World News in Brief: May 22

Friday, 2020-05-22 16:02:05
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Men cut branches of an uprooted tree in the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan, in South 24 Parganas district in the eastern state of West Bengal, India, May 22, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)
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Peering down from his aircraft, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi saw on Friday (May 22) the devastation and flooding caused by the most powerful cyclone to strike India and Bangladesh in more than a decade, before landing in the stricken city of Kolkata. At least 96 people died in the two countries when cyclone Amphan swept in from the Bay of Bengal on May 20 most of them in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal. Modi has promised to leave no stone unturned to get West Bengal back on its feet and supporting farmers whose crops and livestock were destroyed by Amphan.

* Malaysian health authorities on Friday reported 78 new coronavirus cases, raising the cumulative total to 7,137 cases. The health ministry also reported one new death, bringing the total fatalities up to 115.

* The Philippines on Friday recorded 11 additional coronavirus deaths and 163 more infections, the lowest daily increase in cases in nearly two weeks, health ministry said. In a bulletin, the ministry said total infections have increased to 13,597 while deaths have reached 857. But 92 more patients have recovered, bringing total recoveries to 9,648.

* Coronavirus cases in Singapore topped 30,000 on Friday as the city-state reports hundreds of new infections in cramped migrant worker dormitories every day. The lowly paid workers represented the vast majority of the 612 new cases reported on Friday, a daily infection rate that is one of the highest in Asia, taking Singapore's total cases to 30,426. The death toll remains 22.

* Thailand will maintain its state of emergency over the coronavirus until the end of June, its COVID-19 task force said on Friday, in an effort to keep infections under control as the government prepares to ease restrictions further.

* Russia on Friday reported 150 new fatalities from the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, a record daily rise, taking the country's official nationwide death toll from the virus to 3,249. The country's coronavirus crisis response centre reported 8,894 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections to 326,448.

* India registered some 6,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, the country's biggest jump in 24 hours, as New Delhi eases a nationwide lockdown and airlines prepare to resume some domestic flights. The country of 1.3 billion people reported a total of over 118,000 confirmed cases on Friday, a roughly 5% increase from Thursday's figures. Included in the total are 3,583 deaths.

* The United Kingdom will on Friday set out details of its plans for a quarantine for international arrivals, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said. Home Secretary Priti Patel will set out he details at a briefing later, he told Sky News.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 460 to 177,212, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday. The reported death toll rose by 27 to 8174, the tally showed.

* Australia, after bringing its coronavirus outbreak largely under control, said on Friday it is seeking an exemption from a requirement that travellers arriving in the UK quarantine for 14 days to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Australia has recorded just over 7,000 cases, while the death count rose on Friday to 101 after authorities said a 80-year-old woman died from COVID-19.

* Poland plans to extend a ban on international flights by two weeks until June 6 due to the coronavirus pandemic, state-run news agency PAP said on Friday citing infrastructure ministry documents. A ban on domestic flights will be extended by eight days until May 31, PAP also said.

* Bulgaria, which has started to ease its lockdown, has scrapped a ban on the entry of visitors from the European Union and Schengen visa zone countries, the health ministry said in a statement late on Thursday. In mid-March European Union member Bulgaria banned entry to its territory to travellers from many countries in an attempt to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

* Mexican health authorities on Thursday reported 2,973 more coronavirus cases, a daily record for new infections, bringing the country's total tally to 59,567 cases. Mexico also registered another 420 deaths, just slightly lower than its record one-day death toll the prior day. A total of 6,510 coronavirus deaths have been reported in Mexico since the start of the pandemic.

* Brazil suffered a record of 1,188 daily coronavirus deaths on Thursday and is fast approaching Russia to become the world's No. 2 COVID-19 hot spot behind the United States. Brazil also passed 20,000 deaths on Thursday and has 310,087 confirmed cases, up over 18,500 in a single day, according to Health Ministry data.

* Turkey's exports of milk and other dairy products to China will resume, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said on Thursday, and added that 54 Turkish companies will be able to export to China. In February, Turkey temporarily halted imports of livestock and animal fats from China over the coronavirus outbreak.

* Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Palestinians on Friday to continue their uprising against Israel, suggesting the Israeli government was a "tumor" that should be confronted until Palestinians were liberated.

Reuters