Live COVID-19 updates: U.S. coronavirus death toll tops 30,000, COVID-19 traces found in sewage

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BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) -- The following are the updates on the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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WASHINGTON -- The death toll from the coronavirus in the United States rose to 30,844 as total infections reached 638,111, according to a new tally from Johns Hopkins University on Wednesday.

As of 22:34 EST on Wednesday (0234GMT on Thursday), New York City recorded a total of 10,899 deaths, contributing the most to the country's death count, which exceeded that of Italy to become the highest in the world to date.

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MEXICO CITY -- Latin American countries reported more COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of infections to nearly 80,000.

In Peru, a total of 1,172 new cases were reported, bringing the number of infections to 11,475 with 254 deaths, the Health Ministry said.

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CANBERRA -- Australian researchers have completed the first step in developing a COVID-19 surveillance system by tracing the virus in raw sewage.

The team from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and University of Queensland (UQ) have successfully demonstrated the presence of the novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19, in untreated wastewater.

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HANOI -- Vietnam's Ministry of Health confirmed one more COVID-19 case on Thursday morning, bringing the total in the country to 268.

The latest patient is a 16-year-old girl from the northern Ha Giang province, according to the ministry.

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KIGALI -- Chinese experts on Wednesday shared anti-epidemic experience in hospital management, emergency response and medical staff training with frontline doctors in Rwanda through a webinar.

"I hope the practice and experience of the SRRSH has value to you, and can truly help Rwanda's epidemic fight," Cai Xiujun, head of Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital (SRRSH), Zhejiang University School of Medicine, said at the seminar.

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GENEVA -- The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) for preventing COVID-19, according to its daily situation report released Wednesday.

The UN body said there is no evidence that OPV, primarily used against polio, protects people against COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

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NEW YORK -- New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that he will require all people in the state to wear face coverings in public when people cannot keep six feet away from each other.

"I am issuing an Executive Order today that all people must wear a mask or face covering in public in situations where social distancing is not possible," said the governor on Twitter.

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BEIJING -- Authorities have made it clear in a notification that foreign nationals on the Chinese mainland confirmed or suspected of being infected with COVID-19 should be treated before paying for medical expenses.

The requirement is aimed to ensure that all patients are admitted into and treated by hospitals in time, according to the notification jointly issued by the National Healthcare Security Administration, Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance, and National Health Commission.

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WARSAW -- The Polish Council of Ministers on Wednesday approved the provisions which make mask-wearing obligatory in public spaces starting Thursday.

According to the provisions published after the approval, it will be an obligation for citizens to cover both mouth and nose with a mask or scarf or handkerchief or even part of the clothing in public spaces, including streets, shops, markets, banks, public buildings and public transport.

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TRIPOLI -- The UN-backed government of Libya on Wednesday declared a 24-curfew in the country to fight COVID-19 pandemic.

The UN-backed government said that curfew starts on April 17 and will last for 10 days. Only pedestrians will be allowed from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. local time (5 a.m. to 10 a.m. GMT), the UN-backed government said.

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ROME -- The coronavirus pandemic has claimed 21,645 lives in locked-down Italy, bringing the total number of infections, fatalities and recoveries so far to 165,155, according to the latest data released by the country's Civil Protection Department on Wednesday.

The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized showed a relevant drop, with 27,643 hospitalized, down by 368 compared with the previous day, including 3,079 in intensive care units (ICUs), down by 107. Meanwhile, 74,696, or about 71 percent, are isolated at home because they are asymptomatic or with light symptoms, Civil Protection Department Chief Angelo Borrelli told a televised press conference.

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JERUSALEM -- Israel reported 455 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 12,501, the state's Ministry of Health said.

According to the ministry, the number of deaths in Israel rose from 123 to 130. Enditem

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