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U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 response and vaccination program at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 12, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - Sputnik International

Live Updates: US to Announce Additional Commitments at COVID-19 Summit on Wednesday

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The global death toll from the coronavirus infection has topped 4.699 million and over 229 million cases have been detected, according to Baltimore, Maryland's Johns Hopkins University, which tracks and compiles data from national and local authorities, the media and other sources.
The US, India, and Brazil remain the nations worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The United States has confirmed more than 42.2 million infections and 676,059 deaths.
India has registered 33.47 million coronavirus cases and 445,133 fatalities.
Brazil has logged 21.2 million infections and the second-highest death toll in the world - more than 590,955.
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19:50 GMT 21.09.2021
Xi in UNGA Address Says China Aims to Provide 2 Bln COVID-19 Vaccine Doses to World by End of Year
18:50 GMT 21.09.2021
US to Announce Additional Commitments at COVID-19 Summit Wednesday
US President Joe Biden told leaders at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that the United States will announce additional commitments in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic during a summit planned to be held the day after.

"Tomorrow, at the US-hosted Global COVID-19 Summit I’ll be announcing additional commitments as we seek to advance the fight against COVID-19 and hold ourselves accountable around specific targets on three key challenges: saving lives now, vaccinating the world, and building back better," Biden said.
15:50 GMT 21.09.2021
Singapore Reports 1,178 Coronavirus Cases vs 917 Infections on Monday
15:33 GMT 21.09.2021
Italy Reports 3,377 COVID-19 Cases on Tuesday
14:46 GMT 21.09.2021
EU Commission Says Travelers Vaccinated With AstraZeneca Should Be Allowed to Enter US
European Commission Chief Spokesman Eric Mamer said on Tuesday that people vaccinated with the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and seeking to visit the United States should be able to do so, as the drug is approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

On Monday, Washington decided to lift the travel ban for fully vaccinated foreigners from a number of countries, including almost the whole EU, the United Kingdom, Iran, India, China, and others, starting early November. However, even though AstraZeneca is approved by the EMA, it is not authorized for use in the United States.

"We believe that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, that is why it was authorized in the EU and therefore from our point of view, it will make sense for people who have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca to be able to travel," Mamer told a briefing.

While the European Union is unaware whether arrivals from the member states who received AstraZeneca will be able to enter the US, Washington's list of eligible vaccines is reportedly likely to include it. Mamer suggested that Brussels wait for Washington's final decision in the matter.

The US Food and Drug Administration has so far authorized three vaccines for emergency used across the country, including Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen. The EMA has the same drugs in its portfolio, complemented by AstraZeneca.
14:41 GMT 21.09.2021
Biden in UNGA Address Calls to Create New Mechanism to Finance Global Health Security
The world needs a new financing mechanism for global health security in order to monitor and prevent future pandemics like the ongoing COVID-19 one, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday.

“For the future, we need to create a new mechanism to finance global health security that builds on our existing development assistance, and a global health threat council that is armed with the tools we need to monitor and identify emerging pandemics so that we can take immediate action,” Biden said while addressing the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
13:59 GMT 21.09.2021
Japanese Gov't Eyes Lifting COVID Emergency in 19 Prefectures After September 30, Reports Say
The Japanese government is considering lifting the coronavirus-related state of emergency in 19 prefectures after it expires on 30 September, the Kyodo news agency reported on Tuesday, citing government and ruling party sources.

The final decision on the matter is expected to be announced by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at a task force meeting next week, on September 28, the news agency added.

The government decided to extend a state of emergency over surging COVID-19 cases in 19 out of 47 Japanese prefectures until the end of the month back on 9 September.
13:42 GMT 21.09.2021
Thailand Logs 10,919 New COVID-19 Cases
13:42 GMT 21.09.2021
Indonesia Reports 3,263 New Coronavirus Cases
13:23 GMT 21.09.2021
UN Secretary General Guterres Calls for Global Plan to at Least Double Vaccine Production
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on Tuesday for launching a global vaccination plan to at least double vaccine production and provide 70% of the global population with vaccines in the first half of the next year.

"We urgently need a global vaccination plan to at least double vaccine production and ensure that vaccines reach 70% of the world’s population in the first half of 2022. This plan could be implemented by an emergency Task Force made up of present and potential vaccine producers, the World Health Organization, ACT-Accelerator partners, and international financial institutions, working with pharmaceutical companies," Guterres told the UN General Assembly.
13:21 GMT 21.09.2021
India Won't Buy Pfizer/Biontech, Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines, Reports Say
13:07 GMT 21.09.2021
Over 90% of Africa's Population Yet to Receive First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine, UN Chief Says
More than 90% of the population in Africa have not received yet event the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday.

"A surplus in some countries. Empty shelves in others. A majority of the wealthier world vaccinated. Over 90 percent of Africans still waiting for their first dose," Guterres said during his address at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

"This is a moral indictment of the state of our world. It is an obscenity," he added.
13:03 GMT 21.09.2021
Argentina's Richmond Lab to Launch Plant for Producing Sputnik V From Scratch in One Year
Argentina's manufacturer of the Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, the Richmond laboratory, will launch a new plant in a year for producing the Russian vaccine from scratch, laboratory CEO Marcelo Figueiras‏ said in an interview with Sputnik.

As of now, the active ingredient for production is supplied from Russia.

"We raised $85 million [in the market] to build a new vaccine production plant. We intend to carry our the entire Sputnik V production cycle there," Figueiras‏ said.

The new plant will also be equipped to produce RNA vaccines. The construction will cost $65 million, the rest of the raised funds will be invested in certification and clinical trials.

"The plant should be operational already in a year," Figueiras added, noting that construction is underway.

The Richmond laboratory chief plans to discuss the new plant and a potential long-term deal with the Russian Direct Investment Fund during his visit to Moscow in early October.
12:51 GMT 21.09.2021
Two-Dose J&J Vaccine Proves 94% Effective Against Symptomatic COVID-19, Study Shows
The US pharma giant Johnson & Johnson said on Tuesday that a Phase 3 study proved that its single-dose vaccine gave 94% protection against symptomatic COVID-19 disease when coupled with a booster shot administered two months later.

"Our single-shot vaccine generates strong immune responses and long-lasting immune memory. And, when a booster of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is given, the strength of protection against COVID-19 further increases," the company’s R&D chief Mathai Mammen said.

The company said that antibody levels rose from four to six times higher after a booster shot was given two months after the first dose, compared to antibody levels observed after the first shot. When administered six months after the first shot, the booster increased antibody levels ninefold within one week. Antibodies continued to climb to twelve-fold four weeks after the booster.
12:50 GMT 21.09.2021
Argentina Lifts COVID-19 Restrictions From 1 October
12:46 GMT 21.09.2021
Sri Lanka Reports 1,700 New COVID-19 Сases
11:25 GMT 21.09.2021
Poland Recommends COVID-19 Booster Shot for People Over 50
11:18 GMT 21.09.2021
China's Harbin Reimposes COVID-19 Rules After Confirming One Positive Case
The administration of Harbin, the capital of the Chinese northern province of Heilongjiang, has brought back coronavirus restrictions following the discovery of an isolated case of viral infection in the city, the local center for disease control and prevention said on Tuesday.

Health officials cites a report on an infected patient who is currently under medical monitoring and treatment in the Second People's Hospital of Bayan County in Harbin. The authorities published detailed routes of the patient's movements from September 7-19, urging locals to avoid these places, according to the statement.

All possible contacts of the patient, including those who attended the places in question, are asked to report to the health authorities, as well as follow health rules, including staying at home, cooperating with medical staff, and complying with restrictions.

Citizens should be more active in vaccinations, wearing masks, washing their hands, not leaving the city for non-urgent purposes, and refraining from travel to medium and high infected areas, the statement went on, also prohibiting the spread of false information about the pandemic.

Certain public venues, including cinemas, theaters, dance and gaming halls, internet cafes, gyms, as well as some small hotels and clinics, were ordered to suspend operations.

Attractions including parks, airports, hotels, restaurants, malls, stores, pharmacies, exhibition halls, as well as state institutions and enterprises, were instructed to increase virus control and prevention measures, including a ban on large crowds and regular disinfection, among others.

Public transport is obliged to limit the flow of passengers and ensure that its workers and passengers follow the basic health measures, including the requirement to wear masks.

To date, China has confirmed 72 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 95,810, with no related fatalities, and the total standing at 4,636 across its mainland, according to the National Health Commission.
11:18 GMT 21.09.2021
Victoria Police Arrest 62 Anti-Lockdown Protesters in Melbourne
Australia’s Victoria state police arrested 62 protesters for "criminal conduct" on Tuesday after a crowd of around 2,000 flooded the streets of Melbourne to protest COVID-19 restrictions, police commissioner Shane Patton said.

"We conducted over the day 62 arrests... We will continue to investigate and determine what other offenses people have committed, and we will seek to arrest other people and hold them to account for this disgraceful conduct," he told a news conference.

The commissioner said three police officers and a reporter were injured during the rally. Large groups of men converged on police cars, damaged police property and hurled flares, rocks and bottles at the officers.

Police used pepper ball rounds, smoke rounds, stinger grenades containing small rubber pellets, and foam batons against protesters.

This was the second day of protests started by construction workers after Australian authorities halted construction for two weeks to curb the spread of the coronavirus. People from all walks of life joined the Tuesday demonstration in downtown Melbourne.

Victoria premier Dan Andrews warned on Twitter that anger would not make the pandemic end quicker and urged everyone to get vaccinated.

"Acts of violence like we've seen in the city in the last two days isn't going to stop people ending up in ICU, or be any help to the nurses treating them. Literally only one thing will - getting vaccinated," he wrote.
10:26 GMT 21.09.2021
Ukraine Tightens COVID-19 Lockdown Restrictions From 23 September
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