A scinetist is doing research on a vaccine against COVID-19 in Shanghai. Photo:Yang Hui/Global Times

The world is now in a battle against COVID-19, a disease caused by a previously unknown coronavirus that has spread to over 200 countries and regions.

The following are the updates on the contagious disease.
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WASHINGTON — Prolonged or intermittent social distancing may be necessary into 2022 to prevent future COVID-19 seasonal outbreaks, according to a new study from Harvard researchers published on Tuesday.

The researchers, led by Stephen Kissler, research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, used estimates of seasonality, immunity, and cross-immunity for two betacoronaviruses from time series data from the United States, to inform a model of COVID-19 transmission.
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KABUL — Afghanistan has reported 70 more cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of patients to 784 in the country, spokesman for the Public Health Ministry Wahid Mayar said Wednesday.

According to the spokesman, 31 out of the 70 newly confirmed positive cases are in Kabul, 22 in Herat and the remaining 17 cases are in other parts of the country.
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BEIJING — It has been decided that the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, initially scheduled for June 29 to July 9, 2020, in Fuzhou of eastern China’s Fujian Province, will be postponed to a later date due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, China’s Ministry of Education announced Wednesday.

The decision was made unanimously by the committee’s bureau members, the ministry said in a press release.
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NEW DELHI — India’s federal health ministry Wednesday morning said the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 377 and the total number of confirmed cases in the country reached 11,439.

This is a jump of 24 deaths and an increase of 624 cases since Tuesday evening.
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HELSINKI — The Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment said Tuesday there’s evidence of dereliction of duty by the National Emergency Supply Agency (NESA) in a COVID-19 protective gear purchase deal last week.

It had been established that purchase rules and the need to check the background of intermediaries who did business with NESA had been widely disregarded in the deals, Jari Gustafsson, permanent secretary of the ministry, said at Tuesday’s press conference.
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MEXICO CITY — Latin America will suffer its worst economic contraction since the Great Depression this year due to the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of raw material prices, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and experts have warned.

Due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the IMF forecast a 5.2-percent reduction in the gross domestic product (GDP) in Latin America and the Caribbean this year, a far cry from the 1.6-percent growth rate it anticipated in January for the region.
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UNITED NATIONS — “It is my belief that the World Health Organization must be supported, as it is absolutely critical to the world’s efforts to win the war against COVID-19,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement issued by his spokesman on Tuesday, shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement of halting the nation’s funding to the organization. Enditem

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