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Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

* More than 38.11 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,084,890 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

* Indian and Chinese military commanders held “positive, constructive” discussions on disengaging troops locked in a months-long standoff at their disputed Himalayan border, the two sides said in a joint statement on Tuesday (October 13).

* Johnson & Johnson said it would take at least a few days for an independent safety panel to evaluate an unexplained illness of a study participant that led to a pause in the company’s COVID-19 vaccine trial.

* Britain, Italy and Spain had the highest rates of so-called “excess deaths” from all causes, including COVID-19, among 21 developed countries during the first wave of the pandemic, an international study has found.

* Singapore’s central bank left its monetary policy unchanged and said its accommodative stance will remain appropriate for some time as the city-state’s economy emerges from its slump.

* Global oil stocks which rose during the height of the pandemic are being steadily reduced, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said, but a second wave is slowing demand and will complicate efforts by producers to balance the market.

* Israeli and Lebanese negotiators met briefly on Wednesday (October 14) for talks on their disputed maritime border, ending their meeting after only an hour and agreeing to meet again on Oct. 28, Lebanese defence sources said.

* Mexico plans to vaccinate more than 116 million people, or roughly 90% of its population, by the end of 2021.

* India’s tally of coronavirus infections rose by 63,509 in the last 24 hours to stand at 7.24 million on Wednesday, health ministry data showed. Deaths from COVID-19 infections rose by 730 to 110,586, the ministry said. India crossed the 7 million mark on Sunday, adding a million cases in just 13 days. It has the world’s second-highest tally after the United States, where the figure is nearing 8 million.

* Indonesia reported 4,127 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases in the Southeast Asian country to 344,749, data from its COVID-19 task force showed. Indonesia also recorded 129 new deaths, the highest daily increase in fatalities since Sept. 30, the data showed.

* The Philippines recorded 1,910 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the lowest number in more than three weeks, and 78 more fatalities. In a bulletin, the health ministry said the Southeast Asian country’s confirmed infections had climbed to 346,536, while its death toll had risen to 6,449.

* Russia reported a new record daily high of 14,231 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, pushing its total number of infections to 1,340,409. The country’s coronavirus taskforce said that 239 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 23,205.

* Mexico’s health ministry on Tuesday reported 4,295 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 475 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 825,340 cases and 84,420 deaths. The government says the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

* Germany has recorded more than 5,000 daily new coronavirus infections for the first time since April. The number of confirmed cases increased by 5,132 to 334,585 on Tuesday, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed. The reported death toll rose by 43.

* Poland is considering a proposal to lift a ban on Sunday trade to ease crowding in the rest of the week, while Romania introduced new progressive restrictions and will extend a state of alert until mid-November.

* Several coronavirus clusters have emerged in Australia’s two most populous states, officials said, prompting the biggest, New South Wales, to delay easing some restrictions.

* A Japanese supercomputer showed that humidity can have a large effect on the dispersion of virus particles, pointing to heightened contagion risks in dry, indoor conditions during the winter months.

* Heavy rains have killed at least 12 people in southern India and caused widespread flooding in the city Hyderabad, home to major IT companies and startups, government officials said on Wednesday.

* Kyrgyzstan’s parliament named nationalist politician Sadyr Japarov prime minister in a repeat vote on Wednesday, a step towards ending a political crisis in the Central Asian nation. Parliament had to vote on the matter again after President Jeenbekov vetoed its previous decision due to proxy voting by some MPs in the Oct. 10 session.

* Spain’s government is negotiating with its EU partners to get the disbursements of European Union recovery funds as early as possible so it can launch its recovery plan in January 2021, Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said on Wednesday. Spain is due to receive around EUR140 billion (US$166 billion) in grants and loans out of the EU’s EUR750-billion coronavirus recovery package.

* Romania’s centrist minority government introduced new progressive restrictions to stem a rise in new coronavirus infections and will extend a state of alert until mid-November, authorities said late on Tuesday. Romania has been reporting daily infection rates of over 3,000 for the past few days, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 160,461 since the pandemic reached the country in late February. While 120,515 people have recovered, 5,535 have died, the highest fatality rate in the European Union’s eastern wing.

* Bulgaria reported 785 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, setting a daily record for a fourth time in a week as infections keep rising, official data showed. The Balkan country now has 25,774 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 923 deaths. A total of 1,307 people are hospitalised and 63 are in intensive care, data from the coronavirus information platform showed.

* Iran’s death toll rose by 254 to 29,070 on Tuesday as the number of confirmed cases spiked to 508,389 in the hardest-hit Middle Eastern country.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News