World News in Brief: September 20

Sunday, 2020-09-20 15:08:35
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People wearing masks walk on the street in Ankara, Turkey on Sept. 18, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
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Brazil and Argentina, Latin American nations seeking more time to commit to the global COVID-19 vaccine facility known as COVAX, said they intend to so as soon as possible after missing Friday (September 18)'s deadline.

* Mainland China reported 10 new COVID-19 cases on September 19, down from 14 cases reported a day earlier, the Chinese national health authority said on Sunday. The total number of COVID-19 cases for mainland China now stands at 85,279, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.

* Brazil recorded 33,057 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 739 deaths from the disease, the Health Ministry said on Saturday (September 19).

* Mexico's health ministry on Saturday reported 5,167 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the country, bringing the total to 694,121 cases, and 455 new deaths, for a cumulative death toll of 73,258.

* Russia reported 6,148 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the second straight day when the daily number of cases exceeded 6,000, taking the national tally of infections to 1,103,399.

* As European countries introduce new restrictions to curb a sharp resurgence in the number of coronavirus infections, Britain says it is considering hefty fines for people who fail to obey self-isolation rules.

* The Thai Government House said on Saturday on its website that the fiscal 2021 budget bill had sailed through the parliament session late on Friday after three days of debate. The budget for the next fiscal year has been set at around THB3.285 trillion (US$105.6 billion). Of the 456 members of parliament present, 269 voted in favor, 60 voted against and 127 abstained from voting.

* Myanmar reported 393 more new COVID-19 confirmed cases on Sunday morning, according to a release from the Ministry of Health and Sports. The newly confirmed cases brought the number of infection cases of COVID-19 in the country to 5,263 in total. Since the second wave of the outbreak starting Aug. 16, the number of infection cases and deaths has been increasing day by day in the country, especially in Yangon region. Myanmar reported its first two positive cases of COVID-19 on March 23 with 81 deaths being reported so far.

* The confirmed COVID-19 cases in Japan increased by 601 to 78,782 as of Saturday evening, according to the latest figures from the health ministry and local authorities. The figure excludes the 712 cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama near Tokyo earlier in the year. The death toll in Japan from the pneumonia-causing virus currently stands at 1,514, with two new fatalities announced Saturday. The death toll includes 13 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

* New Zealand reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the Ministry of Health said in a statement. Of the four new cases, two were community cases and two were at managed isolation facilities, said the ministry. The current number of active cases in New Zealand has reduced to 71, including three patients in Auckland hospitals. The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 reached 1,464 in New Zealand. New Zealand is now at COVID-19 Alert Level 2 with additional restrictions on gatherings for its biggest city Auckland.

* Republic of Korea reported 82 more cases of the COVID-19 as of Saturday midnight compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 22,975, health authorities announced Sunday. The daily caseload fell below 100 in 38 days. It had grown in triple digits since Aug. 14 due to cluster infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province linked to church services and a massive rally held in central Seoul on Aug. 15. Five more deaths were confirmed, leaving the death toll at 383. The total fatality rate stood at 1.67 percent.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,345 to 271,415, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll rose by two to 9,386, the tally showed.

* International flights to and from Maldives' Velena International Airport (VIA) have increased 5.25 percent in the second month since borders were reopened for foreign visitors from mid-July, local media reported on Sunday. According to Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), 441 inbound and outbound international flights were recorded at VIA between Aug. 16 and Sept. 15, a 5.25 percent increase compared to flights in the first month after borders were reopened on July 15.

* The Czech Republic's daily count of new coronavirus cases dropped to 2,046 on Saturday, still a record number for a weekend day when fewer tests are done, data from the Health Ministry showed on Sunday. The overall count of confirmed cases rose to 48,306 in the country of 10.7 million people.

* The regional government of the Spanish capital Madrid ordered a lockdown from Monday in some of the poorer areas of the city and its outskirts that are home to about 850,000 people.

* Australia looked set to record its lowest daily increase in new coronavirus cases in three months on Sunday as a hard lockdown in the city of Melbourne brought the country's virus epicentre down sharply.

* Canada's most populous province is cracking down on private social gatherings as COVID-19 cases surge, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in a surprise news conference called on Saturday.

* France reported 13,498 new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the previous 24 hours, setting another record in daily additional infections since the start of the epidemic.

* Palestine on Saturday recorded five more fatalities from the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths to 291. In a press statement, Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila said that three fatalities were recorded in the West Bank, while two deaths were reported in East Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the health ministry reported 726 new cases infected with the virus in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the coastal enclave, raising the total number of infections to 44,763. Palestine currently has 13,234 active cases.

* Israel entered a second nationwide lockdown at the onset of the Jewish high-holiday season, forcing residents to stay mostly at home amid a resurgence in new coronavirus cases.

* The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday announced 809 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 84,242. At the same time, 722 more patients have recovered from the virus, taking the tally of recoveries in the UAE to 73,512, UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention said.It also confirmed one more death, pushing the country's death toll to 404.

* Turkey confirmed 1,538 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, raising the total diagnosed patients to 301,348 in the country, the Turkish Health Ministry announced. Meanwhile, 68 people died in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 7,445, according to the data shared by the ministry. A total of 1,312 patients recovered in the last 24 hours, raising the total recoveries to 266,117 in Turkey since the outbreak.

* Innkeepers in Munich tapped their barrels on Saturday for revellers determined to make the most of a scaled-down Oktoberfest after the world's biggest beer festival was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

* More than 30 Taliban militants were killed and eight others wounded after the Afghan Air Force targeted Taliban assailants, the Afghan Defense Ministry confirmed late Saturday. The airstrike came after the Taliban assailants attacked security checkpoints in northern Kunduz province early in the day.