World News in Brief: July 1

Wednesday, 2020-07-01 15:46:01
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Firefighters wearing protective suits spray disinfectant at the National Monument area to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Jakarta, Indonesia June 17, 2020. (File photo: Antara Foto via Reuters).
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Indonesia on Wednesday (July 1) reported 1,385 new coronavirus cases and 58 deaths, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said. The country has reported 57,770 cases and 2,934 deaths to date. Globally, coronavirus cases exceeded 10 million on June 28, a major milestone in the spread of a disease that has killed more than half a million people in seven months.

* Japan will extend a JPY50 billion (US$464 million) loan to the Philippine government to help its emergency measures to fight its coronavirus outbreak, its embassy said on Wednesday, in the first loan of its kind for Japan. With 37,514 cases of the coronavirus and 1,266 deaths, the Philippines has the fourth-highest infection numbers in East Asia, more than half of which have come in the past 30 days as restrictions were eased to rescue a flagging economy.

* China on Wednesday reported three new coronavirus cases in the mainland for June 30, down from 19 a day earlier, the health authority said. All the new infections were in Beijing, the National Health Commission said in a statement. The capital city reported seven new infections for June 29. There were no new deaths. As of June 30, mainland China had a total of 83,534 confirmed coronavirus cases, it said. China's death toll from the coronavirus remained at 4,634.

* Coronavirus cases more than doubled in 14 US states in the month of June, including California, Florida and Texas, a Reuters analysis on Tuesday (June 30) showed. Arizona recorded the biggest jump in cases for the month at 294%, followed by South Carolina at 200% and Arkansas at 179%. Cases also more than doubled in Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah.

* Brazil registered 1,280 additional COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, bringing the country's confirmed death toll to 59,594, according to Health Ministry data. Total confirmed cases rose by 33,846 to reach 1,402,041, the worst outbreak in the world outside the United States.

* Mexico's health ministry reported on Tuesday 5,432 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 648 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 226,089 cases and 27,769 deaths.

* Russia on Wednesday reported 6,556 new cases of the novel coronavirus, taking its nationwide tally to 654,405. The country's coronavirus response centre said 216 people had died of the virus in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 9,536.

* Authorities will lock down more than 300,000 people in suburbs north of Melbourne for a month from late on Wednesday to contain the risk of infection after two weeks of double-digit rises in new coronavirus cases in Australia's second most populous state. Australia has fared better than many countries in the pandemic, with around 7,920 cases, 104 deaths and fewer than 400 active cases, but the recent jump has stoked fears of a second wave of COVID-19, echoing concerns expressed in other countries. * Tokyo confirmed 67 new cases of coronavirus infection on Wednesday, marking the highest daily tally in the Japanese capital since the state of emergency was lifted in late May, public broadcaster NHK reported. It was also the sixth straight day in which Tokyo had confirmed more than 50 cases, NHK said.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 466 to 194,725, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday. The reported death toll rose by 12 to 8,985, the tally showed.

* Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in has said US President Donald Trump and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Chairman Kim Jong Un should meet again before the US presidential election in November, a Seoul official told reporters on Wednesday. Moon's remarks were made during a video conference with European Council President Charles Michel on Tuesday, during which he said another summit between Trump and Kim would help resume stalled nuclear negotiations.

* The European Union has excluded the United States from its initial "safe list" of countries from which the bloc will allow non-essential travel from Wednesday. The 27-member bloc gave majority approval on Tuesday to leisure or business travel from 14 countries beyond its borders, the Council of the EU, which represents EU governments. The countries are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

* The US Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday released guidance for approving a coronavirus vaccine, saying the vaccine has to prevent or decrease disease severity in at least 50% of people who are inoculated. More than 100 vaccines are being tested worldwide against the virus, which has claimed over 126,100 lives in the United States, according to a Reuters tally.

* Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his delegation have received an invitation from the US government to visit Washington on July 8-9, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter on Tuesday.

* Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday signed a decree to extend emergency stipends to informal workers hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, as official figures showed record deficits and mounting unemployment. The decree keeps alive a popular and crucial program for millions of the country's poorest and most vulnerable people, but which has added to the concerns of policymakers and financial markets about the surging government deficit.

* At least 50 people were killed in protests in Ethiopia's Oromiya region during protests following the killing of a popular singer, a regional spokesman said on Wednesday. The dead included protesters and members of the security forces, said spokesman Getachew Balcha, adding that some businesses had also been set on fire. The singer's funeral will be held on Thursday in his hometown of Ambo.

* Germany's economy will gradually recover after an historic slump due to the coronavirus pandemic and will likely return to last year's level at the end of 2021, economic institute Ifo said on Wednesday. Ifo expects gross domestic product to contract by 11.9% in the second quarter when compared to the January-March period before growing by 6.9% in the third quarter and 3.8% in the last quarter of this year.

* A boat that sank on Lake Van in eastern Turkey is believed to have been carrying 55-60 migrants, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Wednesday, adding that six bodies had been recovered so far. Speaking to reporters in Van province, Soylu said authorities had detained 11 people in relation to the incident and added that search and rescue operations were continuing.

* Malta reopened its airport on Wednesday to allow visitors from several European countries, but the move will not include Britain, which accounts for 30% of the island's tourist arrivals. The reopened connections include cities in France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

* Panama registered 765 new cases of coronavirus infection on Tuesday, taking the total number in the country to 33,550, while deaths climbed by 11 to 631 overall, the health ministry said in a statement.

* Airbus is cutting 15,000 jobs within a year, including 900 already earmarked in Germany, saying its future is at stake after the coronavirus outbreak paralysed air travel.

* The coronavirus pandemic could wipe out "the modest progress" made on gender equality at work in recent decades with women globally at greater risk of losing their jobs, the International Labour Organization (ILO) warned on Tuesday. The U.N. agency said the fall in global working hours was "significantly worse than previously estimated" in the first half of the year. The Americas was the hardest-hit region.

Reuters