World News in Brief: March 8

Monday, 2021-03-08 17:29:21
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Rwanda last Friday started a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign. It plans to vaccinate 30 percent of its population by the end of 2021 and 60 percent by the end of 2022, or some 8 million people, to achieve herd immunity against the virus. (Photo: Xinhua)
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COVID-19 is exacerbating inequities associated with gender in several key spheres of life and development, Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for Africa said in a statement issued in Nairobi ahead of International Women's Day to be marked on March 8.

* China reported 19 new COVID-19 cases on March 7, up from 13 a day earlier, the country's national health authority said on Monday. Total confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stand at 89,994. The death toll remains unchanged at 4,636.
* Thailand will reduce mandatory quarantine from 14 to seven days starting April for foreigners arriving in the country who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, Health Minister Anutin Charnvirankul said on Monday.

* India's COVID-19 tally rose to 11,229,398 on Monday as 18,711 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours, said the latest data from the health ministry. According to the official data, the death toll mounted to 157,853 as 97 COVID-19 patients died since Sunday morning.

* Russia on Monday reported 10,253 new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours, including 1,421 in Moscow, taking the national case tally to 4,333,029 since the pandemic began. The government's coronavirus taskforce said 379 people had died, bringing the official death toll to 89,473.

* Brazil reported an accumulative 11,019,344 COVID-19 cases as of Sunday amid a second wave of the outbreak of the disease, the Brazilian Ministry of Health said. Meanwhile, a total of 1,086 people died in the last 24 hours, a record for a Sunday, bringing the national death toll to 265,411, the ministry said.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 5,011 to 2,505,193, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday. The reported death toll rose by 34 to 71,934, the tally showed.

* Chile announced on Sunday the third consecutive day of more than 5,000 daily cases of COVID-19, with 5,280 cases, bringing the total to 855,785, the Ministry of Health reported. The ministry also reported another 69 deaths, bringing the death toll to 21,077, and said that 28,557 people are currently in the active stage of the disease.

* The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa has reached 3,955,148 as of Sunday, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said. The Africa CDC, the specialized healthcare agency of the 55-member African Union (AU), said the death toll related to the pandemic stood at 105,490, while 3,533,574 patients across the continent have recovered from the disease.

* Republic of Korea reported 20 more cases of COVID-19 variants in recent days, bringing the total number of such cases to 182, the health authorities said Monday. In the latest tally, the ROK reported 346 more cases of COVID-19 for the past 24 hours, raising the total number of infections to 92,817.

* The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported on Monday 3,356 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 597,763. The death toll climbed to 12,521 after five more patients died from the viral disease.

* German industrial output fell unexpectedly in January following a strong upward revision in the previous month, data showed on Monday, suggesting that the manufacturing sector in Europe's largest economy got off to a weak start this year.

* The first batch of 3,000 doses of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V against COVID-19 arrived in North Macedonia on Sunday, Health Minister Venko Filipce said via a Facebook post. The minister said that the first shipment of 3,000 doses of Sputnik V, which arrived at Skopje International Airport on Sunday, will ensure the continuation of the immunization process that has already started in the country.

* The tiny Southeast Asian nation of East Timor will put its capital city on a coronavirus lockdown for the first time, its government said on Monday, amid fears it could be facing its first local outbreak.

* Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met on Sunday with newly appointed UN special envoy for Libya Jan Kubis in Cairo, where they discussed the Libyan crisis and ways of achieving a political settlement in the war-torn country, said the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.

* Explosions in the Equatorial Guinean city of Bata on Sunday were caused by accident, and the latest casualty count showed at least 20 people were killed and 600 others injured, according to the country's authorities. Search and rescue operations are going on.

* Ghana suffered a nationwide power outage late Sunday afternoon after the shutdown of the power system, officials confirmed in a statement. The Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) said "a challenge to the power system led to a total system shutdown around 2:10 p.m. local time."

* Yemen's Houthi forces fired drones and missiles at the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry on Sunday, including a Saudi Aramco facility at Ras Tanura vital to petroleum exports, in what Riyadh called a failed assault on global energy security.

Xinhua, Reuters