09:05 GMT09 August 2020
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    The total coronavirus count has surpassed 12.3 million cases worldwide, while the death toll from the infection is over 557,000, according to John Hopkins University.

    The US remains the worst-hit country, with over 133,000 deaths from COVID-19 and more than 3.1 million infected. Brazil is second with 1.75 million cases, and India has moved into third place with almost 800,000 infected.

    The number of cases is also spiking in Peru, Chile, and Mexico, while in Europe the highest number of infected and deceased is in the UK.

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    • 02:57

      Germany's Coronavirus Tally Rises by 378 to 198,556 - Robert Koch Institute

    • 00:51

      China Reports Two New Cases of Coronavirus in Past 24 Hours

    • 00:41

      US Registers Record of Over 63,200 New Coronavirus Cases in Single Day - Johns Hopkins University

    • 00:26

      Coronavirus Infections in Mexico Rise to 289,174, Deaths Reach 34,191 - Health Ministry

      MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – The number of people, who have died of COVID-19 in Mexico, has risen by 665 to 34,191 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 6,891 to 289,174 within the same period of time.

      A day earlier, the Latin American nation recorded 7,280 new cases of the coronavirus, with 730 fatalities.

    • 22:10

      Death Toll From COVID-19 in Brazil Surpasses 70,000 - Health Ministry

      BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) – The number of people, who have died of COVID-19 in Brazil, has increased by 1,214 to 70,398 within the past 24 hours, the national Health Ministry said on late Friday.

      Within the same period of time, the number of confirmed cases has risen by 45,048 to 1,800,827. Over 1 million people have recovered since the start of the outbreak.

      A day earlier, Brazil reported about 42,619 new cases of the coronavirus disease and 1,220 new fatalities.

      Brazil comes second on a global tally of coronavirus cases after the United States, which has recorded more than 3.1 million COVID-19 patients.

    • 20:31

      Moscow's Coronavirus Death Toll Grows by 29 to 4,116 - Response Centre

      On Thursday, the response centre reported 28 new fatalities.

    • 18:22

      Russia's Public Health Chief Says There Will Be Special COVID-19 Vaccine for Children

      Cyprus condemns Turkey's initiative to change the status of Hagia Sophia cathedral in Istanbul by converting it into a mosque and calls on Ankara to follow international obligations, Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said on Friday.

      "Cyprus is poignantly a victim, since the 1974 Turkish invasion and subsequent occupation of part of its territory, of #Turkey’s orchestrated policy of destruction and looting of religious and cultural heritage monuments," the foreign minister tweeted.

      He has described today's altering the status of a world heritage site as well as a revered symbol of Orthodox Christianity as an example of Ankara flouting of international obligations.

      "Cyprus strongly condemns #Turkey’s actions on #HagiaSophia in its effort to distract domestic opinion, and calls on #Turkey to respect its international obligations," Christodoulides concluded.

      Cyprus has been divided into Greek and Turkish parts since 1974, when Ankara sent its forces to the island in order to allegedly protect the island’s Turkish population. In 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus declared its independence, without being recognized by anyone except of the Turkish government.

    • 17:25

      Ex-Worker at US Medical Firm Admits Sabotaging COVID-19 Supply Shipments - Justice Dept.

      A former worker at a medical supply firm pleaded guilty to hacking a company computer days after being fired in an act of sabotage that disrupted thousands of shipments of equipment to battle COVID-19, the Justice Department said in a press release on Friday.

      “Christopher Dobbins has pleaded guilty to the charge of reckless damage to a protected computer for deleting and modifying his former employer’s electronic shipping and other business records,” the release said. “Dobbins’s conduct delayed the shipment of PPE [personal protective equipment] during the COVID-19 pandemic."

      Days after being fired in March, Dobbins used a fake user account to alter 115,581 records and delete another 2,371, disrupting deliveries of much needed PPEs to healthcare workers, the release said.

      Sentencing on sabotage-related charges is scheduled for October 16, according to the release.

    • 16:48

      Crimean Scientists Start Developing COVID-19 Vaccine - Vernadsky Federal University

      Crimean scientists have started developing a vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection, V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University said on Friday.

      "Crimean scientists are developing a vaccine against the new coronavirus using structures based on thiophosphate oligonucleotides," the university said in a statement, adding that its researchers have applied for a grant from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research for the development of a vaccine.

      According to the university, the scientists will attempt to develop and successfully apply the oligonucleotide structure in the form of a lasso, which is able to simultaneously activate both cellular and humoral immunity, as the most effective COVID-19 vaccines will be those that can lead to the formation of highly effective memory cells of both humoral and cellular immunity.

      "Unfortunately, RNA viruses are very variable, and in this situation, one of the most promising solutions in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic could be the creation of 'universal' vaccines based on conserved sequences of the SARS-CoV-2 genome (antigen-presenting) and unmethylated CpG-dinucleotides (adjuvants) as part of the thiophosphate backbone of single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides," the statement added.

      The Crimean scientists believe that it is unmethylated CpG-dinucleotides that can prepare the host's immune system for the coronavirus infection and should be present in vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 as strong adjuvants, the university added.

    • 15:58

      Russia's Mortality Grows by 11.9% in May, Chiefly Due to COVID-19, Deputy PM Says

      Russia's mortality rate grew by 11.9 percent in May, with the coronavirus and its effect on chronic conditions seen as the main reason behind the surge, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said on Friday.

      "As for the May mortality, it increased by 11.9 percent, and I should say that the COVID-infection and the cases when the COVID-infection resulted in acceleration of chronic conditions growth are the main reasons behind the increase," Golikova said.

    • 15:58

      WHO Says Global COVID-19 Case Count Exceeds 12 Million

      The global coronavirus case count has topped 12 million, with numbers more than doubling over the past six weeks, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus  said on Friday.

      "Today, the world recorded 12 million cases. In the last six weeks, cases have more than doubled," the WHO chief told a virtual press briefing.

    • 15:24

      Russia to Start Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions on Int'l Air Travel July 15, , Russian Deputy PM Says

      Russia will start lifting the restrictions on international flights, previously introduced to curb the spreading of the coronavirus, on July 15, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said on Friday.

      "As for the date of the possible air travel resumption, we suggest July 15, 2020," Golikova said at a briefing.

      Russian epidemiologists have presented their conclusions regarding criteria needed for resuming air travel with foreign countries, the deputy prime minister announced. They believe Russia could resume flights to countries where COVID-19 incidence amounts to around 40 per 100,000 of the population, and the average daily growth in COVID-19 cases does not exceed 1 percent over the past 14 days.

    • 15:24

      Foreigners Arriving in Russia Should Present COVID-19 Absence Certificate, Russian Deputy PM

      Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova announced on Friday that foreign citizens arriving in Russia would have to present a medical certificate proving they are not infected with the coronavirus, which should be issued no earlier than three days prior to the arrival.

      "[Russian public health watchdog] Rospotrebnadzor has proposed introducing a COVID-19 examination for those arriving in the Russian Federation from abroad, instead of the 14-day quarantine. Foreign citizens should provide medical documents confirming negative results of a laboratory PCR test, issued no earlier than three days prior to the arrival to the Russian Federation, or medical documents confirming IgG antibodies," Golikova said at a briefing.

      Russians returning to the country from abroad should provide information on their COVID-19 status or be tested already in Russia, the deputy prime minister added.

      "As for the Russian citizens returning to the Russian Federation, they can take a PCR test in the country where they stayed 72 hours ahead of their arrival to the Russian Federation. And they can also take a PCR test within three days after their arrival," Golikova explained.

    • 15:23

      French Scientists Detect Traces of COVID-19 in Wastewater of Montpellier

      A French research group has discovered a significant trace of COVID-19 ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the sewer waters of the city of Montpellier a month and a half after the end of France's lockdown, according to a preprint published on the medRxiv website.

      France lifted its COVID-19 lockdown on May 11.

      "Here, we measured the amount of SARS-CoV-2 RNA at the inflow point of the main waste water treatment plant (WWTP) of Montpellier, France. We collected samples 4 days before the end of lockdown and up to 45 days post-lockdown. We detected increased amounts of SARS-CoV-2 RNA at the WWTP, which was not correlated with the number of newly diagnosed patients," the researchers said in the paper's abstract, published on Thursday.

      According to the acquired data, the wastewater on June 15 and June 25 had more viral RNA than on all other dates, and the daily number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the Herault department, where Montpellier is located, has been decreasing since April 1.

      France has confirmed a total of 170,094 cases, with a death toll of 29,979.

    • 13:17

      Norway to Allow Entry From Some European Countries Starting 15 July

    • 12:58

      Daily Increment in COVID-19 Cases in Japan Exceeds 400 for 1st Time Since April, Reports Suggest

      TOKYO (Sputnik) - The number of new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours in Japan has surpassed 400 for the first time since 24 April, as the country recorded 408 infections, media reported on Friday.

      According to the broadcaster NHK, most of the infections (243) have been registered in Tokyo, marking the second day in a row that the capital has recorded over 200 cases.

    • 12:47

      Moscow Not Expecting Second Wave of Coronavirus Soon, Mayor Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - No second wave of the coronavirus is expected in Moscow soon, the peak is behind and residents have developed herd immunity, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Friday.

      "Based on experience and having spoken with many specialists, doctors, and [consumer health watchdog] Rospotrebnadzor experts, I can see that we have made it past the peak and no second wave is expected in the near future. I think, in Moscow, people have developed herd immunity, that allows us to continue lifting restrictions," the mayor said in an interview which aired on the TV channel Rossiya 24.

    • 12:14

      Greek Prime Minister to Hold Emergency Meeting Over Surge in COVID-19 Cases - Reports

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is set to hold an emergency online meeting with key government members and health experts to discuss a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases after the country opened its borders to foreign tourists, the local newspaper Ekathimerini reported.

      According to the newspaper, the decision to convene the meeting was made after the number of cases registered daily began to rise earlier this week, mainly at the crossing on the Greek-Bulgarian border.

      Given the deteriorating epidemiological situation, the government said it would introduce new restrictions if necessary, to curb the virus, the newspaper added.

    • 11:58

      Heathrow Airport CEO Says Pandemic 'Devastated' Aviation, Welcomes UK Opening Air Bridges

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Aviation has been "devastated" by the coronavirus pandemic and very much welcomes air bridges when countries gradually reopen, Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye told Sky News on the heels of the United Kingdom ending quarantine rules for travellers from dozens of countries.

      "Aviation has almost been devastated by the pandemic. The passenger numbers fell by 97 percent in the second quarter of the year", Holland-Kaye said.

      The UK opening up to travellers from so many countries is therefore "a really welcome decision”, the Heathrow Airport CEO added, noting that aviation is not only about people going on holiday, it is also about "vital trading routes around the world".

      Holland-Kaye expressed hope that more low-risk countries will be included in the UK’s next review by the end of the month.

      He also stressed the need to think how the country is going to "connect with some of our really important trading partners, such as the US". Though the US is considered "high-risk" as a nation, some parts of the country are "low-risk", and "hundreds of millions of people in the United States don’t have the disease at all", according to the CEO. "The sooner we can get those long-haul international markets reopened, the sooner we can start to get the economy back and protect jobs right across the United Kingdom".

      Starting Friday, the UK is lifting 14-day quarantine requirements for travellers from more than 70 countries and British Overseas Territories.

    • 09:28

      Clinical Study Shows Japan’s Avigan Drug Not Effective in Coronavirus Treatment

      TOKYO, July 10 (Sputnik) - A clinical study conducted by Fujita Health University showed that Avigan, a Japanese anti-flu drug, has failed to demonstrate effectiveness in treating COVID-19, media reported on Friday.

      One of the clinical studies showed that Avigan had failed to demonstrate any benefit in treating COVID-19, as there was no significant difference between patients who were given the drug and patients who were treated without Avigan, the Kyodo news agency said, citing a representative from Fujita Health University.

      Avigan, also known as favipiravir, was developed by the Fujifilm Toyama Chemical pharmaceutical company six years ago, but due to its side effects on foetuses, couldn’t be used by pregnant women and was included in a list of drugs to only be used in exceptional circumstances, with government permission, when no available alternatives worked.

    • 08:40

      COVID-19 Tally in Indonesia Rises to 1,611

    • 08:03

      Russia Confirms 6,635 New Coronavirus Cases, Total Reaches 713,936

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia has recorded 6,635 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the cumulative total to 713,936, the response centre said Friday.

      Moscow, the Moscow Region, and the Chechen Republic show the lowest rate of increase in new cases.

      In the last 24 hours, 7,752 people have been discharged, bringing the total number of recoveries to 489,068. In the same period, 174 people died, taking the overall coronavirus death toll to 11,017.

    • 07:17

      WHO Spokeswoman Praises Russian Healthcare System's Response to Coronavirus

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia's healthcare system has done everything possible to make enough resources available to provide treatment to all coronavirus patients and is, therefore, ready for a possible second wave of COVID-19, the World Health Organisation (WHO)'s spokeswoman in Russia, Melita Vujnovic, told Sputnik in an interview.

      "Since the beginning of the pandemic, when we knew very little about the virus, the Russian healthcare system has done absolutely everything possible to have resources and potential for curing all people. Of course, there are reserve facilities in new infectious hospitals, and there is good experience", she said.

      The WHO spokeswoman expressed the belief that the system was ready for a possible second wave of the coronavirus.

      "I think that the Russian system is ready. All the countries were recommended to guarantee readiness for the possible detection of [a surge] in new cases, to expand hospital bed capacities. It is necessary to study different scenarios. I hope the situation in Russia will remain as it has been until now", Vujnovic added.

    • 06:56

      WHO Spokeswoman Warns of Possible Second Wave of COVID-19 in Russia

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A second wave of the coronavirus may hit Russia "even tomorrow", if people lower their guard and do not pay enough attention to safety, the World Health Organisation (WHO)'s spokeswoman in Russia, Melita Vujnovic, told Sputnik in an interview.

      "No one can make forecasts, as too many factors play a role. There is a possibility it could happen even tomorrow, if everyone drops their guard and people start gathering in groups of 1,000 in closed spaces. Even if there is only one infected person there, this will be enough", Vujnovic said, when asked about the timing of a second wave.

      At the same time, the spreading of the virus could be stopped if all those people immediately sought treatment from doctors, underwent testing, and self-isolated, the WHO representative noted.

      Vujnovic pointed to the importance of hygiene practices.

      "We talk about masks very often. A mask alone reduces the risk, albeit slightly. However, if both you and me wear a mask, wash our hands properly and stay in locations with natural ventilation, then the risk of contracting the disease — even if one of us is infected — is much lower compared to a situation with us seating at a 70 centimetre distance and talking like this for 30 minutes. In that case, if one of us was infected, the other one would get infected as well. It should be understood that mass events may be held, but there should be control, and epidemiological measures should be implemented. Being too cautious is better than facing a new wave", Vujnovic added.

    • 06:47

      Denmark Drops Opposition to Face Masks, Recommends Them in 'Certain Situations'

      Face mask

      Denmark Drops Opposition to Face Masks, Recommends Them in 'Certain Situations'

      On the issue of wearing face masks as a safeguard against coronavirus, Denmark has moved closer to most European nations, such as Germany or France, where the use of masks is recommended or even obligatory.
      Read more
    • 06:26

      Australia Limits Number of Citizens Returning Home Amid Coronavirus Surge

      Australia is to halve the number of citizens, returning from abroad amid the pandemic outbreak in the country, setting the bar at 4,000 people per week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Friday.

    • 06:22

      UK Will Use Drones to Deliver Coronavirus Tests to Remote Scottish Islands

      A new prototype of Vertical Aerospace drone, Seraph is tested, in Llanbedr Airfield, Wales, Britain in this undated handout photo. Vertical Aerospace

      UK Will Use Drones to Deliver Coronavirus Tests to Remote Scottish Islands

      According to John Hopkins University, Britain has at least 289,000 infected and the death toll from COVID-19 is the third-highest in the world, at 44,687. Scotland, however, remains less affected than England, accounting only for 18,315 cases, and 2,490 fatalities.
      Read more
    • 06:19

      At Least 288 New COVID-19 Cases Confirmed in Victoria, Australia, in a New Daily Record

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