Students get their temperature checked as they arrive to take the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advance test, one of the most competitive entrance exams for entry to top national engineering colleges, at an examination centre, in Noida on Sept 27, 2020. (PRAKASH SINGH / AFP)
NEW DELHI / DHAKA / BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN / JAKARTA / AMMAN / BEIRUT / KUALA LUMPUR / YANGON / WELLINGTON / KATHMANDU / TEHRAN / BAGHDAD / JERUSALEM / RAMALLAH / KUWAIT CITY / DOHA / SINGAPORE / SEOUL / MANILA / ANKARA / DUBAI / HANOI - India's COVID-19 tally is inching towards the 6-million mark, reaching 5,992,532 on Sunday, as the death toll reached 94,503, according to the latest data released by the federal health ministry.
As many as 88,600 new COVID-19 cases and 1,124 deaths were reported across the country in the past 24 hours.
According to the ministry's latest data, 4,941,627 people have been cured and discharged from hospitals.
"The number of active cases in the country stands at 956,402," the ministry added.
A total of 71,257,836 COVID-19 tests were conducted across the country till Saturday, out of which 987,861 tests were conducted on Saturday alone, according to the data released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Sunday.
People walk through Treasury Gardens in Melbourne on Sept 26, 2020. (WILLIAM WEST / AFP)
Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared on Saturday that Australia's pledge for the COVID-19 vaccine is that if they find it they will share it.
When virtually addressing the UN General Assembly, Morrison reiterated his pledge that Australia will share any discoveries made in ongoing vaccine trials.
As of Saturday afternoon there had been 27,016 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia, and the number of new cases in last 24 hours is 17.
There was one new death reported in Victoria, the hardest-hit state by the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, taking the national death toll to 870 and Victoria's to 782.
With Victoria now accounting for 89.8 percent of Australia's coronavirus deaths, Jenny Mikakos, the state's health minister, announced her resignation on Saturday.
Of the new cases, Victoria reported 12 on Saturday, marking eight consecutive days with fewer than 30 new cases.
The department also said that there are 231 active cases relating to aged care facilities and 72 active cases among healthcare workers in the state.
Australia’s tourism minister, Simon Birmingham, said he hoped people would be able to travel freely to and from New Zealand by the end of the year.
Bangladesh recorded 1,106 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 36 more deaths from the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday, bringing the total tally to 357,873 with 5,129 deaths, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said.
The total number of recovered patients in the country rose to 268,777, including 1,753 new recoveries on Saturday, said the DGHS.
Official data showed 10,765 samples were tested in the last 24 hours nationwide, and the COVID-19 fatality rate in Bangladesh was at 1.43 percent and the recovery rate at 75.10 percent.
Bangladesh reported a record daily case spike of 4,019 on July 2 and a highest number of deaths of 64 on June 30.
Brunei reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday with the national tally of cases standing at 146.
According to Brunei's Ministry of Health, no more recoveries were recorded, maintaining the total number of recovered cases at 142. There is still one active case being treated at the National Isolation Center, who was recorded last Thursday.
Meanwhile, currently there are 472 individuals who are undergoing mandatory isolation at the monitoring centers provided by the government, who have arrived in the country after traveling abroad.
There have been three deaths that resulted from COVID-19 in Brunei.
The COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 4,494 within one day to 271,339, with the death toll adding by 90 to 10,308, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.
According to the ministry, 3,207 more people were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 199,403.
The virus has spread to all the country's 34 provinces.
Specifically, within the past 24 hours, Jakarta recorded 1,322 new cases, West Java 386, Central Java 364, East Java 279 and Riau 262.
No more new positive cases were found in Central Kalimantan province.
In this Aug 29, 2020 photo, Shiite Muslim worshippers, mask-clad due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, attend the "Tasua" (ninth day) mourning ritual to commemorate martyrdom of Prophet Mohammad's grandson Imam Hussein during the Islamic month of Muharram ahead of Ashura, at the Tehran University campus in Iran's capital. (PHOTO / AFP)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced on Saturday a plan to intensify compulsory measures to fight the COVID-19, starting by the Greater Tehran area, official news agency IRNA reported.
Speaking in Tehran at a meeting of the National Headquarters for Managing and Fighting the Coronavirus, the president stressed the importance of the observance of health protocols by the people.
The level of compliance with requirements made by medical authorities is between 48 to 53 percent in Iran, he noted, and it should surpass 90 percent.
According to the plan, services should be denied to individuals not wearing face masks in taxis, buses, markets, shopping centers or banks, and service providers offering services will be held accountable, he elaborated.
Rouhani pointed to the need to punish also individuals not wearing masks in public spaces, and said Iran has the necessary means to identify violators.
If the plan is approved by Iran's National Headquarters for COVID-19, it will first be implemented in the Greater Tehran area within a four to five days period, and if successful, it will be extended to other Iranian big cities, Rouhani explained.
The total number of COVID-19 infections confirmed in Iran reached 443,086 on Saturday, after an overnight registration of 3,204 cases, Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education announced.
The Iraqi Health Ministry on Saturday reported 4,270 new COVID-19 infections during the day, bringing the total nationwide infections to 345,969.
The ministry also confirmed 68 new fatalities from the infectious disease, taking the death toll to 8,935, while 3,652 more patients recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 276,918.
The ministry has carried out a total of 2,180,316 COVID-19 tests across the country since the outbreak, with 17,769 done in the day.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi said in a press conference in the city of Najaf that "the ministry is facing great challenges, including the Arbaeen ritual for Shiite Muslims, and the ministry has taken measures in cooperation with the health departments (of the provinces) to provide health teams, ambulances, and laboratories."
"We recommend the pilgrims that there is no alternative for wearing masks to prevent the spread of the pandemic," al-Tamimi said.
Iraq has taken a series of measures to contain the pandemic since February when the first coronavirus case appeared in the country.
Israeli protesters gather during a demonstration amid a second lockdown in front of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem, on Sept 26, 2020, to protest the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. (EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP)
The total number of coronavirus cases in Israel has reached 227,100, with 9,201 new cases, the state's Ministry of Health said on Saturday.
The number of death cases rose to 1,441, with 29 new fatalities, while the number of patients in serious condition rose from 708 to 728, out of 1,436 patients currently hospitalized.
The number of recoveries increased to 157,537, with 3,963 new recoveries, while active cases currently stand at 68,122.
On Friday, tightening of the ongoing three-week anti-coronavirus lockdown took effect in Israel.
Under the new lockdown, all markets and businesses were shut down except for factories and services defined as "essentials."
Residents are required to stay within a 1,000-m radius of their homes, except for special cases such as receiving medical care or an emergency.
The tightened lockdown will last until at least Oct 10.
Jordan on Saturday reported 850 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily increase in the country so far, raising the tally of confirmed cases to 8,061.
Jordanian Health Minister Saad Jaber said in a statement that four more coronavirus-related deaths were registered in the country, taking the death toll to 43.
The kingdom recorded 96 recoveries on Saturday, bringing the total number of recoveries to 4,131. A total of 13,488 random virus tests were conducted, bringing the cumulative number of coronavirus tests to 1,155,513.
Kuwait on Saturday reported 758 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 103,199 and the death toll to 597, the Health Ministry said in a statement.
Currently, 8,391 patients are receiving treatment, including 108 in ICU, according to the statement.
The ministry also announced the recovery of 649 more patients, raising the total recoveries in the country to 94,211.
On Sept 14, the Kuwaiti government decided to postpone the fifth phase of a plan to return to normal until further notice.
During the fifth phase, theaters and cinemas would be allowed to reopen and all social events permitted to be held.
Lebanon registered on Saturday the highest daily increase in COVID-19 infections by 1,280 to 35,242, while the death toll went up by seven to 340, the Health Ministry reported.
The COVID-19 has spread all over Lebanon, prompting officials to isolate some villages.
Lebanon has been fighting against COVID-19 since Feb 21.
Voters wearing face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus wait for their turn at a polling station during a state election on the outskirts of Kota Kinabalu, in Malaysia's Sabah state on Borneo island, Sept 26, 2020. (PHOTO / AP)
Malaysia reported 82 new COVID-19 infections, the Health Ministry said on Saturday, bringing the national total to 10,769.
Health Ministry Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a press statement that three of the new cases are imported and 79 are local transmissions, mostly reported from the northern Borneo state of Sabah where a number of clusters had been identified recently.
The ministry said domestic travelers from Sabah would be screened for COVID-19 from Sept 27 to Oct 10 after 11 returnees from the state tested positive on Saturday.
Sabah held a state legislative assembly election on Saturday, with voters and politicians travelling between the Malaysian Peninsula to the state in the run-up to the polling day.
The Health Ministry also reported that 89 patients have been released on Saturday after recovery, bringing the total cured and discharged to 9,785, or 90.9 percent of all cases.
Of the remaining 851 active cases, eight are being held in intensive care and four of those are in need of assisted breathing.
No new deaths have been reported, leaving the total deaths at 133.
The number of COVID-19 infection cases in Myanmar reached 9,991 on Saturday night, said a release from the Health and Sports Ministry.
According to the release, Myanmar reported 880 new confirmed cases and 24 more deaths on Saturday night.
The death toll stands at 198 while 2,681 patients have been discharged from the hospitals so far.
Myanmar reported the first two cases of COVID-19 on March 23 and the first death on March 31.
New Zealand reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, said the Ministry of Health in a statement.
According to the ministry, both the new cases were imported cases detected in managed isolation facilities, with no new case in the community.
The total number of active COVID-19 cases in New Zealand reached 59, including one patient in hospital, it is said.
The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to the World Health Organisation was 1,477.
Laboratories across New Zealand processed 5,746 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 948,942.
Dr Dibya Singh, Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's personal physician, has been infected with COVID-19, Nepali officials said.
Dr Singh, who is also dean at the Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University (TU) which runs the TU Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu, was confirmed to be infected with coronavirus on Friday.
"She was tested positive after coming into contact with hospital staff infected with the virus," Dr Shanta Kumar Das, coordinator of COVID-19 Management Committee at the TU Teaching Hospital told Xinhua on Saturday evening.
Dr Das said there is little risk for the prime minister to get infected as Dr Singh has not visited the prime minister for more than two weeks.
Several Nepali lawmakers at the federal parliament have also been tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to a senior doctor assigned at the Nepali parliament.
As of Saturday, Nepal confirmed 71,821 COVID-19 cases while the pandemic caused the death of 467 people, according to Nepal's Ministry of Health and Population.
Palestine on Saturday recorded 290 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of infections in the Palestinian territories to 48,572.
The Palestinian health ministry also reported seven new deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 334.
Palestine currently has 12,167 active cases, including 1,646 cases in Gaza, the ministry added.
The Qatari health ministry on Saturday announced 200 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 124,850, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.
Meanwhile, 226 more recovered from the virus, bringing the overall recoveries to 121,738, while two died, increasing the fatalities to 214, according to a ministry statement quoted by QNA.
The ministry reiterated the need to take preventive measures, including staying home and observing social distancing.
A total of 755,365 people in Qatar have taken lab tests for COVID-19 so far.
Saudi Arabia plans to resume tourist visas by early 2021 after months of suspension amid strict government measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the kingdom’s tourism minister told Reuters.
Tourism is a key pillar of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious reform strategy to reduce the economy’s dependence on oil.
The kingdom, which opened its doors to foreign tourists in Sept 2019 by launching a new visa regime for 49 countries, wants the sector to contribute 10 percent of gross domestic product by 2030.
In late-February the kingdom closed its borders to foreign pilgrims and to tourists from at least 25 countries. In March, it barred all travel in and out of the country.
Khateeb said the tourism sector has been hit hard and is expected to see a 35 percent - 45 percent decline by year end. The focus on domestic tourism during the summer has cushioned the blow, however.
The Saudi Summer campaign, which promoted 10 tourist destinations - from beaches and forests to mountain peaks and historic areas - for citizens and residents to visit in lieu of holidaying abroad, helped boost average occupancy ratio at hotels to 80 percent.
Saudi Arabia has reported 332,790 COVID-19 cases and 4655 deaths so far. Infection rates have seen a steady decline over the past few weeks.
Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 20 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 57,685.
Of the new cases, five are imported case, one is community case and the rest are linked with the dormitories of foreign workers.
On Saturday, 19 more cases of COVID-19 infection have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 57,359 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities, the ministry said.
There are currently 25 confirmed cases who are still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, and none is in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
Furthermore, 274 people are isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are those who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.
Altogether 27 people have passed away from complications due to COVID-19 infection.
South Korea reported 95 more cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 23,611.
The daily caseload stayed below 100 for two straight days, but the double-digit increase continued owing to cluster infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province.
Of the new cases, 33 were Seoul residents and 18 were people residing in Gyeonggi province.
Twenty-two were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 3,183.
Two more deaths were confirmed, leaving the death toll at 401. The total fatality rate stood at 1.70 percent.
A total of 82 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number to 21,248. The total recovery rate was 89.99 percent.
Since Jan 3, the country has tested more than 2.29 million people, among whom 2,254,028 tested negative for the virus and 18,878 are being checked.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 304,226 after the Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported 2,995 new daily cases on Sunday.
The DOH said that the number of recoveries also surged to 252,510 after 19,630 more patients recovered. Meanwhile, 60 more patients died from the viral disease, bringing the death toll to 5,344.
The Philippines' capital Metro Manila topped the regions in the country with the highest number of 1,065 daily confirmed cases on Sunday.
The DOH said over 3.4 million people in the Philippines have been tested so far.
Turkey's daily COVID-19 cases increased by 1,511 on Saturday, raising the total diagnosed patients to 312,966, the Turkish Health Ministry announced.
Meanwhile, 71 people died in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 7,929, according to the data shared by the ministry.
A total of 1,232 patients recovered in the last 24 hours, raising the total recoveries to 274,514 in Turkey since the outbreak.
The rate of pneumonia in COVID-19 patients is 6.6 percent and the number of seriously ill patients is 1,615.
Turkish health professionals conducted 102,009 tests in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall number of tests to 9,936,581.
A total of 2,157 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients are under quarantine in dormitories and hostels across Turkey, the Turkish interior ministry said.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday announced 1,078 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 90,618.
At the same time, 857 more patients have recovered from the virus, taking the tally of recoveries in the UAE to 79,676, UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention said.
It also confirmed two more deaths, pushing the country's death toll to 411.
The UAE was the first among the Gulf countries to report COVID-19 cases.
Vietnam reported no new cases of COVID-19 infection on Saturday, with its total confirmed cases standing at 1,069 with 35 deaths from the disease so far, according to its Ministry of Health.
As many as 999 patients in the country have been given all-clear as of Saturday, said the ministry.
Meanwhile, 18,000 people are being quarantined and monitored in the country, the ministry said.
Vietnam has gone through 24 straight days without any COVID-19 cases in the community, according to the ministry.
HONG KONG NEWS