World News in Brief: April 5

Monday, 2021-04-05 23:03:48
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People walk on the Beirut Corniche in Beirut, Lebanon, on April 4, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a bill into law enabling the incumbent head of state to run for two more terms starting 2024. The bill was approved by the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, and the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, last month.

* Stricter measures came into effect on Monday for three Japanese prefectures in an effort to combat a resurgence of COVID-19 cases under a revised law that does not require declaring a state of emergency.

* The COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 3,712 within one day to 1,537,967, with the death toll adding by 146 to 41,815, the Health Ministry said on Monday. According to the ministry, 5,800 more people were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 1,381,677.

* The Biden administration has named a coordinator to lead US COVID-19 vaccine diplomacy globally as it sought to assure countries seeking more supplies from Washington that it was moving as fast as possible.

* New data from Israel, where health officials moved quickly to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech, suggests that the vaccination of adults also protects unvaccinated people living around them.

* Novavax Inc said participants in its ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials in South Africa and the UK can now receive additional shots, ensuring those who received a placebo can also get the active vaccine.

* Indian biotech firm Panacea Biotec Ltd has agreed to produce 100 million doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine annually, the Russian Direct Investment Fund said.

* Uzbekistan will reduce management personnel for state governing and administration bodies by 15 percent to reduce bloat, a resolution signed by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said Monday.

* Britain's health regulator is considering a proposal to restrict the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in younger people over concerns about very rare blood clots, Channel 4 News reported.

* Hungary will begin gradual easing of restrictions within days, as it expects to have 25% of its population of 10 million inoculated by Tuesday or early Wednesday.

* New Zealand could open its borders to Australian travellers as soon as the end of the week, New Zealand broadcaster 1NEWS reported.

* The World Bank estimates that Africa would need about US$12 billion for COVID-19 vaccines and their distribution to attain sufficient levels of vaccination coverage to interrupt virus transmission.

* Colombia registered 9,022 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, taking its nationwide tally to 2,446,219, the ministry of health and social protection said Sunday. The country also reported 162 more deaths, raising the national death toll to 64,094, said the ministry.

* Argentina registered 9,955 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the national tally to 2,393,492, according to the country's ministry of health. The ministry also reported 93 more deaths from the disease, taking the nationwide death toll to 56,199.

* Uzbekistan will enhance trade and transport links with Iran in order to increase trade volumes, the country's foreign ministry said here on Monday.

* Private analysts estimated Mexico's economy will grow 4.5 percent in 2021, up from the 3.67 percent previously projected, a survey by the central bank of Mexico (Banxico) showed on Monday.

* Oman will only allow citizens and residents to enter the Gulf Arab state from April 8 following an increase in COVID-19 cases.

* Turkey has launched a vaccination campaign for tourism professionals to boost a vital industry heavily impacted in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program covers the principal players in the tourism industry, including employees of accommodation facilities and restaurants, personnel of the companies providing vehicles for tours and transfers, and tourist guides.

Xinhua, Reuters