World News in Brief: August 7

Friday, 2020-08-07 21:21:09
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A health worker collects blood samples from a resident at a school during serological survey for COVID-19 screening in New Delhi, India, Aug. 6, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
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Global COVID-19 cases surpassed 19 million on Thursday (August 6), according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. With the global case count reaching 19,007,938, a total of 713,406 people worldwide had died from the disease as of 9:35 p.m. local time (0135 GMT Friday, August 6), the CSSE data showed.

* The Lao government on Friday urged people countrywide to remain vigilant and step up efforts to stop the spread of dengue fever as the rainy season approaches. Lao health authorities advise that if people fall ill, they should suspect that dengue may be the cause of their illness and get a blood test at a hospital, according to a report from the Lao Ministry of Health. As of Friday, 4,513 people has been diagnosed with dengue fever and nine deaths were recorded.

* The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on Friday revealed that the number of COVID-19 cases across the African continent has exceeded 1 million. The Africa CDC, a specialized healthcare agency of the 55-member African Union Commission, said in its latest situation update that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the continent rose to 1,007,366 as of Friday afternoon. The Africa CDC report showed that the number of deaths related to COVID-19 rose from 21,617 on Thursday to 22,066 on Friday.

* Kim Jong Un, the Chairman of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), inspected flood-hit areas in North Hwanghae Province and clarified tasks and ways for the recovery of the damaged area, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Friday. Due to heavy or torrential rains in recent weeks, flood alerts were issued near the Taedong River, the Chongchon River and the Ryesong River for Thursday and Friday, raising the alarm for further flooding in the central and southern parts of the country.

* Lebanese President Michel Aoun vowed on Friday that all officials responsible for Beirut's explosions will be brought to justice regardless of their positions in the government, LBCI TV channel reported. Two huge explosions rocked Port of Beirut on Tuesday at around 6:10 p.m. local time (1510 GMT), killing 154 and injuring 5,000 with dozens still missing under the rubble.

* Cambodia decided Thursday to allow all cinemas and arts performing facilities across the kingdom to reopen following the temporary shutdown in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said a Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (MCFA) statement. Cambodia has seen success in controlling the spread of the COVID-19. According to the Ministry of Health, the kingdom has recorded a total of 243 confirmed COVID-19 cases to date, with 210 patients cured and 33 remained in hospital.

* The Indonesian capital of Jakarta has shut down over three dozens of offices after several employees were tested positive for the coronavirus. The official said that more than 3,000 offices have been checked in the capital with 389 of them having received the first warning, and over 100 having been warned for the second time. For the whole of the country, the task force reported 2,473 additional daily cases, bringing the total to 121,226 with 77,557 recoveries and 5,593 others dead.

* The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday that it will focus on the elimination of cluster infections after the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country surged to 122,754 with 3,379 new cases. The DOH said that the number of recoveries further rose to 66,852 after it reported 96 new recoveries. The death toll also increased to 2,168 after 24 more patients died.

* Chinese health authority said Friday that it received reports of 37 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Thursday, including 27 locally transmitted. As of Thursday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland had reached 84,565, including 843 patients who were still being treated, with 36 in severe condition. Altogether 79,088 people had been discharged after recovery, and 4,634 had died of the disease on the mainland.

* US COVID-19 deaths have surpassed the 160,000 mark to reach 160,090 as of 21:48 p.m. local time on Thursday (0148 GMT Friday), according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country has risen to 4,881,974, according to the CSSE. The state of New York has recorded the most deaths from COVID-19, with 32,756 fatalities, followed by New Jersey with 15,849 and California with 10,006, the tally showed.

* Russia has registered 5,241 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing its total to 877,135, the country's coronavirus response center said Friday. Meanwhile, 119 people died in the same period, pushing its national tally to 14,725, while 7,235 patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 683,592, the center said. Moscow, the hardest-hit region in Russia, has recorded 686 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking its tally of infections to 246,154, it said.

* Troops of India and Pakistan exchanged heavy fire and targeted each other's positions Friday on Line of Control (LoC) dividing Kashmir, officials said. The two sides exchanged fire in Nowgam sector of frontier Kupwara district, about 165 km northwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir. LoC is a de facto border that divides Kashmir into India and Pakistan controlled parts.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko discussed the recent detention of 33 Russian citizens in Belarus during a phone call Friday. The presidents expressed confidence that the situation will be resolved "in the spirit of the amicable characteristic of cooperation between the two countries," the Kremlin said in a press release.

* The United Nations is aiding the Lebanese government following the explosions in Beirut by releasing emergency funds, assessing needs and planning alternative aid delivery, a UN spokesman said on Thursday. Already US$9 million in emergency aid have been released locally for hospitals and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is expected to release additional funds soon, said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

* A heatwave is making mercury surge in many French cities on Friday, forcing the government to trigger heatwave alert system and call on people to respect anti-coronavirus sanitary rules despite high temperatures. According to the ministry, France's new COVID-19 infections rose by 1,604 on Thursday, after Wednesday's 1,695. The number of patients in intensive care units went up by six to reach 390, a 10-day high. The overall death toll stood at 30,312, the seventh-highest in the world.

* US President Donald Trump on Thursday issued an executive order banning any US transactions with Chinese tech firm ByteDance, owner of popular video-sharing app TikTok, starting in 45 days, a controversial move widely criticized by experts. At a White House briefing earlier this week, Trump told reporters that he is open to a deal in which Microsoft Corp. or another US company buy TikTok, setting Sept. 15 as the deadline.

* India's COVID-19 tally crossed the 2-million mark on Friday, reaching 2,027,074, the federal health ministry said. It took three weeks for the total COVID-19 tally to increase from 1 million to 2 million. As many as 62,538 new cases were detected in the country in the past 24 hours. A total of 886 people died since Thursday, taking the death toll to 41,585, showed the ministry's data. Globally, India is the third worst-affected country in terms of the total COVID-19 cases and deaths, after the United States and Brazil.

* The Tokyo metropolitan government confirmed 462 new daily COVID-19 cases, falling just shy of its record of 472 confirmed cases on Aug. 2, with the capital's cumulative total reaching 15,107, the highest among Japan's 47 prefectures. Amid concerns over a resurgence of the virus in urban areas in Japan, with Tokyo still the epicenter of the nationwide outbreak, Tokyo Governor Yoriko Koike has urged Tokyo residents to refrain from traveling to other prefectures during the upcoming Bon holidays.

* Republic of Korea reported 20 more cases of the COVID-19 as of 0:00 a.m. Friday local time compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 14,519. Of the new cases, 11 were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 2,531. One more death was confirmed, leaving the death toll at 303. The total fatality rate stood at 2.09 percent.

* The Colombian Ministry of Health and Social Protection on Thursday raised the country's total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 357,710, with 11,939 deaths. According to authorities, tests detected 11,996 new infections and 315 more deaths in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, local authorities are ramping up efforts to prevent citizens from leaving Bogota to vacation in neighboring towns.

* Argentina on Thursday said it is extending COVID-19 treatment and isolation measures to those who have lived with a confirmed patient and showed two or more symptoms of the disease before test results are reported. The goal is to tackle new cases and better contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, the country's ministry of health said in a statement. Argentina has reported over 220,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 4,000 deaths from the disease so far.

* The Iraqi Health Ministry on Friday recorded 3,461 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily increase since the outbreak of the disease, while the ministry spokesman said that more than 90 percent of the infections were between mild to moderate. The new cases brought the total nationwide infections to 144,064, as the ministry's health teams and institutions have used 17,517 testing kits across the country during the day, raising the total testing kits used so far to 1,110,258, the ministry said in a statement.

* The Ecuadorean Ministry of Public Health reported on Thursday 1,671 new cases of COVID-19 and 30 more deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing te total caseload to 90,537 and the death toll to 5,877. Additionally, the country registered another 3,530 deaths likely caused by the disease, but not confirmed due to a lack of evidence.