World News in Brief: July 23

Thursday, 2020-07-23 20:50:13
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A medical worker checks body temperature of a woman in Mexico City, Mexico, July 22, 2020. Mexico's Health Ministry on Wednesday reported 6,019 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total in the country to 362,274 cases. (Photo: Xinhua)
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Global confirmed COVID-19 cases topped 15 million on Wednesday (July 22), reaching 15,008,046 as of 12:35 p.m. (1635 GMT), according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. A total of 617,902 people worldwide have died of the disease, the data showed. The United States has suffered the most from the pandemic, with 3,919,550 cases and 142,350 fatalities, the tally showed. Countries with more than 300,000 cases also include Brazil, India, Russia, South Africa, Peru, Mexico and Chile, according to the CSSE.

* The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the African continent reached 768,978 on Thursday (July 23), the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said. The Africa CDC, specialized healthcare agency of the African Union (AU) Commission, in its latest situation update issued on Thursday, said that the number of deaths related to the pandemic rose to 16,423 as of Thursday.

* Britain said on Thursday it will provide BRP100 million (US$127 million) of funding for a facility to scale up the manufacturing of vaccines for COVID-19. "This new Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre, alongside crucial investment in skills, will support our efforts to rapidly produce millions of doses of a coronavirus vaccine while ensuring the UK can respond quickly to potential future pandemics," Business Secretary Alok Sharma said in a statement.

* The Philippine health ministry on Thursday reported 2,200 new coronavirus infections and 28 new deaths. In a bulletin, the ministry said total deaths have increased to 1,871 and infections have risen to 74,390. The Southeast Asian nation's coronavirus task force on Thursday reimposed a ban on non-essential outbound travel of Filipinos, two weeks after it lifted it.

* Indonesia reported 1,906 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing its total infections to 93,657, data from the country's COVID-19 taskforce showed. The number of COVID-19 deaths in the Southeast Asian nation rose by 117 on Thursday to bring the total to 4,576, the data showed.

* Russia reported 5,848 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, pushing its national tally to 795,038, the fourth largest in the world. In their daily readout, officials said 147 people had died in the last 24 hours, pushing Russia's official death toll to 12,892.

* The number of COVID-19 cases in Japan increased by 920 to reach 28,190 on Thursday amid a resurgence of infections across the country, according to Japan's health ministry and local governments. The number of daily new infections hit a record high, exceeding 900 for the first time as six prefectures reported their highest number of daily new cases.

* The French economy is on course to rebound by 8% next year and should return to pre-crisis levels by 2022, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday. Le Maire told the National Assembly recent economic data had been "satisfying but too fragile" for now to change forecasts for an economic contraction this year of 11%, the worst since modern records began.

* Total fatalities over the novel coronavirus in Iran hit 15,074 on Thursday after registration of 221 deaths overnight, Sima Sadat Lari, the spokeswoman for Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said during her daily update on Thursday. Over the past 24 hours, 2,621 new infections were registered, taking the total confirmed novel coronavirus cases in the country to 284,034 on Thursday, Lari said, according to the state TV.

* Bangladesh reported 2,856 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, taking the total to 216,110, with 2,801 deaths so far. The total number of recovered patients in the country now stands at 119,208, including 2,006 on Thursday, said Sultana.

* The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Maldives has crossed the 3,000 mark, said the country's Health Protection Agency (HPA) Thursday. Fifty-nine new COVID-19 cases including 44 Maldivian nationals, 14 Bangladeshi nationals, and one Indian were detected by the HPA on Wednesday, raising the country's total count to 3,103.

* French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the COVID-19 pandemic situation during a phone briefing on Thursday with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Macron's office said, as leaders around the world prepare for a possible new wave of the virus.

* Armenia on Thursday reported 469 new COVID-19 cases, taking its total to 36,162, according to the National Center for Disease Control. Data from the center showed that 478 more patients have recovered in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of recoveries to 25,244. Meanwhile, 10 people died in the last day, raising the death toll to 688. The center said more than 151,879 people have been tested for COVID-19 since the country reported its first case on March 1.

* Kuwait on Thursday reported 687 new COVID-19 cases and four more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 61,872 and the death toll to 421, the Health Ministry said in a statement. Currently, 9,204 patients are receiving treatment, including 124 in ICU, the statement added. The ministry also announced the recovery of 727 more patients, raising the total recoveries in the country to 52,247.

* Israel's Ministry of Health recorded 2,043 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, raising the total number in the country to 56,085. This is the biggest daily increase since the outbreak in Israel in late February, after the previous record of 2,039 was reported on Tuesday. According to the data, the number of active cases in Israel has reached a record high of 32,345. The death toll increased from 425 to 430, while the number of patients in serious condition rose from 256 to 273, out of 665 hospitalized.

* Baghdad International Airport reopened for scheduled commercial flights on Thursday after months of closure during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit Iraq especially hard in recent weeks. The country has recorded 102,226 coronavirus infections and 4,122 deaths, and regularly reports more than 2,000 new cases each day. Thursday's tally was 2,361, according to health ministry figures. The reopening comes with safeguards to contain the spread of the virus.

* The Moroccan government has signed three loan and grant agreements worth EUR701.3 million (US$810.6 million) with Germany, to finance diverse economic sectors in the North African country.

* The World Food Programme(WFP) and Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Thursday warned that 60,000 in South Sudan were staring at hunger due to recent inter-communal violence that has rocked Jonglei and Pibor regions.