The G20 trade and investment ministers vowed on Monday (March 30) to ensure the continued flow of essential supply, especially medical and pharmaceutical equipment, amid the current global crisis. They issued a statement on the website of the G20 General Secretariat of Saudi Presidency, expressing concern of challenges facing workers and businesses, particularly the most vulnerable ones.

World News in Brief: March 30

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) successfully test-fired super-large multiple rocket launchers on Sunday (March 29), the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Monday (March 30) morning. The report said the test was conducted by the Academy of Defence Science to verify the tactical and technological specifications of the launch system once again "to be delivered to units of the Korean People's Army."

Trump gives up quarantine on New York, CDC issues travel advisory over COVID-19

US President Donald Trump said Saturday (March 28) he asked the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue travel advisory for the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, scaling back from an earlier suggestion to impose quarantine on those areas.

Vietnam asks China to respect its sovereignty

Vietnam requests China to respect its sovereignty and take no actions that escalate tensions and complicate the situation, affecting peace and stability in the East Sea and the region, as well as efforts of countries in negotiations of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), spokesperson of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang said.

Eurozone struggles to properly respond to “economic shock” amid COVID-19 fears

A recent comment by Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra - "We are driving through the mist and we don’t know what the next phase looks like” - might cause confusion but it accurately reflects the reality of economies in the Eurozone. Recognising the imminent risk, the only monetary union in the world has yet to agree on measures to respond to the "economic shock” caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.

World News in Brief: March 25

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has asked leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) to help launch a stimulus package in the trillions of dollars to keep businesses, workers and households afloat in face of the coronavirus. By the end of this year, the cost of this pandemic is likely to be measured in the trillions of dollars, Guterres told G20 leaders in a letter dated March 23.

European nations strive to combat COVID-19 with raft of further measures as Merkel put in quarantine

With surging confirmed COVID-19 cases, European nations adopted a raft of further measures on Sunday (March 22) to peg back the contagion, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel has put herself in quarantine after a doctor she met Friday tested positive.

Coronavirus cases top 100,000 in Europe, more measures expected

Over 100,000 people across Europe had tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Thursday (March 19) evening, prompting European governments to unleash more anti-virus measures.

Italy records high coronavirus death, cure totals as officials search for more doctors

Numbers for both new deaths and new cures from Italy's coronavirus outbreak released Wednesday (March 18) are the highest on record, as health officials scramble to find enough doctors to confront the outbreak's spread.

World News in Brief: March 18

The World Bank has earmarked a US$100-million fast-track loan to help the Philippines fight COVID-19, the Philippine Department of Finance said. The Philippines now has 193 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 14 deaths. Four patients have recovered from the viral disease.

World News in Brief: March 15

Cambodia on Sunday (March 15) banned entry of visitors from Iran for a month in a bid to curb the spread of the COVID-19. The 30-day ban on foreigners will take effect from March 18 at midnight, said a Ministry of Healths statement. For Cambodia, the country has so far recorded a total of seven COVID-19 patients.

ECB refrains from rate cut, steps up liquidity measures amid COVID-19 concerns

The European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday (March 12) decided to leave key interest rates unchanged but rolled out a comprehensive package of monetary policy measures to ensure liquidity support amid COVID-19 concerns.

ASEAN countries promote negotiation of RCEP agreement

Economic ministers of the ASEAN member countries have discussed orientations to promote the negotiation and signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement in late 2020.

China's Hubei reports 17 new coronavirus cases

(HBO) - Hubei Province, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak in China, reported 17 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 17 deaths on Monday (March 9), the provincial health commission said Tuesday (March 10).

Vietnam still controls Covid-19 disease well: Deputy Minister

Following working sessions with Hanoi’s leaders and the inspection of quarantine areas, leaders in the Ministry of Health and health experts have affirmed that the spread of Covid-19 is still being controlled well.

Trump signs US$8.3-bln emergency funding package to fight COVID-19

US President Donald Trump on Friday (March 6) signed into law a US$8.3-billion emergency funding package the Congress approved earlier this week, as the spread of the COVID-19 requires urgent support from the federal government.

ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting opens in Da Nang

The ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) took place in the central coastal city of Da Nang on March 4 with the participation of hundreds of senior officials from the 10 ASEAN member countries.

Indonesia''''s most active volcano erupts, flight alert issued

One of the most active volcanos in Indonesia, Mount Merapi, erupted earlier Tuesday (March 3), spewing a column of thick ash by up to six km high and posing as a potential to disturb flights, a senior official said.

Muhyiddin Yassin sworn in as Malaysia''s new prime minister

Muhyiddin Yassin, a former deputy prime minister, took the oath of office on Sunday (March 1) to become Malaysia's new prime minister.

1.9 mln people need humanitarian assistance in NE Syria: UN official

A United Nations relief official on February 27 said that civilians remain extremely vulnerable in northeast Syria, while an estimated 1.9 million people require humanitarian assistance.

Protecting the global economy against risks

The 2020 G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting recently took place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, touching on a series of "hot” global issues and agreeing on an action plan to protect the world economy against risks, especially in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak.

ROK raises virus alert to highest level amid soaring COVID-19 cases

The Republic of Korea (ROK) raised its four-tier virus alert to the highest "red" level on Sunday (February 23) as the number of COVID-19 infection cases soared to 602 in recent days with the death toll rising to five.

China races to develop vaccines against coronavirus: official

Chinese scientists are racing to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus by adopting five technological approaches, a senior National Health Commission official said Friday (February 21).

Novel coronavirus may exist for a long time: expert

It is possible that the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may exist for a long time like the flu, said a Chinese respiratory specialist.

ROK to push for inter-Korean railway, road reconnection project

The Republic of Korea (ROK) Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul said Tuesday that the country will push for the project with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to reconnect railways and roads across the inter-Korean border as well as other joint projects.