Live COVID-19 updates: Philippines confirms first cases of COVID-19 variant found in South Africa

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BEIJING, March 2 (Xinhua) -- The following are the updates on the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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MANILA -- The Philippines has detected its first six cases of a more contagious COVID-19 variant found in South Africa, its health ministry said on Tuesday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire expressed concern about the detection of the variant, which can spread more readily like the variant found in Britain, adding that the variant could evade immune responses and reduce vaccine efficacy.

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HANOI -- More than 18,100 enterprises were established in Vietnam in the first two months of this year, posting an increase of 4 percent against the same period last year, according to the country's General Statistics Office on Tuesday.

The registered capital of the new enterprises totaled 334.8 trillion Vietnamese dong (14.6 billion U.S. dollars), up 52.2 percent year on year, said the office.

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SEOUL -- South Korea reported 344 more cases of COVID-19 as of midnight Monday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 90,372.

The daily caseload stayed below 400 for three straight days, but it hovered above 100 since Nov. 8 owing to small cluster infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province as well as imported cases.

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ABIDJAN -- Cote d'Ivoire on Monday launched its vaccination campaign against COVID-19, three days after receiving 504,000 doses of vaccine as part of the COVAX mechanism initiated by the World Health Organization.

"We are happy and proud to launch the campaign, Cote d'Ivoire is one of the first countries in the world to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine as part of the COVAX mechanism," said the country's Minister of State Patrick Achi, after receiving the first injection.

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KUWAIT CITY -- Witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases as the pandemic continues to rage globally, Kuwait has enforced several measures to contain the spread of the virus.

In this context, Fahd Ghazi Al-Mutairi, chairman of Kuwaiti company Sour Al-Sain representing the Chinese drug producer Yiling Pharmaceutical on the Kuwaiti market, revealed that the traditional Chinese medicine Lianhua Qingwen is a good drug to treat coronavirus symptoms.

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HAVANA -- Cuba's Public Health Ministry on Monday reported 811 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to 50,590, as well as two more deaths for an accumulation of 324.

During his daily televised report, the ministry's national director of hygiene and epidemiology Francisco Duran said that of the total number of cases in one day, 804 were community transmitted, indicating that community transmission is still very high. Enditem

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