Sun, 12 Jul 2020

BEIJING, May 26 (Xinhua) -- The following are the updates on the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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WELLINGTON -- The New Zealand government announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy on Tuesday, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts and explore the potential of vaccine manufacturing capability in New Zealand.

The COVID-19 vaccine strategy aims to secure a vaccine -- safe, effective and in sufficient quantities -- at the earliest possible time. It will ensure that New Zealand has detailed knowledge of key international research efforts and an ability to assess promising vaccine candidates as they emerge, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters said in a statement.

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NEW DELHI -- India's federal health ministry said Tuesday morning that 146 new deaths due to the COVID-19, besides fresh 6,535 positive cases, were reported since Monday in the country, taking the number of deaths to 4,167 and total cases to 145,380.

"As on 8:00 a.m. (0230 GMT) Tuesday, 4,167 deaths related to novel coronavirus have been recorded in the country," read information released by the ministry.

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RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazil on Monday said its death toll from the novel coronavirus climbed to 23,473, following 807 fatalities in a single day.

The total number of people who have tested positive for the disease reached 374,898, with a mortality rate of 6.3 percent, according to the Health Ministry.

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LISBON -- Portugal's flag carrier TAP Air Portugal on Monday published its flight schedule for the next two months, which involves 27 weekly flights in June and 247 in July, according to data released by the airline.

As some of the restrictions imposed on airlines were lifted, TAP added flights to London and Paris, two flights a week to Sao Paulo and a weekly flight to Rio de Janeiro, bringing the total at the end of May to 18 flights per week.

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ROME -- The latest talks over the fate of the former Ilva steel smelter in southern Italy closed Monday with government officials saying the state would play a direct role in assuring the facility would emerge stronger from its ongoing environmental, labor, and production struggles.

ArcelorMittal, the Luxembourg-India conglomerate that acquired control of the Ilva facility in 2017, is now expected to provide its industrial plan for the plant's turnaround sometime in early June.

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BELGRADE -- Montenegro is the first coronavirus free country in Europe, said Prime Minister Dusko Markovic at a press conference on Monday afternoon, while announcing kindergartens and cinemas will open next week, while border crossings will open on June 1.

Montenegro will reopen its borders with countries that meet the criteria of the Institute of Public Health -- having less than 25 active cases per 100,000 inhabitants, Markovic said at a press conference broadcast by the national television RTCG.

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CAIRO -- Most of the major Middle East countries on Monday announced the further ease of the precautions against the novel coronavirus, as Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim festival of breaking the fast at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, is being observed across most of the region.

In Turkey, the hardest hit country by the coronavirus in the Middle East, reported 987 new cases on Monday, raising the total number to 157,814, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

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