World News in Brief: April 25

Sunday, 2021-04-25 17:39:25
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People wearing face masks walk in downtown Nicosia, Cyprus, on April 23, 2021. As of April 26, Cyprus will reintroduce a strict coronavirus lockdown regime to stem the rapid spread of COVID-19 infections. The number of new coronavirus cases has doubled in the past two weeks, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Friday. (Photo: Xinhua)
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China reported 13 new COVID-19 cases on April 24, up from nine cases a day earlier, the national health authority said on Sunday. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China stands at 90,588, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,636.

* Thailand reported 2,438 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of infections to 55,460 since the pandemic started last year. The country also reported a daily record of 11 new deaths, bringing the total fatalities to 140.

* Malaysia received 268,800 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines on Friday night, its first batch from the pharmaceutical company, state news agency reported on Saturday. Health Minister Adham Baba said the batch was purchased through the COVAX facility.

* Russia reported 8,780 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, including 2,526 in Moscow, taking the national tally to 4,762,569 since the start of the pandemic. The coronavirus crisis centre said 332 more deaths of coronavirus patients had been confirmed in the past 24 hours, taking the national death toll to 108,232.

* The Japanese government is planning to open large vaccination centres in Tokyo and Osaka in the coming weeks in a bid to speed up its inoculation drive, local media reported on Sunday.

* The United States is deeply concerned by a massive surge in coronavirus cases in India and will race additional support to the Indian government and health care workers, a White House spokeswoman said on Saturday. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Friday called on the Biden administration to release millions of stored doses of AstraZeneca vaccine for shipment to India, Brazil and other hard hit countries.

* Brazil has recorded 71,137 new cases of coronavirus and 3,076 additional COVID-19 deaths, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

* Mexico on Saturday reported 3,308 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country and 349 fatalities, according to Health Ministry data, bringing the country's total to 2,326,738 infections and 214,853 deaths.

* Venezuela received a new shipment of some 80,000 doses of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, officials said on Saturday, as COVID-19 cases surged.

* Italy reported 322 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday against 342 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 13,817 from 14,761.

* Egypt is aiming for tourism revenues of US$6 billion-US$7 billion in 2021, the deputy tourism minister told Reuters. The country expects to attract more than 1 million Russian tourists during the rest of 2021 as direct flights between both countries are set to resume, Ghada Shalaby added.

* A crowd of 78,113 packed into the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for an Australian rules match between Collingwood and Essendon on Sunday, the highest attendance at a sports stadium anywhere in the world since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 18,773 to 3,287,418, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll rose by 120 to 81,564, the tally showed.

* Costa Rica on Saturday registered 1,830 new COVID-19 infections, its highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic, with space for the most critical patients at public hospitals nearly full, health authorities said. There have been 238,760 cases and 3,143 deaths from COVID-19 in the Central American country of 5 million people, whose tourism-driven economy has been hit by the pandemic's toll on global travel.

* Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired dozens of rockets into Israel on Saturday drawing retaliatory air strikes, the Israeli military said, after nightly Ramadan clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police resumed in Jerusalem. The pre-dawn exchange of fire broke months of relative quiet on the Israel-Gaza frontier.

* Rebels in northern Chad are ready to observe a ceasefire and to discuss a "political settlement" after the battlefield death of President Idriss Deby last week and the fighting that followed, a rebel spokesman said on Sunday.

* Yemen's Houthi movement said on Sunday it had attacked and hit a military air base in southern Saudi Arabia with a drone, but the Saudi-led coalition fighting the group said it had intercepted and destroyed an armed drone fired into the kingdom.