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    Coronavirus Pandemic: Borders Shut, Public Events Cancelled (257)
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    The global count of COVID-19 infection cases exceeds 510,000, with over 22,000 confirmed deaths. Of those who have been infected, over 120,000 have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    Europe has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic; Italy and Spain are among the worst-affected countries.

    Italy is fighting against a severe coronavirus outbreak, by far the worst outside of China. The country's death toll has exceeded 8,100, while more than 10,000 have recovered, Johns Hopkins University says. 

    The epidemic has resulted in a major disruption of global supply chains, a sharp increase in economic volatility and sent stock markets spiralling, threatening a global recession.

    Leaders of the Group of 20 held an extraordinary summit on Thursday via video conference to discuss measures to protect the global financial architecture from risks brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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    • 18:39

      WHO Chief Calls on G20 to 'Fight, Unite, Ignite' Against Coronavirus Pandemic

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The head of the World Health Organization urged leaders of the Group of 20 major economies on Thursday to unite and "fight like hell" against the coronavirus pandemic.

      Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made passionate speech during an emergency video conference called to coordinate a global response to the outbreak, which has claimed over 21,000 lives worldwide.

      "We are one human race. Fight. Unite. Ignite. And let our singular resolve be: never again," he said.

      Countries have been going into lockdown to slow the spread of the virus. Tedros said this would "take some of the heat out of the epidemic" but would not end it.

      "We must do more. We must immediately build, expand, train and deploy health workers to find, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact," he said.

      Secondly, he said, all countries are in this together and will get through the crisis together, which requires sharing experience, expertise and resources.

      "We call on all of your nations to increase production, remove export bans and ensure equity of distribution," he stressed.

      And, last but not least, the leaders must ignite innovation and repurpose the industrial might of their nations to produce more life-saving tools and come up with vaccines and treatments for the disease.

    • 18:32

      COVID-19 Death Toll in France Rises to 1,696 - Health Official

      PARIS (Sputnik) - The number of coronavirus infection cases in France has increased by almost 4,000 in the past 24 hours to total 29,155, Jerome Salomon, the head of France's public health service, said Thursday.

      "Today we have 29,155 confirmed cases of the disease ... while the number of deaths now totals 1,696," Salomon said at a briefing.

      According to Salomon, 13,904 people undergo treatment in hospitals in France, 3,375 of them are kept in intensive care in serious condition.

    • 18:20

      Eight UN Envoys Ask Guterres to Urge US to Lift Sanctions Amid Coronavirus Crisis - Letter

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Eight United Nations ambassadors have asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to press the United States to lift its sanctions on other countries due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

      “We respectfully urge you to request the complete and immediate lifting of such illegal, coercive and arbitrary measures of economic pressure – in line with the longstanding and principled position of the United Nations to reject unilateral coercive measures – in order to ensure the full, effective and efficient response of all members of the international community to the coronavirus, and to also reject the politicization of such a pandemic,” the letter said.

      The letter was signed by the permanent representatives of Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Nicaragua, Syria and Venezuela.

    • 18:17

      Number of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in US Exceeds 75,000, With 1,070 Deaths - Johns Hopkins University

    • 17:34

      Polish Airline Repatriated Over 34,000 Citizens Amid COVID-19 Pandemic - Government

      WARSAW (Sputnik) - LOT Polish Airlines has evacuated more than 34,000 Polish nationals from foreign countries since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Michal Dworczyk, the head of the Polish prime minister's chancellery, said on Thursday.

      On March 14, the Polish government launched operation #LOTdoDomu (Flight Back Home) to bring its citizens who are stuck abroad amid the epidemic home via charter flights.

      "The Flight Back Home program is gradually coming to an end. We want to finish this program before April 5. LOT has already transported over 34, 000 compatriots to the country. Until April 5, there will be a few more flights beyond Europe. We are not ruling out single flights later on, if necessary," Dworczyk told journalists.

      According to the Health Ministry, there are currently over 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths in Poland.

    • 17:33

      UN Confirms 78 Employees Worldwide Test Positive for COVID-19 - Spokesman

      UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The United Nations reported that a number of its employees who were infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has risen to 78, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a press briefing on Thursday.

      "As of today, there are 78 confirmed cases among UN staff worldwide," Dujarric said.

      On Tuesday, Dujarric reported that 51 employees contracted the disease.

      According to the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 exceeded 495,000, while the fatalities reached 22,295.

    • 17:31

      Sturgeon Says 175 New COVID-19 Cases in Scotland, Raising Total to 894

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Scotland has risen to 894, an increase of 175 in the preceding 24 hours, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Thursday.

      "I can confirm that as of 09:00 [09:00 GMT] today, there have been 894 positive cases confirmed, which is an increase of 175 from yesterday," Sturgeon said during a press conference, adding that these numbers will be an underestimate.

      The death toll in the country has risen to 25 after three more deaths were confirmed overnight, Sturgeon stated.

      The first minister said that her government has more than doubled the Scottish Welfare Fund, established to provide crisis grants to those in need. Scottish citizens may also be eligible for council tax reductions, Sturgeon remarked.

      The UK government most recently updated the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths late on Wednesday. According to the latest official government figures, 9,529 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed across the entire UK since the

    • 17:29

      Italy Registers 4,492 New Coronavirus Cases in 24 Hours - Civil Protection

      GENOA (Sputnik) - Italy registered 4,492 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours and 662 deaths, Deputy head of Italy’s Civil Protection Department Agostino Miozzo said Thursday.

      On Wednesday, Italy had 57,521 active cases, 7,503 deaths and 9,362 recoveries.

      "There has been an increase of 4,492 positive cases today," Miozzo said.

    • 17:05

      Canada Reports Almost 2,000 New COVID-19 Cases Since Monday, Total Rises to 3,409

      TORONTO (Sputnik) - The number of confirmed novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Canada has risen to 3,409, Chief Public Health Officer Dr Theresa told reporters on Thursday.

      "In Canada, as of this moment, there are 3,409 cases and 35 deaths," Tam said.

      Canada has seen a sharp rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases, with the country recording almost 2,000 new cases since Monday.

      Canada’s chief medic said that to date approximately 158,000 individuals have been tested for the deadly virus, with over 58,000 tests performed since Monday.

      The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11. More than 487,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 22,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    • 16:50

      Coronavirus-Related Fatalities Among Doctors in Italy Rise to 36 - Reports

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A total of 36 Italian doctors have passed away due to COVID-19, the ANSA news agency reported on Thursday, citing the Federazione Nazionale degli Ordini dei Medici Chirurghi e degli Odontoiatri, the national federation of doctors' guilds.

      The number of fatalities increased after three doctors in the city of Bergamo perished overnight, according to the agency.

      Meanwhile, the number of infected medical workers has increased to 6,025, which is nine percent of all cases.

      According to the latest report by the Health Ministry, there are 57,521 active COVID-19 cases in Italy, with the death toll standing at 7,503.

    • 16:43

      Ukraine Closes Border Starting Friday, Including for Own Citizens, Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

      "By the end of Friday, March 27, our state border will be closed and all passenger traffic will stop. Two weeks ago I called on the citizens to return to Ukraine urgently. Most of them did it on their own, I am thankful to them. Others, more than 80,000 Ukrainians, we brought home with planes, trains and buses. But today we have no time to wait. We are facing a difficult choice between citizens who are still abroad and the safety of the 40 million citizens in the country," Zelenskyy said, as aired on 112.Ukraina.

      The diplomats will take care of the Ukrainians who have not been able to come back, the president said.

    • 16:32

      Honduras Registers First Coronavirus-Related Death - Health Authorities

    • 16:29

      Kenya Confirms First COVID-19 Death - Government Spokesman

    • 16:24

      COVID-19 Death Toll in Italy's Lombardy Rises by Over 385 in a Day to 4,860 - Report

    • 16:20

      Trump Expected to Send Troops to Border with Canada to Support Border Operations Amid Pandemic - Report

      Reuters has reported, citing US government sources, that President Trump is expected to send troops to the border with Canada to support border operations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

      The agency quoted Canada's Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland as saying that Canada thinks that the US proposal will damage the bilateral relationship.

    • 16:08

      COVID-19 in Mexico: Number of Confirmed Cases is 475, With Six Fatalities - Health Officials

    • 16:05

      Greece Registers 892 COVID-19 Cases, With 26 Deaths - Health Ministry

    • 15:59

      100 More People Die from COVID-19 in New York State, Death Toll Reaches 385 - Governor

      According to the governor of the New York State Andrew Cuomo, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases stands at 37,258.

    • 15:56

      Johnson Wants 750,000 NHS Volunteers as CEO Says London Hospitals Struggling With COVID-19

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes that a total of 750,000 people will register to become volunteers for the National Health Service (NHS) during the COVID-19 outbreak, national media reported on Thursday, after a leading NHS official told the UK's state broadcaster earlier in the day that London’s hospitals are struggling to cope as the number of positive tests for the disease rise.

      According to The Guardian newspaper, a spokesman for the prime minister said that the target for NHS volunteers, which initially stood at 250,000 people when the scheme was announced on Tuesday, has now risen to 750,000.

      During a press briefing on Wednesday evening, Johnson praised over 405,000 people who had registered in the first 24 hours of the scheme to conduct vital community care, such as delivering medicine to patients at home or phoning people who are in self-isolation.

      Efforts to help the NHS cope with the strain of caring for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 are necessary according to Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, the organization that manages all the regional NHS trusts.

      During an appearance on BBC Radio 4's Today program, Hopson said that London’s hospitals were struggling to cope amid the health crisis.

      "They are saying it’s the number arriving and the speed with which they are arriving and how ill they are. They talk about wave after wave after wave. The words that are used to me are that it’s a continuous tsunami," Hopson remarked.

      As of 09:00 GMT on Wednesday, the UK Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed 9,529 cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak began, with 463 deaths. In the preceding 24 hours, the number of confirmed cases rose by 1,452.

    • 15:53

      China Suspends Entry for Foreigners With Valid Visas From Saturday - Foreign Ministry

      BEIJING (Sputnik) - China is suspending entry for foreigners with valid visas starting March 28 to avoid imported cases of the coronavirus, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday in a statement.

      "Due to the fast spread of the coronavirus epidemic across the world, China has decided to suspend starting March 28, at 00:00, entry of foreign citizens who have valid visas and permits," the ministry said.

    • 15:30

      Putin Calls on G20 Countries to Develop COVID-19 Vaccines Together

      An employee of German biopharmaceutical company CureVac, demonstrates research workflow on a vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease at a laboratory in Tuebingen, Germany, March 12, 2020

      Putin: Joint G20 Research Could Help Develop COVID-19 Vaccines Faster

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Joint G20 research could help develop coronavirus vaccines and medications faster, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday at a G20 summit on the coronavirus.
      Read more
    • 15:20

      Afghanistan to Release About 10,000 Inmates to Curb Spread of COVID-19 - Reports

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Afghan authorities plan to release up to 10,000 inmates within 10 days to prevent the spread of COVID-19, local media reported on Thursday, citing the head of prisoner affairs, Ahmad Rashid Totakhil.

      On Sunday, Afghanistan's government said that it was considering releasing some prisoners to slow down the outbreak.

      Some 9,000-10,000 prisoners are going to be released in 10 days, according to the TOLO News TV channel, citing Totakhil.

      The government reportedly said that it had worked to make sure the released inmates did not pose a serious threat to the population.

      The release order has been signed by President Ashraf Ghani, according to the 1TV News channel.

      There have been 84 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Afghanistan, according to the Health Ministry.

    • 15:16

      German Health Minister Calls Coronavirus Epidemic 'Calm Before the Storm'

      BERLIN (Sputnik) - German Health Minister Jens Spahn on Thursday described the coronavirus crisis in the country as merely the calm before the storm, warning that things could get worse in the coming weeks.

      "Doctors, caretakers and other medical professionals are bracing for the biggest challenge in 75 years. We already have many infected in Germany and are grieving over many lost lives. But this is only the calm before the storm," he told reporters.

      Germany reported a jump of 4,954 infection cases in the past 24 hours, taking the tally to 36,508. The Robert Koch Institute for disease control has confirmed a total of 198 virus-related deaths.

      Spahn assured reporters that the government was doing everything to slow down the spread of the virus — "flatten the curve" — in order to take the pressure off the national health system.

      Food and Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner said at a separate press briefing that Germany was well-supplied with basic food items but admitted that all parts of the food supply chain were under pressure due to exceedingly high demand.

    • 14:43

      South Africa Confirms More Than 900 COVID-19 Cases - President Ramaphosa

    • 14:39

      Kazakhstan Registers First Coronavirus Death

    • 14:24

      G20 Leaders Adopt a Document After Summit on Coronavirus - Kremlin

    • 14:19

      Japan's Abe Orders Government to Draw Up Policy to Deal With COVID-19 Pandemic - Reports

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who led the first meeting of the task force organized by the government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has ordered Economic Revitalization Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura to prepare a basic policy to deal with the outbreak, the NHK broadcaster reported on Thursday.

      Nishimura was charged with overseeing the coronavirus law adopted earlier this month. The policy will comprise a status report on the spread of COVID-19 in the country, the government's general approach toward the epidemic and a list of the most necessary steps to be taken.

      Abe called for closer cooperation between the federal government, local authorities, medical facilities and ordinary citizens to combat the disease.

      According to the broadcaster, the government currently has the power to declare a countrywide emergency after consulting with infectious disease specialists and regional governors.

    • 14:12

      Serbia Reports 73 New COVID-19 Cases, Bringing Total to 457, With Seven Deaths - Health Ministry

    • 14:09

      Sixth Patient Dies of Coronavirus in Israel - Reports

      TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - The number of COVID-19 related deaths in Israel has increased to six, media reported on Thursday.

      According to Edioth Ahronoth newspaper, the deceased patient was a woman, 91, who died at Wolfson Medical Center in southern Tel Aviv.

      The previous death toll tally stood at five among patients aged between 67 and 88 years.

      According to the latest figures of the Israeli Health Ministry, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country has reached 2,495, including 41 people in critical condition.

      On March 20, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a seven-day state of emergency in the country and ordered citizens to remain indoors except for a specified number of cases, such as for buying food and medicines. In addition, according to the authorities' instructions, it is forbidden to visit beaches, parks, shopping centers and other public places. People are not allowed to receive guests. Moreover, gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. The country's borders are shut.

    • 14:07

      Armenia Registers First COVID-19 Death - Health Ministry

    • 14:01

      Germany Curbing Mortality Rate by Conducting 500,000 COVID-19 Tests Per Week – Virologist

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Germany’s ability to conduct roughly 500,000 tests for COVID-19 per week explains the comparatively low death rate from the disease in the European country, the head of the Institute of Virology at Berlin’s Charite University Hospital, Christian Drosten, said on Thursday.

      “The reason why we, at the moment, have so few deaths in Germany … compared to the number of patients, is explained by the fact that we are conducting a huge number of laboratory tests in Germany. It is estimated that we are currently conducting more than half a million tests per week,” Drosten said during a press conference in the German capital of Berlin.

      The country’s research minister, Anja Karliczek, who spoke alongside Drosten, announced 150 million euros ($164 million) in funding for a national patient database that will allow scientists to share material in the hope of accelerating the development of treatments and vaccines against COVID-19.

      Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, Germany’s Robert Koch Institute has registered a total of 36,508 cases of the disease in the country, with 198 deaths — a mortality rate of just 0.5 percent.

      The mortality rate in Italy and Spain, the two European countries most affected by the disease, currently stands at 10 percent and 7 percent respectively, according to figures published on Tuesday.

    • 13:47

      Putin, Macron Exchange Information on Anti-Coronavirus Measures on the Phone - Kremlin

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron informed each other in phone talks on Thursday about measures introduced in Russia and France to counteract the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Kremlin’s press service reported.

      "Shortly before the G20 emergency summit in a video conference format, the leader exchanged views on the situation around the coronavirus pandemic. Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron informed each other about measures introduced in Russia and France to counteract the spread of this infection and minimize its negative socio-economic consequences," the press service said in a statement.

      "The leaders also discussed possible cooperation in the framework of the UN Security Council in the context of a joint fight against the deadly virus," the statement said.

      According to the statement, Putin and Macron agreed to further coordinate the return of citizens of the two countries to their homeland, as well as to facilitate the transportation of medical supplies and equipment amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    • 13:39

      Saudi King Urges G20 to Unite Economic Efforts Against COVID-19

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia has called upon the G20 major economies on Thursday to coordinate efforts toward mitigating the economic impact of COVID-19 on par with measures undertaken in each individual state to fight the pandemic.

      "The Presidency welcomes the policies and measures taken by countries to revive their respective economies, including stimulus packages, precautionary measures, sector targeted policies, and job protection measures. But despite the importance of any country’s individual responses, it is our duty to strengthen cooperation and coordination in all aspects of the adopted economic policies," King Salman said during his opening remarks to the G20 extraordinary online summit, hosted by Saudi Arabia.

      The king described the G20's role in countering the economic and social impact of the pandemic as "pivotal."

      "On the trade front, the G20 must send a strong signal to restore confidence in the global economy by resuming, as soon as possible, the normal flow of goods and services, especially vital medical supplies. In addition, it is our responsibility to extend a helping hand to developing countries and least developed countries to enable them to build their capacities and improve their infrastructure to overcome this crisis and its repercussions," he said.

    • 13:36

      Russia's Famous Italian-Born Conductor Helped Italy With 2 Mln Masks, 100 Ventilators

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Fabio Mastrangelo, the artistic director of the St. Petersburg State Music Hall Theater, helped to find and mediated a shipment from China to his native Italian region of Apulia of 2 million medical masks and 100 ICU ventilators, which are the most needed equipment in Italy devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

      "To date, through SinoPES International Engineering Co. Ltd, based in Beijing, China, we were able to acquire 2 million masks of the needed type FFP2 - 95 (I became a specialist in this terminology in the meantime) and, most importantly, 100 pulmonar ICU ventilators," Mastrangelo.

      The first 20 ventilators are expected to be delivered to the Bari airport on April 1 with more shipments to follow each day, he stated.

      According to the maestro, who is often referred to as Russia's most famous Italian-born conductor, he thought of ways to help his fellow Italians every time he was checking statistics and watching the news from Italy, which is coping with the worse pandemic case in Europe.

      "When the phone rang in the afternoon of March 15, I was in Moscow's Vnukovo airport. Just a few seconds to ask each other how we were doing and the conversation turned to a very serious subject. Personnel and hospitals in the Apulia Region were badly in need of help. My dear friend Michele Emiliano, the region's governor, asked me to think about people who could help to find masks and ventilators. Conductors are that kind of people. Because of a widespread love of the music they tend to get acquainted with the most unexpected people. Politicians, doctors, businessmen. This time enjoying such a wide variety of friends became an important factor in being able to help my native region," Mastrangelo concluded.

      Italy has been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, registering some 75,000 cases and over 7,000 deaths. The spread has begun to slow down over the past several days amid a strict lockdown, but the country still registers thousands of new cases each day. Russia has sent military doctors on board a dozen planes to help the Mediterranean country tackle the emergency.

    • 13:34

      Total Deaths From COVID-19 Across Globe Exceeds 22,000 - Johns Hopkins University

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The global death rate from COVID-19 surpassed 22,000 on Thursday, according to the Johns Hopkins University's database.

      Currently, the number stands at 22,030, with Italy having the largest number of fatalities per country, 7,503, followed by Spain and China with 4,089 and 3,291, respectively.

      Meanwhile, the total number of confirmed cases across the globe is at 487,648, with 117,749 recoveries, per the database.

    • 13:32

      China Says It Will Send Experts to Pakistan to Help During COVID-19 Outbreak

    • 13:29

      American Sailor Becomes First US Service Member in Japan to Have Coronavirus

      American Soldiers demonstrate the M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon to a Japanese soldier of the 39th Infantry Regiment, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, during Exercise Orient Shield

      First US Service Member in Japan Tests Positive For COVID-19

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – An American sailor who returned from the United States to Yokosuka Naval Base near Tokyo became the first US service member in Japan to contract the new coronavirus (COVID-19), Navy Captain Michael Jarrett said in a video posted on Facebook Thursday.
      Read more
    • 13:27

      Italian Civil Protection Chief Tested Negative for COVID-19 for 2nd Time - Statement

      ROME (Sputnik) - The head of the Italian Civil Protection Department, Angelo Borrelli, has been tested negative for COVID-19 for the second time, the department said on Thursday.

      Earlier in the week, some department members were said to have been infected with COVID-19. Borrelli's results, however, came back negative at the time.

      "The oropharyngeal swab test for Coronavirus performed on the Head of Civil Protection, Mr. Angelo Borrelli, gave a negative COVID-19 result. Testing had been carried out due to flu symptoms reported on 25 March by the Head of the Civil Protection Department," the department said in a statement, adding that Borrelli is currently is recovering at home while carrying on with his work.

      According to the last reports by the Health Ministry, there are 57,521 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Italy, with the death toll standing at 7,503.

    • 13:25

      Russian Gov't Introduces Fines for Violating COVID-19 Quarantine Rules - Prime Minister

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian government will enact fines on both individuals and entities for violating quarantine rules and other restrictions amid the coronavirus epidemic, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said Thursday.

      Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Mishustin said that "the absolute majority" of Russians understand the need for measures to counter the coronavirus, but some people are still "demonstrating rare levity even when it comes to the safety of others and even their own health."

      "That is why today we are making amendments to the Code of administrative offences and introducing sanctions for those who refuse to comply with the established rules. We will fine both citizens and officials, as well as legal entities," he added.

      Russia updated its daily COVID-19 case count on Thursday from 658 to 840. Two people diagnosed with the infection have died. As part of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Russians will be granted paid leave next week.

    • 13:21

      Indian Government Extends International Flight Ban

    • 12:55

      UAE Authorizes Five Flights for Bringing Russians Home Amid Coronavirus Pandemic - Moscow

      The United Arab Emirates has issued authorization for five flights for bringing Russians home amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said on Thursday.

      "The Emirates has authorized five flights. Thank you, Abu Dhabi," Zakharova wrote on Facebook.

      Russians are trapped there due to the UAE's decision to suspend air travel with all countries amid the pandemic.

    • 12:33

      Watch Russian Biological, Chemical Protection Troops Conduct Training

      Members of a radiation, chemical and biological reconnaissance team use reagents to disinfect the surface of a dangerous area during the military-district stage of the Safe Environment 2016 army contest involving radiation, chemical and biological reconnaissance teams in the Trans-Baikal Territory

      Watch Russian Biological, Chemical Protection Troops Conduct Training

      As the coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, the Russian Defence Ministry has put all its efforts into dealing with the deadly virus in Russia. Thus, earlier in the day, the Russian Defence Ministry stated that it would build 16 modular-type centres for treating infectious diseases by 15 May.
      Read more
    • 11:55

      Coronavirus Cases Rise to 10 714, Death Toll 161 - Swiss Health Authorities

    • 11:51

      Malaysian Royal Couple in Quarantine Amid Coronavirus Fears

      The king and queen of Malaysia are in self-isolation after several members of their court tested positive for the coronavirus.

      King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and queen Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah had tested negative for COVID-19, according to the Health Ministry.

      "Their Majesties are now observing a 14-day self-quarantine, starting yesterday," comptroller of the Royal Household, Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, said on Thursday, as quoted by The Star.

      The kingdom has recorded a single-day high of 235 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, taking the total past 2,000. The disease has killed 23 people to date, while 215 have recovered.

    • 11:40

      Philippines’ COVID-19 Death Toll Rises to 45, Case Numbers Climb to 707 – Health Ministry

      The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines has risen to 707, after the country’s Department of Health registered 71 new cases of the disease on Thursday, as seven deaths in the preceding 24 hours have raised the overall death toll to 45 since the start of the outbreak.

      The Philippine Department of Health confirmed the latest case figures in a statistical bulletin published at 16:00 local time (08:00 GMT). A further 654 people in the country are awaiting test results to see whether they have contracted COVID-19, the department reported.

      During a virtual press briefing on Thursday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque announced seven new coronavirus-related deaths, adding that two more people have recovered fully after contracting the disease, the GMA News broadcaster reported.

      The spread of COVID-19 in the country prompted the Communist Party of the Philippines, which has been fighting a guerrilla war against the state for decades, to declare a temporary ceasefire on Tuesday, a move that has been praised by the United Nations.

    • 11:10

      Russia Receives Over 1 Million Masks, 200,000 Coronavirus Test Systems From Alibaba Co-Founder Jack Ma - Defence Ministry

      Alibaba Group co-founder Jack Ma has praised Russia's assistance to China amid the coronavirus outbreak in a phone conversation with Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

      "During the phone conversation with Russian Defense Minister Gen. Sergei Shoigu, the entrepreneur said he was deeply touched with the assistance that Russia provided to the People's Republic of China in the period of the coronavirus pandemic development," the ministry said in a statement.

      The Russian Defence Ministry also said that Russia had received from Ma over 1 million surgical masks and 200,000 coronavirus test systems.

      According to the ministry, Ma has also pledged to continue providing aid to Russia as a sign of deep respect and friendship.

    • 11:06

      No Need for Hard Quarantine in Russia So Far - WHO

      Views of Moscow

      No Need for Hard Quarantine in Russia So Far - WHO

      There are currently less than 900 officially confirmed coronavirus cases in Russia, but the country's government has recently introduced a number of self-isolation measures to prevent the rapid spread of the disease.
      Read more
    • 10:39

      Spain's Coronavirus Cases Rise to 56,188 From 47,610 on Wednesday

      Spain registered 655 fatalities from the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, the health ministry reported on Thursday as the total death toll from the epidemic in the country rose to over 4,000.

    • 09:45

      Death Toll From Coronavirus Reaches 2,389 With 29,406 Confirmed Cases - Iranian Health Official

      Iran has registered its largest daily increase in the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and the number of deaths from coronavirus-related complications, as Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour confirmed 2,389 new cases and 157 deaths in the country on Thursday.

      Jahanpour announced a "gradual" increase in the number of coronavirus-related deaths in Iran in a broadcast televised by the IRINN television channel. He stated that 157 people had died in the previous 24 hours, raising the overall total of deaths confirmed in the country since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak to 2,234.

      The largest day-on-day increase in the death toll previously stood at 149.

      The Health Ministry spokesman’s confirmation of 2,389 new cases in the previous 24 hours also broke the record for the largest day-on-day increase in positive tests, which previously stood at 2,206.

      Iranian officials have confirmed a total of 29,406 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak. As many as 10,457 people have recovered after contracting the disease.

    • 09:05

      Romanian Health Minister Resigns as Coronavirus Outbreak Advances

    • 09:04

      Indonesia Reports 103 New Coronavirus Cases, 20 More Deaths

    • 09:01

      Vietnam to Limit Gatherings to 20 People to Curb Coronavirus Spread

      Vietnam will ban gatherings of more than 20 people at a time for the next two weeks to help curb the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said.

    • 08:41

      S Korea to Deny Entry to Travelers Without Quarantine Monitoring Mobile App - Reports

      Workers from a disinfection service company sanitize a street in front of a branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony where a woman known as Patient 31 attended a service in Daegu, South Korea, February 19, 2020

      S Korea to Deny Entry to Travelers Without Quarantine Monitoring Mobile App - Reports

      SEOUL (Sputnik) - South Korea will deny entry to any traveller from abroad unless they install a mobile app to monitor their compliance with the 14-day quarantine imposed on all arrivals, Korea Herald newspaper reported Thursday.
      Read more
    • 08:34

      Russia Registers 182 New COVID-19 Cases Over Past 24 Hours - Response Centre

      Russia Registers 182 New COVID-19 Cases Over Past 24 Hours - Response Centre

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia has registered 182 new COVID-19 cases in 18 regions over the past 24 hours, with the total count now reaching 840, and two deaths related to the coronavirus infection, the country's coronavirus response centre said on Thursday.
      Read more
    • 08:25

      160 US Diplomats Posted in Pakistan Have Left Country in Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic

    • 08:13

      Moscow Mayor Imposes Strict but 'Necessary' Restrictions in Unprecedented Move to Contain COVID-19

      Cafe Moscow

      Moscow Mayor Imposes Strict but 'Necessary' Restrictions in Unprecedented Move to Contain COVID-19

      On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russians would be given a paid leave next week amid the spread of the coronavirus.
      Read more
    • 07:17

      Number of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in South Korea Rises by 104 to 9,241 - KCDC

       The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Korea has risen by 104 to 9,241 over the past day, the Health Ministry's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Thursday.

      The death toll has risen from 126 to 131 within the same period of time, according to the KCDC.

      The largest number of new COVID-19 cases — 26 out of 104 — has been registered in the city of Daegu, while 13 more in the capital of Seoul, 14 others in the province of Gyeonggi, and 12 in the province of North Gyeongsang. The number of recovered people has risen by record 414 to 4,144.

      The number of new coronavirus cases reported daily stands at around 100 for a second day in a row as the country toughens measures to contain a spike in imported cases. Starting Friday, the government extends a two-week quarantine and compulsory testing to all arrivals from the United States on top of those from Europe.

      The KCDC, meanwhile, published a report saying that extensive testing and tracking people who have come into contact with COVID-19 patients had helped to avert an alarming cluster of the infection from getting out of control when an employee of a call center in the Seoul metropolitan area tested positive, the Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday.

      In three days, the building of the bustling business center was shut down, with testing facilities set up in front of it. The reports shows that 1,143 people linked to the building were tested by March 12, while 16,628 people who visited the building received mobile phone messages recommending that they get tested if they have symptoms.

      As a result, 160 people linked to the call center and their family members have tested positive for the virus.

      "Early identification of the first patient and containment measures helped stop a further spread," the report concluded, as quoted by the news agency.

      The country has conducted more than 341,000 coronavirus tests, while results of 14,369 more tests are being processed now.

    • 06:42

      Spanish Parliament Prolongs High Alert Regime Until April 11 Amid COVID-19

      The UME (Emergency Army Unit) attend the train station in Granada, Spain Tuesday March 17, 2020. Police checked passports and IDs at the Pyrenees' border with France and along the 1,200 kilometer shared border with Portugal, as Spain re-established controls for incoming and outgoing travellers to stem the new COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some, it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems.

      Spanish Parliament Prolongs High Alert Regime Until April 11 Amid COVID-19

      MADRID (Sputnik) - The Spanish parliament has supported the government's proposal to extend the high alert regime in place due to COVID-19 pandemic through 11 April.
      Read more
    • 05:34

      Mexican Gov't to Suspend Non-Essential Activities Amid COVID-19 Fears - Health Ministry

      Mexico’s federal government will suspend all non-essential activity from Thursday in response to a jump in coronavirus cases in the country, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said.

      “Heads of ministries will determine what activity needs to be maintained and what must be put off,” Lopez-Gatell told reporters at a news conference.

      Mexico on Wednesday registered 70 news cases of COVID-19 in 24 hours — taking the overall number from 405 to 475 — the largest one-day increase since testing began, according to the country's Health Ministry.

    • 05:31

      Number of Confirmed Coronavirus Cases in Germany Rises to 36,508, Deaths to 198 - RKI Health Institute

      The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany has risen to 36,508 and 198 people have died of the disease, according to the statistics from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.

    • 05:13

      Russian Cabinet Orders Full Ban on Regular, Charter Flights Starting Friday, Except for Flights for Bringing Russians Home

      The Russian government has tasked the Federal Air Transport Agency with banning all regular and charter flights starting Friday, apart from flights for bringing Russians back home from abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic.

      "To ensure, from midnight of March 27, 2020 [March 26, 21:00 GMT], a ban on regular and charter flights conducted from Russian airports to airports of foreign countries and in the opposite direction, apart from flights for bringing Russian citizens to the territory of the Russian Federation from foreign countries due to the spread of the novel coronavirus infection (in compliance with lists compiled by the Russian Foreign Ministry), and flights conducted under special decisions of the Russian Federation's government," the cabinet said in a statement.

      The Russian cabinet also requested that the Foreign Ministry provide assistance to Russians until their return home. Money should be allocated from foreign missions' funds, and the Russian Finance Ministry should provide additional funds, if needed. The cabinet also tasked the Russian Foreign Ministry with recommending those Russian citizens who cannot return home from abroad implementing measures to protect their health.

    • 05:07

      Russia, 7 Other States Want Guterres to Call for Lifting Sanctions Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

      The diplomatic missions of Russia, China, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela have sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, asking him to call for lifting unilateral sanctions that are hindering the fight against COVID-19.

      The letter described the coronavirus pandemic as the common enemy of mankind. According to the eight nations’ diplomatic missions, unilateral sanctions imposed by some countries are complicating the fight against the coronavirus for the restrictions-hit states.

      “In light of the above, we respectfully urge you to request the complete and immediate lifting of such illegal, coercive and arbitrary measures of economic pressure – in line with the longstanding and principled position of the United Nations to reject unilateral coercive measures – in order to ensure the full, effective and efficient response of all members of the international community to the coronavirus, and to also reject the politicization of such a pandemic,” the letter, which was posted by the Russian Mission to the United Nations in Twitter on late Wednesday, said.

    • 05:06

      Russian Authorities Ban Cruise Ship From Entering Vladivostok Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

      The Administration of Seaports of Primorsky Territory and Eastern Arctic told Sputnik on Thursday it had received an instruction from the Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor not to let the Costa Neoromantica cruise ship enter the port of Vladivostok over the fears of the spread of COVID-19.

      “We have received such an instruction from Rospotrebnadzor, the quarantine authorities,” a spokesperson for the administration said.

      According to Vladivostok’s passenger ship terminal, the liner was to enter the port on 23 June.

      Costa Neoromantica is an Italian-flagged cruise ship, which can host up to 1,800 passengers and 622 crew members. According to the marinetraffic.com website, the vessel is currently in the Sea of Japan.

    • 05:02

      US Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 1,000 - Johns Hopkins University

      The death toll from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the United States has topped 1,000, the private research Johns Hopkins University reported.

      It said the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States stood at 68,572, with 1,031 total deaths.

      A total of 593 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the United States, the university said.

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