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Packages of medical aid for India to help the country tackle the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are pictured before being loaded onto a plane at Zhukovsky Airport in Moscow Region, Russia 28 April 2021. - Sputnik International

COVID-19 Live Updates: India Sees a Record Single-Day Rise of 379,257 Cases

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The global death toll from the coronavirus has topped 3.14 million and over 149 million cases of the infection have been detected, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The US is still the most-affected nation amid the pandemic, with over 32.2 million infected, and the death toll exceeding 574,000. It is followed by India, with over 18.3 million confirmed cases and 204,832 deaths, and Brazil, which has 14.5 million confirmed cases and over 398,000 fatalities.

As India has been hit hard by the second wave of the coronavirus, a number of countries and organisations have extended the nation a helping hand, pledging to deliver oxygen and other assistance amid severe shortages.

The Indian COVID-19 toll has been increasing rapidly since mid-February, continually setting daily records in the number of new cases.

Follow Sputnik’s feed to find out more.      

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23:48 GMT 29.04.2021
Global Number of COVID-19 Cases Surpasses 150 Million, JHU Data Shows
A dancer wearing a protective mask to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), sits during a virtual dance performance titled 'The Story of Man: In Search of A New Ideal' by Namarina Youth Dance, at the Jakarta Art Building, Indonesia, February 21, 2021. Picture taken February 21, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920
Worldwide Number of COVID-19 Cases Surpasses 150 Million, Johns Hopkins University Says
22:09 GMT 29.04.2021
Canada’s Employment 1.2Mln Off pre-COVID-19 Levels, Statistics Agency Reveals

TORONTO (Sputnik) - Canada’s employment levels remain well below pre-coronavirus levels, with the country counting more than one million fewer payroll workers a year after the pandemic began, the state statistics agency said.

"The total number of payroll employees in February was down 1.2 million (-6.8%) from one year earlier, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic," Statistics Canada said in its monthly survey of employment, payrolls and hours on Thursday.

21:50 GMT 29.04.2021
Death Toll From COVID-19 in Brazil Surpasses 400,000 People, Ministry of Health States
19:56 GMT 29.04.2021
France's Macron Announces 4-Phase National COVID-19 Lockdown Reopening Plan
French President Emmanuel Macron, wearing a protective face mask, visits a child psychiatry department at Reims hospital to discuss the psychological impact of the COVID-19 crisis and the lockdown on children and teenagers in France, April 14, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920
Macron Unveils France's 4-Phase Plan Out of COVID-19 Lockdown
18:17 GMT 29.04.2021
Iran Creates Spray Against Coronavirus, State Media Says
In this Tuesday, June 16, 2020, photo, a nurse prepares medicines for COVID-19 patients at the Shohadaye Tajrish Hospital in Tehran, Iran. After months of fighting the coronavirus, Iran only just saw its highest single-day spike in reported cases after Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that celebrates the end of Ramadan.  - Sputnik International, 1920
Iran Creates Spray Against Coronavirus, State Media Says
18:00 GMT 29.04.2021
Russia Asked India For Sample of Local Strain of COVID, Head of Consumer Rights Watchdog Says
17:36 GMT 29.04.2021
Youth Wing of Indian National Congress releases a video showing a man begging a policeman not to take an oxygen cylinder he set aside for his mother.
17:26 GMT 29.04.2021
Fans Will be Allowed to Attend Eurovision Song Contest, Reports Suggest
16:33 GMT 29.04.2021
Youth Wing of Indian National Congress Releases Video Showing Dead Bodies Piled up in Streets
16:11 GMT 29.04.2021
Moderna Commits to Supply 3Bln Doses of Coronavirus Vaccine in 2022
12:53 GMT 29.04.2021
Macron: French Cafes, Restaurants to Reopen 9 June After Seven Months
12:46 GMT 29.04.2021
India Will Start Vaccinating Citizens With Russia's Sputnik V Vaccine Early in May, Envoy to Moscow Says
12:46 GMT 29.04.2021
Macron to Announce Easing of French Curfew Tonight, Reports Say
12:16 GMT 29.04.2021
New York City Plans to 'Fully Reopen' on 1 July, Mayor de Blasio Says
12:02 GMT 29.04.2021
Sweden Registers 7,158 New Coronavirus Cases
11:39 GMT 29.04.2021
Georgia Detects 1,433 New COVID-19 Cases
10:54 GMT 29.04.2021
Philippines Receives 500,000 More COVID-19 Vaccine Doses From China
09:45 GMT 29.04.2021
German Public Health Agency's Head Says We've Succeeded in Putting a Brake on the 3rd COVID Wave
09:33 GMT 29.04.2021
Czech Drug Regulator Stops Studying Sputnik V Documentation Due to Lack of Information
Vial labelled Sputnik V coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine placed on displayed Sputnik V logo is seen in this illustration picture taken March 24, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920
Czech Drug Regulator Stops Studying Sputnik V Documentation Due to Lack of Information
09:26 GMT 29.04.2021
Turkey Can Offer PCR COVID-19 Tests, Free Treatment to Tourists, Cavusoglu Says

Turkey is ready to offer coronavirus tests for departing tourists and free treatment should their results come back positive, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Sputnik in an interview, adding that the country is open to talks about free PCR tests for Russian travelers.

"We are also providing PCR tests for the countries, for tourists that are going back home from Turkey. And we did actually provided PCR tests last year for every single German tourist who came to Turkey before they went back. And in the case of any positive test tourists get free treatment in Turkey, and also free accommodation," Cavusoglu said.

Turkey, the minister noted, is ready to provide polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for Russian travelers as well.

"We are ready, if Russia requests. We have the PCR test capacity. Such tests are not for free. Last year we did the same for German tourists. If it is at the hotel and clinic, it was around I think 15 euros ($18). If it is at the airport, of course it's a little bit more. I think it was 35 euros last year," he added.

When asked whether Russian tourists could receive PCR tests for free, the top Turkish diplomat said that "this is the subject of discussion" between the two countries.

Russia restricted air traffic with Turkey from 15 April to 1 June amid a steep rise in coronavirus cases in the country popular with Russian tourists. Two flights a week still run between Moscow and Istanbul.

08:44 GMT 29.04.2021
Russia Registers 9,284 COVID-19 Cases in Past 24 Hours

Russia registered 9,284 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, up from 7,848 the day before, taking the overall tally to 4,796,557, the coronavirus response center said on Thursday.

"Over the past day, 9,284 coronavirus cases were confirmed across 83 Russian regions, including 1,204 cases (13 percent) without clinical symptoms," the centre said.

The rate of increase grew to 0.19 percent.

Moscow confirmed 3,215 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, up from 1,840 the day before. The Russian capital was followed by St. Petersburg with 716 new cases, down from 723 the day before, and the Moscow Region with 632 new cases, up from 612 on Wednesday.

No new cases were recorded in the Nenets Autonomous Region and the Jewish Autonomous Region.

The response centre reported 364 COVID-19 fatalities, down from 387 the day before, raising the country's death toll to 109,731.

Total recoveries increased by 8,442 over the given period, up from 8,420 the previous day, and reached 4,419,540 in total.

08:26 GMT 29.04.2021
40 Countries to Supply Oxygen to India, Foreign Secretary Says

"We have received offers of assistance from various governments. There has been an outpouring offer of solidarity with India, of assistance. Over 40 countries have actually committed to provide us with many items that we need most urgently," Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said.

07:59 GMT 29.04.2021
Three Cases of the Indian COVID-19 Strain Reported in Finland
07:57 GMT 29.04.2021
European Parliament Adopts Position on COVID-19 Digital Travel Certificates

The European Parliament has voted to adopt its negotiating position on the creation of a new digital EU COVID-19 certificate aimed at facilitating safe travel amid the ongoing pandemic.

Lawmakers in the European Parliament voted 540-119 in favor with 31 abstentions on its proposal covering EU nationals, and 540-80 with 70 abstentions on third-country nationals. The results of the vote were announced on Thursday morning.

"The @Europarl_EN adopting its position on a Digital Green Certificate is a key step towards free and safe travel this summer," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote in a tweet after the results were announced.

The European Parliament's proposal includes a plan to call the document the "EU COVID-19 Certificate" as opposed to the "Digital Green Certificate" name proposed by the European Commission.

Lawmakers are also calling for affordable and accessible COVID-19 testing to ensure that individuals who are not vaccinated against the disease do not face discrimination.

The new certification system should only be in place for 12 months at most, according to the passed resolution.

The European Commission tabled its proposal for establishing the Digital Green Certificate back in March. The system is intended to provide proof that an individual has been vaccinated against COVID-19, tested negative for the disease, or has recovered from illness.

06:57 GMT 29.04.2021
Moderna Pledges to Produce Three Billion COVID-19 Vaccine Doses in 2022

US pharmaceutical company Moderna seeks to supply 3 billion vaccine doses against COVID-19 in 2022 instead of 1.4 billion, which is twice as many than planned, according to the company’s statement, published on Thursday.

"Today we have announced that our investments in Europe, including Spain, France and Belgium, Switzerland, and the U.S. will allow us to deliver up to 3 billion doses in 2022, depending on the mix of product between primary series of vaccination and variant boosters," Stephane Bancel, the chief executive officer, said in the statement.

The company, he said, has increased its 2021 manufacturing supply forecast up to 1 billion doses.

As Moderna said before, an expected significant need for revaccination in the future, showed by published studies, is a reason for investing in increased supplies. Reducing immunity will impact vaccine efficacy within a year as well as variants with lower starting neutralizing antibody titers may lead to emerging infections among those already infected or vaccinated, complicating booster vaccinations.

According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Moderna vaccine, registered for use in Canada, the EU countries, Israel, Qatar, Singapore, the United States, is 94.1% effective against COVID-19.

06:50 GMT 29.04.2021
Brazil's Butantan Research Institute Kicks Off Production of Domestic COVID-19 Vaccine

Brazilian Butantan Institute said it has started the manufacture of ButanVac, a new homegrown coronavirus vaccine, the clinical trials of which are yet to be approved by the country's watchdog.

"On Wednesday, the Butantan Institute received a batch of 520,000 eggs to begin production of ButanVac, a new vaccine against COVID-19. More batches are expected to be received in the next few days, each for 1 million doses, to produce at least 18 million doses by 15 June, " the institute said in a statement.

The institute was also preparing documents needed to apply for human trials of the drug, part of which was submitted to the national health surveillance agency Anvisa on 26 March. The vaccine has so far been tested only on animals.

ButanVac is expected to enter the market and become available to the Brazilian population in the second half of 2021, but its use would depend on whether or not Anvisa approved the vaccine.

The developers of the two Brazil-made vaccines, ButanVac and Versamune, applied for human trials in March 2020 intending to launch tests the following month and produce more than 40 million doses by the end of the year.

Brazil ranks third in the world in the numbers of COVID-19 cases, with a total of over 3.15 million infections and nearly 400,000 related fatalities, as of Thursday. The country's vaccination campaign currently comprise shots of the Chinese-developed Coronavac vaccine, produced jointly with the Butantan Institute, and AstraZeneca.

The authorities also expect to receive doses of Pfizer vaccine, which has already been authorized by the national regulator, later on Thursday.

04:38 GMT 29.04.2021
India Registers Record 379,257 New COVID-19 Cases Within Past 24 Hours

India has registered 379,257 new COVID-19 cases within the past 24 hours, marking the largest daily increase since the start of the outbreak, the national Ministry of Health said on Thursday.

The total number of those who tested positive for the coronavirus in India has reached 18,376,524, according to the ministry.

Within the same period of time, the death toll has risen by 3,645 to 204,832 people. More than 15.08 million patients have recovered since the start of the epidemic.

India comes second in terms of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, following the United States with more than 32.22 million patients.

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