Live COVID-19 Updates: India's coronavirus tally surpasses 2.8 million

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

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NEW DELHI -- India's COVID-19 tally rose to 2,836,925 and the death toll in the country also surged to 53,866 on Thursday, according to the latest data released by the federal health ministry.

As many as 69,652 new cases and 977 deaths were reported during the past 24 hours.

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ACCRA -- Ghana registered 101 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the caseload to 43,094, according to the latest government update.

A total of 167 more patients were discharged from hospital, taking the total number of recoveries to 40,963, the service said.

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BRASILIA -- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday enacted a law to exempt schools from having to meet a minimum number of school days amid the COVID-19 pandemic, making this academic year more flexible.

The new law exempts primary and secondary schools from having to fulfill the mandatory 200-day school calendar and minimum 800 hours of study, both of which are required by the education law.

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SEOUL -- South Korea reported 288 more cases of the COVID-19 as of 0:00 a.m. Thursday local time compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 16,346.

The daily caseload soared in triple figures for seven straight days. The number of confirmed cases for the past seven days reached 1,576 due to infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province traceable to church services.

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CARACAS -- The unity of countries that has ratified the OPEC+ Declaration of Cooperation will make it possible to overcome the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Venezuelan Minister of Petroleum Tareck El Aissami said on Wednesday.

"The OPEC+ Declaration of Cooperation has been an excellent mechanism that has guaranteed not only the stability of the oil market, but has also been the fundamental point for leveraging the world economy," El Aissami said via Twitter.

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BEIJING -- The Chinese mainland reported seven new imported COVID-19 cases Wednesday, bringing the total number of imported cases to 2,346, the National Health Commission said Thursday.

Of the new imported cases, three were reported in Jiangxi, and one each in Tianjin, Shanghai, Shandong and Sichuan, the commission said in its daily report.

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CANBERRA -- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has walked back his suggestion that a COVID-19 vaccine could be made mandatory.

Morrison said on Wednesday morning that he would "expect" a vaccine "to be as mandatory as you can possibly make."

"There are always exemptions for any vaccine on medical grounds, but that should be the only basis," he told Melbourne radio station 3AW.

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. Federal Reserve officials believed that uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook remained "very elevated," with the path of the economy highly dependent on the course of the virus, according to the minutes of the Fed's latest policy meeting released Wednesday.

"Several risks to the outlook were noted, including the possibility that additional waves of virus outbreaks could result in extended economic disruptions and a protracted period of reduced economic activity," said the minutes of the central bank's meeting held on July 28-29. Enditem

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