03:11 GMT14 August 2020
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    The World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on 11 March. The biggest number of cases so far have been registered in the United States, Brazil and India.

    The worldwide number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has reached 13,142,079, according to a Reuters infographics updated at 5:40 a.m.  A total of 571,854 people have died of the disease, the data indicate.

    The number of recoveries has exceeded 7 mln and stands at 7,013,655, while Johns Hopkins University gives a bigger number, counting 7,163,038 recoveries.

    The US and Brazil lead in both the number of confirmed cases and the number of deaths. India is currently the third worst-hit nation in terms of the number of people infected, while the UK is reporting the third-highest death count.

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    • 03:11

      Israel Records Over 2,000 COVID-19 Cases in Single Day - Health Ministry

      TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israel has registered 2,112 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours with the total number of confirmed cases now standing at 42,360, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

      As of Tuesday night, there are 22,324 active coronavirus cases in Israel, 183 of the patients are in serious condition and 56 of them are on lung ventilators, the health ministry said.

      In the past 24 hours, six more deaths from COVID-19 were registered in Israel with the country’s total coronavirus death toll now standing at 371. Over 19,600 people have recovered from the disease.

      Last week, the Israeli government decided to close bars, clubs, gyms and event venues amid a sharp rise in the number of new coronavirus cases. Restaurants are now required to limit the number of customers.

    • 01:03

      Majority of Canadian Businesses Say April Revenues Fell by Third or More Amid Pandemic

      TORONTO (Sputnik) – A majority of Canadian businesses have reported that their revenues declined by one-third or more in April 2020 compared to the same period last year, Statistics Canada said in its Impact of COVID-19 on businesses in Canada report for May.

      "Over half (51.6%) of businesses reported that their revenues for the month of April were down 30% or more compared with April 2019. More than one-third (35.3%) of businesses reported that revenues were down by half or more," the survey revealed on Tuesday.

      The report found that over 75 percent of businesses in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector as well as those in the food services segment experienced a revenue decline of 30 percent or more year-on-year amid the economic carnage triggered by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

      The report said that professional, scientific and technical services as well as finance and insurance sectors were largely spared the worst of the economic impact.

      The report also found that 65.8 percent of employers expected to keep staffing levels steady in the coming three months, while 8.6 percent of businesses indicted an intention to downsize. Only 15.1 percent of businesses said that they expected to hire employees in the next quarter.

      The Canadian government estimates that the economy will contract by 6.8 percent in 2020, with the worst of the losses coming in the second quarter, before rebounding to a growth rate of 5.5 percent in 2021.

    • 00:42

      US Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Induces Strong Antibody Response in Phase 1 Trials - Research

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The US Moderna vaccine against the coronavirus infection has induced a strong immune response in all 45 enrolled participants at an early stage of the clinical trials, the New England Journal of Medicine revealed in its fresh preliminary report.

      During the study, each participant received a vaccine dose of 25, 100, or 250 micrograms, in each group of 15 people. Participants received two doses of a potential vaccine. All 45 patients developed antibodies, according to researchers.

      "The mRNA-1273 vaccine was immunogenic, inducing robust binding antibody responses to both full-length S-2P and receptor-binding domain in all participants after the first vaccination in a time- and dose-dependent fashion," the report read.

      The company, in turn, noted that the vaccine proved to be safe.

      The National Institute of Health’s Clinical Trials said in a notice on Tuesday that Moderna was planning to begin phase 3 trials of an experimental novel COVID-19 vaccine involving 30,000 participants at 87 locations beginning on 27 July.

    • 23:17

      Brazil's COVID-19 Count Grows by Almost 42,000 New Cases to Over 1.9Mln

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil has increased by 41,857 in the past 24 hours, taking the cumulative total to over 1.9 million, the country’s Health Ministry said.

      There are now 1,926,824 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil. In the past 24 hours, 1,300 new deaths from COVID-19 were confirmed, taking the total coronavirus death toll to 74,133.

      Brazil has the second-highest coronavirus death toll, it is surpassed only by the United States, which has registered over 136,000 COVID-19 fatalities, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. Brazil and the United States are also the top two countries in terms of the total number of registered coronavirus cases (the United States has the highest total of almost 3.4 million COVID-19 cases).

    • 21:58

      Surge of Coronavirus Cases in Young People Suggests US States Reopened Too Soon, Fauci Says

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The young age of people testing positive for the novel coronavirus in southern US states, which are experiencing surges in cases, indicates that officials attempted to open up too early, National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci said.

      "If you look at the age range of the individuals who are getting infected now as opposed to early on a few months ago, it’s about a decade to a decade and a half younger," Fauci told an on-line forum sponsored by Georgetown University on Tuesday.

      "It suggests a link between attempting to open" and subsequent images of young people congregating in bars and other crowded places with their faces uncovered, Fauci added.

      The assessment, he said, applies to the states of California, Florida, Arizona and Texas, which are experiencing new cases at record rates in the range of 60,000 a day, about three times the level of 20,000 in May and early June, according to Fauci. The surge has prompted a reversal of some reopening measures in the four states.

      The lower ages of the latest victims suggests that deaths are unlikely to match fatalities in places like New York and other northeastern states early in the pandemic, but that the challenge now is to convince young people that they can spread the disease even if odds of becoming seriously ill themselves is low.

    • 21:11

      Peru Cancels Primary Elections for 2021 General Vote Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Peru canceled primaries for the election of candidates for the 2021 general vote amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to an executive act adopted by the government on Tuesday.

      "To cancel the first additional provision [on holding primary elections] of the law on political organizations," the government said, as quoted by the El Peruano newspaper.

      Earlier in July, President Martin Vizcarra called for Peruvian general elections to be held on 11 April 2021. The country was also set to hold its first-ever primaries, as envisioned by political reforms carried out by the authorities last year.

      The South American country, with a population of less than 33 million people, has reported more than 330,000 COVID-19 cases and over 12,000 related fatalities. Over the past month, Peru has been registered up to 4,000 news cases a day on average.

    • 20:39

      South African Energy Minister, His Wife Test Positive for COVID-19, Authorities Say

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - South African Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe and his wife have tested positive for the coronavirus, the office of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday in a press release.

      "The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Mr Gwede Mantashe (MP) and his wife, Mrs Nolwandle Mantashe have tested positive for Covid-19. The Minister received his results earlier today, 14 July 2020," the press release read.

      The couple has self-isolated, and the minister is going to continue working from home, according to the press release.

      The minister was tested for the third time since the COVID-19 outbreak started in the country.

      The number of COVID-19 cases has been on the sharp rise recently in South Africa, as the country is registering over 10,000 cases per day on average over the past week.

      On Wednesday, South Africa, the worst-hit country on the continent, reported more than 10,400 cases and 174 new deaths, taking the overall tally of cases and deaths to 298,292 and 4,346, respectively. At the same time, almost half of all those infected have already recovered.

    • 20:15

      Italy to Extend COVID-19 Restrictions Until End of July, Health Minister Says

      ROME (Sputnik) - The Italian government is going to extend coronavirus-related restrictions until the end of July, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Tuesday.

      "In order to coexist with the virus before the development of the vaccine, to fully restart our economy, to counter the serious social problems which, as we see, are growing in our country, we should not step back from preventive measures even by a millimeter. Thus, the government intends to adopt a new decree to extend the measures currently in force until July 31," Speranza said during an address to lawmakers.

      According to the minister, the restrictions include a ban on mass gatherings, and a requirement to wear face masks and respect social distancing rules on public transport, in shops, workplaces, hospitals.

      Speranza added that Italy would keep restrictions, namely 14-day mandatory quarantine, on arrivals from outside Europe as the country has confirmed several COVID-19 clusters linked to imported cases. Moreover, Italy has temporarily banned entry from 13 countries with a high spread of COVID-19, including Brazil, Bangladesh, Armenia, Chile and Kuwait.

      At the same time, Speranza said that the government has yet to make a decision on the state of emergency, which expires in late July. Media have reported that it might be prolonged until late October.

      Italy has so far confirmed over 243,000 COVID-19 cases, more than 195,000 recoveries and 34,984 related deaths. In July, the country is registering around 200 coronavirus cases a day on average.

    • 20:07

      Mexico Suggests US Extend Non-Essential Border Crossing Ban Until 21 August

      U.S. President Donald Trump listens to Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrado as the leaders deliver individual statements prior to signing a joint declaration in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 8, 2020

      US, Mexico Extend Non-Essential Border Crossings Ban For 30 Days, Mexican Foreign Ministry Says

      The United States has registered over 3.3 million cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus, topping the list of nations most affected, while Mexico, having reported around 300,000 cases, is at seventh place in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
      Read more
    • 18:58

      Over 50 Indonesian Reporters Tested Positive for COVID-19 in Short Period of Time, Union Says

      BANGKOK (Sputnik) - A COVID-19 cluster has emerged among reporters in Indonesia’s East Java province as the virus infected 57 media workers during a short period of time, while three coronavirus carriers have died, the Alliance of Independent Journalists of Indonesia (AJI) said on Tuesday.

      All reporters tested positive for COVID-19 in late June and July in Surabaya, the capital of East Java.

      "So far 57 media workers have tested positive for COVID-19 through PCR [polymerase chain reaction] tests," Miftah Faridl, the head of the Surabaya branch of AJI said, as quoted by the Jakarta Post newspaper.

      According to the newspaper, two media workers who tested positive for the disease are currently hospitalized.

      Faridl explained that disregard to social distancing measures at official events has contributed to a high infection rate among journalists.

      Indonesia has so far confirmed over 78,500 COVID-19 cases and more than 3,700 deaths. East Java has been seeing a high number of infections recently. The province has reported nearly 17,000 cases since the end of May, and almost half of them in Surabaya.

    • 18:27

      WHO Americas Director Says Concerned by High Mortality in Region Due to COVID-19 Surge

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is worried about the high numbers of deaths in the region as a result of COVID-19, Director Carissa Etienne said on Tuesday.

      “Mortality is high in the region and it is a concern for PAHO,” Etienne said at an information session.

      Etienne noted that as of July 13, there have been 6.8 million cases and 288,000 deaths across the region of the Americas.

      “This equates to roughly half of all cases and deaths reported around the world,” she said. “In the past week, our region has reported 60 percent of all new cases and 64 percent of all new deaths in the world.”

      Etienne urged to keep public health measures in place and reinforce them in areas that have high transmission.

      She also stressed the need to protect the most vulnerable including the indigenous people, urban poor and those living in remote villages and unable to access healthcare on time, as well as the people with underlying health conditions.

      The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) serves as the World Health Organization's (WHO) Regional Office for the Americas.

    • 17:53

      US Biotech Firm Plans 3-Month Trial of COVID-19 Vaccine Beginning July 27, Health Department Says

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US biotechnology company Moderna said it plans to begin phase 3 trials of an experimental novel COVID-19 vaccine involving 30,000 participants at 87 locations beginning on July 27, the National Institute of Health’s Clinical Trials said in a notice on Tuesday.

      “The mRNA-1273 vaccine is being developed to prevent COVID-19, the disease resulting from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection. The study is designed to primarily evaluate the efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of mRNA-1273 to prevent COVID-19 for up to 2 years after the second dose of mRNA-1273,” the notice said.

      Moderna cited an estimated enrollment of 30,000 adults, with plans to divide participants into two groups given two doses of either the vaccine or a placebo 29 days apart, with the trial beginning on July 27 and ending on October 27.

      The company also said participants would be treated at 87 locations.

      Of the more than 100 experimental COVID-19 vaccines under development, more than 12 are in clinical trials, according to media reports.

    • 17:47

      WHO Says Russia 'Valued Participant' in Global Search for COVID-19 Vaccine

      MOSCOW, July 14 (Sputnik) - The World Health Organization monitors the progress of the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine on a par with other candidate vaccines from developers around the world and considers Russia a valued participant in the search for a universally available prevention against COVID-19, WHO spokesperson said on Tuesday.

      Russia's Sechenov University has completed the first phase of clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. Alexander Lukashev, the director of Sechenov's Institute of Medical Parasitology, Tropical and Vector-Borne Diseases, said that the trials had established the vaccine's safety on human health. The second phase will last until the end of July before registration documents are filed.

      "This research is indeed included in the landscape of candidate vaccines compiled and followed by WHO," the spokesperson said.

      According to the statement, the development of vaccines is a complex process with a high failure rate. With this in mind, it is hard to predict which one of the vaccine candidates in the works will be the first to complete all three required phases of clinical trials.

      "Through the ACT accelerator initiative WHO is working with its partners, Member States and all other stakeholders to develop the principles, framework and mechanisms needed to ensure the fair and equitable allocation of vaccines when they become available as well as treatments and diagnostics. The Russian Federation has been a valued participant in this process," the spokesperson said, when asked whether the agency had discussed the principles of distribution of the future vaccine with Moscow.

      According to the WHO protocols, a vaccine has to go through three phases of studies to be approved for large-scale production.

      Phase 1 normally involves small-scale studies on up to 100 participants to determine a candidate vaccine's safety and clinical tolerance. Phase 2 includes a larger number of participants, up to 1,000 and more representative with regard to age, ethnicity and other statistically significant factors. This phase pursues to the optimal dose, intervals between doses and the minimum necessary number of doses of a candidate vaccine in a target population.

      Phase 3 trials are the largest and can include up to 10,000 participants with the maximum representation of target population categories. A candidate vaccine is ready to move into industrial production if this last phase provides clear and definitive evidence of its safety and efficacy.

      WHO's COVID-19 register currently involves 23 candidate vaccines that have already launched trials on humans and another 140 that are yet at the stage of preclinical evaluation.

    • 16:29

      English Hospitals Suffering From Severe Diagnostic Equipment Shortages, Health Officials Say

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Hospitals in England have a severe shortage of diagnostic equipment, including CT and MRI scanners, ahead of the expected surge in demand following the first wave of the coronavirus disease outbreak, National Health Service (NHS) officials told The Guardian newspaper on Tuesday.

      "Much of the existing stock is faulty and unreliable, causing delay, disruption and added anxiety for patients," Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, the organization that represents the health service’s trusts, told the newspaper.

      These shortages will be exacerbated given that the NHS expects to see a surge in demand for scans and other treatments as the country emerges from the first wave of its COVID-19 outbreak, Cordery added.

      "The pressures are likely to intensify in the coming months as more people are referred for scans, reflecting pent up demand that didn’t surface during the initial surge of Covid-19 cases," the NHS Providers deputy chief executive told the newspaper.

      The number of people in England waiting for six weeks or more for imaging diagnostics has surged from 20,898 in May 2019 to 326,525 exactly one year later, the newspaper stated, citing government statistics.

      In a statement to the newspaper, NHS England said that further diagnostic capacity was required in order to meet demand.

      Millions of non-urgent surgeries and consultations were canceled by the UK’s NHS due to the ongoing coronavirus disease pandemic. A report in June assessed the potential to resume elective surgeries, although medical officials are predicting a severe backlog that would put immense pressure on the health service.

    • 16:28

      WHO's Tedros Says Discussed COVID-19 Response With Top European Officials

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday that he held a meeting with top officials from five European states to discuss the situation over the coronavirus and response to the pandemic.

      In particular, Tedros met with French, German, Austrian and Luxembourg health ministers — Olivier Veran, Jens Spahn, Rudi Anschober and Paulette Lenert, respectively — and the head of the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs, Alain Berset.

      "Met with Health Ministers [of France] @olivierveran, [of Germany] @jensspahn, [of Luxembourg] @LenertPaulette, [of Austria] @rudi_anschober & [Swiss] Federal Councilor @alain_berset while in Paris and discussed the #COVID19 situation & response," Tedros wrote on Twitter.

      According to the WHO chief, solidarity is the key element in the fight against the pandemic, and the European nations, such as France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Austria, are leading by example.

      The four European countries accepted 100 French COVID-19 patients in critical condition when the pandemic in France was at the peak.

    • 14:25

      Canadian Medicago Begins Clinical Trial of Plant-Based COVID-19 Vaccine, Statement Says

      TORONTO (Sputnik) - Canadian biopharmaceutical company Medicago is beginning the first stage of clinical trials of a plant-based novel coronavirus vaccine, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

      “We are thrilled to see our COVID-19 vaccine candidate enter the Phase 1 trial, and we look forward to obtaining safety and immunogenicity results in October,” Medicago Executive Vice-President said. “Our progress continues to demonstrate the value of Medicago’s unique plant-based vaccine technology.”

      The first stage of clinical trials will entail the randomized observation of 180 healthy volunteers, men and women aged 18 to 55 years, who will be immunized with varying doses of only the plant-based vaccine and in combination with an auxiliary stimulating substance.

      Medicago said that volunteers were administered the first doses on Monday.

      The company said that it intends to move to the second and third phases of the clinical trials in October, adding that it expects to produce approximately 100 million doses by the end of 2021.

      Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly stressed the daily constraints that much of the population is adhering to will be the new normal until a vaccine is developed.

    • 11:47

      President Macron: There Are Signs of COVID-19 Resurgence in France

      "I would like to make masks mandatory in all enclosed public spaces", Macron said in a televised interview. "We have indications that (the outbreak) is accelerating a bit."

    • 11:46

      India's Junior Minister Self-Quarantines After Contact With COVID-Infected Head of Jammu and Kashmir

      India's Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region, Dr. Jitendra Singh, has gone into self-quarantine after coming into contact with the COVID-19-positive head of the restive Jammu and Kashmir territory.

      He had come into contact with Jammu and Kashmir's appointed President Ravindra Raina, a member of Prime Minister Modi's BJP and the Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, who had already tested positive for COVID-19.

    • 11:24

      Palestine’s Health Ministry Says 12-Day-Old Infant Died From COVID-19 in Hebron

      GAZA (Sputnik) – The youngest victim of the novel coronavirus in Palestine, a 12-day-old baby, died on Tuesday in the Hebron province, the Health Ministry has said in a press release.

      "A 12-day-old baby, who died today in the city of Yatta in Hebron, became the youngest victim of the coronavirus in Palestine", the ministry said.

      The total number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Palestine has risen to 7,734. A total of 16 patients are currently in intensive care, the statement read.

      The death toll now stands at 45, the ministry said.

      According to Palestine’s WAFA news agency, the tally of recoveries has reached 1,258.

    • 11:11

      Indian State of Bihar to Go Into Lockdown

      "Bihar government has decided on a 15-day lockdown from July 16 to July 31. All city municipalities, district headquarters, block headquarters will stay under lockdown. The guidelines are being finalised", deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi tweeted.

    • 08:35

      Total Death Toll in UK Rises to 55,873, Reuters Tally Shows

    • 07:36

      Russia Records 6,248 COVID-19 Cases in Past 24 Hours

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia has registered 6,248 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours (6,537 yesterday), bringing the cumulative total to 739,947, the country's coronavirus response centre said on Tuesday.

      "Over the past 24 hours, Russia has confirmed 6,248 COVID-19 cases in 83 regions, of which 1,531 (24.5 percent) have been detected actively, with people showing no clinical symptoms," the response centre said in a statement, adding that the total count has grown to 739,947 cases in 85 regions, with the daily increase standing at 0.9 percent.

      Moscow has registered 613 cases in a 24-hour period, which is more than any other region in Russia, followed by St. Petersburg with 281 new cases and the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region with 268 cases (compared to 672, 291 and 270 yesterday, respectively).

      As many as 175 COVID-19 patients died in Russia over the past 24 hours (104 yesterday). The total death toll has reached 11,614.

      A total of 8,804 coronavirus patients have been discharged (compared to 2,960 yesterday), bringing the total number of recoveries to 512,825.

      According to the Russian public health watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, over 23.4 million tests to detect COVID-19 have been conducted in the country since the beginning of the outbreak, and almost 274,000 suspected virus carriers remain under medical monitoring.

    • 07:34

      Kazakhstan Extends Nationwide Quarantine Until 2 August Over COVID-19

      NUR-SULTAN (Sputnik) - The authorities of Kazakhstan have decided to extend the nationwide coronavirus-related quarantine until 2 August as part of efforts to stabilise the epidemiological situation in the country, Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin said on Tuesday.

      "The second week of strict restrictive quarantine measures is underway. The infection rate is stabilising. At the recommendation of the Health Ministry and in order to further stabilise the epidemiological situation, we have decided to extend the restrictive measures in the republic for another two weeks from 20 July to 2 August", Mamin said at a government meeting.

      On 5 July, Kazakhstan introduced a two-week quarantine amid a surge in coronavirus cases with a possibility of its extension. On Monday, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that the existing quarantine restrictions would be extended until the end of July.

      Last week, the Chinese Embassy in Kazakhstan warned its citizens about an outbreak of an unknown type of pneumonia with a higher mortality rate than COVID-19 spreading in Kazakhstan. The Kazakh Ministry of Health has denied the information about an outbreak of a new unknown pneumonia, while a WHO spokesman suggested that one of the explanations for the outbreak of pneumonia is COVID-19.

      According to Caroline Clarinval, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Kazakhstan, a group of WHO experts will son arrive in the Central Asian nation to study the spike in new pneumonia cases in the country. The WHO official also believes that it is still to early to draw some conclusions about the new type of pneumonia.

      Kazakhstan has so far confirmed 61,755 cases of COVID-19 and nearly 400 fatalities.

    • 06:29

      Office for National Statistics Says UK Economy Shrinks by Fifth During Lockdown

    • 05:03

      COVID-19 Tally in India Exceeds 900,000 Cases, Death Toll Reaches 23,727

      NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - India has confirmed over 28,000 new cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, with the total number of those infected having reached 906,752, the country's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Tuesday.

      The death toll from the disease has reached 23,727, with 553 new fatalities recorded in the 24-hour-period.

      India's central state of Maharashtra with confirmed 260,924 cases remains the most affected region. It is followed by the southern state of Tamil Nadu, with 142,798 cases, and the National Capital Territory of Delhi, with 113,740 cases.

      A day earlier, India registered 28,700 new coronavirus cases.

      India comes third in terms of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases after the United States and Brazil.

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