World News in Brief: April 23

Friday, 2021-04-23 15:18:46
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A medical worker hands out a registration form to a man outside a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Toronto, Canada, on April 22, 2021. As of Thursday afternoon, Canada's COVID-19 cases surpassed 1,150,000, hitting 1,152,717, including 23,811 deaths and 1,044,255 recoveries. (Photo: Xinhua)
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International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Thursday called for a robust price on carbon to fight climate change, warning that without it, "we will not reach our climate stabilization goals."

* Leaders of the European Union (EU) on Thursday voiced their ambition to lead the global climate action especially in regards to the establishment of a well-functioning carbon trading system.

* New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called on other countries to follow New Zealand's lead to cut carbon emissions at the virtual Leaders' Summit on Climate hosted by the United States from April 22 to 23.

* Canada aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday.

* China carried out about 7.03 million vaccinations against COVID-19 on April 22, taking total injections so far to 211.22 million doses, National Health Commission data showed on Friday.

* Japan will declare "short and powerful" states of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka and two other prefectures, a cabinet minister said, as the country struggles to contain a resurgent pandemic just three months ahead of the Olympics.

* Brazil on Thursday reported 45,178 new COVID-19 cases, bringing its total caseload to 14,167,973. Meanwhile, 2,027 died from COVID-19, raising the national death toll to 383,502, the Ministry of Health said.

* Thailand's total COVID-19 cases have surpassed 50,000 as a record of 2,070 new infections were recorded on Friday, according to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). The total tally now stands at 50,183, CCSA spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin said.

* UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland on Thursday urged international support for the first Palestinian elections in 15 years. Preparations continue for the Palestinian Legislative Council elections set for May 22, he reported.

* Turkey will host a trilateral meeting with the foreign ministers of Afghanistan and Pakistan on Friday in Istanbul. The meeting will address the latest developments in the Afghan peace process, the Turkish foreign ministry said in a written statement on Thursday.

* COVID-19 infections in adults of all ages fell by 65% after a first dose of AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine in UK research, which scientists said showed the real-world impact of the nation's immunisation campaign against the pandemic.

* France will lift domestic travel restrictions from May 3 but a 7 p.m. curfew will remain in place until the outbreak is under control, and said a quarantine would be imposed for travellers from five countries.

* Canada's government said it would temporarily bar passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days starting on Thursday as part of stricter measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

* Johnson & Johnson's single-shot COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be imported to India for "fill and finish" by June or July, financial daily Mint reported, citing ANI.

* The Republic of Korea granted conditional approval that will allow the public to use two coronavirus self-test kits for the first time, as a surge in infections has rekindled calls to step up testing.

* Britain's medicines regulator said there had been 168 major blood clots following a dose of AstraZeneca's vaccine, a rate of 7.9 clots per million doses, a jump in incidence from the previous week's figure.

* Italy continued moving toward next week's planned easing of coronavirus restrictions as data from the Ministry of Health showed a gradual decline in infection and mortality rate.

* Hungary will reach a 40% inoculation rate by the middle of next week, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told public radio on Friday, a milestone that would allow resumption of a wide range of activities in the services sector en route to normalcy.

* The World Bank and the government of Bangladesh signed a 250 million loan agreement Thursday to help Bangladesh create more and better jobs and recover faster from the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Israel and Bahrain have agreed to recognise each other's COVID-19 vaccination programmes and let people who have had shots travel without restriction between the countries.

Xinhua, Reuters