Fri, 25 Sep 2020

BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- The following are the updates on the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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DOHA -- The Qatari Health Ministry on Friday announced 251 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 114,532, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.

Meanwhile, 301 more recovered from the virus, bringing the total recoveries to 111,258, while the death toll remained 190, according to a ministry statement quoted by QNA.

The ministry attributed the increase in coronavirus infections to gatherings and visits as well as ignoring the preventive measures such as staying at home and social distancing.

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ACCRA -- Ghana on Friday reported 122 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the country's caseload to 41,847.

According to the Ghana Health Service, 223 recovered from the disease, raising the number to total recoveries to 39,718.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in the west African country stood at 1,906, with 223 deaths related to the pandemic.

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YANGON -- The number of COVID-19 infections has risen to 374 cases in Myanmar as of Friday, according to the Health and Sports Ministry.

Five more returnees from the United States, the United Arab Emirates and India tested positive on Friday night, ministry said in a statement.

Those returnees which include a 72-year-old elderly were under facility quarantine in Yangon region after their recent arrivals.

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ADDIS ABABA -- More than 25,500 Ethiopian migrants have been repatriated home during the past four months, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) revealed on Friday.

"Between April 1 and August 13, Ethiopia received over 25,500 returnees, 6,173 from Djibouti, 5,982 from Somalia, 5,082 from Sudan, 3,162 from Saudi Arabia, 1,060 from Kenya, 1,024 from Kuwait, 650 from Lebanon, and some more from other countries," the UN migration agency said in its latest COVID-19 response update for Ethiopia issued on Friday.

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CAPE TOWN -- South Africa on Friday commended the World Health Organization (WHO) for leading the world in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic during "this unprecedented time."

The WHO's stewardship "has ensured that we are able to take lessons from history and tell a better story of the way in which we have handled the coronavirus globally and locally," Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said.

He was speaking as a WHO 16-member team arrived in South Africa to help the country fight the pandemic. The team will be expanded to 43 members later.

"I pay tribute to the men and women of this organization and the leadership that has been shown during this unprecedented time," Mkhize said in a statement.

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NEW DELHI -- India's Defense Ministry said Friday that it was organising Independence Day flag hoisting ceremony on Saturday in the capital, maintaining the balance between sanctity and dignity of the national function while factoring in precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In order to facilitate seamless movement with the least chances of any crowding, seating enclosures and walkways are laid with wooden flooring and carpeting. Additional door frame metal detectors with adequately spaced markings have been provided to avoid queuing and to ensure smooth passage for all the invitees," the ministry said.

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TASHKENT -- Uzbekistan's Finance Ministry has proposed to cut some budget expenditures of the state organizations to create a reserve fund to combat the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, said a draft government resolution announced Friday.

According to the proposal, by suspending the bonuses for civil servants and reducing official travels until the end of the year, as well as by optimizing local budgets, the Uzbek government would be able to save nearly 100 million U.S. dollars, said the draft resolution.

Saved resources will be directed to the anti-crisis fund under the Finance Ministry to fight the coronavirus pandemic, it said.

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NAIROBI -- Kenya's health ministry said the total number of COVID-19 cases passed 29,000 on Friday.

Mercy Mwangangi, chief administrative secretary in the Ministry of Health, said that 580 people tested positive in the last 24 hours from 5,458 samples, bringing the country's total number of COVID-19 cases to 29,334.

Mwangangi announced that the new cases included 530 Kenyans and 50 foreigners with the youngest being a one-year-old baby and the eldest aged 92 years.

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BERLIN -- A study conducted in the southern German town of Kupferzell, a former COVID-19 hotspot, found that 7.7 percent of the residents had antibodies against the coronavirus, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the federal government agency for disease control and prevention, said on Friday.

According to the study, almost 17 percent of the people with positive antibody detection were without typical disease symptoms, while all others had at least one of the symptoms such as fever, shortage of breath or cough.

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MINSK -- Belarus reported 105 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, taking its total to 69,308, according to the country's health ministry.

There have been 274 new recoveries in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 66,452, the ministry added.

So far, 603 people have died of the disease in the country, including four over the past 24 hours, it said.

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