World News in Brief: April 7

Wednesday, 2021-04-07 19:24:17
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People receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac in Bangkok, Thailand, April 7, 2021. Thailand on Wednesday reported 334 new COVID-19 cases amid a rise in cluster infections, the Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said. (Photo: Xinhua)
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The Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iran nuclear deal, resumed talks in Vienne on Tuesday, with lifting sanctions on Iran and nuclear implementation measures on top of the agenda.

* The death toll due to the impact of tropical cyclone Seroja in Indonesia's province of East Nusa Tenggara rose to 124 with 74 others still missing, the National Disaster Management Agency said Wednesday.

* The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported 6,414 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 819,164. The death toll climbed to 14,059 after 242 more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH said.

* Japan's western region of Osaka cancelled Olympic torch events scheduled across the prefecture, as record coronavirus infections prompted its government to declare a medical emergency.

* India's second wave of infections continued to swell as it reported a record 115,736 new cases, a 13-fold increase in just over two months, raising pressure on the government to expand its vaccination campaign.

* Russia has confirmed 8,294 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 4,606,162, the official monitoring and response center said Wednesday. The COVID-19 death toll rose by 374 to 101,480 in the past day, while recoveries grew by 9,445 to 4,229,480.

* The French government on Tuesday opened a giant vaccination center in the 80,000-seat Stade de France, the national stadium located in the northern suburbs of Paris, to step up vaccine rollout and provide relief to overwhelmed hospitals.

* Cuba reported on Tuesday 1,030 new COVID-19 infections in the last day, which confirms a rise in the number of cases on the island, bringing the accumulated total to 81,640, along with four more deaths for a total of 440, the Ministry of Public Health said.

* Britain began using Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday in Wales as its rollout of other shots fell to their lowest level this year due to a supply crunch caused by manufacturing problems at AstraZeneca.

* Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with the visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Islamabad on Wednesday separately and both sides agreed to strengthen bilateral ties and deepen cooperation. The Russian foreign minister arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday for a two-day visit to discuss bilateral and regional matters.

* The European Union denied blocking shipments of 3.1 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine to Australia, as the bloc steps up scrutiny of vaccine exports to address shortages.

* The Republic of Korea reported its highest single-day number of new cases in three months amid a rise in cluster infections, as it approved a Johnson & Johnson vaccine in a bid to expedite its inoculation campaign.

* The University of Oxford said it had paused a small UK trial testing the COVID-19 vaccine it developed with AstraZeneca in children and teenagers, as it waits for more data on rare blood clotting issues in adults who received the shot.

* The Supreme Committee to Combat Coronavirus in Oman said Omani citizens coming to the Sultanate through various land, sea and air ports will be exempt from the mandatory institutional quarantine but still must quarantine at home.

* The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create stress and anxiety among Canadians as the country reported 4,521 new cases as of Tuesday afternoon, according to CTV. The report brought the total number of COVID-19 cases to 1,018,894, including 23,135 deaths.

* The Council of the European Union (EU) on Wednesday defined the attraction of international investments in hydrogen energy as a priority, in a consensus built during a virtual meeting with representatives of the member states promoted by the Portuguese presidency of the EU.

* The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday revised its 2021 growth forecast for the Spanish economy, predicting a 6.4 percent increase in the country's gross domestic product (GDP), one of the highest increases among the world's developed economies.

* Chile's President Sebastian Pinera on Tuesday announced that the landmark elections on this weekend for councilors, mayors and, for the first time ever, regional governors and members of a constituent assembly to draft a new Constitution, will be postponed until May 15-16 due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.

* Argentina on Tuesday registered a record number of new COVID-19 cases, after 20,870 people tested positive for the disease in the last 24 hours, bringing the national tally to 2,428,029, according to the Ministry of Health. The ministry also reported 163 more deaths from the disease, taking the nationwide death toll to 56,634.

* Israel's foreign exchange reserves reached a new record of US$185.69 billion at the end of March, according to figures published by the Bank of Israel on Wednesday. This is an increase of about US$635 million month on month from the end of February.

* A total of 60 militants of the Islamic State (IS) group were killed in earlier airstrikes in a mountainous area in Salahudin province, north of Iraq's capital Baghdad, the Iraqi military said on Wednesday.