World News in Brief: April 3

Saturday, 2021-04-03 19:07:21
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Medical workers administer COVID-19 vaccines at a vaccination site in Santiago, Chile, March 25, 2021. Chilean Health Minister Enrique Paris announced on April 1 that current health restrictions will be tightened throughout the country, after Chile registered a new peak of COVID-19 infections and saw more than one million cases in total. (Photo: Xinhua)
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India's total exports touched US$34 billion in March, up over 58 percent from the same month last year, according to the latest data released by the ministry of commerce and industry. Exports during the financial year 2020-21 (April 2020-March 2021) were US$290.18 billion, compared to US$313.36 billion the previous financial year, recording a negative growth of 7.4 percent, according to the data.

* China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) vowed to work together to address problems on the Korean Peninsula during the first visit by a ROK foreign minister to China in three years, the Yonhap news agency reported Saturday. State Councillor Wang Yi, the Chinese government's top diplomat, said the two countries had agreed "to promote the process to politically resolve issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula," Yonhap reported.

* Senior national security officials of the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea met on Friday to discuss US policy review on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and other regional issues, the White House said in a statement.

* The Republic of Korea (ROK)'s foreign minister said on Saturday the government will prepare for a visit to the ROK by Chinese President Xi Jinping, local news outlet Yonhap reported.

* The Russian government approved extending an agreement on cooperation in space with the United States until December 2030, news agencies cited the cabinet's press service as saying on Saturday.

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to pay a visit to Pakistan from April 6 to 7, the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan said on Friday. Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said the broad agenda of discussions will include bilateral ties with particular focus on economic cooperation between the two countries.

* Mainland China reported 26 new COVID-19 cases on April 2, up from nine a day earlier, the country's national health authority said on Saturday, as officials in the country's southwest linked a local outbreak to Myanmar. Confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stand at 90,252, with the death toll unchanged at 4,636.

* India's biggest cities braced for stricter lockdowns and other COVID-19 curbs on Saturday as infections hit a six-month high, as a month-long surge continued in the country third-worst hit by the pandemic.

* The United States has recorded more than 13,000 infection cases of coronavirus variants, according to the latest data of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among the total of 13,052 variants cases reported by the CDC as of Thursday, 12,505 cases were caused by the variant known as B.1.1.7, which was originally detected in Britain.

* Russia has recorded 384 new COVID-19 fatalities over the last 24 hours, raising the national death toll to 100,017, the official monitoring and response center said on Saturday. The country reported 9,021 new coronavirus infections in the past day, taking the nationwide tally to 4,572,077, it added.

* Australia will continue its inoculation programme with AstraZeneca PLC, health officials said on Saturday, after a blood clotting case raised concern about the safety of the vaccine.

* Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has extended a strict lockdown in the capital region and adjacent provinces by at least one week to try to contain a renewed surge in coronavirus infections, his spokesman said on Saturday.

* Myanmar reported 13 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours, according to a statement from the Health and Sports Ministry on Friday. The number of COVID-19 cases rose to 142,479 while the death toll was recorded at 3,206 on Friday, the statement said.

* Thousands of houses are still submerged by floods in Indonesia's East Java province but the waters have been receding and a number of evacuees have returned home, according to the National Disaster Management Agency on Saturday. The agency's spokesman Raditya Jati said the floods are still inundating houses in Pasuruan district.

Xinhua, Reuters