World News in Brief: September 22

Tuesday, 2020-09-22 16:43:12
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People stroll along the promenade at Marine Drive, amidst the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Mumbai, India, Sept 22, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)
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India reported its lowest daily tally of coronavirus cases in almost a month on Tuesday (September 22) as it prepares for clinical trials of a potential Russian vaccine in the next few weeks. Federal health data showed 75,083 new cases in the last 24 hours, and 1,053 deaths over the same period. There have been 5.6 million cases in total in the country, second only behind the United States. The total death toll stands at 88,935 people.

* State-backed vaccine maker China National Biotec Group (CNBG) is hopeful of two of its vaccine candidates receiving conditional regulatory approval for general public use within the year.

* Russia expects to register a second potential vaccine by Oct. 15, the TASS news agency cited Russian consumer safety watchdog as saying.

* The European Medicines Agency has been in contact this month with 38 makers of potential COVID-19 vaccines, an official at the EU drugs regulator said.

* Pakistan started Phase III clinical trials for Chinese company Cansinobio's vaccine candidate.

* China reported six new COVID-19 cases on Sept. 21, down from 12 a day earlier, the national health authority said on Tuesday. The National Health Commission said in a statement all of the new cases were imported infections involving travellers from overseas. The total number of confirmed infections for mainland China now stands at 85,297, while the total death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.

* Brazil recorded 13,439 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, as well as 377 deaths from the disease, the Health Ministry said on Monday (September 21). Brazil has registered more than 4.5 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 137,272, according to ministry data.

* Russia on Tuesday reported 6,215 new coronavirus cases, the most recorded over 24 hours since July 18, pushing its national tally to 1,115,810, the fourth largest in the world. Authorities also reported 160 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 19,649 in a nation with a total population of around 144 million.

* Mexico surpassed 700,000 confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday even as health authorities cited what they described as nearly two months of slowing infection rates. On Monday, the Health Ministry reported 2,917 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the Latin American country, bringing the total to 700,580 as well as a cumulative death toll of 73,697.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,821 to 274,158, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday. The reported death toll rose by 10 to 9,396, the tally showed.

* Indonesia reported on Tuesday its biggest daily rise in coronavirus deaths with 160 fatalities, data from the country's COVID-19 task force showed. Indonesia has reported 9,837 deaths overall, the highest death toll in Asia outside India. It also reported 4,071 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of cases in the Southeast Asian country to 252,923.

* The Philippine health ministry on Tuesday reported 1,635 novel coronavirus cases, the lowest daily increase in infections in two weeks, and 50 new deaths. In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed infections in the Philippines have increased to 291,789, the highest in Southeast Asia, while deaths have reached 5,049.

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell people on Tuesday to work from home where possible and will impose new curbs on bars and restaurants to tackle a swiftly accelerating second wave.

* The Spanish government agreed with unions and business leaders to make employers cover home working expenses.

* Plans for the controlled return of fans into UK sports stadiums from Oct. 1 are set to be postponed.

* Australia's virus hotspot of Victoria reported a more than doubling in new infections, likely as a result of increased testing, while other states said border restrictions would be relaxed as case numbers dwindled.

* Europe's stock markets clawed back some ground on Tuesday, a day after rising second waves of the epidemic caused the region's biggest wipeout since June and drover investors back to government bonds.

* Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said escalating COVID-19 cases in Britain threatened the outlook for Britain's economy and said the central bank was looking hard at how it could support the economy further.

* The new Czech health minister said on Tuesday that tighter restrictions on bars and public events were imminent, a day after his predecessor quit amid a spike in COVID-19 infections which has caused cases in the country to double in three weeks. The Czech Republic recorded 1,476 new coronavirus cases on Monday, data from the health ministry showed, bringing the overall number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic to 50,764.

* Britain and the United States exchanged their first tariff offers during the fourth round of trade talks, allowing a series of detailed market access discussions to be held, the UK's Trade Secretary Liz Truss said on Tuesday. The fifth round of talks will take place in mid to late October.

* Israel's cabinet has approved an extra ILS10.5-billion (US$3-billion) aid package to help businesses and self-employed workers cope during a new nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. The cabinet also authorised 10% salary reductions to members of parliament, the prime minister and other well paid government officials just before midnight on Monday.

* Lithuania's defence minister said on Tuesday a new battalion of US troops, including tanks and armoured vehicles, will be deployed in Lithuania in November and will stay until mid-June 2021. It will replace a similar deployment, which arrived on Sept. 4 for a two-month stay, near the Belarus border.

* Iraq is to bar entry to religious pilgrims just weeks ahead of a Shi'ite Muslim pilgrimage, which is the largest annual religious gathering in the world.