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    Nations Restart Economies as Search for COVID-19 Vaccine Continues (128)
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    The pandemic is spreading across the world, with the United States remaining the most affected country. At present, over 2.1 million have been infected and more than 118,000 have died from the virus there, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    COVID-19 is showing immense growth in Latin America: Brazil occupies second place in the world in terms of confirmed cases, with almost a million infected, while Peru is seventh (over 240,000 cases) and Chile - ninth (over 225,000 infected), according to Johns Hopkins University data.

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    • 01:41

      Death Toll From COVID-19 in Mexico Rises by 647 to 20,394 People

      MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – The number of people, who have died of COVID-19 in Mexico, has risen by 647 to 20,394 within the past 24 hours, Jose Luis Alomia, the director of epidemiology at the Health Ministry, said.

      He also said on late Friday that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had increased by 5,030 to 170,485 within the same period of time.

      A day earlier, the Latin American nation has recorded 5,662 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 667 fatalities.

      The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on 11 March. To date, more than 8.6 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 459,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    • 22:41

      US Announces $93Mln in New Assistance for Coronavirus Response to Asia, Africa - Pompeo

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States has allocated additional $93 million in humanitarian aid to help the most vulnerable countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America fight the novel coronavirus outbreak, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Friday.

      "Today, we’re providing approximately $93 million in new humanitarian assistance to bolster our ongoing response efforts, helping the world’s most vulnerable overcome the devastation inflicted by this deadly virus," Pompeo said. "This new funding will help people across the world, including throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America."

      Pompeo pointed out that some $75 million of the newly allocated funds from the International Disaster Assistance account will be spent on emergency health, water, sanitation, hygiene, protection programs as well as on food assistance.

      "In addition, nearly $18 million from the Migration and Refugee Assistance account will enhance the ability of our international and non-governmental organization partners to provide water, sanitation and hygiene supplies; livelihood support; psycho-social services; food security; and access to health services and information for refugees, vulnerable migrants, and host communities while also protecting the health of humanitarian actors serving these populations," Pompeo said.

      The new assistance brings State Department - and USAID - funding for the response to the novel coronavirus pandemic to more than $1.3 billion.

      The World Health Organization has put the total number of novel coronavirus cases globally at 8.2 million.

    • 22:21

      Number of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Brazil Surpasses 1 Million, Health Ministry Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil has increased within the past 24 hours by 54,771 to 1,032,913, the national Ministry of Health said on late Friday.

      The death toll has increased by 1,206 to 48,954 people within the same period of time.

      Over 507,000 have recovered since the start of the outbreak, the ministry added.

      Brazil comes second on a global tally of coronavirus cases after the United States, which has recorded over 2.2 million COVID-19 patients.

      The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on 11 March. To date, more than 8.5 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 457,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    • 21:41

      Panama Lifts Coronavirus-Related Alcohol Ban With Reservations

      BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo signed a decree on Friday lifting the ban on alcohol sales, imposed some 1.5 months ago in light of the coronavirus pandemic, but outlining certain limitations in terms of retailer and packaging.

      "Sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages is allowed across the country under the following parameters and limitations: sales are allowed in licensed stores only... and only retail and in closed tare," the decree read, as published by the government in its official newspaper.

      At the moment, residents of Panama can buy no more than six beer cans, one bottle of wine or one bottle of spirit per one person.

      These limitations will be lifted on Monday.

    • 21:34

      Global Coronavirus Tally Topped 8.3Mln - WHO

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated the overall number of coronavirus cases globally at 8,385,440, with 450,686 people having died from the disease.

      The UN health agency said in the situation report published on late Friday that 142,451 new cases had been recorded in the past day, while further 5,151 patients had died.

      Americas continue to lead the count with some 4.1 million cases, followed by Europe with 2.49 million.

      The WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on 11 March.

      According to Johns Hopkins University, the global number of COVID-19 cases has already surpassed 8.5 million, with more than 457,000 fatalities.

      The United States remains the worst-hot nation with more than 2.2 confirmed cases and about 119,000 deaths. The United States is followed by Brazil and Russia, with 978,142 and 569,063 cases, respectively.

    • 21:17

      Zimbabwean Health Minister Arrested Over Corruption in COVID-19 Procurement Tender

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Zimbabwean Minister of Health Obadiah Moyo has been arrested over suspected corruption offenses when handling state procurement of coronavirus-related supplies, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) said on Friday.

      "I can confirm that Minister Moyo has been arrested and is currently in police custody. That’s all I [can] say for now," ZACC spokesperson John Makamure said, as quoted by the New Zimbabwe news outlet.

      According to the report, Moyo has been accused of awarding a $42 million tender to the Drax International company to supply COVID-19 medial products and personal protective equipment while fully aware that the company was not a pharmaceutical, but a consultancy firm.

      The minister is now reportedly in custody in at Rhodesville Police Station in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare.

    • 21:00

      Guatemalan President Appoints New Health Minister Amid COVID-19 Epidemic

      BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei on Friday replaced Health Minister Hugo Monroy as well as four deputy ministers as the country fights the COVID-19 pandemic.

      According to Prensa Libre newspaper, the changes were spurred by the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Human Rights' complaints against Monroy for his handling of the health crisis. He has been panned for not providing enough supplies to COVID-19 hospitals and not paying in time to public health specialists. To add insult to injury, his departure took place amid rising questions about the veracity of the government data on the outbreak.

      "I have to announce changes at [the Guatemalan Health Ministry]; Dr. Maria Amelia Flores has been sworn in as the minister of health along with Vice Ministers Dr. Ana Garces, Dr. Francisco Coma, Dr. Nancy Pezzaross, and Dr. Edwin Montufar. We will continue working for the good of the people," Giammattei tweeted.

      Guatemala has confirmed a total of 11,868 cases, with the death toll of 449.

    • 20:52

      Moscow's Death Toll From COVID-19 Rises Over Past Day by 34 to 3,565

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Moscow has registered 34 deaths of patients infected with COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the Russian capital's death toll to 3,565, the city's coronavirus response center said in a statement on Friday.

      Moscow's one-day death toll fell below 40 first time since May 6.

      "Another 34 patients, who were diagnosed with pneumonia and tested positive for the coronavirus infection, died in Moscow," it said.

      In the previous day, 48 people infected with the coronavirus died in Moscow.

    • 20:34

      Honduran President Hospitalized With COVID-19 Stable, Office Says

      MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, hospitalized with COVID-19 and pneumonia two days ago, is stable, according to one of his doctors, the presidential office said on Friday.

      "The health of President, who was tested positive for #COVID19, has progressed in a satisfactory manner, he is stable and in a 'good overall state,' informed doctor Cesar Aaron Carrasco, one of the medical professionals who look after the leader in the military hospital," the office wrote on Twitter.

      Honduras has confirmed a total of 10,739 cases, with the death toll of 343.

    • 19:49

      Some 3% of Chile's Population Has Antibodies to COVID-19, Health Minister Says

      BUENOS-AIRES (Sputnik) - Around three percent of Chile's population has antibodies to the novel coronavirus, Chilean Health Minister Enrique Paris said Friday.

      "In some countries the number of those who have antibodies is some six percent ... At the moment just three percent of our population has antibodies," the minister said while broadcast on his Twitter page.

      He went on to stress the importance of observing sanitary rules, such as social distancing, washing hands and wearing masks.

      Chile is among the hardest hit Latin American countries with over 231,000 infections, just behind Peru and far behind Brazil's almost a million cases. Over 4,000 Chilean COVID-19 patients have died.

    • 18:29

      Guatemala Replaces Health Minister and His Three Deputies Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Official Says

    • 16:28

      Total Number of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Italy Rises by 251 to 238,011, Official Says

    • 16:15

      Some Countries May Have Both 2nd Peaks and 2nd Waves of COVID-19 Outbreak, WHO's Ryan Says

      "So you can see a situation in some countries where they could get a second peak now because the disease has not been brought under control. The disease will then go away, reduce to a low level and they could then get a second wave again in the autumn or later in the year. So you may have a second peak within your first wave and then you may have a second wave. It is not either-or", Executive Director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme Mike Ryan told a virtual briefing.

      The WHO official stressed that having a cluster of cases did not mean a second wave.

      "When you start to see a cluster now, in the absence of disease, when you are down to a very low level of disease and you see a cluster you have to jump on the cluster, you have to take the cluster seriously because you want to avoid that second peak, you want to avoid going back into community transmission", Ryan said.

    • 16:04

      Wales to Soften Regulations Against COVID-19 Every Monday for 3 Weeks, First Minister Says

      "On Monday, the 22nd of June, next Monday, we will introduce changes to restart our economy. All non-essential retail will be able to reopen, provided they can comply with the physical distancing duty ... And on Monday we will begin to reopen the housing market in Wales," First Minister Mark Drakeford said, adding that restrictions on various outdoor activities will be lifted as well.

      The next rounds of softening are on 29 June and 6 July.

      "Then, in the second week, on the 29nd of June, pupils will be able to return to school, so that they can check in catch up and prepare for the summer and September. And on the third Monday of this three-week cycle, on the sixth of July, we will lift the requirement to stay local, provided the evidence at the time continues to support this", the first minister added.

      Wales has confirmed 15,001 cases, with the death toll at 1,475.

    • 16:02

      US Capital to Enter Phase 2 of Reopening on 22 June, Mayor Says

    • 15:40

      Number of New COVID-19 Cases in UK Rises for Second Consecutive Day, Health Department Say

      LONDON (Sputnik) - The daily increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom has risen for the second consecutive day after the country's Department of Health confirmed 1,346 new cases of the disease on Friday.

      The latest rise has seen the country’s case total increase to 301,815.

      On Thursday, the Department of Health confirmed 1,218 new positive tests, which was a slight increase from the 1,115 new cases reported one day prior.

      Public health authorities in the UK also confirmed 173 new coronavirus disease-related deaths on Friday, raising the country’s death toll to 42,461.

      Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK was diminishing, as the country’s coronavirus disease alert level was downgraded from four to three.

      According to the government’s guidance, alert level three means that the disease is still in general circulation, although the risk of high or exponential transmission has diminished.

    • 15:38

      Spanish COVID-19 Death Toll Updated by Some 1,200 to 28,313, Health Authorities Say

      "As of today, the number we have managed to ascertain with the autonomous communities and which, starting now, is the basis which will be updated with new fatalities ... is 28,313 fatalities diagnosed with coronavirus in all of Spain", Fernando Simon, the chief of Spain's Coordination Center for Health Alerts and Emergencies, said during a press conference.

      Spain has confirmed a total of 245,268 cases.

    • 15:19

      WHO Head: COVID-19 Pandemic is Accelerating, Virus Still Spreading Fast

      Banksy's Girl with a Pierced Eardrum mural has been given a face mask in a nod to the coronavirus pandemic as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Bristol, England, Wednesday April 22, 2020

      COVID-19 Pandemic is Accelerating, Virus Still Spreading Fast, WHO Head Says

      According to the latest data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), 8.33 million cases of COVID-19 have been registered worldwide, while 449,182 people have died from the disease in 216 countries and territories.
      Read more
    • 14:22

      UK Office of National Statistics Says Ethnic Minorities More Likely to Die From COVID-19

    • 14:20

      US Secretary of State Pompeo Wishes Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev a Speedy Recovery

    • 13:58

      UK’s Total COVID-19 Death Toll Rises by 173 to 42,461

    • 13:01

      Over 500,000 COVID-19 Patients Across Russia Have Received Treatment During Pandemic, Health Minister Says

    • 12:37

      Saudi Arabia’s Total COVID-19 Toll Exceeds 150,000, Health Ministry Says

    • 11:55

      EU Parliament Eases Capital Regulations to Boost Lending in Wake of COVID-19 Crisis

      Flags are seen at the European Parliament Wednesday April 16, 2014 in Strasbourg, eastern France. The European general elections in the 27 countries of the E.U will take place from May 22 to 25, 2014

      EU Parliament Eases Capital Regulations to Boost Lending in Wake of COVID-19 Crisis

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Parliament has approved a temporary and targeted relief in the capital requirement regulation (CRR) to provide favourable conditions for the EU banks and to aid them in lending to companies and households affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the EU legislature said on Friday in a press release.
      Read more
    • 11:54

      Number of COVID-19 Cases Worldwide Tops 8.5 Million - Johns Hopkins University

      The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide surpassed 8.5 million on Friday, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 dashboard.

      The global case tally now stands at 8.5 million, and the death toll is at 454,380.

      A total of 4.17 million people have recovered from COVID-19, according to the university.

    • 11:40

      Iran's Daily Increase in COVID-19 Deaths Back to Triple Digits Following Brief Drop

      TEHRAN (Sputnik) - Iran has seen 120 new coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours following a drop below 100 the day before, Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on Friday, adding that the total death toll in the country had reached almost 9,400.

      The Iranian health authorities registered 87 COVID-19 fatalities on Thursday. A day earlier, the daily death toll bounced back to the triple digits.

      The country has confirmed 200,262 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, including at least 159,192 recoveries and 9,392 deaths, according to Lari, as broadcast by the IRINN channel.

    • 10:17

      UK Gov't Announces $1.2Bln Catch-Up Plan for School Students Impacted by COVID-19 Closures

      "This £1 billion catch-up package will help head teachers to provide extra support to children who have fallen behind while out of school", UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said as the proposals were unveiled on Friday.

      According to the government, $434 million will be given to support a tutoring scheme for the most disadvantaged students, and $806 million will be divided among the country’s state-run schools to bolster resources.

      "I am determined to do everything I can to get all children back in school from September, and we will bring forward plans on how this will happen as soon as possible", Johnson added.

    • 10:16

      Paris Police Ban Three Rallies, Including Protest, Near US Embassy Due to COVID-19 Risk

      Protesters kneel and react by a burning barricade during a demonstration Tuesday, June 2, 2020 in Paris

      Paris Police Ban Three Rallies, Including Protest, Near US Embassy Due to COVID-19 Risk

      The news comes after mass rallies against racism held last week resulted in major clashes between the police and protesters.
      Read more
    • 08:41

      Coronavirus Immunity Studies to Be Conducted in 22 Russian Regions in June - Watchdog

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian public health watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, said on Friday that coronavirus immunity studies would be conducted in 22 out of 85 Russia's regions in June, and the obtained information would be used for making epidemiological situation forecasts and planning COVID-19 prevention.

      "At the first stage, there are plans to hold the study in June 2020 in 22 regions, located in all the federal districts of the Russian Federation, with participation of Rospotrebnadzor's regional authorities, organizations and research agencies, and regions' executive bodies in charge of health care", Rospotrebnadzor said in a statement.

      Participants of the study will be selected by random sampling. There are plans to engage children aged between one and 17 and adults aged between 18 and 29, 30 and 39, 40 and 49, 50 and 59, 60 and 69, and those aged more than 70.

      The protocol recommended by the World Health Organisation will be taken into consideration during the study, the Russian watchdog specified.

      "Information on herd immunity, which we plan to obtain through the study, is necessary for becoming aware of the peculiarities of the epidemic process, for making forecasts on epidemiological situation development in certain regions and in the country in general, and for planning events on specific and non-specific COVID-19 prevention", Rospotrebnadzor added.

    • 07:44

      Russia Records 7,972 COVID-19 Cases Over Past 24 Hours

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia has registered 7,972 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours (7,790 yesterday), bringing the total count to 569,063, the national coronavirus response centre said on Friday.

      "Over the past 24 hours, Russia has confirmed 7,972 COVID-19 cases in 83 regions, of which 2,610 (32.7 percent) have been detected with people showing no clinical symptoms", the response centre said in a statement, adding that the country has so far confirmed 569,063 cases (+1.4 percent) so far.

      Of the new cases, 1,136 were registered in Moscow, 646 in the Moscow Region, and 259 in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug (compared to yesterday's 1,040, 667, and 243, respectively).

      The country's COVID-19 death toll has grown by 181 (182 yesterday) to 7,841.

      As many as 10,443 COVID-19 patients have recovered across the country (9,621 yesterday), bringing the total number of cured people to 324,406.

    • 06:59

      Coronavirus Tally in Armenia Rises to 19,157

    • 05:37

      Mass Protests in US Have Caused No New Spike in COVID-19 Cases – Reports

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The wave of mass protests against racism and police violence has not resulted in a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States, media reported, citing preliminary studies.

      In Minnesota, the epicentre of the protests, 1.8 percent of the 3,200 protesters who were tested for COVID-19 at community sites turned out to be infected with the coronavirus, The Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday. Some 8,500 other Minnesota protesters tested through their healthcare providers or at other sites, and only 0.99 percent of them were diagnosed with COVID-19.

      Within the past seven days, the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests in New York has remained below 3 percent, with the number of hospitalised patients continuing to decrease.

      The authorities in Seattle and Chicago have also said that no major outbreaks of the coronavirus have been registered so far.

    • 05:08

      Germany Records 770 New COVID-19 Cases, Total Reaches 188,534 – Robert Koch Institute

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Germany has confirmed 770 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, with the total count reaching 188,534, the Robert Koch Institute said on Friday.

      The death toll grew by 16 to 8,872 people within the same period of time.

      A day earlier, the country confirmed 580 new cases and 26 fatalities.

    • 04:38

      India Extends COVID-19 Lockdown in Containment Zones Until 30 June

      "There will not be any lockdown in the country. The four phases of lockdown are over. Unlock 1.0 is going on now. We all should discuss on what to do about Unlock 2.0 issue", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday, while reviewing the pandemic with state chiefs.

    • 04:38

      India Confirms 13,586 New COVID-19 Cases, Bringing Total to 380,532

      India reports its highest single-day spike of 13,586, with 336 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total number of infected now stands at 380,532 including 163,248 active cases. Some 204,711 have already recovered from the disease.

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