Live COVID-19 updates: Australian int'l travel down record 98 pct, India's COVID-19 recovery rate improves

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

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ULAN BATOR -- Mongolia's Foreign Ministry said on Monday that more than 10,000 nationals stranded abroad due to the COVID-19 outbreak have been repatriated so far.

"Since the COVID-19 outbreak, our country has evacuated a total of 10,020 nationals on 22 chartered flights from COVID-19-hit countries," Lkhanaajav Munkhtushig, director general of the consular department at the ministry, told a press conference.

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BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan on Monday reported 87 new COVID-19 cases, raising its total to 2,372 with 1,813 recoveries, according to the country's health ministry.

The new infections were detected after medical personnel tested 2,278 samples in the last 24 hours, said Nurbolot Usenbaev, the country's deputy health minister, adding that 23 of them contracted the virus from unknown sources.

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BEIJING -- Two officials in Beijing have been sacked after the city recently reported dozens of domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases, the municipal authorities said Monday.

Zhou Yuqing, deputy head of the Fengtai district government, and Wang Hua, Party secretary of Huaxiang Township in Fengtai, were removed from their posts for misconduct in office during epidemic prevention and control.

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CANBERRA -- Australia has logged a record decrease in overseas travel amid the coronavirus crisis.

According to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Monday, the number of Australians who returned from short-term international trips in April was down 98.1 percent compared to April 2019.

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BEIJING -- Beijing on Sunday conducted nucleic acid tests on 76,499 people, with 59 testing positive for COVID-19, according to a press conference held Monday.

As of 6 a.m. Monday, 193 sampling sites had been set up across Beijing to facilitate nucleic acid testings, said Gao Xiaojun, spokesperson for the municipal health commission.

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NEW DELHI -- The recovery rate of COVID-19 patients in India increased to 51.07 percent on Monday, the country's federal health ministry said.

"Till now, 169,797 patients have been cured and 153,106 patients are under active medical supervision," the ministry said.

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CANBERRA -- A majority of Australians remain uncomfortable about attending mass gatherings because of coronavirus, according to the fifth Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Monday.

The survey found that 76 percent of respondents were uncomfortable about attending public events but 61 percent were looking forward to dining at cafes and restaurants as restrictions began to ease.

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ULAN BATOR -- Mongolia conducted 258 tests for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours and the results were all negative, the country's National Center for Communicable Disease (NCCD) said Monday.

Meanwhile, 10 more patients have recovered from COVID-19, taking the total to 108, the NCCD's head Dulmaa Nyamkhuu said at a daily press conference.

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HAVANA -- A 56-year-old Cuban caricaturist has won the grand prize at the Anti-Coronavirus International Cartoon Competition hosted online by China's Qing Jin Technology and Culture & Multimedia International Association.

The contest was held last Monday to pay tribute to doctors, nurses and other frontline workers striving to combat the pandemic worldwide.

Aristides Hernandez, popularly known as Ares, said he has won more than 150 international awards throughout his career, but none of them showed "cartoons to be an effective tool for tackling global challenges" as much as this one.

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LOS ANGELES -- Despite a statewide death toll of over 5,000 from COVID-19 as of Saturday, California started this weekend to reopen most retail businesses that can prove they are willing and able to adopt state and county mandated safety protocols.

The move has some residents concerned that this could lead to an uptick in cases, while others are jubilant that steps are being taken to return to normalcy and save the local economy.

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CAIRO -- The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Iran rose to 187,427 on Sunday. Meanwhile, a Chinese medical team visited facilities for testing, isolation and treatment of the coronavirus pandemic in the West Bank district of Ramallah.

Iran, which has re-emerged as the hardest-hit country by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Middle East region, reported 2,472 new cases, brining the total number of infections to 187,427.

On the same day, the Chinese medical team, which arrived in Palestine on June 10, visited the Central Public Health Lab, Palestine Medical Complex and Hugo Chavez Hospital in Ramallah.

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TUNIS -- "Tunisia has won its fight against the coronavirus disease thanks to the country's national unity," Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh said on Sunday. During his interview broadcast on Tunisian private channel Attasia, Fakhfakh called on Tunisians to be proud of the "impressive" results.

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PARIS -- In a televised address to the nation on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron declared "a first victory" over the coronavirus epidemic, announcing a return to normalcy from Monday across French regions, except for overseas territories.

"From tomorrow, we will be able to turn the page on the first act of the crisis we have just gone through," Macron said. "The new stage which opens from tomorrow will accelerate the recovery."

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KIGALI -- The Rwandan Ministry of Health is set to expand testing for COVID-19 in Kigali and other areas, with the aim of finding out the level of transmission of the virus days after the government eased restrictions on movement within the country, an official said on Sunday.

Rwanda on June 3 further eased coronavirus lockdown, allowing movement to and from the capital to resume, as well as commercial motorcycles to carry passengers.

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ACCRA -- Ghana's Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang-Manu has tested positive for COVID-19, Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said here late Sunday.

"I would like to take this opportunity to wish our hardworking and indefatigable minister for health Kwaku Agyemang-Manu speedy recovery from the virus infection which he contracted in the line of duty," Akufo-Addo said in his latest COVID-19 national broadcast.

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JERUSALEM -- A 26-year-old coronavirus patient died on Sunday evening at a hospital, the Sheba Medical Center in central Israel said.

He is the youngest out of the 301 patients who have died from the virus in Israel since the pandemic outbreak.

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SANTIAGO -- Chile has reported 174,293 cases of COVID-19, with 3,323 deaths, as of Sunday.

In the past 24 hours ending 9 p.m. Saturday (0100 GMT Sunday), 6,938 new cases of infection were detected and 222 more patients died, the country's Health Ministry said. Enditem

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