MIL-OSI Asia-Pac: World News in Brief: July 16

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Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

* Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Friday told parents and legal guardians of adolescents aged from 12 to 17 years old to get them ready for COVID-19 vaccinations.

* The Bank of Japan (BOJ) announced on Friday to maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy to support a still-fragile economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and slightly lower its growth outlook for the current business year through next March.

* China’s annual production capacity for COVID-19 vaccines has reached 5 billion doses as of July, said the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

* India’s COVID-19 tally rose to 31,026,829 on Friday as 38,949 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours, showed the federal health ministry’s latest data. Another 542 deaths were recorded since Thursday morning, taking the total death toll to 412,531.

* Indonesia reported on Friday a record increase of 1,025 deaths from COVID-19, bringing the country’s total tally of fatalities to more than 71,000. The Southeast Asian nation also reported 54,000 new coronavirus infections, taking the total number of cases to 2.78 million.

* The Philippines has recorded the country’s first locally acquired cases of the more infectious Delta variant, prompting authorities to reimpose stricter coronavirus measures in some areas as health experts sought bans on social gatherings.

* England’s coronavirus crisis could return again surprisingly quickly and the country is not yet out of the woods, chief medical officer Chris Whitty said ahead of the lifting of legal restrictions.

* Hungary will offer the option of taking a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine from Aug. 1 and will make coronavirus vaccines mandatory for all healthcare workers, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state radio.

* Eleven African heads of state called for US$100 billion in hardship funding to help dig their economies out of the hole caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Belgium’s crisis centre urged people in the south and east of the country to avoid all travel on Friday as the death toll from swollen and burst rivers and flash floods rose to 14.

* Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday that his country is “very much on agenda” in charting out the COVID-19 pandemic through the four-step plan set at the start of July, despite recent outbreaks.

* National positivity rate of COVID-19 in Pakistan has risen to over six percent in Pakistan, raising a serious concern of a fourth wave in the country, according to the data released by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Friday.

* Portugal’s National Authority for Medicines and Health Products (Infarmed) announced on Thursday that it had decided to continue using vaccines from Janssen Laboratory in Portugal after a reassessment, saying they met the European Union (EU) specifications.

* Since the beginning of this year, 78 militants have been killed in gunfights with Indian government forces across the restive Indian-controlled Kashmir, Indian police said Friday.

* The European Union (EU) is planning to overhaul its current energy taxation system in a bid to synchronize it with the bloc’s green ambition, European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni said on Thursday.

* Ireland’s goods exports to China increased by nearly 19 percent in May, almost four times as high as the country’s total exports in the month, according to data released by Ireland’s Central Statistics Office on Thursday.

* Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri announced on Thursday his resignation after failing to form a non-partisan cabinet in the crisis-torn country, al-Jadeed TV channel reported.

* United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Libya Jan Kubis warned the Security Council on Thursday that efforts must be made to avoid having the situation in Libya backslide to chaos.

* The Afghan government security forces on early Friday launched an operation to retake control of a key border district in southern Kandahar province, a provincial government official confirmed.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News