World News in Brief: April 6

Tuesday, 2021-04-06 21:10:50
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People sit at a restaurant terrace in Lisbon, Portugal, April 5, 2021. Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Monday called for "a national effort by all to avoid setbacks" at the beginning of the second phase of the country's de-confinement program. (Photo: Xinhua)
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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday projected that the global economy will grow by 6 percent in 2021, 0.5 percentage point above the January forecast, according to the latest World Economic Outlook.

* The World Health Organization does not want to see vaccination passports as a requirement for travel, partly because of uncertainty over whether inoculation prevents transmission of the virus, a WHO spokeswoman said.

* The world is bracing for a new wave of Covid-19 infections, as the coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 130 million people and killed more than 2.8 million globally since late January 2020.

* World stocks hit record highs, supported by strong economic data from China and the United States, while currency and bond markets paused for breath after a month of rapid gains in the dollar and Treasury yields.

* An investor morale index in the euro zone rose in April to the highest level since August 2018, driven by an improved view of the current situation, a survey showed.

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Islamabad on Tuesday for a two-day visit to Pakistan on bilateral and regional matters. The foreign ministry said that during the talks between the two foreign ministers, the entire gamut of Pakistan-Russia relations will be reviewed and ways will be discussed to further broaden and deepen bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.

* Foreign ministers of Serbia, Greece and Cyprus met in Belgrade on Monday, vowing to improve economic cooperation and stimulate development.

* The leaders of Ukraine, France and Germany could soon gather to discuss steps to end the military conflict in eastern Ukraine, head of the Ukrainian President's office said recently. Andriy Yermak was quoted by Interfax-Ukraine as saying that a meeting between the leaders of the three countries was possible in the near future.

* More than 142.80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered across China as of Monday, the National Health Commission said Tuesday.

* The United States has administered more than 165 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Sunday morning and distributed nearly 208 million, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Sunday.

* Brazil reported on Monday 28,645 new COVID-19 infections and 1,319 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 13,013,601 and the national death toll to 332,752, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

* The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread in Asia-Pacific countries as the Philippines reported its record daily COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday while the Delhi government decided to impose a night curfew to check the surging cases in the Indian capital.

* Russia confirmed 8,328 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, taking its nationwide tally to 4,597,868, the official monitoring and response center said Tuesday. COVID-19 related deaths increased by 389 to 101,106.

* Japanese health minister Norihisa Tamura on Tuesday warned that the number of COVID-19 infections in Tokyo has been consistently rising and called for increased vigilance.

* Britain will start the roll-out of Moderna's vaccine in mid-April, vaccine deployment minister Nadhim Zahawi said, adding that the vaccination programme was on track to meet government targets.

* Michigan reported a record number of COVID-19 cases on Monday to top the daily tally among U.S. states, about a month after easing restrictions when new cases showed a downward trend.

* Colombia will allow private imports of COVID-19 vaccines, the health ministry said on Monday, but the shots must be free for those being inoculated.

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday confirmed that from April 12, non-essential shops will reopen and pubs and restaurants will reopen outdoors as Britain moves to step two of the roadmap out of the COVID lockdown.

* New Zealand and Australia will create a "travel bubble" without COVID-19 testing or quarantine from April 19.

* The Greek economy will post a rebound of 4.2 percent this year, as 2021 "marks the beginning of the end for the COVID-19 pandemic," according to the annual report by Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras published on Tuesday.

* Chile's Health Ministry reported on Monday 5,807 new COVID-19 cases and 33 more deaths in the past 24 hours, for a total caseload of 1,032,612 infections and 23,677 deaths. Chile is facing a new wave of COVID-19 infections since the end of summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

* South Africa has signed an agreement with Pfizer Inc for 20 million dual shot vaccine doses, a government official told Reuters, boosting plans to start mass vaccinations from April.

* Contract manufacturer Catalent Inc has signed an agreement that will nearly double the U.S. production of Moderna Inc's vaccine, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

* Valneva reported positive results for its COVID-19 vaccine in early-stage clinical trials and said it planned to launch a Phase Three trial this month.

* New data from Israel, where health officials moved quickly to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech, suggests that the vaccination of adults also protects unvaccinated people living around them.