Live COVID-19 updates: Thailand's COVID-19 cases top 1 mln

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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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BANGKOK -- Cumulative COVID-19 cases in Thailand surpassed 1 million on Friday, driven by a continued surge in infections, primarily attributed to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

On Friday the number of daily cases dipped below 20,000 for the first time in 10 days. With 19,851 new cases reported, and the country's total tally now stands at 1,009,710, according to the data released by the Ministry of Public Health.

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SEOUL -- South Korea reported 2,052 more cases of COVID-19 as of midnight Thursday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 232,859.

The daily caseload was down from 2,152 in the previous day, but it was the country's third-highest tally since the first case was found in January last year.

It hovered above 1,000 for 45 straight days. The daily average tally for the past week was 1,811.

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SYDNEY -- The COVID-19 infection rate in U.S. prisons has reached 34 percent, an expert has said.

"Prisons and jails have hosted some of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in the U.S., with some facilities approaching 4,000 cases ... in U.S. prisons, the rate is 34 out of 100," Danielle Wallace, associate professor of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the Arizona State University, wrote in an article published Wednesday on The Conversation, a Melbourne-based online media outlet that publishes news stories and articles by academics and researchers.

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BEIJING -- COVID-19 origins tracing is a scientific question that requires the collaboration of scientists around the world and joint efforts and cooperation of governments and people of all countries, Chinese Ambassador to Denmark Feng Tie has said.

Feng made the remarks in an article published Wednesday on the website of The Copenhagen Post after Denmark's TV2 television channel aired a documentary on origins tracing.

"This documentary, full of specious assumptions and vague inferences, is not based on facts but presuppositions and aims to smear China and politicize the origin studying issue by misleading the audience," the Chinese ambassador said in the article.

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WELLINGTON -- New Zealand reported 11 new Delta cases of COVID-19 in the community on Friday, bringing the total number of cases associated with the current Auckland community outbreak to 31.

All cases have or are being transferred safely to a managed isolation facility under strict infection prevention and control procedures, including the use of full PPE, according to the Ministry of Health.

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NEW DELHI -- India's COVID-19 tally rose to 32,358,829 on Friday as 36,571 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours across the country, showed the federal health ministry's latest data.

Besides, as many as 540 deaths were reported due to the pandemic since Monday morning, taking the total death toll to 433,589.

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KUALA LUMPUR -- The first batch of the single-dose COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese company CanSino Biologics arrived in Malaysia on Friday, boosting the country's capability in the fight against the pandemic.

The first batch, comprising some 200,000 finished products, is part of a total of 3.5 million doses that have been ordered by Malaysia, the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry said in a brief statement.

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HAVANA -- Cuba on Thursday reported 8,972 new cases of COVID-19 and 79 more deaths in the span of 24 hours, raising the total caseload to 554,247 and the pandemic death toll to 4,319 since the onset of the outbreak in March 2020.

"All the provinces have a positivity above 15 percent, except the western ones, Havana and Matanzas," the national director of hygiene and epidemiology at the Ministry of Public Health, Francisco Duran, said during his daily pandemic report. Enditem

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