Live COVID-19 updates: Japan's death toll surpasses 1,000

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BEIJING, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The following are the updates on the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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TOKYO -- Japan's nationwide death toll from COVID-19 hits 1,000, with the figure including cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama near Tokyo, according to the latest figures from the health ministry and local authorities on Monday,

Meanwhile, the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Japan increased by 342 to reach 25,767 as of Monday evening, according to the latest figures.

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ADDIS ABABA -- The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the African continent reached 720,622 on Monday morning, up nearly 20,000 from Sunday's 701,573, the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.

The number of deaths related to the pandemic rose to 15,082, Africa CDC said in its latest situation update.

The continental disease control and prevention agency said 382,857 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered.

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TEHRAN -- Iran's confirmed novel coronavirus cases rose to 276,202 on Monday after an overnight registration of 2,414 new infections, state TV reported.

At her daily briefing, Sima Sadat Lari, the spokeswoman for Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said out of the new cases in the past 24 hours, 1,641 have been hospitalized.

The pandemic has so far claimed the lives of 14,405 Iranians, up by 217 in the past 24 hours, she said.

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SOFIA -- Bulgaria's COVID-19 death toll has risen to 300 as one patient has died in the past 24 hours, official figures showed Monday.

According to the country's health ministry, the number of confirmed infections has reached 8,733, an increase of 95 over Sunday.

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JAKARTA -- The COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 1,693 within one day to 88,214, with the death toll adding by 96 to 4,239, Achmad Yurianto, a health ministry official, said at a press conference on Monday.

According to him, 1,576 more people were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 46,977.

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CANBERRA -- The Australian government on Monday announced an expansion of the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) survive the pandemic.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Monday announced that the 40 billion Australian dollars (27.9 billion U.S. dollar) loan scheme will continue to run until June 2021, nine months after the planned end in September 2020.

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WASHINGTON -- The allegation that China hid the severity of COVID-19 during its early outbreak in the country "is a gross misperception," Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai has said.

"Actually, the fact is, at the very early stage of the pandemic, almost nobody knew anything about this new virus, how serious it was and the routes of transmission," Cui said in an exclusive interview with Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's GPS Show, which was aired on Sunday. Enditem

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