12:20 GMT11 August 2020
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    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (80)
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    The day before, the drugmaker Moderna Inc said that it had received an additional $472 million from the US government's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to support the development of its novel coronavirus vaccine.

    White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has said that he is "hopeful" of some "good news" regarding a coronavirus vaccine and other treatments in the coming days.

    "We're hopeful that, with some of the breakthrough technology on therapeutics, that we will be able to announce some new therapies in the coming days", he noted.

    The statement came as more than 1,000 Americans died for five straight days last week for the first time since May.

    The United States remains the country with the most coronavirus cases (over 4.2 million) and the highest COVID-19 death toll (over 146,000), according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

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    • 23:34

      Belgium's Antwerp Province Imposes Curfew Due to Coronavirus

      BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The authorities of Belgium's northernmost Antwerp Province have imposed curfew from 11:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., and also ordered companies to return to remote work where possible due to a sharp jump in the number of cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

      Belgian state broadcaster RTBF said that in the mentioned period, everyone must stay home, except for movements caused by extreme necessity (travel to work or to the hospital).

      All cafes and restaurants must close no later than 11:00 p.m. All contact sports for athletes over 18 years of age are temporarily prohibited. Banquet halls and fitness centers will also be closed in some areas of the province.

      Earlier, experts announced the beginning of a second wave of the coronavirus epidemic in Belgium. The most difficult situation with the spread of COVID-19 has reportedly been observed in Antwerp, with the situation in the country's south and in Brussels being more stable.

      On Monday, the Belgian authorities held an extraordinary meeting of the National Security Council in connection with the coronavirus spread. Following the meeting, Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes urged citizens to limit contacts and take more careful precautions.

      According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of COVID-19 cases in Belgium totals 66,026, with 9,821 deaths and 17,439 recoveries.

      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 646,000 people, with the number of cases worldwide exceeding 16 million.

    • 22:05

      Brazil's COVID-19 Case Tally Up 23,000 in Past Day, Death Toll Up 600, Health Ministry Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Brazil has confirmed over 23,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus disease, more than 600 people have died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the country's Health Ministry said in a statement.

      The ministry said the case tally had risen by 23,284 to 2,442,375 and the death toll had grown by 614 to 87,618 in the past day.

      The day before, the rise in cases was higher - 24,578 and the increase in the number of deaths was lower - 555.

      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 646,000 people, with the number of cases worldwide exceeding 16 million.

    • 20:39

      Global Tally of COVID-19 Cases Surpasses 16Mln, Death Toll Tops 646,000, WHO Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The global cumulative toll of confirmed coronavirus cases has surpassed 16 million, with over 646,000 fatalities being recorded so far, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its daily situation report on Monday.

      Over the past day, 254,274 infections and 5,490 coronavirus-related fatalities have been recorded worldwide, the WHO said.

      According to the reports, the global number of confirmed cases since the outbreak has now reached 16,114,449, while the death toll has risen to 646,641.

      Most cases and deaths — 8.6 million and close to 337,500, respectively — remain concentrated in the Americas. The United States continues to be the country with the highest single count of cases and fatalities — 4.1 million and over 145,700, respectively.

    • 20:23

      IMF Approves $4.3Bln in COVID-19 Emergency Support for South Africa

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The International Monetary Fund said on Monday it has approved $4.3 billion as emergency COVID-19 funding to help South Africa balance its economy and meet payment obligations amid challenges posed by the pandemic.

      “The IMF approved US$4.3 billion in emergency financial assistance under the Rapid Financing Instrument to support the authorities’ efforts in addressing the challenging health situation and severe economic impact of the COVID-19 shock,” the world funding body said in a statement.

      The IMF said the viral outbreak has caused severe structural constraints to South Africa’s growth, weakening economic activity that heightened unemployment, poverty, and income inequalities despite significant government spending.

      “Once the pandemic is behind, there is a pressing need to ensure debt sustainability and implement structural reforms to support the recovery and achieve sustainable and inclusive growth,” the IMF said. “The Rapid Financing Instrument (is) to meet the urgent balance of payment needs stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19.”

      The virus has infected more than 445,000 South Africans and killed nearly 6,800, according to John Hopkins University data.

    • 20:05

      Washington, DC Imposes 14-Day Quarantine For People Coming From 27 States

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US capital city's health agency on Monday imposed a 14-day quarantine on people traveling from 27 states with surging COVID-19 cases.

      “Beginning today, Monday, July 27, anyone coming into Washington, DC from a high-risk state (within the prior 14 days) who was traveling for non-essential activities will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from their arrival in the District,” the statement read.

      The list includes such states as California, Florida, North and South Carolinas, Texas, Washington, Georgia and Delaware.

      The Washington, DC Department of Health promised to update this list on 10 August.

      On Monday, Washington DC registered 11,858 COVID-19 cases and 582 deaths caused by the infection, it added.

    • 18:50

      Trump Says He Has Not Seen National Security Advisor O'Brien ‘Lately’

      "I haven't seen him lately", US President Donald Trump told reporters before leaving the White House on his way to the US state of North Carolina.

      The White House said O’Brien has exhibited mild symptoms and has self-isolated at a secure location off site where he works in accordance with his duties.

    • 18:50

      Canada Surpasses 114,000 COVID-19 Cases, Death Toll Exceeds 8,890, Health Agencies Say

    • 18:45

      Trump, Pence Not at Risk of COVID-19 After O’Brien Tests Positive, White House Says

      “There is no risk of exposure to the President or the Vice President”, the White House said. “The work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted".

      O’Brien has mild symptoms, has been self-isolating and is working from a secure location off-site, the White House added.

    • 13:36

      Vietnam Registers Another 11 COVID-19 Cases in Da Nang - State Media

      Vietnam has confirmed another 11 COVID-19 cases in Da Nang, the city that registered over weekend the country’s first domestically transmitted case in over three months, the government’s online newspaper reported on Monday.

      Over the past weekend, three positive tests for the coronavirus disease were registered in Da Nang, and the other case was detected in the neighboring province of Quang Nam. Two of the patients are on lung ventilation. Earlier on Monday, government health experts said that the current outbreak has been caused by a new type of the disease that is more infectious.

      The eleven new patients are Da Nang residents aged between 24 and 70. Two of them are health workers at Da Nang Hospital, and another seven are patients of the same facility. They had been initially hospitalized with symptoms unrelated to COVID-19.

      The authorities have already ordered social distancing in Da Nang and are currently evacuating roughly 80,000 tourists from the coastal city.

      The country’s coronavirus tally now stands at 431. Public health authorities have so far confirmed no deaths from the disease.

    • 13:00

      Trump National Security Adviser O'Brien Has Reportedly Tested Positive for COVID-19

      White House National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien has tested positive for COVID-19, Politico reported on Monday, citing an administration official.

      The media outlet noted that it was unclear how O'Brien contracted the disease and how much personal contact he has head with US President Donald Trump recently.

    • 12:35

      AstraZeneca Signs $174Mln Production Deal for COVID-19 Vaccine With Emergent BioSolutions

      Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has signed a deal worth $174 million with biotech firm Emergent BioSolutions for the large-scale production of a candidate vaccine against COVID-19 developed by the University of Oxford, according to a press release on Monday.

      The AZD1222 vaccine, which has performed well in clinical trials to date, was developed by researchers at the University of Oxford and licensed by AstraZeneca. The latest deal will help scale up contract development and manufacturing services (CDMO) for the candidate vaccine.

      "As COVID-19 vaccine candidates progress through the pipeline, Emergent stands ready alongside leading innovators to rapidly deploy our CDMO services to help meet the substantial demand for a vaccine – anchored on our foundational expertise in development and manufacturing and propelled by our commitment to our mission – to protect and enhance life," Syed Husain, Emergent senior vice president, said in the press release.

      The implementation of the agreement will take place at Emergent's facility in the US city of Baltimore. In June, AstraZeneca announced plans to produce and distribute as many as two billion doses of the candidate vaccine. The pharmaceutical firm is hoping to roll out the first doses by September.

      The UK government has already concluded a deal to receive 100 million doses of the potential vaccine, which has proven to stimulate the production of antibodies and virus-fighting T-cells against COVID-19 throughout clinical trials.

    • 12:20

      Catalan Leader Vows to Toughen Coronavirus Restrictions as Cases Surge

      Catalan leader Quim Torra warned on Monday that the next few days will show if a collective effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus could still avert tougher restrictions on public life.

      "The situation is critical and if we cannot stop it we will have to roll [the reopening] back," he said in a televised address.

      Spain's northeastern region emerged as an epicenter of the viral rebound two weeks ago, soon after the end of a nationwide lockdown in June. Catalonia accounts for almost a fourth of the nation's overall cases.

      The Catalan authorities earlier asked residents not to go outside unless absolutely necessary, while people in Barcelona and other worst-hit areas were banned from gathering in groups of more than 10. Bars and restaurants now operate at 50 percent capacity.

    • 12:15

      Some Countries Now See COVID-19 Resurgence After Passing First Peak of Pandemic, WHO Says

      Some countries that have already passed the first peak of the coronavirus pandemic now see resurgence in certain geographic areas and settings, which creates a mixed "coronavirus picture" across the globe, Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead of COVID-19 response at the World Health Organization (WHO), said on Monday.

      "There's a number of countries that are really seeing intense transmission. Other countries, which have already passed through their first peak, many of them are keeping transmission low with the public health infrastructure and all of the tools that they've put in place to find, test, isolate, care for cases, contact trace. They're having success at keeping that transmission low. In some of those countries, they're starting to see a resurgence, and they're starting to see resurgence in particular areas. They're seeing clusters of cases, and outbreaks, and pockets of clusters, of cases in certain geographic areas or in areas that are associated with certain types of industries, like we've seen some outbreaks that are happening with regards to nightclubs," Van Kerkhove told a virtual press briefing.

      The countries' determination to resolutely counter the resurgence through breaking transmission chains inspires optimism, the WHO official noted.

      "The good news and the hope that we see is that in many of those ... situations countries are once again applying this whole-government approach and these really strong aggressive actions in terms of finding these cases, very quickly isolating them, carrying out contact tracing so that we break the chains of transmission," Van Kerkhove said.

      Amid this "mixed picture", countries that are now going through the intense transmission phase are having "a very difficult time," but are still able to overcome it, Van Kerkhove concluded.

    • 11:58

      Hong Kong Reportedly Bans Public Gatherings Larger Than 2 as COVID-19 Cases Continue Rise

      The Hong Kong government bans public gatherings of more than two people for a week starting July 29 as the city continues seeing a record rise in coronavirus cases, Hong Kong Free Press reported on Monday.

      The ban will not apply to family members and people traveling on public or private transport. The new measure was announced by Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung.

      For the same period, the city also bans dining at restaurants and orders wearing masks in outdoor public places. Earlier in July, Hong Kong made face masks mandatory in indoor public places amid the rise in cases.

      In total, over the past two weeks, the city has recorded 1,164 COVID-19 cases, with only 113 of them imported.

    • 11:57

      Iran's COVID-19 Death Toll Rises by 212 to Nearly 16,000, Health Ministry Says

      Iran’s COVID-19 death toll has risen to 15,912 after a further 212 deaths were reported in a single day, Sima Sadat Lari, a spokeswoman of the country’s Ministry of Health, said Monday, as broadcast by the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN).

      Over the past month, the epidemiological situation in the country has worsened, both in terms of the average daily infection rate and the number of coronavirus-related deaths. Earlier in July, President Hassan Rouhani admitted that the country was currently facing a second wave of COVID-19, adding that Iran would overcome this crisis thanks to a collective effort.

      According to the spokeswoman, the health authorities have registered 2,434 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours and the total toll reached 293,606. Meanwhile, the number of recoveries stands at 255,144.

      The single-day record of the number of deaths in Iran — 229 fatalities — was recorded on July 21.

    • 11:55

      COVID-19 Outbreak in Vietnam’s Da Nang Caused by New Type of Disease, Acting Minister Says

      A recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Vietnam that has resulted in four people testing positive has been caused by a new type of the disease that is more infectious, government health experts said on Monday.

      Genome analysis has shown that the disease is a new type of COVID-19 that is believed to be more infectious, Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long was cited as saying. Leading Vietnamese medical experts have been sent to the coastal region to help contain the outbreak.

      Two of the individuals who tested positive in the region over the past weekend are currently requiring the use of ventilation devices, the government confirmed.

      Earlier on Monday, the Vietnamese government announced that 80,000 tourists currently in Da Nang would be evacuated over the next four days.

      Since the start of the outbreak, 420 cases of the coronavirus disease have been detected in Vietnam. There have been no registered deaths linked to the disease to date.

    • 11:23

      Italian Pharma Boss Says Coronavirus Vaccine May Hit Market in January

      A coronavirus vaccine researched by the University of Oxford in collaboration with AstraZeneca company and Italian biopharmaceutical firm Advent IRBM is expected to make it through to market by January, its president told the Libero daily in an interview out Monday.

      "The ChAdOx1 vaccine has been successfully tested in a thousand patients. We are in stage 3 of the trials where it is being tested in 10,000 people. If all goes well its bulk production may start in late September," Piero Di Lorenzo said, adding that millions of doses may get to the market early next year.

      In the European Union, the vaccine will be first distributed among Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands and priced at around $2-3 for a dose. Di Lorenzo said that vaccine production will be ramped up fast and the pandemic will hopefully be over next year.

    • 10:57

      WHO Chief Says COVID-19 Cases Doubling in Past Six Weeks

      The coronavirus pandemic keeps accelerating, with COVID-19 cases doubling over the past six weeks, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday.

      "This is the sixth time a global health emergency has been declared under the International Health Regulations, but it's easily the most severe. Almost 16 million cases have now been reported to WHO and more than 640,000 deaths, and the pandemic continues to accelerate. In the past six weeks, the total number of cases has roughly doubled," Tedros told a virtual press conference.

      The WHO chief announced that he would reconvene the Emergency Committee later this week to "re-evaluate the pandemic" and advise him "accordingly," as required under the International Health Regulations.

    • 10:23

      Japan Plans Nationwide Survey on COVID-19's Mental Health Impact, Reports Suggest

      The Japanese Health Ministry is set to carry out a major nationwide survey on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people's mental health, the Kyodo news agency reported on Monday.

      According to the outlet's sources, about 10,000 people are expected to participate in the poll, which is set to reveal whether the government's demands to avoid unnecessary outings and voluntarily close businesses have resulted in growing cases of depression and other mental issues.

      The results of the survey will be examined and used by local mental health and welfare centers to prepare for a possible increase in mental issues among citizens amid the threat of the second wave of the pandemic.

      The Kyodo news agency stated that mental health and welfare centers run by local governments detected a surge in mental health consultations in the last two months amid the lockdown.

      Japan has so far registered nearly 30,000 cases of infections with almost 1,000 related deaths. Meanwhile, over 21,000 people have recovered from the disease.

    • 09:20

      Seven US Troops, 5 Dependents Test Positive for COVID-19 Upon Arrival in S Korea, USFK Says

      The United States Forces Korea (USFK) has confirmed on Monday that seven troops and five dependents tested positive for COVID-19 upon their arrival in South Korea from July 14-24, adding that all the infected individuals were transferred to an isolation facility.

      “Seven USFK service members and five dependents tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in South Korea between July 14 and 24. Five service members and three dependents arrived at Osan Air Base on U.S. government chartered flights from the United States on July 14, 19, 20 and 22. Two service members and two dependents arrived at Incheon International Airport from the United States on separate commercial flights on July 22 and 24,” USFK said in a press release.

      All the infected individuals have been moved to an isolation facility and all transportation assets that were used to bring the personnel and their dependents to South Korea have been sanitized, the USFK said.

      Clusters of COVID-19 cases have also been registered at US military bases in Japan over recent weeks. More than 200 cases of the disease have been registered at US Marine Corps facilities on the island of Okinawa since July 4, with large clusters registered at the Futenma and Camp Hansen bases.

    • 09:15

      Germany Records 340 New COVID-19 Cases Amid Weekend Drop in Reported Infections

      Germany has confirmed 340 COVID-10 cases in the past 24 hours, indicative of the lower number of infections reported over the weekends, the Robert Koch Institute’s data showed on Monday.

      This brings the tally to 205,609 cases.

      The death toll remains unchanged at 9,118 for a second day in a row. Some 190,000 people have recovered since the start of the outbreak.

      A day earlier, the country registered 305 new coronavirus cases. On working days last week, other than Monday, the daily cases ranged from some 450 to 815.

    • 08:39

      UK Government Launches New Program to Prevent COVID-19 Deaths By Tackling Obesity

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      UK Government Launches New Program to Prevent COVID-19 Deaths By Tackling Obesity

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The UK government on Monday has launched a new program to reduce obesity in the country in order to prevent additional deaths from the coronavirus disease and ease pressure on the National Health Service (NHS).
      Read more
    • 08:39

      Algeria to Grant Special Health Plan to 260,000 Medical Staffers at Forefront of Pandemic

      Algeria has decided to provide 266,113 employees of the health sector, who are currently facing a direct risk of contracting COVID-19, with specially-tailored medical insurance, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said.

      "Private insurance is the least that the state can offer to express the nation’s gratitude for what they experience being on the frontlines since the beginning of the pandemic," Tebboune said, according to a statement issued in the wake of a government meeting late on Sunday.

      The insurance includes health and medical assistance, along with transportation and home treatment, the statement read.

      The special proposal will also cover "a death caused by any reason," as well as those fatalities that happen "as the result of COVID-19 or any infection-related illnesses."

      The government has also decided to provide narrow specialists with the financial aid of up to DZD 30,000 ($250) for a three-month period.

    • 07:06

      Coronavirus Crisis in South Africa Worse Than Anticipated, WHO Says

      A rapid increase in coronavirus cases is overwhelming South Africa's health system, exceeding the expectations of its spread, with the lockdown easing possibly contributing to higher transmission rates, the regional adviser for Africa with the World Health Organization's Health Emergency Programme told Sputnik.

      "While an increase was predicted, I think the situation that we are seeing in South Africa at the moment is exceeding the expectations at this point. It is almost overwhelming the system. It is higher than has been anticipated," Miriam Nanyunja said in an interview.

      South Africa started gradually easing the lockdown in May in order to salvage the pandemic-hit economy, allowing for small businesses to open to feed the communities.

      "They had to do that to balance between people’s survival and public health. What I think has been the challenge is when they eased these restrictions people came out a little bit fatigued by the interventions and there’s been a bit of complacency," Nanyunja said.

      She said this complacency was especially pronounced in places with a high population density. People moving in and out of crowded cities for work without strictly observing prevention measures, driving the transmission rate upwards.

    • 06:29

      Australia Registers Single-Day Record of 549 New COVID-19 Cases, Leading Medical Official Says

      A single-day record of 549 new positive tests has been confirmed in Australia over the past 24 hours, with the bulk of these new cases being registered in the state of Victoria, deputy chief medical officer Michael Kidd said on Monday.

      “In the past 24 hours, 549 people have been diagnosed as new cases of COVID-19 in Australia. This is the single-largest daily number of diagnoses of COVID-19 in our country. The previous highest reported daily number of new cases was 502 cases five days ago. The figures are very concerning,” Kidd said at a national press briefing.

      Almost all of the new positive tests were registered in the state of Victoria, which has seen a rapid surge in the spread of the disease. State Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed that six people in the state had died over the past 24 hours.

      “There are 8,696 coronavirus cases in Victoria, that’s 532 new. There are 245 Victorians in hospital and 44 of those are receiving intensive care … I’m very sad to have to inform you that there are six further Victorians who have passed away as a result of this infectious virus,” Andrews said.

      The latest rise is a significant increase from the 459 new positive tests registered in the state on Saturday.

    • 06:16

      UK May Impose Quarantine for Travel From Germany, France, Junior Health Minister Says

    • 05:28

      Vietnamese Authorities to Evacuate 80,000 Tourists From Da Nang Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

      The Vietnamese authorities have begun evacuating roughly 80,000 tourists from Da Nang after at least three new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the city over recent days, the country’s government said on Monday.

      “It needs at least four days to evacuate about 80,000 tourists from the central city of Da Nang after three city’s residents tested positive for Covid-19 over the past weekend,” the Vietnamese government said in a press release published on its official website.

      Vietnamese carriers will conduct roughly 100 flights a day to 11 domestic destinations in order to evacuate all of the tourists. Since Saturday, the local authorities in Da Nang have enforced strict quarantine measures, banning gatherings of more than 30 people. Further testing is underway to identify further cases of the disease.

    • 04:54

      Pakistan Records Lowest Number of COVID-19 Deaths in 24 Hours in Over Three Months

    • 04:43

      India Witnesses Biggest Single-Day Spike in COVID-19 Cases

      India's COVID-19 tally has reached the 1,435,453 mark, with 708 deaths. The nation witnessed its highest single-day spike of 49,931 cases over the last 24 hours.

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