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Top Australian vet warns of outbreak of lethal pig virus

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(Xinhua/NAN) Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Mark Schipp, on Monday warned of an impending outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF).

Schipp gave the warning in a speech in Canberra, Australian that he expected several countries to confirm cases of ASF in no distant time.

The disease had already been found in China, Vietnam, Myanmar and among other countries.

“We’re expecting a number of countries to announce they’ve got ASF in the coming days, and we’ve already taken steps in preparation for that,’’ Schipp said.

ASF is a severe viral disease affecting domestic pigs and boars, which can be spread by live or dead pigs and pork products.

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, ASF virus is harmless to humans, but causes haemorrhagic fever in pigs and wild boars that is almost fatal.

“If it reaches Australia, industry experts predict ASF could cost the nation’s economy 50 billion Australian dollars ($34.2 billion),’’ Schipp said. (Xinhua/NAN)

YI/AIB

Edited by Yahaya Isah/Abdulfatah Babatunde

Foreign

Update: Global COVID-19 cases top 6.8 mln: Johns Hopkins University

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Confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide topped 6.8 million on Saturday, reaching 6,804,044 as of 3:30 p.m. (1930 GMT), according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

A total of 362,678 people worldwide have died of the disease, the data showed.

A health worker collects swab samples from a boy for COVID-19 testing inside Dharavi slum in Mumbai, India, on June 6, 2020.

(Str/Xinhua)

A health worker collects swab samples from a boy for COVID-19 testing inside Dharavi slum in Mumbai, India, on June 6, 2020.

(Str/Xinhua)

The United States suffered the most from the pandemic, with 1,909,077 cases and a death toll of 109,497. Countries with over 200,000 cases also include Brazil, Russia, Britain, India, Spain and Italy. The number of cases outside China exceeded 6,715,000, according to the CSSE data.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Palestine exerts effort in UNSC to stop Israel’s annexation plan: official

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A high-ranking Palestinian diplomat said on Saturday that the Palestinian side exerts efforts in the United Nations Security Council to stop implementing Israel’s plans of annexing Palestinian lands.

Palestine Envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour told “Voice of Palestine” that Palestine exerts intensive efforts to form a broader front in the UN against the Israeli plan.

“The broader international front aims at exerting pressure on the Israeli government to regret implementing its plan of annexing parts of the West Bank lands,” said Mansour.

The Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to annex more than 30 percent of the West Bank lands, including the Jordan Valley and imposing Israeli sovereignty on Israeli settlements.

According to Netanyahu, the plan might be implemented early in July.

Mansour said that he will meet with the president of the Security Council and other council members to explain the destructive consequences of the Israeli annexation plan.

“We will ask the Security Council to intensify their pressure on the Israeli government that is fully backed by the United States administration to stop the implementation of the annexation plan,” said Mansour.

Meanwhile, Sabri Seidam, members of the Central Committee of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Movement, told reporters that the Palestinian leadership decided to remain on open-ended meetings.

“The Palestinian leadership meets to decide on how the Palestinian side will respond to the Israeli annexation plan once it is implemented,” said Seidam, adding that the Palestinians need to be united and boost their internal front.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

India registers record single-day COVID-19 spike, caseload tops Italy’s

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India surpassed Italy as the sixth worst-hit country in the world from the coronavirus as its biggest single-day surge of infections was recorded so far, data showed on Saturday.

The Health Ministry reported 9,887 new cases over the past 24 hours, taking the total number of infections to 236,657.

The cases have been rising sharply, by 8,000 or more, for several days now.

At least 294 deaths linked with COVID-19 were registered since Friday, bringing the total to 6,642.

The figures showed that India had climbed to the sixth spot in the list of nations worst hit by the pandemic, overtaking Italy’s 234,531 total cases by Friday evening, a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University in the United States showed.

India’s fatality rates, however, have been relatively low compared to countries worst-affected by the pandemic, including Italy.

The South Asian country has only about one-fifth of Italy’s COVID-19 deaths that stand at 33,774.

Overall, India ranks 12th in fatalities.

According to the Health Ministry data, the count of recoveries had risen to over 114,000 cases.

Still, India had more than 115,000 active cases across the country.

Indian officials contend that the more than two month-long lockdown, the largest in the world, kept the mortality rates down.

They also cite effective clinical management and less severe infections in India, which has a population that skews younger.

They have denied allegations of under-reporting COVID-19-related deaths.

The case fatality ratio – or proportion of deaths to the total number of cases – has been steady at 2.8 per cent, which is lower than the global mortality rate of 5.8 per cent, the Hindustan Times daily reported.

However, experts warned that the densely populated country had yet to see the peak of the pandemic.

India’s main cities, the national capital New Delhi and financial hub of Mumbai, are the epicentres of the outbreak in India, accounting for 45,000 and 35,000 cases respectively.

People in these cities have taken to social media to talk about patients struggling to receive medical attention, with some hospitals contending they did not have enough beds left.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal however said there was no shortage of beds and strict action would be taken against some hospitals that had turned away patients.

Many new cases were reported from rural areas after hundreds of thousands of daily-wage migrant workers left cities and towns under lockdown to return to their villages, having found themselves without work during the pandemic.

Authorities began allowing their movement out of the cities in early May, leading to chaotic and crowded scenes at border checkpoints.

The government has been easing the lockdown, which began on March 25, over the past weeks in an attempt to revive the economy.

The restrictions are now being enforced in containment or high-risk zones, while marketplaces, businesses as well as industrial activity have been allowed to reopen and road, rail and air travel have resumed.

The government also announced new rules for re-opening of malls, restaurants, hotels and places of worship with restrictions on large gatherings from Monday.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Pakistan’s confirmed COVID-19 cases top 90,000

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The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan has risen to 93,983 with 1,935 deaths, according to the data updated by the country’s health ministry Saturday morning.

A total of 4,734 new cases and 97 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, the statistics revealed.

Overall, 59,467 patients are under treatment in hospitals while 32,581 have recovered, which is 34.7 percent of the total confirmed cases.

The country’s eastern Punjab province is the most affected region with 35,308 cases followed by southern Sindh province with 34,889 cases.

The northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province reported 12,459 cases and 541 deaths. At least 5,776 cases were recorded in southwestern Balochistan province, while 4,323 cases were reported in the capital city Islamabad.

Punjab province recorded 659 deaths, followed by Sindh with 615 deaths, the statistics said, adding that Pakistan has conducted 660,508 tests officially so far.

The Pakistani government started to ease the lockdown from May 9, aiming at mitigating the influence on the labor class and the poor in the country.

Earlier on Thursday, Pakistan decided to take strict administrative actions for the implementation and enforcement of the standard operating procedure formed by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus amid a surge in new COVID-19 cases across the country.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

1st LD: UK COVID-19 deaths top 40,000 as another 357 patients die

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Another 357 COVID-19 patients have died in Britain as of Thursday afternoon, bringing the total coronavirus-related death toll in the country to 40,261, the British Department of Health and Social Care said Friday.

The figures include deaths in all settings, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community.

As of Friday morning, 283,311 people have tested positive for the disease in Britain, a daily increase of 1,650, said the department.

Earlier in the day, British government’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance told reporters in a virtual briefing that the R-number — the average number of people that will contract coronavirus from an infected person — for England was between 0.7 and one, while it remained between 0.7 and 0.9 for Britain as a whole.

The latest data suggested that northwestern England is an area for concern and some regions may have R-number above one, at which point the epidemic will begin to grow in these communities, the Guardian newspaper reported.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Urgent: UK COVID-19 deaths top 40,000 as another 357 patients die

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Another 357 COVID-19 patients have died in Britain as of Thursday afternoon, bringing the total coronavirus-related death toll in the country to 40,261, the British Department of Health and Social Care said Friday.

The figures include deaths in all settings, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Number of COVID-19 deaths in Netherlands tops 6,000

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THE HAGUE, June 5 (Xinhua)–The death toll from the novel coronavirus in the Netherlands exceeded the 6,000, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) announced on Friday.

The number of reported COVID-19 deaths increased by 15 since Thursday to a total of 6,005, showing slowdown over the past month.

The amount of positive tested people grew by 210 since Thursday to a total of 47,152, while the number of people who are or were admitted to hospital rose by 11 to a total of 11,782.

(XINHUA)

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General news

ACF mourns death of 3 top members

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The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) on Friday announced the deaths of three top members of the organization.

Mr Emmanuel Yawe, ACF National Publicity Secretary, made the announcement in a statement issued in Kaduna.

It said that one of the deceased members was Amb. Ladan Shuni, a foundation member and former Vice Chairman of the ACF Board of Trustees, as well as former Nigeria’s Ambassador to Morroco.

Another deceased member was Abdullahi Maaji, the Mutawallen Kontagora, former Director General, Federal Ministry of Industries and one time Financial Secretary of the forum, the statement said.

It added that the third deceased member was Dr Amuda Aluko, also a founding member of the ACF, who held the traditional title of Tafida of Ilorin before his death.

The ACF said the three were committed to the ideals of the forum, and had “served the north and the country  prudently as patriots.”

The Forum condoles with members of their families and their state governments while praying Allah to grant them eternal rest.

“We pray that the Almighty Allah grants them eternal rest even as He forgives their sins and rewards their good deeds.”

HMY/

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Foreign

Confirmed COVID-19 cases top 60,000 in Bangladesh, deaths reach 811

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Bangladesh reported 2,828 more COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the total in the country to over 60,000.

A total of 30 deaths including 23 men and seven women were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 811,” Nasima Sultana, a senior Health Ministry official, told an online media briefing in Dhaka.

“The number of confirmed infections in the country totaled 60,391 on Friday,” she said.

Bangladesh recorded the highest daily cases of 2,911 on June 2.

According to the official, 14,088 samples were tested in the last 24 hours across Bangladesh.

Also during the last 24 hours, 643 more patients were released from hospitals and clinics, bringing the number of recovered patients in the country to 12,804.

(XINHUA)

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