12:58 GMT27 November 2020
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    Countries Ease Lockdown Measures While COVID-19 Cases Surpass 4 Mln Worldwide (197)
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    The global death toll from the coronavirus infection has topped 328, 000, over 4.9 million cases of infection have been detected, and over 1.89 million of those patients have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, which tracks and compiles data from national and local authorities, media and other sources.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of the new coronavirus a pandemic on 11 March.

    According to the WHO, the global coronavirus death toll has surpassed 318,000 people, with the number of cases worldwide exceeding 4,789,000.

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    • 03:49

      5,609 COVID-19 Cases Registered in India in Past 24 Hours, Death Toll Rises by 132

      The total number of COVID-19 cases in India, as of Thursday, stands at 112,359, with 3,435 deaths registered, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

    • 03:23

      President of Haiti Prolongs State of Emergency Over COVID-19 Pandemic for 2 Months

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – President of Haiti Jovenel Moise decided to prolong the state of emergency in the health care system imposed over the COVID-19 pandemic for the next two months.

      "I have just chaired the emergency meeting of the Council of Ministers. The government decided to resume the state of emergency in the health care system for two months, as well as make wearing face masks in public places mandatory and introduce sanctions [over violations of this rule]," the president wrote on his Twitter page on late Wednesday.

      Haiti has confirmed 596 coronavirus cases so far, with 22 fatalities and 21 recoveries.

    • 02:50

      Mexico's Coronavirus Death Toll Exceeds 6,000 - Health Ministry

      MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - The death toll from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mexico has surpassed 6,000, the number of confirmed cases has topped 56,000, the country's Health Ministry said.

      "To date, 6,090 fatal cases of COVID-19 have been laboratory-confirmed," the ministry's director of epidemiology, Jose Luis Alomia, said during a press conference broadcast on Twitter.

      The case tally has increased over the past 24 hours by 2,248 to 56,594. A total of 424 people have died over the past day.

    • 01:34

      WHO Says COVID-19 Still Poses Threat, Warns About Possible Second Wave of Pandemic

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – COVID-19 still poses a threat to mankind as there is a possibility of the second wave of the pandemic, spokeswoman for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Russia Melita Vujnovic told the Rossiya 24 broadcaster.

      Addressing to residents of Russian regions, which are going to ease the coronavirus-linked restrictions, Vujnovic said that COVID-19 was still a threat.

      "It is very important for people to understand that the threat is still in place ... Everywhere, where the first wave [of the pandemic] took place, there could also be the second wave," the WHO spokeswoman said on late Wednesday.

      The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on 11 March. To date, more than 4.9 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 327,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

      Russia has the second biggest number of coronavirus cases – 308,705 ones – with 85,392 recoveries and 2,972 fatalities. The worst-hit nation is the United States, with more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease.

    • 00:48

      Peru's Coronavirus Case Tally Surpasses 100,000, Deaths Top 3,000 - Health Ministry

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Peru has surpassed 100,000, the death toll has topped 3,000 people, the country's Health Ministry said in a statement.

      The ministry said 104,020 cases had been registered in Peru, with 3,024 deaths and 41,968 recoveries.

      To date, 715,423 tests for COVID-19 have been conducted in Peru.

    • 00:18

      Argentina Registers Record 474 New COVID-19 Cases Within Past 24 Hours – Health Ministry

      BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) – Argentina has confirmed record 474 new cases of the coronavirus across the country within the past 24 hours, with the total number of people infected with COVID-19 having reached 9,283, the national Ministry of Health said.

      "Today, 474 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, bringing the total number of [COVID-19] positive tests in the country to 9,283," the ministry said in a daily bulletin on late Wednesday.

      The death toll has increased by 10 to 403 people within the same period of time.

      A day earlier, the Latin American nation recorded 438 new COVID-19 cases and nine fatalities.

    • 23:09

      Number of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Brazil Rises by 19,951 to 291,579 – Health Ministry

      RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Sputnik) – The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil has increased by 19,951 to 291,579 within the past 24 hours, the national Ministry of Health said on late Wednesday.

      The death toll has risen by 888 to 18,859 people within the same period of time.

      A day earlier, Brazil reported about 17,408 new cases of the coronavirus disease and record 1,179 new fatalities.

      The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on 11 March. To date, more than 4.9 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 326,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    • 22:47

      First Infant Dies of COVID-19 in South Africa – Ministry of Health

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The first death of an infant from COVID-19 has been registered in South Africa, the national Ministry of Health said.

      "Sadly we have recorded the first neonatal mortality related to COVID-19- this was a 2 day old baby that was born prematurely and therefore had lung difficulties which required ventilation support immediately after birth. The mother had tested positive for COVID-19 and the child subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 as well. It is important to appreciate the complexities of the underlying condition of prematurity," the ministry said in a statement on late Wednesday.

      The Ministry of Health expressed condolences to the mother of the victim.

      South Africa has confirmed 18,003 coronavirus cases so far, with 339 fatalities and 8,950 recoveries.

    • 21:58

      International Flights to Remain Suspended in Colombia Until 31 August - Transport Minister

      BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - International flights, suspended due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), will remain banned in Colombia until 31 August, Transport Minister Angela Maria Orozco said.

      “It is clear that the ban on international flights is inextricably linked to the emergency epidemiological situation, which has been extended until August 31," Orozco said.

      "Until this date, neither restoration of air transportation nor opening of the borders is expected,” the minister said in an interview with Bluradio.

      Domestic transportation will remain suspended until the end of June.

      A total of 16,935 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Colombia, with 613 deaths and over 4,000 recoveries.

    • 21:52

      COVID-19 Death Toll in Moscow Rises by 68 People Within Past 24 Hours

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Moscow has registered 68 new deaths of patients with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) over the past 24 hours, the city's coronavirus response center said in a statement on Thursday.

      "A total of 68 patients, who were diagnosed with pneumonia and tested positive for the coronavirus infection, have died in Moscow," the center said.

      The total number of people, who have died of the coronavirus in the Russian capital, has reached 1,794.

      A day earlier, 75 people died from COVID-19 in Moscow.

    • 21:10

      Spain Records Less Than 100 COVID-19 Deaths for 4th Straight Day Amid Quarantine Easing

      MADRID (Sputnik) - The daily COVID-19 death toll in Spain on Wednesday amounted to 95 as the country records less than 100 coronavirus-related fatalities for the fourth consecutive day amid gradual relaxation of COVID-19 lockdown, while the total death toll now stands at 27,888.

      On Tuesday, it was reported about 83 new fatalities and 295 new infections.

      Over the past 24 hours, the country's health authorities recorded 416 new COVID-19 cases that brought the total tally to 232,555.

      The country began easing coronavirus lockdown last week. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in late April that Spain may return to normal by late June if the current trend continues.

      However, earlier in the day, Spain's lower house of parliament, the Congress of Deputies, voted in favor of the government’s proposal to extend the coronavirus-related high alert until 7 June. This is the fifth extension of the high alert regime, which was introduced by the government for the first time on 14 March.

    • 20:28

      Chile Prolongs Total Quarantine in Capital Region for Extra Week - Health Ministry

      BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - The Chilean authorities decided to prolong the total quarantine in the capital region for another week as part of efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the country's Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

      Chile first put the capital region into a week-long lockdown on May 15 after a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.

      "The quarantine will continue until 10 p.m. of May 29 [02:00 GMT May 30] in 32 communities of Santiago province," the ministry wrote on Twitter.

      Chile has so far registered 53,617 COVID-19 cases and 544 fatalities, while a total of 22,504 people fully recovered from the disease.

    • 20:20

      France's COVID-19 Death Toll Continues to Increase, 110 New Fatal Cases Registered

      PARIS (Sputnik) - The number of coronavirus-related deaths in France rose to 28,132 on Wednesday from 28,022 recorded the day before, the Health Ministry said in a press release.

      As of Wednesday, France has registered 181,575 COVID-19 cases. Over 17,800 patients died in hospitals, and 10,320 in institutions.

      "[A total of] 17,941 people remain in hospitals, while a week ago the number was 21,071. Some 432 new hospitalizations were registered over a day (versus 543 a week ago)," the statement read.

      Almost 1,800 people are in intensive care, the ministry added.

      As many 63,354 recovered patients have been discharged from hospitals since the outbreak.

    • 19:52

      Spanish Parliament Votes to Extend COVID-19 High Alert Until 7 June

      MADRID (Sputnik) - Spain's lower house of parliament, the Congress of Deputies, voted on Wednesday in favor of the government’s proposal to extend the coronavirus-related high alert until 7 June.

      This is the fifth extension of the high alert regime, which was introduced by the government for the first time on 14 March. Each extension requires the consent of the Congress of Deputies. The regime was previously extended until 24 May.

      Last week, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that the government intended to extend the high alert regime until the end of June. However, the right-leaning People's Party and Vox party said they would vote against such prolongation in the Congress of Deputies. As a result, the socialist government had to make an agreement with the centrist Citizens party, which agreed to support the regime extension for only 15 days, in exchange for a number of concessions by the government, including extending tax payment deferrals for an additional month.

      The high alert mode allows the government to restrict the movement of citizens, and according to Sanchez, this is a necessary measure to prevent the spread of the epidemic.

      In late April, the Spanish authorities presented a plan for a gradual withdrawal from quarantine, which consists of four stages. According to Sanchez, the country can return to normal by the end of June.

      Spain has so far recorded 232,555 COVID-19 cases and 27,709 fatalities. A total of 150,376 patients have recovered.

    • 18:35

      Jordan Declares 24-Hour Curfew During Eid al-Fitr Amid Rise in COVID-19 Cases - Reports

      CAIRO, May 20 (Sputnik) - Jordan declares a round-the-clock curfew during Eid al-Fitr, a holiday that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, the Ammon news agency reported, citing the minister of state for media affairs.

      According to Amjad Adaileh, the curfew will last from Friday midnight to Monday midnight. Medical and other essential workers will be exempt from the curfew.

      The minister noted that the curfew is being introduced "due to a notable increase in cases of infection and the need to limit gatherings and social contacts."

      Earlier on Wednesday, the kingdom updated its coronavirus tally by a record 23 cases to 672. More than 400 people have recovered, and nine have died.

    • 18:27

      New York Governor Says COVID-19 Still Spreading in Low-Income Communities

      WASHINGTON, May 20 (Sputnik) - The coronavirus disease continues to spread in low-income areas and communities of color in New York more than any other locations, Governor Andrew Cuomo told a press conference on Wednesday.

      "The spread is continuing in those communities and that is where the new cases are coming from... That is where the coronavirus is still spreading," he said. "We found that 27 percent of the individuals [in low-income areas] tested positive... compared to 19 percent on average for New York City."

      The Bronx had the highest levels of virus infection of any of New York City's five boroughs with 34 percent testing positive, the governor said.

      Some 43 percent of those rested were positive for the virus in the low income community of Morrisania in The Bronx and in Brownsville in the borough of Brooklyn, 41 percent tested positive, he said.

    • 18:13

      Bolivia's Health Minister Arrested on Suspicion of Corruption Linked to Over-Priced Lung Ventilators

      Bolivia's Health Minister Marcelo Navajas has been arrested on suspicion of corruption related to the over-priced purchase of coronavirus lung ventilators, the police chief said, as quoted by AFP.

      Navajas was detained by police in La Paz, a day after interim President Jeanine Anez ordered an investigation into possible corruption, the agency added, citing the police.

    • 18:10

      Religious Gatherings of Up to 10 People Allowed in New York State - Governor

      WASHINGTON, May 20 (Sputnik) - New York State is loosening its restrictions on religious gatherings to allow assemblies of up to 10 people at a time providing social distancing and other guidelines are maintained, Governor Andrew Cuomo told a press conference on Wednesday.

      "Religious institutions can have up to 10 people with strict social distancing," he said.

      Cuomo recalled that hundreds of cases of COVID-19 had spread from a single religious gathering in the city of New Rochelle earlier in the outbreak.

      The state government could not mandate social behavior and the success of the social distancing policies ultimately came down to the individual decisions and sense of responsibility of the public, Cuomo said.

    • 18:06

      UK COVID-19 Death Toll Rises by 363 Over Past 24 Hours as Daily Increase Drops - Gov't

      MOSCOW, May 20 (Sputnik) - The United Kingdom has reported a further 363 deaths as a result of the coronavirus disease over the preceding 24 hours, a drop of 182 compared to Tuesday’s daily increase to the death toll, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said Wednesday.

      Public health authorities in the UK announced 545 new deaths on Tuesday, the largest announced increase to the death toll since May 12.

      The total number of coronavirus disease fatalities in the UK now stands at 35,704, Dowden confirmed.

      A further 2,472 new cases of the disease have been confirmed over the past 24 hours, a slight decrease from the 2,412 new positive tests reported on Tuesday, the culture secretary stated.

      The UK case total now stands at 248,293, the minister stated, adding that the number of people currently in hospital undergoing treatment for the disease has fallen below 10,000.

      Earlier in the day, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan urged retailers to bolster stocks of reusable non-medical facial masks that citizens can purchase in order to travel to work.

      Government ministers have also confirmed that the UK’s COVID-19 contact tracing app, which was initially scheduled to be released in mid-May, is unlikely to launch until June.

      As part of the government’s first stage of easing the COVID-19 lockdown measures, which entered force on March 23, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged those who are unable to work from home to begin returning to their jobs as the country seeks to reopen the economy.

    • 18:03

      COVID-19 Deaths Slightly Rising in New York State, But Other Indicators Hopeful - Cuomo

      WASHINGTON, May 20 (Sputnik) - The number of deaths in New York State from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) increased slightly on Tuesday compared with the day before, but the other indicators on the pandemic were positive, Governor Andrew Cuomo told a press conference on Wednesday.

      "The number of deaths is not down, but up a little bit," Cuomo said, adding that "the overall direction is right" of the other indicators on the novel coronavirus pandemic.

      New York State recorded 112 COVID-19-related deaths on Tuesday, a slight increase on the 105 deaths reported for Monday, Cuomo said.

      In mid-April the death rates were running at above 500 a day, Cuomo noted.

      "Numbers are heading in the right direction. Hospitalizations are down and the number of new cases is down, but it was a long road," Cuomo said.

      New York State has recorded 61,886 people as having recovered from the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

    • 18:00

      New Jersey COVID-19 Hospitalizations Down by Half From 4 Weeks Ago - Governor

      WASHINGTON, May 20 (Sputnik) - US state of New Jersey hospitalizations related to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has decreased by half from the number four weeks ago, Governor Phil Murphy said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

      “Our hospitals, the number of patients currently being treated for COVID-19 decreased again, it’s now 3,405. Field medical stations have 47 patients. The total number of hospitalizations is now well less than... what it was just four weeks ago,” Murphy stated.

      Murphy said there were 261 new COVID-19 hospitalizations, while 282 patients left the hospitals. He said that they received 1,670 positive tests yesterday for a statewide total of 150,399.

      "The curve that we show you every day continues to move in the right direction overall,” Murphy said. “The daily positivity or spot positivity rate for tests from May 16 which is a Saturday was 18 percent.”

      The governor said there were 168 new COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the statewide total to 10,747.

      The United States has more than 1.5 million COVID-19 cases including over 92,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    • 17:59

      EU Agrees to Phased Border Reopening Based on Bilateral Agreements to Reboot Tourism

      BRUSSELS, May 20 (Sputnik) - The European Union discussed on Wednesday the prospect of reopening borders between countries with a similar epidemiological situation based on bilateral agreements to revive the tourism sector hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the tourism minister of Croatia, which is currently holding the presidency of the council of the EU, said.

      "If there is a possibility of striking bilateral agreements especially between the countries where the epidemiological situation is similar or even the same, we should also do that in order to speed up the recovery of tourism," Gari Cappelli said after the video conference of the EU ministers of tourism.

      Last week, the European Commission published guidelines for lifting controls at the bloc’s internal borders and reviving tourism.

      The recommendations suggest that blanket restrictions to free movement should be gradually replaced by "more targeted measures." The restrictions, according to the commission, may first be lifted "between areas or Member States with sufficiently similar epidemiological situations."

    • 17:55

      S. Korean Health Agency Against Using Air Conditioners in Recirculation Mode Amid COVID-19

      SEOUL, May 20 (Sputnik) - South Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) on Wednesday urged against switching air conditioners to fan mode during the coronavirus pandemic.

      Hot weather in South Korea has sparked a debate surrounding the use of air conditioning amid the pandemic. Earlier in the year, the authorities warned against using the devices, saying that they might contribute to the spread of the virus.

      "As for air conditioners, given the need to use them ... experts concluded that it is extremely important to let fresh air into the room. Even if you are using an air conditioner, do not turn it on air recirculation mode, but use the cool mode. That is, the air must come from the street into a room, and each time it must be fresh air," KCDC Director Jung Eun-kyeong said at a briefing.

      The official added that COVID-19 guidelines should be developed for air conditioning and cooling systems.

      Earlier in the day, the country updated its coronavirus tally by 32 cases, the highest daily increase in nine days, to 11,110. The death toll stands at 263.

      South Korea is gradually loosening its lockdown restrictions, with students recently allowed to return to schools.

    • 17:55

      Turkey Confirms Record Low 972 New COVID-19 Cases - Minister

      ANKARA, May 20 (Sputnik) - Turkey has registered 972 cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, which is the lowest daily rate increase of infections since March 25 and brings the country's tally 152,587, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Wednesday.

      "Today, we detected 972 new cases [of COVID-19], the total number of those infected is 152,587. We have lost 23 patients, the death toll [reaches] 4,222. Today, a total of 1,092 patients recovered, the total [number of recoveries] is 113,987," Koca wrote on Twitter.

      Due to the improving epidemiological situation and the ongoing decrease in the daily rate in Turkey, the country eased the lockdown earlier in May and allowed shopping malls, barbershops and beauty salons to reopen. In addition, elderly citizens were allowed to go outside without restrictions for the first time since March.

    • 17:28

      WHO Reports Daily Global Record of 106,000 New COVID-19 Cases - Tedros

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday that the total number of the coronavirus cases worldwide has increased by record 106,000 to almost 4.8 million over a day.

      "In the past 24 hours, there have been 106,000 cases reported to the WHO, the most in the single day since the outbreak began. Almost two-thirds of these cases were reported in just four countries," Tedros said during a media briefing on the COVID-19 situation.

      "We still have a long way to go in this pandemic...We are very concerned about rising cases in low and middle-income countries," Tedros said. 

      The global coronavirus case count currently amounts to 4,789,205, and the number of deaths stands at 318,789, the WHO dashboard shows.

    • 16:53

      Merkel Says Decision on State Rescue for Lufthansa to be Made 'Soon'

    • 16:51

      WHO Member States Show Willingness to Join Efforts to Combat COVID-19 Pandemic - Moscow

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The World Health Assembly (WHA) has demonstrated the member states' readiness to jointly confront the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday following the 73rd session of the WHA held from May 18-19.

      The WHA convened in a move to bring all countries aboard in their joint response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the meeting resulted in a resolution calling for solidarity and an intensified joint response to the pandemic with equal and fair access to COVID-19 treatments. The resolution also suggests an evaluation of the response to the disease.

      "We note with satisfaction that during the session, WHO [the World Health Organisation] member states showed solidarity and willingness to work together to combat the health crisis and its consequences," the ministry said in a statement.

      The meeting resulted in a resolution, which was cosponsored by Russia and highlighted WHO's key role in preparing and coordinating a global response to the pandemic. The document also notes the need to strengthen the potential capacity of the organisation and ensure its sustainable financing, the ministry said.

      "We hope that the positive attitude and spirit of interaction demonstrated by the international community during the 73rd World Health Assembly will continue and lead the countries to unity in countering the coronavirus pandemic," the ministry stated.

      In addition, Russia was unanimously elected to the WHO Executive Board and supported the WHO’s efforts to combat the pandemic during the assembly's session, as well as advocated for the depoliticised cooperation of countries in the interests of the global response to this common threat, the statement added.

    • 16:50

      US Capital Area Records Nearly 50% Decline in New Daily COVID-19 Cases - Official Data

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US national capital area registered its first significant decline of new daily novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases after several days of growing numbers, official data revealed on Wednesday.

      The whole region, consisting of Washington, DC and the states of Maryland and Virginia, registered 1,657 new cases and 84 deaths in the last 24 hours compared with 2,953 positive tests and 95 fatalities in the previous day, according to a tally of numbers released by local officials and health departments.

      Maryland reported 42,323 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 777 in the last day, the governor's office said. The number of deaths reached 2,004, the office added.

      Washington registered 117 new cases, while the overall positive tests total rose to 7,551 with a death toll of 407, Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement.

      Virginia confirmed 32,908 cases and 1,074 deaths since the beginning of the outbreak, the health department said.

    • 16:20

      WHO's Executive Director Says 'Tragic Milestone' of 5 Mln Cases Will Soon be Reached

    • 16:02

      US Plane Carrying 1st Batch of Lung Ventilators for Russia Takes Off From South Carolina

    • 15:39

      New York Statewide Coronavirus Deaths Increase by 112 as Total Hospitalisations Decline - Governor Cuomo

    • 14:54

      Belgium Begins Clinical Trial of Treatment for COVID-19 Symptom – Reports

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The first clinical trials of a drug that could potentially treat acute respiratory distress syndrome, a major symptom of COVID-19, have begun in Belgium, Le Soir newspaper reported on Wednesday.

      The treatment, named Sarconeos, is produced by French biotech firm Biophytis, the newspaper wrote. The Belgian Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products gave its approval to begin clinical trials on 50 patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus disease.

      According to the newspaper, Sarconeos was initially developed to treat neuromuscular disease, but the developers have said that it may provide relief to those suffering from breathing difficulties. The treatment may eliminate the need for COVID-19 patients to receive oxygen or use ventilators in hospital.

      The initial trial will last 28 days, and if successful, the treatment will be tried on a larger group of patients, the newspaper stated.

      The Belgian Health Ministry on Wednesday reported 192 new cases of COVID-19 over the preceding 24 hours, down from the 232 new positive tests reported the day before. The country’s case total currently stands at 55,983, and 9,150 people have died as a result of contracting the disease.

      Belgium has relaxed a number of the social distancing measures enforced in March to curb the spread of the disease. Many non-essential companies and shops have been allowed to reopen, although citizens must wear facial coverings when traveling on public transport.

    • 14:53

      US to Provide Additional $162 Mln in Assistance to Combat COVID-19 - Pompeo

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States has allocated additional $163 million in aid to help efforts to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

      "Today, I am pleased to announce another $162 million in foreign assistance bringing our total commitments dispersed to more than $1 billion since the outbreak began," Pompeo said. "In addition to that funding today, the State Department and the USAID [US Agency for International Development] and the Inter-American Foundation are providing more than $200 million in assistance for Venezuelans in need as well."

    • 13:54

      Coronavirus Death Toll in UK Hospitals Reaches 35,571

      According to NHS England 166 people died in hospitals while 50 more victims were confirmed in Scotland, 14 in Wales and five in Northern Ireland, bringing the official total to at least 35,571.

    • 13:43

      Oman Records 327 New COVID-19 Cases, High Disease Rate Among Foreign Nationals

      Oman has confirmed 372 more COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, with the majority of the positive tests being reported among foreigners, the country’s Health Ministry said on Wednesday, adding that the total number of those infected has reached 6,043.

      According to the latest statistics published by the ministry, 220 foreign nationals tested positive for the disease over the past day compared to the 152 new cases recorded among Omani residents.

      The COVID-19 death toll in Oman has risen by one to 27 since the start of the outbreak, the ministry confirmed.

      The country’s health officials said that 87 patients who have been earlier infected with the disease have been discharged over the past day, raising the overall number of recoveries to 1,661.

      All passenger air travel to and from the Omani capital of Muscat, with the exception of repatriation flights, has been suspended since 29 March, and a lockdown is in force in the capital city until 29 May. The lockdown measures were extended on May 6 amid a surge in cases.

    • 13:42

      Belarus Coronavirus Toll Continues Growing in Daily Increments of Over 900 Cases

      The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Belarus has increased by 918 over the past 24 hours, taking the country's cumulative total to 32,426, the Belarusian Health Ministry's press service said on Wednesday.

      The daily growth of the infection rate in Belarus has recently been stably over 900. A peak of 973 new cases confirmed per one day was reported on 29 April.

      The death toll has increased by four from the day before to a total of 179 fatalities, the ministry said.

      The number of recoveries has reached 11,415, an increase of 795 over the past day, according to the press release.

      The ministry said Belarusian health authorities had conducted a total of 387,673 tests since the epidemic's start.

    • 13:06

      Romania's Confirmed Coronavirus Cases Grow Close to 17,400 - Reports

      The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Romania has increased by 196 over the past 24 hours, up from 155 the day before, taking country's cumulative total to 17,387, Romanian media reported on Tuesday, citing the government's COVID-19 strategic contact group.

      According to the Digi 24 broadcaster, the death toll has increased by 15 to a total of 1,141 fatalities.

      Recoveries count 10,356, an increase of 190 from the day before, according to the report.

    • 12:43

      Number of New Coronavirus Cases in Belgium Continues Declining - Health Authorities

      Health authorities in Belgium have recorded 192 new coronavirus cases over the past day, down from 232 cases the day before, in what is believed to be a sustained retreat of the infection as the country continues easing the lockdown, the Belgian Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

      The cumulative number of cases since the epidemic's start in Belgium is 55,983, including 9,150 fatalities, the ministry's COVID-19 response center said in a situation report.

      The reported dynamics of the past day include 42 new deaths from confirmed or suspected coronavirus-related complications and 160 patients who were discharged from hospitals after recovery.

      Over the past 24 hours, 50 new people have been hospitalized, while the number of patients in intensive care units has declined from 345 to 313, according to the report.

      On 4 May Belgium began a phase-by-phase abatement of the coronavirus-related restrictions. Businesses where there is no direct contact with customers were allowed to resume operations.

      The second phase began last Monday. All stores and street stalls were allowed to reopen and Belgians we allowed to receive guests again, albeit with certain limitations — up to four people belonging to the same family and preferably in outdoor venues such as gardens.

    • 12:21

      Ukrainian Cabinet Extends COVID-19 Lockdown to 22 June With Some Relaxations

      The Ukrainian cabinet decided on Wednesday to extend the lockdown, imposed in the country to contain COVID-19, to June 22, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said, specifying that some of the restrictions will be eased.

      The lockdown was previously expected to last through 22 May.

      "It is suggested to introduce a lockdown on the Ukrainian territory between 22 May 2020, and 22 June 2020, taking into consideration the epidemiological situation in regions. This is the so-called adaptive quarantine. We introduce several criteria of the epidemiological situation in the regions, such as incidence, or the average number of coronavirus cases over the past seven days per 100,000 people, it should be less than 12 persons per 100,000; the hospital beds load ... should be lower than 50 percent. We suggest proceeding to the second stage [of lockdown easing] from 22 May and proceed to the next stage every 10 days," Stepanov said at a a cabinet meeting.

    • 11:32

      COVID-19 Case Count in Lithuania Reaches 1,577 Amid Reopening of Borders

      Lithuania has registered 15 new COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row, and the cumulative number of cases in the country reached 1,577 amid the reopening of borders with other Baltic nations, which resulted in a slight increase in the daily rate of new infections, the Lithuanian government's COVID-19 response center said on Wednesday.

      No coronavirus-related deaths were reported in the past day, thus the death toll remains at 60. Since the start of the outbreak, the authorities have conducted 245,580 COVID-19 tests.

      Meanwhile, neighboring Estonia confirmed just three new cases on Wednesday, with the tally reaching 1,794. The death toll in Estonia is at 64.

      A state of emergency, which was imposed in mid-March, expired on Monday and was not extended, and the Estonian government announced a phase-out of the lockdown.

      The Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia created a so-called travel bubble by reopening the borders between them on Friday.

    • 10:16

      Coronavirus Cases in Poland Approach 20,000 With Nearly 500 in Past Day

      Poland’s coronavirus total continues to rise incrementally, reaching 19,569 with 489 new cases announced Wednesday by the country’s health ministry.

      According to the ministry’s daily update, 12 patients died over the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 953 while 2,414 remain hospitalized.

      The bulk of the new cases comes from an infection cluster in Poland's southern Silesian Voivodeship, where 182 new cases were registered in the past day.

      Although borders with EU neighbors remain shut and passenger air and rail travel suspended, Poland’s shopping centers, restaurants, hair salons and other businesses have been allowed to reopen.

    • 10:00

      London Mayor Calls on Stores to Stock Reusable Face Masks As COVID-19 Lockdown Eases

      Stores across the UK capital should ensure that they have suitable stocks of reusable face masks that can be readily purchased by the city’s inhabitants as the government moves towards easing the lockdown restrictions that were put in force to curb the spread of COVID-19, Mayor Sadiq Khan said Wednesday.

      “I really appreciate all the work being done by retailers across the capital to keep Londoners safe during this crisis, including all the vital measures they have put in place to ensure we can all socially distance. I want to work with London’s retailers to now go even further – ensuring they can supply reusable, non-medical face coverings in an affordable and accessible way for all Londoners,” Khan said in a statement published on the mayoral website.

      The message has also been shared by the British Independent Retailers Association, which has called for non-medical reusable face coverings to be made available. According to the mayoral statement, face masks that will be available to purchase in stores must be non-medical, to ensure supplies of medical-grade protective equipment for health care professionals.

      According to Khan, stocks must be bolstered to ensure that Londoners can travel to work on public transport safely.

      “Londoners have shown that they want to do everything they can to slow the spread of this virus, and the wearing of non-medical face coverings will be essential as the lockdown begins to end, particularly for those who have no option but to use public transport,” the mayor said.

    • 08:42

      Malaysia Confirms 31 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 08:40

      Russia Developing 47 Vaccines Against COVID-19 - Deputy Prime Minister

      As many as 47 vaccines against COVID-19 are now being developed in Russia, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said on Wednesday.

      "As many as 47 vaccines are now being developed in the country, on 14 platforms. We hope very much that some of them will provide a tangible result," Golikova told the upper house of the Russian parliament.

      Five medications against COVID-19 are going through clinical trials in the country and four more are going through the process of state registration, the deputy prime minister added.

    • 08:34

      India Confirms Record 5,611 New COVID-19 Cases, Tally Reaches 106,750

      The COVID-19 curve continues to rise in India as the country has confirmed yet another record 5,611 cases over the past 24 hours, despite extending the lockdown until the end of the month, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

      According to the ministry, 140 coronavirus-related fatalities were registered over the given period, bringing the death toll to 3,303. At the moment, there are 61,149 active cases in India, while the number of recoveries increased by 3,124 to 42,297.

      The total number of coronavirus cases in the world's largest lockdown now stands at 106,750.

      The central Maharashtra state continues being the epicenter of the outbreak in the country, with 37,136 confirmed cases. It is followed by the southeastern Tamil Nadu state with 12,448 cases and the westernmost Gujarat state with 12,140 cases.

      Earlier in May, the authorities have extended COVID-19 restrictions which are in place since 25 March yet again, and now lockdown is scheduled to expire on 31 May. The Indian government has also divided the country into red, orange and green zones depending on the epidemiological situation. In the green zones, where the infection rate is believed to be low, public transport and certain businesses are allowed to operate.

    • 08:22

      France, Germany Support Idea to Hold Normandy Summit When Pandemic Slows Down - Zelensky

      French and German leaders support the idea to hold a Normandy-format summit on Donbass crisis settlement when the global COVID-19 situation improves, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday.

      "We have discussed this both with Germany and France, and everyone agrees that a Normandy-format meeting should be held as soon as the COVID-19 [pandemic] slows down," Zelensky said at a press conference.

      The Ukrainian leader reaffirmed readiness for Donbass peace talks in any format.

      "I am ready for any format that can bring us closer to the end of the war and to the return of our territories and people. I do not care, we need result," Zelensky said.

      Zelenskyy noted that he had not held any negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin recently, as both countries now focus on COVID-19 response. He also said that dialogue was "inevitable."

      "We need to talk, we need to reach agreement," Zelensky said.

    • 07:40

      Russia's COVID-19 Case Count Increases by 8,764, Tops 300,000

      Russia has registered 8,764 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours (9,263 yesterday), and the total count has now topped 300,000, the national coronavirus response centre said on Wednesday.

      "Over the past 24 hours, 8,764 COVID-19 cases have been registered in 84 regions. Of these, 4,021 (or 45.9 percent) have been detected actively, with people showing no clinical symptoms," the center said in a statement.

      This brings the total tally to 308,705 (+2.9 percent) in 85 regions across Russia.

      The Russian capital's daily increase in COVID-19 cases has fallen below 3,000 for the first time since 29 April. Moscow has registered 2,699 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24  hours (3,545 yesterday). The city accounts for the largest share of Russia's daily increase, followed by Moscow region with 903 cases (898 yesterday).

      The country's COVID-19 death toll has increased by a record 135 (115 yesterday) to 2,972.

      Russia has registered a record high daily increase in COVID-19 recoveries, as 9,262 patients have been discharged from hospitals over the past 24 hours (5,921 yesterday). This brings the total number of cured people to 85,392.

      For the first time since the beginning of the outbreak, both Russia in general and Moscow (where 5,440 COVID-19 patients have recovered over the past 24 hours) have recorded more recoveries than new cases.

    • 06:37

      UAE Sends 14 Tonnes of Medical Aid to Palestine Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

      The United Arab Emirates has sent 14 tonnes of humanitarian aid, including personal protective equipment, medications and ten artificial lung ventilators, to Palestine to help it fight against the coronavirus outbreak, the official Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

      According to the news outlet, the medical assistance will be delivered to the Palestinian territories via the office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov.

      UAE Permanent Representative to the United Nations Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, in turn, noted that the pandemic crisis required an international response, and expressed gratitude to Mladenov’s office for cooperation.

      Abu Dhabi has provided 47 countries with support to curb the spread of COVID-19.

      To date, the UAE has registered 24,190 coronavirus cases, with 224 deaths and 9,577 recoveries. The total number of COVID-19 cases in Palestine stands at 570.

    • 06:36

      South Korea Registers 32 New COVID-19 Cases While Students Return to Schools

      South Korea’s coronavirus case count rose by 32, the highest daily increase in nine days, to 11,110, as students across the country return to schools for the first time this year, the Health Ministry's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Wednesday.

      According to KCDC, 24 new cases are linked to internal transmission, while eight are imported from abroad. Seoul and the capital region, Gyeonggi-do, recorded nine cases each.

      At the same time, the number of recoveries rose by 128 to 10,066, meaning that more than 90 percent of patients have been cured of COVID-19, while the death toll remained the same and stood at 263. In total, the country has conducted over 748,000 coronavirus tests.

    • 06:16

      UK Engine-Maker Rolls-Royce Plans to Cut 9,000 Jobs

    • 05:50

      China Reports 5 New Coronavirus Cases, 16 Asymptomatic Carriers - Health Commission

      China has recorded five new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, down from six a day ago, and another 16 new asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers, the National Health Commission said on Wednesday.

      Of the newly detected cases, four were confirmed to be locally transmitted — all of them in the northeastern province of Jilin — and another one imported, from the northern autonomous region of Inner Mongolia. The commission also reported verifying three new recoveries and no new fatalities over the past 24 hours.

      The cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in mainland China has now grown to 82,965, according to the commission. This includes 78,244 patients who have recovered and 4,634 deaths. Patients currently undergoing treatment in hospitals count 87.

      With regard to non-mainland localities, Hong Kong has so far confirmed 1,055 cases, including four fatalities and 1,025 recoveries, Macao has confirmed 45 cases, all of them now recovered and discharged from hospitals, and Taiwan has confirmed 440 cases, including seven fatalities and 401 recoveries.

      According to the commission, the overall number of imported cases counts 1,708, including 1,662 patients who have recovered and 46 of those who are underway getting treatment.

    • 05:48

      Mexico's Daily COVID-19 Death Toll, Case Tally on the Rise - Health Ministry

      Mexico's death toll from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has risen by 334 over the past 24 hours to 5,666 people, the confirmed case tally has increased by 2,713 to 54,346, both indicators made new highs in the week when the country's authorities began to phase out sanitary restrictions, according to updated statistics from the Mexican Health Ministry.

      “Over the past 24 hours, 2,713 new cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded, this is the maximum daily increase registered since the beginning of the epidemic,” the ministry's director of epidemiology, Jose Luis Alomia, said.

    • 04:58

      Colombia Extends Coronavirus Lockdown Until 31 May

      Colombia has extended coronavirus-related lockdown until 31 May, President Ivan Duque said.

      “We will extend the mandatory isolation that we have had until today, until 31 May,” the presidential administration quoted the head of state on Twitter.

      The current quarantine expires on 25 May.

      A total of 16,935 cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Colombia, with 613 deaths and 4,050 recoveries.

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