World News in Brief: April 8

Wednesday, 2020-04-08 15:49:09
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Israeli engineers work in a production line of ventilators in the central Israeli city of Petah Tikva amid COVID-19 pandemic, on April 7, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has suspended until June 30 the rotation and deployments of uniformed personnel, including individual officers and already-formed, police and military peacekeeping units, because of the novel coronavirus, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric, said on Tuesday (April 7). The decision was sent to all countries contributing troops and police and to all relevant peace operations.

* Chinese health authority said Wednesday (April 8) it received reports of 62 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Tuesday, of which 59 were imported. The overall confirmed cases on the mainland had reached 81,802 by Tuesday, including 1,190 patients who were still being treated, 77,279 patients who had been discharged after recovery, and 3,333 people who died of the disease.

* Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called for close cooperation among all countries to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in a video message posted on Facebook on Wednesday. He said in the video message, which is for the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Regional Office for a virtual meeting of health ministers, all countries must cooperate closely with one another and learn from one another's experience.

* Thailand is not enforcing a 24-hour curfew to stem the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the country as rumored on social media, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was quoted as saying on Wednesday. Thailand, which is currently under a six-hour curfew between 10.00 p.m. and 04.00 a.m., reported 111 new cases of COVID-19 infection on Wednesday, making a total of 2,369, including 30 fatalities.

* India's federal health ministry Tuesday evening said the death toll due to COVID-19 in India rose to 124 and the total number of confirmed cases reached 4,789. According to health officials, so far 353 people have been discharged from hospitals after showing improvement.

* The New Zealand government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis said on Wednesday.

* The COVID-19 pandemic may cost the Asia-Pacific region 0.8 percent of the gross domestic product, an estimated US$172 billion due to a massive drop in global demand for their exports alone, said a report issued by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on Wednesday.

* Finland on Tuesday announced a further tightening of its international transit to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Maria Ohisalo, Finnish Minister of the Interior, said at a press conference that all passenger transport on ships in and out of Finland will stop from Friday night until May 13.

* Russia has registered a total of 7,497 cases of COVID-19 in 81 out of 85 regions of the country as of Tuesday, with the number of infected rising by a new daily record of 1,154, up from 954 a day before, official data showed. The death toll rose to 58, up from 47 a day before, while 494 people have recovered so far, including 88 in the last 24 hours, Russia's coronavirus response center said in a statement.

* Iran's Oil Minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said his country does not agree with holding any OPEC+ meeting in the absence of a clear proposal and expected outcome from such talks for the oil market, according to a letter sent to OPEC and seen by Reuters.

* Panama registered 149 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the country's total to 2,249 cases, authorities said on Tuesday. The death toll stands at 59.

* Mexico has registered 346 new cases of coronavirus infection, bringing the country's total to 2,785, as well as 141 deaths, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

* Australia's parliament will return on Wednesday in a slimmed down version to pass an emergency AUD130 billion (US$80 billion) stimulus package as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on the country's economy.

* Severe tropical cyclone Harold has been striking most parts of Fiji since Tuesday night, causing extensive damage and flooding across the island nation. Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama urged on Wednesday all Fijians to stay indoors until the all clear is given by authorities.

* Brazil on Tuesday reported the total number of COVID-19 cases has risen to 13,717, with 667 deaths, for a mortality rate of 4.9 percent. According to the Health Ministry, 1,661 new cases of infection have been reported in the country in the past 24 hours, and 114 patients died.

* Chile's Health Ministry on Tuesday reported that 5,116 people have tested positive for COVID-19, and 43 have died from the disease. In the past 24 hours, 301 new cases of infection were detected and six patients died.

* The death toll from COVID-19 in Ukraine rose to 45 on Tuesday, as the confirmed cases reached 1,462, the country's health ministry said. According to the ministry, 143 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Ukraine in the last 24 hours. According to Deputy Health Minister Viktor Liashko, COVID-19 infections in the country could peak on April 14.

* Israel reported six new death cases from the novel coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 71, the state's Ministry of Health said Wednesday. The ministry added that a total of 9,404 people in Israel were tested positive for COVID-19 so far.

* The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed nearly 4,000 lives out of the over 60,000 infected cases in Iran, while more states in the Middle East started to require wearing face masks to curb the spread of the pandemic.

* In Turkey, its health minister on Tuesday reported 3,892 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number in the country to 34,109.

* Palestine on Tuesday said it strongly rejects Israel's attempts to annex parts of the West Bank, reiterating its commitment to international law and United Nations resolutions, according to a statement by the Palestinian presidency.

* The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday announced 283 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 2,359.

* Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Turkish counterpart on Tuesday discussed the means of cooperation to control COVID-19 spread in both countries, official IRNA news agency reported.

* The Iraqi Health Ministry on Tuesday confirmed one more death from COVID-19 and 91 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to 1,122.

* Oman's Ministry of Health said in a statement on Tuesday that it recorded 40 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of the infections in the country to 371.

* The Higher Committee to Combat the Corona Epidemic of Libya's eastern-based government on Tuesday announced the first COVID-19 case in eastern Libya.

* Altogether 20 patients have died in Algeria from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, while 45 others have been infected with the virus, health officials said on Tuesday.

* Ethiopia's confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 52 after eight more people were confirmed to have been infected with the COVID-19 virus, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health disclosed in a statement issued on Tuesday.