Live COVID-19 updates: Outbreaks in Spain raise worries over lockdown, tourism

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BEIJING, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The following are the updates on the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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MADRID -- Spain's Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Reyes Maroto on Monday voiced hope that negotiations with Britain could lift the quarantine imposed on people returning from the Balearic and Canary Islands.

"There have been conversations since the weekend with the British authorities about dropping quarantine for those visiting the islands as soon as possible," Maroto said.

Maroto made the remarks after Britain abruptly imposed a 14-day quarantine for travelers from Spain as more COVID-19 cases have been reported in various areas in the country.

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SYDNEY -- The capital of Papua New Guinea (PNG), Port Moresby has been placed in a 14-day lockdown as of Tuesday, with only essential businesses to operate to help stop rapidly rising COVID-19 cases.

On Sunday the country recorded the largest daily increase of 23 new infections, taking the national total to 62.

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CAPE TOWN -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday approved South Africa's request for emergency financial assistance of 4.3 billion U.S. dollars to fight COVID-19.

The loan is expected to meet the urgent balance of payment (BOP) needs stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IMF said in a statement after the IMF Executive Board approved the loan under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI).

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HONG KONG -- A gene which helps the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in humans "appears to reduce the infectivity of a similar bat virus," the South China Morning Post has reported, citing a new U.S. government study.

According to the report, Dr Tony Wang and colleagues at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's vector-borne viral diseases laboratory in Maryland gave raTG13, the closest known relative to SARS-CoV-2, a spike similar to that of Sars-CoV-2. Spikes are proteins that bind the virus to a host cell.

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BEIJING -- Chinese health authority said Tuesday that it received reports of 68 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Monday, including four imported cases and 64 locally-transmitted ones.

Fifty-seven of the 64 locally-transmitted cases were reported in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, six in Liaoning Province, and one in Beijing Municipality, the National Health Commission said in its daily report.

No deaths related to the disease or new suspected COVID-19 cases were reported Monday.

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has further disappointed the U.S. public, recording a new low in a recent poll, with an overwhelming majority of those surveyed believing the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Trump's approval rating for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic sank to 32 percent, a record low, according to a new poll co-conducted by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago. Enditem

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