World News in Brief: October 29

Thursday, 2020-10-29 23:06:31
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People cast their ballots during advance voting for general elections at a polling station in Yangon, Myanmar, Oct. 29, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
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Myanmar President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi cast advance votes on Thursday (October 29) for the general elections scheduled to be held on Nov. 8. The advance voting normally lasts for 10 days and will conclude on Nov. 7, a day before the elections. A 60-day election campaign has begun in Myanmar in early September and will conclude in the first week of November.

* The Sinabung volcano in Karo district, North Sumatra province, Indonesia, has emitted a burst of hot ash up to 2,000 meters eastward and southeastward on Thursday, according to an official.

* Singapore will permit the entry of short-term visitors from the Chinese mainland and if they test negative of COVID-19, they don't need to serve a 14-day isolation, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Thursday.

* The European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday decided to leave key interest rates unchanged and signaled that it stands ready to ramp up pandemic response in its December meeting. The 19-nation eurozone base interest rate will remain at 0.00 percent, with the marginal lending rate and deposit rate remaining at 0.25 percent and minus 0.50 percent, respectively, according to a press release issued following the ECB's monetary policy meeting.

* China and the European Union (EU) have made progress in the 33rd round of bilateral investment treaty negotiations, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday. The negotiations from Oct. 18 to 23 focused on the text of the agreement as well as the issue of market access, MOC spokesperson Gao Feng said at a regular news briefing.

* US economic activity in the third quarter grew at an annual rate of 33.1 percent after a sharp contraction in the previous quarter, the US Commerce Department reported Thursday. The rebound came after the economy plunged at a revised annual rate of 31.4 percent in the second quarter amid mounting COVID-19 fallout, which has been the largest decline since the US government began keeping records in 1947.

* The Chinese mainland reported 24 new imported COVID-19 cases Wednesday, bringing the total number of imported cases to 3,308, the National Health Commission said Thursday. Among all the imported cases, 3,022 had been discharged from hospitals after recovery while 286 remained hospitalized, the commission said. No deaths had been reported from the imported cases.

* Russia reported record 17,717 new COVID-19 cases and 366 related deaths over the past 24 hours, the national COVID-19 response center said Thursday. According to the center's statement, 14,740 recoveries were registered in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of COVID-19 recoveries in the country to 1,186,041.

* Brazil's Health Ministry on Wednesday reported 28,629 new COVID-19 infections and 510 more deaths from the disease in the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide count to 5,468,270 and the death toll to 158,456.

* The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread in Asia-Pacific countries as India's tally surpassed eight million on Thursday while Japan's cases crossed the 100,000-mark. India's COVID-19 tally surpassed the eight million mark, reaching 8,040,203, according to the latest data released by the federal health ministry.

* The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported 1,761 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the country's total tally to 376,935.

* In Myanmar, the number of COVID-19 infections has increased to 50,403 after 1,331 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours, according to a release from the Health and Sports Ministry on Thursday.

* Malaysia reported 649 new COVID-19 infections, the health ministry said on Thursday, bringing the national total to 30,090.

* Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) reported seven new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 57,994. All of the new cases are imported cases.

*Japan recorded 306 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, showed preliminary figures released on Thursday afternoon. The latest daily figure raised the country's total tally to more than 100,000, local media reported.

* Republic of Korea reported 125 more cases of the COVID-19 as midnight Wednesday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections in the country to 26,271. The daily caseload stayed above 100 for two straight days due to small cluster infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province as well as imported cases.

* New Zealand reported six new cases of COVID-19 detected in managed isolation facilities and no new community cases. All six cases were identified during routine testing around day 3 of their stay in managed isolation. New Zealand's total number of confirmed cases is now 1,593.

* The death toll from the novel coronavirus in Mexico has reached 90,309 on Wednesday with 495 more deaths over the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry said. The country has also registered 5,595 new infections, taking the national tally to 906,863.

* Argentine President Alberto Fernandez on Wednesday called on the state, workers and business owners to join forces to overcome the economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Wednesday evening, Argentina confirmed 1,130,533 COVID-19 cases with 30,071 deaths.

* Daily coronavirus cases in Austria topped 4,000 for the first time on Thursday since the pandemic began, according to data published by the country's Interior Ministry. Compared with Wednesday's 3,394, the daily caseload jumped by over 1,000, reaching 4,453 in the Alpine country. So far, there have been 93,949 positive test results. As of Thursday morning, 1,056 people had died and 63,366 had recovered from COVID-19.

* The number of confirmed cases in the African continent has reached 1,748,335, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Thursday. The continental disease control and prevention agency said in a statement that the death toll related to the pandemic now stood at 42,151 as of Thursday afternoon. A total of 1,430,558 people infected with COVID-19 have recovered across the continent, the Africa CDC said.

* Chilean Health Minister Enrique Paris said Wednesday that the country has seen less than 100 critical cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the last 12 days. Out of the 745 patients admitted to intensive care units (ICU) over that period, only 79 were considered critical, he noted.

* Bangladesh reported 1,681 new COVID-19 cases and 25 new deaths, making the tally at 404,760 and the death toll at 5,886, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said.