23:52 GMT03 August 2020
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    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (51)
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    The global death toll from the coronavirus infection has topped 678,000; over 17.5 million cases of infection have been detected, and almost 10.2 million of the people who have contracted the virus have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, which tracks and compiles data from federal and local authorities, the media and other sources.

    The United States has recorded more than 4.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, the latest data from Johns Hopkins University of Baltimore, MD showed on Saturday.

    The university cited health officials in the US, who have documented 4,561,511 cases of COVID-19, as the data showed.

    The United States has also documented 153,415 deaths caused by the disease, according to the data.

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    • 03:24

      China Registers 49 New COVID-19 Cases, 20 Asymptomatic Cases Over 24-Hour Period

      BEIJING (Sputnik) - China registered 49 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, 14 COVID-19 patients recovered over that period, the country’s National Health Commission said on Sunday.

      Out of the 49 new cases, 33 are local, while the rest are imported. According to the commission, most of the local cases have been registered in Xinjiang, an autonomous territory in northwestern China, where new sparks in infection were recently reported.

      The country’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases now stands at 84,385, the death toll is 4,634. The total number of recovered individuals in China stands at 79,003. The total number of imported cases is 2,085.

      In the past 24 hours, 20 new asymptomatic cases were registered in China, nine of them imported. More than 250 asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus are being monitored.

    • 02:10

      Mexico’s Coronavirus Death Toll Surpasses 47,000 - Health Ministry

      BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - Mexico, which has surpassed the UK in terms of the coronavirus death toll, now has a total of more than 47,000 confirmed coronavirus-related fatalities, the country’s Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell has announced.

      "On August 1, 2020 there are 434,193 confirmed cases and 87,771 suspected cases of # COVID19. There have been 477,733 negative tests, 47,472 confirmed deaths and 284,847 people recovered," Lopez-Gatell said on Twitter on Saturday.

      On Friday, Mexico surpassed the United Kingdom in the coronavirus death toll count, becoming the country with the third-largest number of COVID-19 fatalities, after the United States and Brazil. The UK's coronavirus death toll currently stands at over 46,200, while the US and Brazil have reported a total of around 154,300 and 93,500 fatalities, respectively.

      Mexico reported 688 new coronavirus-related deaths on Friday and 8,458 new cases. A day earlier, Mexico reported 7,730 new COVID-19 cases and 639 new coronavirus-related fatalities.

      Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday that he would start wearing a protective mask after corruption in the country was defeated. The Mexican leader has been showing up at public events and daily press conferences without a mask, claiming that its benefit in protecting against viruses has not been scientifically proven. At the same time, he tries to follow social distancing guidelines and wears a mask only where official regulations require it, for example, on airplanes.

    • 00:30

      California Reports Total of Over 500,000 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Health Department Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - California has become the first US state where the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases has surpassed half a million, according to the California Department of Public Health.

      "The 7-day average number of new cases is 7,819 per day. The 7-day average from the week prior was 10,005. California has 500,130 confirmed cases to date," the health department said in its latest, Saturday, update.

      According to the latest data, California has confirmed 6,542 new cases and 219 new deaths.

      "There have been 9,224 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic," the California health department said.

      A total of 7,886,587 coronavirus tests have been conducted in California.

      Florida is second, after California, in terms of the number of confirmed coronavirus cases: a total of 480,028 COVID-19 cases and over 7,000 coronavirus-related deaths have been confirmed in Florida, according to the state’s Department of Health.

      In Texas, a total of 430,485 coronavirus cases have been confirmed. The state’s coronavirus death toll stands at 6,837, according to the Department of State Health Services.

      There are now a total of 4.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The US COVID-19 death toll stands at over 154,300. The United States has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and fatalities of all the countries in the world.

    • 23:17

      Over 45,300 New COVID-19 Cases Confirmed in Brazil, Health Ministry Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - More than 45,300 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Brazil in the past 24 hours, while the death toll increased by over 1,000 in that period, according to the latest data from the Health Ministry.

      Brazil now has a total of 2,707,877 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 45,392 new cases having been registered in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Saturday. Over the same period, 1,088 new deaths were confirmed, bringing the country’s total death toll up to 93,563.

      On Friday, Brazil reported 52,383 new COVID-19 cases and over 1,200 new coronavirus-related deaths. A week ago, Brazil’s coronavirus death toll stood at around 86,400, thus the country has seen a weekly rise of about 7,000 coronavirus-related fatalities, one thousand less than the previous weekly rise.

      Over 1.8 million people have recovered from COVID-19 in Brazil since the start of the epidemic in the country, according to the health ministry.

      On Friday, Mexico surpassed the United Kingdom in the coronavirus death toll count, becoming the country with the third-largest number of COVID-19 fatalities, after the United States and Brazil. The US and Brazil are also the top two countries in terms of the total number of coronavirus cases.

    • 22:05

      Italy Now Has Over 200,000 Coronavirus Recoveries, Health Ministry Says

      ROME (Sputnik) - The number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 in Italy has surpassed 200,000, according to the country’s Ministry of Health.

      According to the latest Saturday data from the ministry, there are now 200,229 recovered individuals in Italy.

      There are almost 12,500 active coronavirus cases in Italy, most of them are in self-isolation, while 705 are hospitalized, according to the health ministry. Only 43 patients are in intensive care.

      Italy has a total of nearly 248,000 confirmed coronavirus cases. The country’s COVID-19 death toll stands at 35,146.

      In the course of July, Italy registered about 200-300 new coronavirus cases per day, which is about the same rate as at the start of the outbreak in the country.

      Italy was one of the first European countries to face a COVID-19 outbreak this year. Italy declared a state of emergency on 31 January. Earlier this week, Italian media reported that the government had decided to prolong the coronavirus-linked state of emergency until October.

    • 20:22

      South Africa Coronavirus Cases Top 500,000, Health Ministry Says

      The number of people infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus in South Africa has topped half a million, the nation’s health ministry said on Saturday, according to Reuters.

      The country registered 10,107 new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide total to 503,290, since South Africa registered its first infection case in April, according to the ministry.

      South Africa is the nation worst-hit by the virus on the continent, containing over half of Africa's COVID-19 tally, a number approaching one million.

    • 16:20

      Massive Rally Against COVID-19 Restrictions Ends in Berlin After Police Interference

      BERLIN, August 1 (Sputnik) - A massive demonstration against coronavirus restrictions in Berlin has ended after police interfered, a Sputnik correspondent said on Saturday.

      Earlier in the day, police told Sputnik that there were approximately 20,000 demonstrators and that interference was possible as the participants refused to follow the necessary health precautions. The event was organized by Stuttgart's Querdenken 711 initiative group to celebrate what they believe is the end of the pandemic, with one organizer billing it as "the day of freedom." It was originally planned only for 1,000 people.

      At about 5:20 p.m. local time (15:20 GMT), the organizers announced that police had required them to finish the event and clear the June 17 Street by 6:30 p.m. (16:30 GMT). The protesters responded with a disapproving murmur and slogans like "We are staying here," "We are the people," and others. Some were sitting on the pavement, urging everyone else to stay put until a large group began moving away at 5:40 p.m. (15:40 GMT).

      As of now, only small groups of protesters, many of whom came from other regions, are remaining at the scene.

    • 15:11

      France Begins Testing Travellers for COVID-19

      Travellers entering France from 16 countries where the coronavirus infection has been spreading widely now have to undergo virus tests upon arrival at French airports and ports, AP reported. 

      In July, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that the tests would be required starting 1 August for passengers France is allowing in from a list of approved countries unless they have a negative test done within 72 hours of their departure.

      Those who test positive in France as of Saturday must self-isolate for 14 days, authorities say. 

    • 14:45

      Vaccine Against COVID-19 to Be Given in Russia for Free, Health Minister Says

      NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (Sputnik) - Russia's vaccine against COVID-19 will be available in the country free of charge, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Saturday.

      "We are planning to have the vaccination against the coronavirus fully covered by the budget. As such, the vaccination protocol is known to everyone, it [the vaccination] will be a scheduled one," Murashko told journalists.

    • 14:18

      Some 17,000 People Reportedly Hit Streets of Berlin to Protest COVID-19 Measures

      MOSCOW, August 1 (Sputnik) - Approximately 17,000 people in Berlin joined on Saturday a demonstration to protest the measures against COVID-19 imposed by the German government, the Berliner Zeitung newspaper reported, citing the law enforcement.

      The event was organized by Stuttgart's Querdenken 711 initiative group to celebrate what they believe is the end of the pandemic, with one organizer billing it as "the day of freedom." It was originally planned only for 1,000 people.

      According to the Berlin police, the officers are asking the participants to follow necessary health precautions, but their requests are ignored. The police have deployed a helicopter to better survey the situation.

      Germany has confirmed a total of 208,698 cases, with a death toll of 9,141.

      People attend a demonstration initiated by the initiative Querdenken-711 with the slogan the end of the pandemic-the day of freedom to protest against the current measurements to curb the COVID-19 spreading in Berlin, on August 1, 2020.

      Protests Against Tighter Coronavirus Measures in Berlin - Video

      Earlier this week, Robert Koch Institute president Lothar Wieler stressed that German citizens must abide by the coronavirus measures "for the upcoming months," adding that the rules should not be questioned.
      Read more
    • 13:22

      China's Top Female Tennis Player Withdraws From US Tournaments Due to COVID-19

      China’s top female tennis player Wang Qiang announced Saturday she will not be taking part in the US Open and other US tournaments due to travel restrictions and the COVID-19 situation in the country.

      Wang’s statement on her Weibo account comes just two days after world number one female tennis player, Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, made the same announcement.

      "I'm very sad to announce to everybody that due to international travel restrictions and safety concerns, my team and I have decided to withdraw from Western & Southern Open and US Open. I want to thank everyone for their outstanding efforts and hope to see you again next year in the US Open season!" Wang wrote on her Chinese social media page.

      Wang, who occupies the 29th position in the women’s world ranking, also announced she will no longer be training under tennis coach Thomas Drouet for the same reasons.

      "Under the circumstances of [me] being unable to go abroad for competitions and the coach being unable to enter the country, Thomas and I agreed after many discussions to end the cooperation. I thank him for the help and guidance he has provided me along the way. I thank him for his help and for everything he sacrificed, I wish him and his family all the best!" the athlete added.

      The Cincinnati Masters, otherwise known as the Western & Southern Open, and the US Open in New York City are scheduled back-to-back between 20 August and 13 September. The entry list of players remains in flux and is being updated daily due to the pandemic-related disruptions.

    • 13:20

      Over 67,000 New COVID-19 Cases Registered in US in 24 Hours

      More than 67,000 new cases of COVID-19 infection were registered across the United States in the past 24 hours and 1,259 people died from the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

      This takes the nationwide total to 4,562,170 infections while over 2.3 million have recovered. A staggering 153,320 deaths from the disease have been registered, the university’s COVID-19 dashboard showed.

      The US tally is nearly double that of the second most infected nation, Brazil, in both infections and fatalities.

      Unlike many other nations, there is no one official go-to tally on the US as a whole, rather health departments on the state level each release data at differing times of the day. This way, nationwide US tally may differ from source to source. Nevertheless, the John Hopkins University worldwide dashboard has become the de facto US and global tally counter, compiling COVID-19 figures from government sources, health services and individual hospitals.

      Globally, over 17.6 million cases of infection have been detected and nearly 680,000 people have died from the coronavirus since December 2019.

    • 12:08

      Finland on Way to Restart More International Flights in August

       Air carriers Finnair, Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines, Latvia’s airBaltic, Juneyao Airlines and Icelandair have unveiled plans to increase the number of flights performed from Finnish airports in August.

      "We will add new routes to our traffic plan in August. In August, we will start flights to Alanya, Bergen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Crete, Milan, Mallorca, Rhodes, Rome, and Warsaw," Finnair wrote on Twitter.

      The Finnish flag carrier also hopes to get China’s permission to open a second weekly frequency to Shanghai on 11 August. Finnair has been operating one weekly flight to the Chinese city since 23 July.

      Qatar Airways, in turn, resumed three weekly flights to Helsinki in late July, becoming the only Gulf carrier to serve four Nordic capitals – Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki.

      "The resumption of Helsinki flights will see the national carrier of the State of Qatar operate 22 weekly flights to the Nordics," it said in a press release.

      Japan Airlines and the Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines also eye stepping up flights to and from Helsinki.

      In addition to air services between the two capitals, Latvia’s airBaltic resumed flights between Riga and Finland’s coastal city of Turku. The flights will be performed five times a week.

      Starting 20 August, Icelandair is set to resume two weekly flights between Reykjavik and Helsinki.

    • 11:00

      Russia Resumes Flights With Switzerland Starting 15 August

      Russia will resume air services with Switzerland starting 15 August, the nation’s COVID-19 response center said on Saturday.

      "The crisis response center for the prevention of the import and spread of the novel coronavirus infection in the Russian Federation … has decided to mutually resume international air traffic with the Swiss Confederation along the route Moscow – Geneva – Moscow from 15 August 2020," the press release said.

      The flights will be performed once a week, the response center added.

    • 08:54

      Philippines Confirms Nearly 5,000 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 08:36

      Poland Reports Record Daily Increase in Coronavirus Cases, With 658 Infections

    • 08:18

      Russian COVID-19 Vaccine Trials Have Been Completed

       COVID-19 vaccine

      Russian Health Minister Says COVID-19 Vaccine Trials Have Been Completed

      NIZHNY NOVGOROD (Sputnik) - Clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, have been completed, Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko said.
      Read more
    • 08:12

      Vaccination Against COVID-19 in Russia May Begin in October in Special Groups

      Mass vaccination against COVID-19 in Russia is scheduled to begin in October, Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko said on Saturday.

      "We plan that it is already wider [vaccination], after all, we must more gradually enter the new system of assistance, it will have to be longer in October," Murashko told reporters.

      Health workers and teachers will be prioritized to receive the vaccinations in the first order while studies of vaccinated patients will continue in tandem, the health minister also said.

      “[Effectiveness observations] will begin in parallel with the vaccination of special groups, first of all, doctors and teachers. There will also be observations of vaccinated patients,” Murashko said.

      Murashko went on to say that no less than two vaccine patents will be filed by Russian developers in the coming two months.

    • 07:52

      Russia Records 5,462 COVID-19 Cases in Past 24 Hours

      Russia has registered 5,462 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours (5,482 yesterday), bringing the cumulative total to 845,443, the country's coronavirus response center said on Saturday.

      "Over the past 24 hours, Russia has confirmed 5,462 COVID-19 cases in 83 regions, of which 1,356 (24.8 percent) have been detected actively, with people showing no clinical symptoms," the response center said in a statement.

      This brings the total case count to 845,443.

      Moscow has registered 690 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, which is more than any other region in Russia, followed by the Sverdlovsk Region with 202 cases and the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region with 170 new cases (compared to 695, 215 and 171 yesterday, respectively).

      A total of 95 COVID-19 patients died in Russia in the past 24 hours (161 on the previous day), which brings the death toll to 14,058.

      As many as 8,755 coronavirus patients have been discharged (compared to 8,755 on the previous day), bringing the total number of recoveries to 638,410.

    • 06:53

      Tokyo Reports 463 New COVID-19 Cases, Breaking Daily Growth Record For 3rd Day

      Tokyo set a new record for daily COVID-19 infection for the third consecutive day, registering 472 new cases on Saturday, media reported.

      According to Kyodo News agency, Saturday’s tally only slightly exceeds the previous day’s showing of 463 new cases in the metropolis. Friday recorded the largest yet jump, with nearly 100 more cases than Thursday’s 367 infections.

      This takes the total number of people who tested positive for the virus to 12,691 with 332 deaths as a result. The month of July accounts for about half of that total sum.

      On Friday, the Tokyo authorities urged the population to refrain from going outside unnecessarily and to avoid visiting restaurants and bars.

    • 04:57

      Germany Records 955 New COVID-19 Cases, Total Reaches 209,653

      Germany has confirmed 955 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, with the total count reaching 209,653, the Robert Koch Institute said on Saturday.

      The death toll has grown by seven to 9,148 people within the same period of time. More than 192,000 people have recovered since the start of the outbreak.

      A day earlier, the country confirmed 870 new coronavirus cases and seven fatalities.

    • 04:54

      India Registers 57,117 New Coronavirus Cases and 764 Deaths in Last 24 Hours

      The total number of COVID-19 cases stand at 1,695,988 in the country, including 565,103 active cases and 36,511 deaths. A total of 1,094,374 people have recovered from the infection.

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