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Simon Stevens (R), Chief Executive of the NHS, watches as a nurse (C) administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to Frank Naderer (L), 82, at Guy's Hospital in London on 8 December 2020 as the UK starts its biggest ever vaccination programme.  - Sputnik International

Live Updates: Britain Won't Introduce Coronavirus Vaccine Passports, Minister Says

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The global death toll from the coronavirus was over 2.3 million as of Saturday, while more than 105.7 million cases of the infection have been detected, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The United States, India, and Brazil are the worst-hit in terms of the number of registered coronavirus cases, while the highest amount of COVID-19-related deaths has been observed in the United States, Brazil, Mexico, and India, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The Brazilian government intends to purchase 10 million doses of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the executive secretary of the Latin American country's Ministry of Health, Elcio Franco, has said. According to the ministry, the country will receive 400,000 doses one week after the signing of the agreement with the Russian manufacturer. Another two million doses will be delivered after a month, and 7.6 more million doses within the next two months.

Follow Sputnik's feed to find out more.

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22:34 GMT 07.02.2021
COVID-19 Patients at Higher Risk of Tuberculosis, Russian Health Ministry Warns

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Patients who have been infected with the coronavirus have a higher risk of contracting tuberculosis, according to new recommendations released by the Russian Health Ministry.

"After suffering from COVID-19, many patients develop pronounced residual changes in the form of fibrosis in the lungs. It can be assumed that this category of patients has an increased risk of developing tuberculosis in the future. Thus, tuberculosis can occur before, simultaneously or after COVID-19," the health ministry warns.

The ministry recommends testing suspected coronavirus patients for tuberculosis, as this disease, even in latent form, appears to lead to more severe forms of COVID-19.

22:10 GMT 07.02.2021
Russia’s Sputnik V Coronavirus Vaccine Safest in World, Maduro Says

BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - The Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is the safest vaccine against COVID-19 in the world, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said.

"Sputnik V is the safest … It has shown a high level of protection," Maduro said at a Sunday weekly health briefing.

Earlier this month, Maduro said that clinical trials of Sputnik V in Venezuela had shown its 100 percent efficacy.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a ceremony marking the opening of the new court term in Caracas, Venezuela January 22, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920
Russia’s Sputnik V Coronavirus Vaccine Safest in World, Maduro Says
21:21 GMT 07.02.2021
Russian Health Ministry Includes 5 Drugs in List of Approved COVID-19 Treatments

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Only five drugs have been approved by the Russian Health Ministry for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults, according to new recommendations released by the ministry.

"The list of possible prescription drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults: Favipiravir, Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine, Recombinant Interferon-α [IFN alpha], Umifenovir," the health ministry said.

The previous list of approved medications for the treatment of the coronavirus infection included six drugs; Azithromycin has since been removed from the list.

Pregnant women are only allowed to take Interferon alfa-2b.

20:27 GMT 07.02.2021
Israel Vaccinating Own Diplomats Working Abroad

TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israel has launched a coronavirus vaccination campaign among its diplomats working abroad, a spokesperson for the Israeli Foreign Ministry told Sputnik.

"Ten diplomats from the Israeli embassy in New Delhi and consular staff in Mumbai and Bangalore received the vaccine today," the spokesperson said.

According to the spokesperson, diplomats from the embassy in Rome are expected to arrive in Israel for vaccination soon. According to media reports, the first dose of the vaccine has already been administered to diplomats from the embassy in London and in a few weeks they will again fly to Israel for the second dose of the vaccine.

20:22 GMT 07.02.2021
Delegation From Iran’s Health Ministry Arrives in Moscow to Discuss Russian Vaccine Co-Production - Report
18:39 GMT 07.02.2021
More Than 19,000 New Coronavirus Infections Registered in France

The French health ministry data shows some 19,175 new COVID-cases were registered nationwide on Sunday compared with 20,586 the day earlier.

18:06 GMT 07.02.2021
Chicago Public Schools, City's Teachers Union Reach a Tentative Deal On COVID Safety Plan
18:04 GMT 07.02.2021
UK Registers Over 15,000 New COVID Cases, 373 Deaths

Department for Health announced on Sunday that some 15,845 cases were registered in Britain, down by 25% from 21,088 daily cases from a week ago.

14:34 GMT 07.02.2021
Hungary's Healthcare Centre Officially Approves Use of Russian Sputnik V COVID Vaccine in the Country
14:08 GMT 07.02.2021
Estonia Receives 1st Batch of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine, Social Affairs Ministry Says

Estonia has received the first batch of the coronavirus vaccine developed by the UK-Swedish AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company along with Oxford University, the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs said on Sunday.

Estonia has so far secured 3.5 million doses of coronavirus vaccines from five developers — Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV and CureVac.

"The first batch of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine including 7,200 doses arrived in Estonia on Sunday. In February, a total of 40,500 doses will be delivered to Estonia," the ministry said in a statement.

The vaccine is designed for people under 70 years old and those who work on the frontline in the fields of education, internal security, as well as the social sphere, the ministry added.

Last week, the European Union's regulator authorized the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine for all age groups. However, given the lack of data on its efficacy in people aged over 55, a number of EU nations recommended its use only for those under 55 or 65 years old.

Estonia has launched its mass vaccination campaign in late December. To date, 35,905 people have been inoculated with the Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna vaccines, with 17,512 of them having received both shots.

13:48 GMT 07.02.2021
Pope Reappears in Apostolic Palace Window to Address Faithful for 1st Time Since December

Pope Francis addressed the faithful with the Sunday prayer from the window of the Vatican Apostolic Palace for the first time since late December as Italy began gradually easing coronavirus-related restrictions.

The last time Pope Francis delivered the prayer from the window was on 20 December, on Sunday of Advent. After that, Francis held traditional Sunday audiences in the Library of the Apostolic Palace online to avoid huge gatherings of people amid the pandemic.

"Here we are in the square again," the pontiff said ahead of the prayer, as broadcast by the Holy See.

During a traditional Sunday sermon, Pope Francis recalled that on 11 February, the Roman Catholic Church would celebrate World Day of the Sick. In this regard, he noted the particular importance of the Church's commitment to caring for the sick when the world is experiencing the coronavirus pandemic.

The pontiff also drew people's attention to the acute problems of minor migrants who leave their homeland without their relatives and called for taking care of them and providing humanitarian assistance.

13:18 GMT 07.02.2021
'The Only Race is Against the Virus': EU Commission Chief Warns Against Comparing Race to Vaccine to Space Race
FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled COVID-19 Coronavirus-Vaccine and medical syringe are placed on the European Union map in this picture illustration taken December 2, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo - Sputnik International, 1920
Von der Leyen Says Quest for COVID Vaccines is 'Not a Competition', But Calls China 'Systemic Rival'
13:02 GMT 07.02.2021
'Wave of Misinformation': Russia Reacts to Lithuania's Comment on Sputnik V Vaccine
A medical specialist holds a vial of Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus in a department store in Moscow, Russia, January 18, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920
Russia Refutes Lithuania's Criticism of Sputnik V, Stresses Vaccine's Global Recognition
10:49 GMT 07.02.2021
Minister Gove is to Meet the European Commission Next Week to Resolve N.Ireland Issues, Vaccine Minister Says
10:34 GMT 07.02.2021
Iran to Start Vaccination With Sputnik V on 9 Feb, Authorities Say
10:08 GMT 07.02.2021
Malaysia Reports 3,731 New COVID-19 Cases, 15 New Fatalities

The total number of coronavirus cases in the country has climbed to 242,452, the death toll currently stands at 872, local health authorities said.

09:36 GMT 07.02.2021
Britain Won't Introduce Coronavirus Vaccine Passports, Minister Says

The UK will not introduce coronavirus vaccination passports, Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News on Sunday. 

He argued that such a move would be "discriminatory."

"I think the right thing to do is make sure people come forward and be vaccinated because they want to rather than it being made in some way mandatory through a passport," he said.

"If other countries obviously require some form of proof, then you can ask your GP because your GP will hold your records and that will then be able to be used as your proof you’ve had the vaccine," the minister said.

Zahawi also said that the government is working to develop vaccinations against new variants of the virus.

In an interview with the BBC, Zahawi said that annual coronavirus vaccinations are very likely.

"We see very much probably an annual or a booster in the autumn and then an annual (vaccination), in the way we do with flu vaccinations where you look at what variant of virus is spreading around the world," Zahawi told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. 

09:06 GMT 07.02.2021
Lithuania Reports 491 New COVID-19 Cases
08:11 GMT 07.02.2021
Russia Registers 16,048 COVID-19 Cases, 432 Deaths in Past 24 Hours

Russia registered 16,048 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, down from 16,627 the day before, taking the tally to  3,967,281, the coronavirus response centre said on Sunday.

"Over the past day, 16,048 coronavirus cases were confirmed across 85 regions, including 1,741 cases (10.8 percent) that were detected actively, with people showing no clinical symptoms," the centre said, adding that the cumulative case count has now reached 3,967,281 with the rate of increase at 0.41 percent.

Moscow confirmed 2,028 new coronavirus cases over the given period, down from 2,214 the day before. The Russian capital was followed by St. Petersburg with 1,175 new cases, down from 1,248 the day before.

The response center reported 432 coronavirus fatalities, down from 497 the day before, raising the country's death toll to 76,661.

Total recoveries count 3,456,210 after 19,884 people were discharged from hospitals over the past day, down from almost 23,000 the day before.

06:51 GMT 07.02.2021
Israel Gradually Emerging From Nationwide Lockdown Over COVID-19 , Reports Say

Israel began loosening coronavirus-related restrictions on Sunday, gradually emerging from a nearly 40-day-long nationwide lockdown, national media reported.

On Friday, the Israeli government approved the extension of the third nationwide lockdown, which was introduced back in late December, until the morning of 7 February.

According to the Jerusalem Post newspaper, starting from Sunday, Israel abandons the ban on movement for up to one kilometer (0.62 miles) from home, as well as allows nature reserves, national parks and outdoor archaeological sites to resume operations. Restaurants and stores are now allowed to offer takeaway and one-on-one services, while employees that do not directly make contact with the public can return to offices.

At the same time, schools will remain closed until 9 February, with the government expected to discuss the next steps regarding educational institutions later on Sunday. According to preliminary recommendations, kindergartens and schools are expected to partly reopen in the so-called yellow and green areas, where the number of infections is low.

Israel loosens restrictions as the vaccination campaign is ongoing across the country. To date, more than 3.4 million citizens have already received at least one shot of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.

05:49 GMT 07.02.2021
Mongolia's COVID-19 Cases Surpass 2,000
05:09 GMT 07.02.2021
Germany Registers 8,616 New COVID-19 Cases
04:56 GMT 07.02.2021
Brazil's COVID-19 Death Toll Surpasses 230,000
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