World News in Brief: July 5

Sunday, 2020-07-05 17:10:46
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(Illustrative Image). Students at a school in Hyderabad, India. On July 5, the health ministry reported a record single-day spike of 24,850 new cases and more than 600 deaths, pushing the overall case tally to 673,165, closing in on Russia, the third-most affected country globally. (Photo: PTI)
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More than 11.32 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 530,254 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

* China recorded eight new coronavirus cases for July 4, up from with three a day earlier, the national health authority said on Sunday, while city officials in Beijing said nearly all the cases in a recent outbreak in the capital were mild. Also on Sunday (July 5), China reported seven new asymptomatic patients, up from four a day earlier.

* Florida and Texas, two states that have emerged as the latest hot spots of the US coronavirus outbreak, both reported record daily increases in confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday (July 4) - with nearly 20,000 additional infections combined. During the first four days of July alone, a total of 14 states have posted a daily record increases in the number of individuals testing positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that has killed nearly 130,000 Americans.

* Brazil recorded 37,923 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours as well as 1,091 deaths, the Health Ministry said on Saturday. Brazil has registered more than 1.5 million cases since the pandemic began, while cumulative deaths total 64,265, according to the ministry.

* Mexico reported 523 more coronavirus deaths on Saturday, pushing its tally to 30,366, overtaking France to become the fifth-highest in the world. The health ministry also reported 6,914 new infections and a total of 252,165 confirmed cases.

* Russia on Sunday reported 6,736 new cases of the novel coronavirus, raising the nationwide tally to 681,251. The authorities said that 134 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 10,161.

* Visitors to the Taj Mahal will have to wear masks at all times, keep their distance and not touch its glistening marble surfaces when India's 17th-century monument to love reopens on Monday after a three-month COVID-19 shutdown. Only 5,000 tourists will be allowed in a day, split into two groups, a far cry from peak levels of 80,000 a day who would swarm the mausoleum built in the northern city of Agra by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his wife, in a 22-year effort.

* Indonesia reported 82 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday in its highest daily tally, Health Ministry official Achmad Yurianto said, taking the toll to 3,171. Infections rose 1,607, for a total of 63,749 cases, he added.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 239 to 196,335, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll rose by 2 to 9,012, the tally showed.

* An Indonesia-Australia deal that eliminates most trade tariffs between the two nations and aims to open up investment, took effect on Sunday, Indonesia's Trade Ministry said. The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), signed last year and ratified by the Indonesia's parliament in February, aims to boost bilateral trade that was worth US$7.8 billion in 2019.

* Egypt will hold inaugural elections for a new second parliamentary chamber on Aug. 11-12, election commissioner Lasheen Ibrahim said on Saturday. Amendments made to Egypt's constitution last year provided for the creation of the Council of Senators, a 300-member secondary chamber that will be two-thirds elected by the public and the remainder appointed by the president. The poll results will be announced on Aug. 19 in the official state gazette, Ibrahim said.

* Britain is putting GBP8.4 million (US$10.49 million) into a new study to examine the long-term effects of COVID-19 on patients, the health ministry said on Sunday. The novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19 has been observed to cause many health impacts for some patients beyond immediate respiratory issues, but with other infected people asymptomatic, the workings of the virus are not fully understood.

* Saudi government initiatives to support the financing of the private sector to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus oubreak have exceeded SAR51 billion (US$13.60 billion), the central bank said on Sunday.

* Saudi Arabia's coronavirus infections have passed 200,000 and neighbouring United Arab Emirates 50,000, with the number of new cases climbing after the Arab world's two largest economies fully lifted curfews last month. Restrictions had been in place in both countries since mid-March and their gradual lifting has allowed commercial businesses and public venues to reopen.

* Israel's defence minister said on Sunday it is not "necessarily" behind every mysterious incident in Iran, after a fire at the Natanz nuclear site prompted some Iranian officials to say it was the result of cyber sabotage. Israel, widely believed to be the region's only nuclear power, has pledged never to allow Iran to obtain atomic weapons, saying Tehran advocates its destruction. Iran denies ever seeking nuclear arms and says its atomic programme is peaceful.

* Croatia held an election on Sunday at a time of rising coronavirus infections and a sharp economic downturn from the pandemic, with the outcome likely to lead to political negotiations to form a new government. Polling stations opened at 0500 GMT and will close at 1700 GMT when the exit polls will be released. The first preliminary official results are expected around two hours later.

* Egypt reported 1,485 new cases of coronavirus on Friday bringing the total number of infections to 72,711, including 3,201 deaths.

* With promises of extra financing for small businesses and more jobs as a severe economic downturn looms, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Sunday launched her party's campaign ahead of September general election. Ardern's Labour Party, governing in a coalition with the Greens and the nationalist New Zealand First party, will face the National Party in what is expected to be a pandemic-dominated campaign.

* Tropical depression Five, formed by a cluster of storms off the US east coast, is forecast to move past Bermuda overnight, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Saturday. Five was located about 90 miles (140 kilometers) west of Bermuda, packing maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph), the NHC said in an advisory.

Reuters