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31st-Jul-2020       
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Afghans prepare for Eid-al-Adha despite virus risk

People are crowding in markets, ignoring social distancing orders and rarely wearing masks to prepare for Eid-al-Adah celebration in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has eased its lockdown, allowing small business and daily workers to move on with their daily lives, while educational institutes and schools remain closed.
The country's health ministry has reported over 36,400 cases of the virus, and over 1,250 deaths.
Saudi Arabia's decision to drastically scale down the hajj season due to the virus has brought sadness to many Muslims from around the world, including Afghanistan, who had intended to travel to Mecca.

Japan braces for spike in
coronavirus cases

Japan is bracing for a surge in the number of coronavirus infection after fresh cases exceeded the 1,000 mark for the first time.
Tokyo confirmed 367 new coronavirus infections, national broadcaster NHK said, topping the previous record of 366 cases on July 23.
Japan had 1,264 new cases on Wednesday, according to NHK, surpassing the previous record of 981, with infections spreading rapidly not only in Tokyo, but also in other regions, including remote islands.
Northern Japan's Iwate prefecture, which had been the last-remaining prefecture free from coronavirus infection, had its first cases on Wednesday, while the southern island of Okinawa had 44 infections, hitting a record for the third day in a row.

Hanoi plans mass testing in wake of Danang outbreak

Authorities in Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, say they will test some 21,000 people who recently returned from Danang where an outbreak of coronavirus was confirmed last weekend. Vietnam recorded nine new cases on Thursday morning, one of which was in Hanoi and the rest in the central city of Danang - a popular holiday destination.
The 76-year-old man who tested positive for COVID-19 had recently returned to Hanoi after three weeks in Danang.  Authorities in Hanoi have also imposed a ban on mass gatherings and the closure of all bars and nightclubs.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies
China expert says virus thrives in colder, humid environments
China's top epidemiologist has been talking to state media.
Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told local journalists the virus seems to like colder, humid environments.  
He pointed to the country's COVID-19 outbreaks - from the original source in Wuhan - to Beijing and Dalian, which have been traced to seafood markets or seafood companies.

Brazil reports record numbers of coronavirus deaths, cases
Brazil's Health Ministry has just confirmed a record of 1,595 daily deaths from coronavirus. Taken on a weekly basis (7,677 this week), deaths are also at their highest since the pandemic began.
The authorities also reported a record number of cases for a single day (69,074), partly as a result of working through a backlog of previously unregistered cases.
Despite the accelerating pandemic, the government of President JairBolsonaro has moved to ease restrictions to boost the economy, and on Wednesday said a ban on foreign travellers to the country would be lifted.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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