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Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

* The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday reported 2,302,288 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 26,643 cases from its previous count, and said the number of deaths had risen by 410 to 120,333.

* Australia’s second most populous state on Wednesday (June 24) said a man in his 80s died overnight from the coronavirus, the country’s first death from the virus in more than a month, as concerns about a second wave of infections saw thousands queue for COVID-19 tests and supermarkets impose new restrictions. Victoria state reported 20 overnight cases, Victoria Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton told reporters in Melbourne, taking the state tally to nearly 1,900 after recording 17 on Tuesday and 16 the day before.

* Russia on Wednesday reported 7,176 new cases of the novel coronavirus, pushing its nationwide case total to 606,881, the world’s third highest tally. The country’s coronavirus crisis response centre said 154 people had died in the past 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 8,513.

* Tokyo will record “quite a large number” of new coronavirus cases on Wednesday after a cluster of infections was discovered at an office, Governor Yuriko Koike said.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 587 to 191,449, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday. The reported death toll rose by 19 to 8,914, the tally showed.

* Egypt will from Saturday lift a night-time curfew that had been in force since March 25 to curb the spread of the coronavirus, and reopen restaurants, cafes, and places of worship, albeit with limits on the numbers visiting, the government said. The new measures come despite Egypt seeing an acceleration of new cases in recent weeks, with infections confirmed by the Health Ministry surging to 56,809, including 2,278 deaths.

* Colombia’s lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus will continue until July 15, President Ivan Duque said in a nightly broadcast on Tuesday. The Andean country has reported more than 73,500 cases of coronavirus and 2,404 deaths.

* Turkey’s coronavirus death toll has reached 5,001, after 27 more people died in the previous 24 hours, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Tuesday. Turkey said had conducted 42,982 more tests in the space of 24 hours, taking the total so far to over 3 million, Koca said on Twitter.

* India is considering imposing a customs duty on imports of solar modules, cells and inverters from August, the power ministry said on Tuesday, as part of a push to curb foreign purchases.

* President Vladimir Putin raised income tax for wealthy Russians and offered new state handouts to families with children on Tuesday, days before the country votes on reforms that could keep him in power until 2036. In a televised speech to the nation, Putin, 67, said Russia’s response to the coronavirus crisis had saved tens of thousands of lives and he ordered the extension of several support measures to cushion the economic fallout.

* Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has decided to suspend military action plans against Republic of Korea, the official KCNA news agency reported on Wednesday, as a report suggested DPRK troops were taking down loudspeakers recently reinstalled at the fortified border.

* Iran would be open to talks with the United States if Washington apologises for exiting a 2015 nuclear deal and compensates Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday, cautioning that US calls for discussions were insincere. The confrontation between arch foes Tehran and Washington has worsened since 2018, when US President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with major powers and reimposed sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.

* French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte were able to move forward during talks to resolve differences over the European Union budget and recovery fund, a French presidential official said on Wednesday. Macron travelled to the Netherlands on Tuesday evening to try to break Rutte’s resistance to the European Union’s EUR750 billion (US$848.18 billion) aid package that the French president wants to see approved at an EU summit in July.

* India said on Tuesday it would expel half the staff in Pakistan’s embassy in New Delhi over alleged spying by officials there, prompting Islamabad to say it would respond in kind. Both countries said the affected officials had been asked to leave within a week.

* Austria has issued a warning against travel to the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia after a coronavirus outbreak at a meatpacking plant there, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Wednesday. The move puts the state in the same category as the Italian region of Lombardy, the epicentre of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak, which was one of the worst in Europe.

* Finland’s government decided on Tuesday to scrap from July 13 travel restrictions for leisure travellers from certain European countries such as Italy and Germany, if infection rates remain at current levels, as well as a requirement for them to go into quarantine for 14 days when entering Finland. The travel restrictions and the quarantine rule will remain in place for travellers from neighbouring Sweden.

* Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday he would invite the head of Twitter Inc to Mexico to talk about controlling bots and fighting the spread of fake news on social media. Lopez Obrador argues that political opponents use automated accounts known as bots to flood social media with disinformation and false stories that appear to be news while attacking his government.

* Emirates, one of the world’s biggest long-haul airlines, has suspended flights from Pakistan after passengers tested positive for coronavirus in Hong Kong (China), it said on Wednesday. The Dubai state carrier, which is operating limited services due to the coronavirus pandemic, said the temporary suspension was effective June 24. The rate of COVID-19 cases has been rising fast in Pakistan, a country of 207 million people, but Prime Minister Imran Khan has ruled out a nationwide lockdown. It has recorded 3,755 deaths and 188,926 infections.

* Kazakhstan has locked down two towns near its capital Nur-Sultan to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the surrounding province, the authorities said on Wednesday. The number of COVID-19 cases in the Central Asian nation bordering China and Russia has jumped almost six-fold to over 30,000 since it ended a state of emergency and a nationwide lockdown in mid-May.

* Israeli and Palestinian authorities have brought back some coronavirus restrictions after the number of new cases jumped in what officials fear could herald a “second wave” of infections. A partial lockdown went into effect on Wednesday in a town in central Israel and several neighborhoods in the city of Tiberias where infection rates were particularly high. The Palestinian Authority put the West Bank city of Hebron on lockdown as well.

* Syrian air defences responded to Israeli strikes on the airspace of the southeastern part of the country near the city of Sweida and in the eastern province of Deir al Zor bordering Iraq, state television said on Tuesday. It did not give any details about the latest Israeli strikes, one of dozens that Israel had launched in recent months against suspected Iranian targets that are spread across Syria.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News