World News in Brief: January 19

Tuesday, 2021-01-19 17:43:40
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An Israeli man receives COVID-19 vaccine at a temporary vaccination facility set up in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on Jan. 17, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)
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Thailand approved about US$7 billion cash handouts to boost consumption and help alleviate the impact of a recent spike in cases.

* Indonesia reported a record daily increase of 308 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, taking the total deaths in the country to 26,590, data from the country's health ministry showed. The Southeast Asian nation also recorded 10,365 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total tally to 927,380.

* A latest interim report by the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response highlighted effective multilateralism in the preparation and response to the COVID-19 crisis, saying that the consequences of this pandemic remind the world of how important effective multilateralism is.

* The Chinese mainland on Monday reported 118 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 106 locally transmitted cases and 12 arriving from outside the mainland, the National Health Commission said Tuesday.

* Global shares climbed and the dollar eased ahead of Janet Yellen's Treasury Secretary confirmation speech, in which she is expected to bolster the case for heavy fiscal stimulus in the world's largest economy.

* At least 134 cars were involved in a series of crashes in Japan on Tuesday when a snow storm struck a stretch of highway and one person was killed and a dozen hurt in the chaos.

* An earthquake of magnitude 6.8 struck west-central Argentina on Monday, followed by at least five aftershocks that shook buildings and sent products tumbling off supermarket shelves, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

* Russia on Tuesday reported 21,734 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, including 3,281 in Moscow, pushing the national tally to 3,612,800. Authorities said 586 people had died overnight, taking the official death toll to 66,623.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 11,369 to 2,052,028, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday. The reported death toll rose by 989 to 47,622, the tally showed.

* Mexico confirmed 8,074 new coronavirus cases and 544 more fatalities on Monday, according to health ministry data, bringing its official tally to 1,649,502 infections and 141,248 deaths.

* Oil demand recovery will take a hit from a spike in new coronavirus cases before vaccine roll-outs and stimulus measures help in the second half of the year, the International Energy Agency said.

* The European Union wants to set up a mechanism that would allow the sharing of surplus COVID-19 vaccines with poorer neighbouring states and Africa, the EU health chief said, in a move that may undercut a WHO-led global scheme.

* An estimated 1 in 8 people in England had antibodies against the coronavirus during December, suggesting they have had COVID-19 previously, and the UK health secretary says he is self-isolating.

* US President-elect Joe Biden plans to quickly extend travel restrictions barring travel by most people who have recently been in much of Europe and Brazil soon after President Donald Trump lifted those requirements effective Jan. 26.

* A second wave of infections and tougher measures to limit the spread will slow economic recovery in Sweden and Norway this year, a Reuters poll of economists suggested.

* Brazil kicked off a nationwide COVID-19 immunization programme on Monday by distributing doses of a vaccine from China's Sinovac Biotech, although the pace of vaccination will depend on delayed imports.

* German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to extend coronavirus restrictions until Feb. 15 and make medical masks obligatory on public transport and in shops, according to a draft resolution by the federal government seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

* Kazakhstan plans to vaccinate about 6 million people, or almost a third of its population, this year.

* Colombia's capital Bogota will impose nightly curfews for almost two weeks, its mayor said, while the whole city will enter yet another full quarantine this weekend.

* More than 2,600 Nigerian physicians have contracted COVID-19 and dozens have died, said the chairman of the Lagos branch of the Nigerian Medical Association, while medics await vaccines.

* The Palestinian Authority could receive Russia's Sputnik V vaccine within days, a PA official said.

* Rwanda has re-introduced tough lockdown measures in its capital Kigali after a surge in cases.

* Previous infection may offer less protection against the new variant first identified in South Africa, scientists said, although they hope that vaccines will still work.

Reuters, Xinhua