World News in Brief: February 28

Sunday, 2021-02-28 15:32:46
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Christos Kakoullis, a Cypriot artist, walks in front of his mural works paying tributes to health workers along a boulevard in Larnaca, Cyprus, Feb. 26, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)
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Tokyo reported 329 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, national broadcaster NHK said, for a slight decrease from the previous day's figure of 337. Japan lifted a state of emergency in six prefectures a week earlier than scheduled, although the curbs stay until early March in Tokyo and three other prefectures.

* Mainland China reported six new COVID-19 cases on Feb. 27, down from 10 cases a day earlier, the national health authority said on Sunday. The National Health Commission said in a statement all of the new cases were imported infections. Total confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China stand at 89,893, while the death toll remains 4,636, according to the statement.

* Russia reported 11,359 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the national tally to 4,246,079. The coronavirus crisis centre said that 379 more deaths of coronavirus patients had been confirmed in the past 24 hours, which pushed the official Russian death toll to 86,122.

* Cuba surpassed 100 COVID-19 related deaths in a month for the first time, the country's Ministry of Public Health reported on Saturday. With 102 fatalities from COVID-19 so far, February has already become the deadliest month on the island since the onset of the pandemic last March, the ministry added.

* US President Joe Biden on Saturday urged the Senate to quickly pass the US$1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief package, which was approved by the House early Saturday morning amid unanimous Republican opposition.

* Exactly a year after New Zealand recorded its first coronavirus case, the biggest city of Auckland woke on Sunday to a second lockdown this month, as authorities try to rein in a cluster of the more contagious UK variant.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 7,890 to 2,442,336, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll rose by 157 to 70,045, the tally showed.

* The US government on Saturday authorized Johnson & Johnson's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, enabling millions more Americans to be vaccinated in the coming weeks and setting the vaccine up for additional approvals around the world.

* Brazil registered 1,386 COVID-19 deaths on Saturday and 61,602 additional cases, according to data released by the nation's Health Ministry. The nation has now registered 10,517,232 total confirmed cases and 254,221 deaths due to the virus.

* France on Saturday reported 23,996 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the space of 24 hours, down from 25,207 the previous day, data from the health ministry showed. The figures showed that 186 people had died in hospital with the coronavirus, after 286 on Friday.

* Mexico registered another 783 coronavirus fatalities on Saturday, bringing the overall death toll in the country to 185,257, according to health ministry data. The ministry's data also showed an additional 7,246 confirmed cases, for a total of 2,084,128 cases.

* Italy reported 280 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday against 253 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections declined to 18,916 from Friday's 20,499. Some 323,047 tests for COVID-19 were carried out in the past day, compared with 325,404 previously, the ministry said.

* A total of 19.7 million people in Britain have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, official data released on Saturday showed. Britain also reported a further 7,434 cases within the previous 24 hours, and 290 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

* Republic of Korea reported 356 more cases of COVID-19 as of midnight Saturday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 89,676. Eight more deaths were confirmed, leaving the death toll at 1,603. The total fatality rate stood at 1.79 percent.

* Schools in the occupied West Bank will shut down for 12 days in an effort to stop a sharp rise in coronavirus variant infections, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said on Saturday.

* South African Department of Health on Saturday said the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out is going well with a total of 63,648 people vaccinated in a week since the program started.

* India's space agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday launched one Brazil satellite and 18 co-passenger satellites from its launching centre in south India's Andhra Pradesh state, confirmed an official statement.

* Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Saturday that he would press for a deal to get legal guarantees for workers from Mexico and Central America when he speaks with his US counterpart Joe Biden on Monday. He estimated that the United States needs another 600,000 to 800,000 workers per year.

* Iran on Saturday condemned US air strikes against Iran-backed militias in Syria, and denied responsibility for rocket attacks on US targets in Iraq that prompted Friday's strikes. Washington said its strikes on positions of the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah paramilitary group along the Iraq border were in response to the rocket attacks on US targets in Iraq.

* Authorities in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand on Saturday said the death toll in the dam disaster has risen to 72 and the search for missing people was underway.

* Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi held talks on Saturday with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah in Cairo on bolstering bilateral ties in all area, said the Egyptian presidency in a statement.

* The Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Iranian-aligned Houthi group said on Saturday it had thwarted a ballistic missile attack by the Houthis on the Saudi capital Riyadh, and destroyed six armed drones launched towards southern Saudi cities.