Live COVID-19 updates: Singapore launches new test kit to detect infection within hour

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BEIJING, May 15 (Xinhua) -- The following are the updates on the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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SINGAPORE -- Singapore's Duke-NUS Medical School has launched a new rapid test kit to search infections with COVID-19 by locating neutralizing antibodies, within one hour.

Called cPass, it is to rapidly detect specific antibodies, proteins in the blood that are created by the immune system to help fight off disease, that neutralize the virus and prevent it from infecting a patient's cells.

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MANILA -- The Philippines on Friday reported 215 more COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 12,091 in the country.

The Department of Health (DOH) said in a bulletin that 123 more patients have recovered from the disease, bringing the number of recoveries to 2,460, and 16 more patients have died, bringing the death toll to 806.

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SHANGHAI -- U.S. fast-food chain Popeyes opened its first flagship restaurant on the Chinese mainland on Friday, sticking to its expansion plans in China despite the COVID-19 outbreak.

Located on Middle Huaihai Road in downtown Shanghai, the flagship restaurant can accommodate approximately 200 people with a total area of 470 square meters.

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MOSCOW -- Russia has confirmed 10,598 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, raising its total number of infections to 262,843, its coronavirus response center said in a statement Friday.

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ULAN BATOR -- A total of 205 Mongolian nationals were evacuated from Russia via the Altanbulag border point on Thursday amid the COVID-19 pandemic, local media reported Friday, citing the country's State Emergency Commission (SEC).

The evacuated nationals will be put under isolated medical observation in designated facilities for 21 days, the SEC said.

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SEOUL -- South Korea reported 27 more cases of COVID-19 compared to 24 hours ago as of 0:00 a.m. Friday local time, raising the total number of infections to 11,018.

The daily caseload hovered around 30 for six straight days as a cluster infection was found from clubs and bars at the multicultural neighborhood of Itaewon in Seoul.

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MANILA -- The global economy could suffer between 5.8 trillion U.S. dollars and 8.8 trillion dollars in losses -- equivalent to 6.4 percent to 9.7 percent of global gross domestic product -- due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said a new report released by the Asian Development Bank on Friday.

The report, Updated Assessment of the Potential Economic Impact of COVID-19, found that economic losses in Asia and the Pacific could range from 1.7 trillion dollars under a short containment scenario of three months to 2.5 trillion dollars under a long containment scenario of six months, with the region accounting for about 30 percent of the overall decline in global output.

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WASHINGTON -- A clinical trial has begun in the United States to evaluate whether anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, given together with antibiotic azithromycin, can prevent COVID-19 hospitalization and death, according to a release published by the U.S. National Institutes of Health on Thursday.

Hydroxychloroquine is approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent and treat malaria, as well as to treat the autoimmune diseases rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. And azithromycin is FDA-approved antibiotic. Enditem

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