World News in Brief: July 27

Monday, 2020-07-27 14:53:46
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Medical workers collect swab samples for residents at Tianshan District in Urumqi, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, July 20, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
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Chinese health authority said Monday (July 27) that it received reports of 61 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland Sunday (July 26), with four imported cases and 57 locally transmitted ones. As of Sunday, the overall confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland had reached 83,891, including 339 patients who were still being treated, with 21 in severe conditions. Altogether 78,918 people had been discharged after recovery, and 4,634 had died of the disease on the mainland.

* Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said his government's intervention policy after the country's first domestic transmissions of the coronavirus in March prevented as many as 1.3 million to 3.5 million infections. Speaking during his annual address to the nation, Duterte said the country's lockdown, which was one of the world's longest and strictest, had kept infections in check but acknowledged the government was slow in getting its COVID-19 testing programme moving. The Philippines has recorded 82,040 infections and 1,945 deaths.

* Indonesia surpassed 100,000 cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, reporting 1,525 new infections to take the total number to 100,303, data from the country's Health Ministry website showed. The number of deaths in the Southeast Asian nation related to COVID-19 also increased by 57, to bring the total to 4,838, the data showed.

* Brazil registered an additional 555 deaths attributable to the novel coronavirus over the last 24 hours and another 24,578 confirmed cases, the health ministry said on Sunday. The South American nation has now registered 87,004 deaths and 2,419,091 total confirmed cases.

* Russia reported 5,635 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, its lowest daily rise since April 23, pushing its national tally to 818,120, the fourth largest in the world. In a daily readout, the official coronavirus taskforce said 85 people had died over the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 13,354.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 340 to 205,609, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday. The reported deaths remained unchanged at 9,118, the tally showed.

* White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Sunday that the next round of COVID-19 relief package will include US$1,200 direct payments to Americans, as a resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the country poses major risk to the economic recovery. As the total number of COVID-19 cases across the nation surpasses four million, more than 150 prominent US medical experts and health professionals have signed an open letter, urging decision makers to shut down the country and contain the surging pandemic.

* China's foreign ministry said on Monday that the US consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu has closed as of 10 a.m.(0200 GMT). China on Friday ordered the closure in response to Washington's order for the Chinese consulate in Houston to be shut.

* Australia's prime minister called for patience and said "all of the options" were on the table to fight against coronavirus on Monday when the country reported the largest number of cases in a single day. As of Monday afternoon there had been 14,935 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia. Victoria has confirmed 532 new cases of the virus, a new record-high daily increase for any state or territory, with another six deaths, taking the national death toll to 161.

* An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 jolted South Sandwich Islands region at 22:53 local time on Saturday (0053 GMT on Sunday), the U.S. Geological Survey said. The epicenter, with a depth of 10.0 km, was initially determined to be at 60.783 degrees south latitude and 25.3145 degrees west longitude.

* Floods in India's northeastern state of Assam have so far killed 102 people and badly affected a population of over 5.6 million, officials said on Monday, when the country is being gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), floods have claimed five lives and affected 2.4 million people in 23 districts during the past 24 hours.

* Hurricane Douglas is approaching the US state of Hawaii on Sunday with torrential rains and damaging winds. According to the National Hurricane Center, Douglas was about 145 km east of the capital Honolulu. The local government has opened evacuation centers with space for 1,600 people. The storm is churning with a speed of up to 85 miles (140 km) per hour after Hanna, the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season, lashed along the Texas coast.

* Afghanistan on Monday reported 106 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, taking the country's total to 36,263, the country's Ministry of Public Health said. Up to 1,269 deaths have been recorded since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country in February, an increase of 10 within the past 24 hours.

* Portugal will go on high alert as more than 850 firefighters struggle to put out a fire sweeping across part of the country's central region on Sunday, with strong winds and high temperatures complicating efforts to tackle the blaze. The wildfire has been raging in the municipality of Oleiros since Saturday afternoon but it has spread to two neighbouring municipalities and has already forced the precautionary evacuation of a number of people.

* Almost half of Bangladesh remained in the grip of floods on Monday with scores of casualties reported. According to the daily flood situation report of the country's disaster response coordination center, the floods have killed 119 people in 21 (out of 64) districts since June 30. Of the victims, 96 people died of drowning, 13 of snakebites, eight of lightning, and one of diarrhea. The report said 43,78,732 people were affected due to the floods in 31 out of the country's total 64 districts.

* Chile on Sunday reported a total of 345,790 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) since the outbreak began and 9,112 people have died from the disease. According to the Health Ministry, in the previous 24 hours tests detected 2,198 new cases of infection and 92 more patients died. Some 318,095 people have recovered from COVID-19 nationwide.

* Israel plans to gradually resume international flights, Minister of Transport Miri Regev announced Sunday night. Regev said in a statement that she had received Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's approval for her ministry's plan for resuming flights.

* Iran's non-oil exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the first quarter of the current Iranian calendar year starting March 20 rose by eight percent in value year on year, Eghtesadonline reported Sunday. From March 20 to June 20, Iran exported around 3.8 million tons of non-oil commodities worth US$967 million to the UAE, said Farzad Piltan, director general of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran's Arab-African Affairs Office.

* Iran's Foreign Ministry announced on Sunday that the Islamic republic supports peace and stability in Afghanistan. Mohammad Ebrahim Taheri, special representative of the Iranian foreign minister for Afghan affairs, dismissed the recent remarks by Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, who blamed Iran for "insufficient support" for the Afghan peace process.

* Morocco will stop people entering and leaving some of its biggest cities from midnight to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases, the interior and health Ministries said on Sunday. On Sunday, the health ministry said 633 new COVID-19 cases were recorded, one of the biggest daily rises so far, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 20,278, with 313 deaths and 16,438 recoveries.

* An Israeli drone crashed inside Lebanon during operational activity along the border, an Israeli military spokeswoman said. Israel's Channel 12 reported that the drone crashed after it experienced a technical failure.

Xinhua, Reuters