmed, leaving the death toll at 296. The total fatality rate stood at 2.15 percent.

* The euro retreated after hitting a 19-week high of US$1.1467 on Monday after EU summit chairman Charles Michel said a recovery fund to revive economies hit by the COVID-19 pandemic could contain 390 billion euros in grants. EU leaders have made progress in Brussels after three days of talks, but they remain at odds over how to carve up the proposed EUR750 billion (US$858.98 billion) recovery fund designed to help Europe cope with its deepest recession since World War Two. The next level to watch for the euro would be US$1.1495, which would take the currency to a 1-1/2-year high.

* Peru's COVID-19 death toll rose to 13,187 after 189 more patients died of the disease in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health said on Sunday. Also in the 24-hour period, tests detected 4,090 new cases of infection. The healthcare system has to date processed some 2,063,240 tests, with 353,590 positive results, the ministry said in its daily report.

* Chile on Sunday reported 2,082 new COVID-19 cases in a single-day, bringing the total number of people who have tested positive since the outbreak began to 330,930. Also in the past 24 hours, 58 more patients died of the disease, taking the total death toll to 8,503, the Ministry of Health said. Some 20,633 cases are considered to be still active, while a total of 301,794 former COVID-19 sufferers have recovered, the ministry said.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 249 to 201,823, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday. The reported death toll rose by two to 9,086, the tally showed.

* Egypt confirmed on Sunday 603 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total cases registered in the country since mid-February to 87,775, said the Egyptian Health Ministry. Sunday's daily infections marked the lowest since May 19 that witnessed 720 new cases. It is also the 11th consecutive day for Egypt's daily COVID-19 infections to be below 1,000, with a record 1,774 daily infections seen on June 19. Meanwhile, 51 more patients died from the novel coronavirus, the lowest since June 13, raising the death toll to 4,302, the ministry's statement said.

* Australia's second-most populous state of Victoria on Monday recorded one death from the new coronavirus and logged 275 cases of infections compared with 363 cases a day earlier. Coronavirus cases have spiked in Victoria in July, mostly in the city of Melbourne, prompting authorities to ask residents to wear face masks when they step outside their houses or risk fines of AUD200 (US$139.54) for not complying.

* The Portuguese Ministry of Environment and Climate Action announced on Sunday that it had received investment proposals for industrial production of hydrogen-based energy totaling EUR16 billion (US$18.3 billion). According to the ministry, the projects covered "different strategic areas, starting with the production of green hydrogen for use in transport."

* Jordan on Sunday warned that the Israeli annexation of Palestinian territories would have catastrophic repercussions not only on the two-state solution but also on efforts to achieve peace in the region. Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi made the remarks in a press statement after meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry in Amman, said a statement by the foreign ministry.

* The visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to Saudi Arabia has been postponed after the hospitalisation of King Salman, the Saudi foreign minister said on Monday.

* Turkish police on Sunday detained 27 people in Istanbul over suspected links to the Islamic State (IS), a local media outlet reported. Police launched operations simultaneously in 15 districts across the city to capture the suspects, the state-run TRT broadcaster said.

Xinhua, Reuters