World News in Brief: July 22

Wednesday, 2020-07-22 16:58:57
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A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck near the Alaskan peninsula late Tuesday (July 21), shaking buildings, but there were no immediate reports of injuries and the US National Tsunami Warning Center canceled an earlier warning of potentially hazardous waves.

* China has evacuated thousands of residents after a landslide blocked a river and created a barrier lake that threatened to submerge neighbouring villages, as large parts of the country reeled under some of the heaviest rainfall in decades. The landslide occurred on Tuesday when 1.5 million cubic metres of earth fell into a tributary of the Yangtze river near the city of Enshi in Hubei province, the Xinhua news agency said, citing local flood control authorities.

* More than 15.01 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 616,276 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.

* Worrying trends of coronavirus infection are emerging in southern Europe and in the Balkan region, Mike Ryan, head of the World Health Organization's emergencies programme, said on Wednesday.

* Brazil recorded 41,008 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours as well as 1,367 related deaths, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday. Brazil has registered nearly 2.2 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 81,487, according to ministry data.

* India has cancelled a historic Hindu pilgrimage to a holy cave high in the snow-capped mountains of contested Kashmir for the first time, as cases of the novel coronavirus continued to rise on Wednesday. There were 37,724 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, according to federal health data released on Wednesday. India has reported almost 1.2 million cases overall, behind only the United States and Brazil.

* Russia reported 5,862 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, pushing its total infection tally to 789,190, the fourth largest in the world. The country's coronavirus crisis response centre said 165 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 12,745.

* China reported 14 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for July 21, up from 11 cases a day earlier, the health commission said on Wednesday. As of Tuesday, mainland China had 83,707 confirmed coronavirus cases, the health authority said. The COVID-19 death toll remained at 4,634.

* Mexico's Health Ministry on Tuesday reported 6,859 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 915 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 356,255 cases and 40,400 deaths. The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

* The Philippines' health ministry on Wednesday reported six new coronavirus deaths and 1,594 additional infections, the seventh straight day when confirmed cases have topped 1,000. In a bulletin, the ministry said total deaths had reached 1,843, while confirmed cases rose to 72,269.

* Indonesia reported on Wednesday 139 new deaths from the coronavirus, the country's highest daily increase and bringing the total number of fatalities to 4,459, data from the country's Health Ministry website showed. The number of infections rose by 1,882 to bring the total number to 91,751 in Indonesia, which has the most confirmed cases in East Asia.

* Thailand will extend a state of emergency until the end of August, a senior official said on Wednesday, maintaining the security measure put in place to contain its coronavirus outbreak.

* The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday reported 3,819,139 cases of the coronavirus, an increase of 57,777 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 473 to 140,630.

* The European Parliament will seek clarification on tying a new coronavirus recovery fund to democratic values after the matter was left open by leaders at a European Union summit this week, the assembly's president said on Wednesday.

* Japan's government has decided to begin discussions over easing immigration restrictions with China, Republic of Korea and Taiwan (China), public broadcaster NHK reported on Wednesday.

* Spain's Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said on Wednesday a resurgence in coronavirus cases in Catalonia was coming under control and she hoped there would be no need for France to close the border. Catalonia registered 63 new cases on Tuesday, 70 on Monday and 994 on Sunday, down from a peak of 1,226 on Saturday. Health Minister Salvador Illa told parliament there are 224 active coronavirus clusters in Spain, mostly linked to parties, family events and fruit harvesting.

* The United Kingdom wants a Brexit free trade deal with the European Union but is prepared for a no deal, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Wednesday.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 454 to 202,799, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday. The reported death toll rose by five to 9,095, the tally showed.

* Ireland may introduce further travel restrictions for countries with a very high instance of COVID-19, Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Wednesday after the government lifted its 14-day quarantine requirement for 15 European countries.

* Tourists from Australia, New Zealand and several Arab states will no longer need a visa to visit Ukraine from Aug. 1, according to a decree signed by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and published on his website. In June, Zelenskiy said Ukraine was considering cancelling its visa requirement for tourists from several countries, including China, in order to attract more visitors once lockdowns imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic are eased. The new visa-free regime will apply if the tourist's stay in Ukraine does not exceed 90 days.

* The number of active coronavirus infections topped 5,000 in the Czech Republic for the first time after labs reported the highest daily rise in nearly a month, the health ministry said on Wednesday. Authorities had reported 212 new cases by Tuesday night, bringing the total number of active cases to 5,046. Total cases including those who have recovered or died reached 14,324.