World News in Brief: January 12

Tuesday, 2021-01-12 19:58:29
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Students return to school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Jan. 11, 2021. Cambodia reopened public schools across the kingdom on Monday after the first community outbreak of COVID-19 was over late last year. (Photo: Xinhua)
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Divers on Tuesday retrieved a flight data recorder (FDR), also known as the black box, of the Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 plane that plunged into the water off the coast of the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Saturday, Indonesian Military Commander Air Chief Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto said in Jakarta.

* China is using a combination of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 amid the latest resurgence of the virus in Beijing and provinces including Hebei, Liaoning and Heilongjiang.

* Indian carrier Spicejet said it carried a large consignment of COVID-19 vaccines from the western city of Pune to the capital New Delhi, a crucial step towards kickstarting the country's inoculation drive.

* As many as eight gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park are presumed to have contracted COVID-19 from a human handler after one of the animals tested positive, marking the first known transmission of the virus to apes.

* The number of foreign visitors that visited the Philippines fell 83.97 percent in 2020 due to travel restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said in a report on Tuesday. The DOT said 1,323,956 foreign visitors entered the country from January to December 2020, or 83.97 percent lower than the 8,260,913 recorded in the same period in 2019.

* The COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 10,047 within one day to 846,765, with the death toll adding by 302 to 24,645, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday. According to the ministry, 7,068 more people were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 695,807.

* Pfizer's partner BioNTech boosted the 2021 delivery target for its vaccine to 2 billion doses, up from 1.3 billion previously.

* An independent board in India has found Russia's Sputnik V vaccine safe in a mid-stage trial, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd said.

* Japanese bank lending continued to rise in December to hit a fresh record, as companies kept piling up cash to weather the fallout from the pandemic.

* France's daily new infection rate is at a seven-week high, and the number of people hospitalised is rising again.

* Greece has launched an online platform for people to register for vaccinations.

* New Zealand will ask international travellers from most countries to show negative COVID-19 test results before boarding flights to the country.

* Australia recorded a handful of new locally acquired cases on Tuesday, with frictions increasing between state leaders over the best approach to manage and contain the outbreaks.

* Several prominent restaurant chains and smaller eateries on Monday defied Mexico City's extension of a ban on dine-in service, in an act of civil disobedience against rules.

* Turkey will begin administering vaccines as of Thursday or Friday, while Egypt expects to start receiving shots through the Geneva-based GAVI vaccine alliance in the coming weeks.

* Senegal does not have the capacity to store vaccines at ultra-low temperatures and would prefer to receive vials that can be kept for longer under ordinary refrigeration.