World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday (September 7) the world must be better prepared for the next pandemic, as he called on countries to invest in public health. More than 27.19 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 888,326 have died, according to a Reuters tally, since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

The World Health Organization chief said the world must be better prepared for the next pandemic, as he called on countries to invest in public health.

* Party General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping said on Tuesday (September 8) China acted in an open and transparent manner on the COVID-19 outbreak and that it had taken concrete efforts that helped save tens of millions of lives around the world during the pandemic. Xi, speaking at a ceremony honouring role models during the country's fight against the disease, said China is the first major economy to return to growth during the pandemic - a fact he said demonstrates the country's strong abilities and vitality.

* As Japan's ruling party formally kicked off its leadership race on Tuesday, frontrunner and chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said that preventing the spread of the coronavirus should take priority in any decision to call a snap election. Suga, a favourite to succeed incumbent Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, who is stepping down due to poor health, also stressed that the biggest job for the new prime minister will be to revive the coronavirus-ravaged economy.

* Russia will begin offering its COVID-19 vaccine to volunteers this week as part of a trial following the vaccine's registration, the TASS news agency quoted the health minister as saying.

* The German economy is recovering from the coronavirus shock and will reach its pre-crisis size at the beginning of 2022 at the latest, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told Reuters.

* China reported 10 new COVID-19 cases for Sept. 7, down from 12 a day earlier, the national health authority said on Tuesday. The National Health Commission said in a statement that all new cases were imported infections involving travellers from overseas, marking the 23nd consecutive day of no local infections. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases for China now stands at 85,144. The death toll remains unchanged at 4,634.

* Cases are rising in 22 of the 50 US states, according to a Reuters analysis, a worrying trend on a Labour Day holiday weekend traditionally filled with family gatherings and parties to mark the end of summer.

* Brazil recorded 10,273 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, as well as 310 deaths from the disease, the Health Ministry said on Monday. In all, Brazil has registered 4.15 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 126,960, according to ministry data.

* Russia reported 5,099 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, pushing its national tally to 1,035,789, the fourth largest in the world. Authorities confirmed 122 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 17,993.

* Mexico reported 3,486 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 223 additional fatalities on Monday, bringing its totals to 637,509 infections and 67,781 deaths, according to updated health ministry data. The government has said the real number of infected people is likely to be significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

* Argentina's coronavirus death toll surpassed 10,000 on Monday, the government said, as the South American nation struggles to bring its infection rate under control. There have been 10,129 deaths, with 488,007 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to government data. Almost half of coronavirus tests are yielding a positive result.

* The Australian state at the centre of the country's second wave coronavirus outbreak is deepening its contact tracing programme to try to maintain a steady decline in daily new cases. Victoria state, home to a quarter of Australia's 25 million population, recorded 55 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to Tuesday morning. That was up from the previous day's 41 new cases but far below a record daily increase of 725 a month ago.

* The Philippines' health ministry on Tuesday confirmed 3,281 new coronavirus infections and 26 additional deaths. In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases have reached 241,987 while deaths have increased to 3,916.

* Indonesia reported 3,046 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the national total to 200,035, data from the country’s health ministry website showed. There were also 100 new deaths in Indonesia overnight, taking the total number to 8,230, the highest coronavirus death toll in Southeast Asia.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,499 to 252,298, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday. The reported death toll rose by four to 9,329, the tally showed.

* Spain's Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said on Tuesday her government was pushing for a European Union harmonisation of COVID-19 travel measures to limit problems for tourists and tourism operators.

* France's COVID-19 situation is "worrying", with daily new cases at record levels, but a second wave of infections is "avoidable", health minister Olivier Veran said on Tuesday.

* Thousands of trainee doctors in Republic of Korea returned to work after ending a more than two-week strike as the country continued to post three-digit rises in new daily infections.

* England's deputy chief medical officer said the rise in the number of cases was of great concern and people had "relaxed too much" over the summer.

* Saudi King Salman discussed with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday the Group of 20 (G20) major economies and latest developments in the region, Saudi state news agency (SPA) reported. They discussed, in a phone call, efforts made by the group to work on supporting economies and health systems to face the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, SPA said.

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Cyprus on Tuesday that Moscow was ready to help mediate in any talks with Turkey as tensions simmer over energy exploration in the Mediterranean Sea. Decades-old tensions between Turkey and Cyprus, which is backed by Greece, have come to a head this year in disputes over commercial rights in the east Mediterranean, an area thought to be rich in natural gas. NATO allies Turkey and Greece are at loggerheads the extent of their continental shelves.

* President Bashar al Assad said on Monday he wanted to expand business ties with Russia to help Syria cope with new US sanctions on its already crippled economy that threaten to undermine military gains Damascus achieved with Moscow's help. Assad spoke during a meeting in Damascus with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

* Ukraine registered a record 57 deaths related to the new coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the national security council said on Tuesday, up from a previous record of 54 deaths registered last week. The council said a total of 140,479 cases were registered in Ukraine as of Sept. 8, with 2,934 deaths and 63,546 people recovered.

* Seven Greek islands have been added to the list of countries from which travellers must quarantine when entering England, British transport minister Grant Shapps said.

* Oman will restart international flights on Oct. 1, state news agency ONA said on Twitter.

* Iraq is reopening its land border crossings, restaurants, hotels, and bringing back sporting events without spectators, the prime minister said on Monday, three days after it recorded its highest daily increase in coronavirus infections. Iraq recorded 4,314 new cases on Monday, the health ministry said, and 77 deaths, bringing the total number of cases to 264,684 and the total deaths to 7,589.

* A military spokesman for Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis said that the group targeted Saudi Arabia's Abha International Airport with a number of drones. Yahya Sarea wrote on Twitter "the continuous attack of the drones on Abha International Airport led to disabling it for several hours".

Source: Reuters

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