Iran marked its highest daily jump since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, with 3,574 coronavirus cases. The figures marked the third consecutive day that the country recorded more than 3,000 daily new infections.
Turkey is set to impose a weekend curfew in 15 cities to curb the spread of the virus.
The coronavirus death toll in Brazil soared to a new daily record, with 1,473 fatalities logged at the end of Thursday. With more than 34,000 deaths, Brazil now has the third-highest toll in the world.
Around 6.6 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 389,000 people have died, including some 108,000 in the United States. More than 2.8 million people have recovered from the disease.
Here are the latest updates:
June 5, Friday
03:18 GMT – Japan’s Hitachi, Toshiba, Miraca to set up joint line for antigen test kits
Japanese industrial conglomerates Hitachi Ltd and Toshiba Corp, as well as Miraca Holdings subsidiary Fujirebio, said they will jointly set up a facility to produce antigen coronavirus testing kits.
The rare partnership would help double production of Fujirebio’s testing kits to 400,000 a week, the companies said. It would start operations by December in northern Hokkaido prefecture.
Antigen tests scan for proteins found on or inside a virus. They can detect the virus quickly but produce false negatives at a higher rate than the currently dominant polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
It takes about 30 minutes to get a result with Fujirebio’s palm-sized antigen test kit, compared with four to six hours for a PCR test.
Vaccines alliance raises $8.8bn for global immunisation plans (5:23)
03:01 GMT – Five new imported cases in China
China reported five new confirmed coronavirus cases, all of them brought by Chinese citizens from outside the country.
No new deaths were reported on Friday, continuing a trend stretching back weeks.
China has reported 4,634 deaths among 83,027 cases since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
02:08 GMT – Study shows Spain far from having ‘herd immunity’ to virus
A second round of random testing in Spain shows only 5.2 percent of the population carry antibodies against the new coronavirus.
Researchers say that means Spain is far from having developed a “herd immunity” to COVID-19 and is still vulnerable to more outbreaks.
The survey of more than 64,000 people also shows that a third of those infected do not develop symptoms.
Priests walk past relatives during a memorial mass for the COVID-19 victims officiated at the cathedral of Seville, on June 4, 2020. Hundreds of people who lost loved ones to the virus joined a huge funeral mass at Seville Cathedral in one of the largest public gatherings in Spain since the lockdown [Cristina Quicler/ AFP]
“It is a wake-up call for public health: it is not possible to control [an outbreak] by just considering those who are symptomatic,” National Epidemiological Center Director Marina Pollan said on Thursday.
“With this number of asymptomatic cases, we must follow the recommendations” for personal hygiene and social distancing, Pollan said.
01:58 GMT – New Zealand extends wage subsidy scheme
New Zealand said it was extending its wage subsidy scheme to help an additional 40,000 businesses keep staff employed as they recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
After feedback from businesses, the government decided to change the required revenue drop threshold for firms to apply for wage subsidy to 40 percent from 50 percent, finance minister Grant Robertson said in a statement.
01:22 GMT – Brazil’s death toll surges to third-highest in world
Brazil’s death toll from the new coronavirus has overtaken Italy’s to become the third-highest in the world, according to official figures.
The South American country of 210 million people reported a new record of 1,473 deaths in 24 hours, bringing its overall toll to 34,021, from 614,941 infections, the health ministry said.
Italy has confirmed 33,689 deaths from 234,013 infections.
Experts say Latin America coronavirus death toll under-reported (2:29)
01:07 GMT – Fiji says all COVID-19 patients recovered
Frank Bainimarama, the prime minister of Fiji, said all coronavirus patients in the Pacific island nation have now recovered.
“And even with our testing numbers climbing by the day, it’s now been 45 days since we recorded our last case. With no deaths, our recovery rate is 100%” he wrote in a tweet.
Fiji had recorded 18 infections, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University.
Fiji has just cleared the last of our active #COVID19 patients. And even with our testing numbers climbing by the day, it’s now been 45 days since we recorded our last case. With no deaths, our recovery rate is 100%. Answered prayers, hard work, and affirmation of science!
— Frank Bainimarama (@FijiPM) June 4, 2020
00:42 GMT – Patients with high blood pressure ‘twice as likely to die’
Patients with high blood pressure admitted to hospital with coronavirus infections are twice as likely to die as those without the condition, according to a new study.
For inpatients with the virus who had stopped taking medication for high blood pressure, the risk of dying doubled again, researchers reported in the European Heart Journal.
“It is important that patients with high blood pressure realise that they are at increased risk of dying from COVID-19,” said senior author Fei Li, a cardiologist at Xijing Hospital in Xian, China.
The study also found that widely used drugs to control high blood pressure may help protect against severe COVID-19, allaying concerns that they could make the illness caused by the coronavirus worse.
Femicide in Argentina: Not One Less protest held despite lockdown (2:41)
00:15 GMT – Turkey to impose weekend curfew in 15 cities
Turkey will impose a two-day weekend curfew in 15 cities as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the interior ministry said.
In a statement, the ministry said the lockdown will be in effect in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Balikesir, Bursa, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Konya, Manisa, Sakarya, Samsun, Van and Zonguldak.
Markets, grocery stores and butcheries can operate during the lockdown, it added.
00:07 GMT – Argentina extends lockdown in Buenos Aires
Argentina extended until June 28 a mandatory lockdown in capital Buenos Aires and other areas with high cases of coronavirus, President Alberto Fernandez announced, after the country surpassed 20,000 confirmed cases earlier in the day.
Argentina’s lockdown, which was due to expire on June 7, has been in place since March 20, though officials relaxed restrictions in some areas of the country.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives.
You can find all the updates from yesterday, June 4, here.
COVID-19: US passes ‘unfathomable’ 200,000 death toll |NationalTribune.com
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Iran says ‘internal agents’ may be responsible for Natanz blast |NationalTribune.com
Tehran, Iran – The Iranian government said on Tuesday there are strong suspicions that “internal agents” played a role in a massive explosion that occurred at a key nuclear facility earlier this year. On July 2, a fire ripped through a building at Natanz, a major uranium enrichment site. Satellite images showed it caused the…
Tehran, Iran – The Iranian government said on Tuesday there are strong suspicions that “internal agents” played a role in a massive explosion that occurred at a key nuclear facility earlier this year.
On July 2, a fire ripped through a building at Natanz, a major uranium enrichment site. Satellite images showed it caused the roof to collapse and parts of the building were blackened by the blaze.
“One of the strong theories is based on internal agents being involved in the incident,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters at a news conference, according to the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA).
“The issue is being seriously reviewed by the country’s security organisations and we will announce the results after things are clear.”
It is the first time an Iranian official specifically pointed to the possibility of an inside job for the blast.
In late August, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization confirmed the damage to the facility was the result of “sabotage”.
“But how this explosion took place and with what materials … will be announced by security officials in due course,” spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said at the time, citing “security reasons” for not disclosing further information.
‘Sabotage is certain’
In early September, Kamalvandi announced Natanz saboteurs “have been identified” but refrained from discussing further details, including whether internal agents were complicit.
On Tuesday, Rabiei also reiterated that “sabotage is certain” but the incident still needs to be investigated due to its complexities.
The desert Natanz site, much of which is underground, is one of several Iranian facilities regularly monitored by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog.
Following the explosion, international media reports indicated Israel may have been behind the attack. Israel has been deliberately vague, neither confirming nor denying involvement while stressing the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran.
“Everyone can suspect us in everything and all the time, but I don’t think that’s correct,” Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said days after the attack.
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi also said “Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear capabilities”, adding to that end, “We take actions that are better left unsaid.”
September’s announcement that Iran knows the saboteurs behind the Natanz explosion came one week after IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi visited the country.
The trip was successful, leading to Iran granting access to two suspected former nuclear sites that the UN watchdog wished to inspect.
“In this present context, based on analysis of available information to the IAEA, the IAEA does not have further questions to Iran and further requests for access to locations other than those declared by Iran,” the IAEA and Iranian officials said in a joint statement following the visit.
In a speech during the 64th session of the General Conference of the IAEA on Monday, the president of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi referred to the Natanz incident.
“These malicious acts need to be condemned by the agency and member states,” he said via video conference, adding “Iran reserves its rights to protect its facilities and take necessary actions against any threat as appropriate.”
Salehi also urged the UN watchdog not to compromise its “impartiality, independence and professionalism”.
Iran, UN and the United States are locked in a major disagreement centred around the landmark 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers, which US President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned in May 2018.
The US on Sunday declared it reinstated all UN sanctions on Iran, an announcement that was roundly rejected by the United Nations Security Council as lacking legal basis.
The US is trying to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran that is set to expire in October as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the formal name of the nuclear deal.
Iran, which has always maintained it never pursued nuclear weapons, accepted the nuclear deal that removed all UN sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.
The US reneged on the deal, unilaterally imposing a harsh campaign of sanctions that have hit almost all the productive sectors of the Iranian economy. US sanctions have also targeted Iranian officials and organisations.
In response, starting exactly one year after US sanctions were imposed and other parties failed to guarantee economic benefits promised Iran under the deal, Iran started gradually scaling back its nuclear commitments.
Palestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel deals |NationalTribune.com
Palestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal ties with Israel. Palestinians see the deals that the United…
Palestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal ties with Israel.
Palestinians see the deals that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed with Israel in Washington a week ago as a betrayal of their cause and a blow to their quest for an independent state in Israeli-occupied territory.
Earlier this month, the Palestinians failed to persuade the Arab League to condemn nations breaking ranks and normalising relations with Israel.
Palestine was supposed to chair Arab League meetings for the next six months, but Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told a news conference in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah that it no longer wanted the position.
“Palestine has decided to concede its right to chair the League’s council [of foreign ministers] at its current session. There is no honour in seeing Arabs rush towards normalisation during its presidency,” Maliki said.
In his remarks, he did not specifically name the UAE and Bahrain, Gulf Arab countries that share with Israel concern over Iran. He said Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit had been informed of the Palestinian decision.
Palestinians rally against Bahrain-Israel normalisation
The Palestinian leadership wants an independent state based on the de facto borders before the 1967 war, in which Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and annexed East Jerusalem.
Arab countries have long called for Israel’s withdrawal from illegally occupied land, a just solution for Palestinian refugees and a settlement that leads to the establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state, in exchange for establishing ties with it.
In a new move addressing internal Palestinian divisions, officials from West Bank-based President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction and the Gaza-based Hamas movement were due to hold reconciliation talks in Turkey on Tuesday.
Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in 2007 from Fatah forces during a brief round of fighting. Differences over power-sharing have delayed implementation of unity deals agreed since then.
Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies
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