20:38 GMT21 September 2020
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    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (160)
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    The pandemic continues spreading across the world, reaching 26,300,000 infected globally, while the death toll has surpassed 868,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. The most affected countries are the US, Brazil, and India, with major outbreaks hitting Latin America and South Africa.

    India showed the highest daily increase in the number of diagnosed with COVID-19, confirming 83,341 new cases, closing in on Brazil in terms of the number of infected.

    In the meantime, European countries are tightening border controls and imposing quarantine measures to stop the resurgent virus.

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    • 04:02

      Germany's Coronavirus Cases Increase by 1,378 to 248,997 - Robert Koch Institute

    • 02:38

      Number of COVID-19 Cases in Argentina Rises by 10,684 to 461,882 – Health Ministry

      BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) – Argentina has confirmed 10,684 new cases of the coronavirus across the country within the past 24 hours, with the total number of people infected with COVID-19 having reached 461,882, the national Ministry of Health said.

      A day earlier, Argentina registered record 12,026 new COVID-19 cases and 242 fatalities.

      "Today, 10,684 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, bringing the total number of [COVID-19] positive tests in the country to 461,882", the ministry said in a daily bulletin on late Friday.

      The death toll from the coronavirus has risen by 262 to 9,623 people within the same period of time.

    • 01:07

      Death Toll From COVID-19 in Mexico Rises by 522 to 66,851 People – Health Ministry

      MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – The number of people, who have died of COVID-19 in Mexico, has risen by 522 to 66,851 within the past 24 hours, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said.

      He also said on late Friday that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had increased by 6,196 to 623,090 within the same period of time.

      A day earlier, the Latin American nation recorded 5,937 new cases of the coronavirus, with 513 fatalities.

    • 22:31

      Number of COVID-19 Cases in Brazil Rises by 50,163 to Over 4.09Mln – Health Ministry

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil has increased by 50,163 to 4,091,801 within the past 24 hours, the national Ministry of Health said on late Friday.

      The death toll has risen by 888 to 125,502 people within the same period of time.

      A day earlier, Brazil reported 43,773 new cases of the coronavirus disease and 834 new fatalities.

      Brazil comes second in terms of coronavirus cases after the United States, which has recorded more than 6.19 million COVID-19 patients.

    • 20:04

      Moscow's Death Toll From COVID-19 Rises by 11 Over Past Day to 4,878 – Response Centre

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Moscow has registered 11 deaths of patients infected with COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the Russian capital's death toll to 4,878, the city's coronavirus response center said in a statement on Friday.

      "Another 11 patients, who were diagnosed with pneumonia and tested positive for the coronavirus infection, died in Moscow", the centre said.

      In the previous day, 10 people infected with the coronavirus died in Moscow.

    • 19:02

      Excess of Global Mortality in 2020 Likely Linked to Undetected COVID-19, WHO Adviser Says

      "Some of that excess mortality is probably COVID disease that was not recognized or reported, but then it's also telling us that this incredible impact on the health system ... is having a real cost in terms of human lives", Bruce Aylward told a virtual briefing.

    • 19:01

      WHO Calls For Urgent Global Action on Non-Communicable Diseases Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

      "The pandemic has underscored the urgency of addressing NCDs and their risk factors. ... Because people with NCDs are at high risk of severe COVID-19, finding effective therapeutics for these patients is a high priority", WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing.

      The WHO chief also said he had launched a set of publications together with the UN NCD Inter-Agency Task Force that calls for urgent action on NCDs.

      "First, we call for the voices of people living with NCDs to be heard in all discussions about policies that directly affect them. Second, we call for global financing instruments to be extended to low-income countries that request support for NCDs", Tedros added.

      Non-communicable diseases, which include cancer, Alzheimer's, diabetes, strokes and other non-transmissible chronic conditions, account for almost 70 percent of all deaths worldwide, according to the WHO findings.

    • 19:00

      Reboot of Economies Requires at Least 200Mln Initial Doses of Vaccine, WHO Adviser Says

      "The important thing is not what is the exact number, but how much vaccine do we need at the beginning to be able to reduce the risk of severe disease because that's the key to removing the fear, rebuilding the confidence and getting our societies and economies working again. And the 200-plus million doses would definitely go a long way to achieving that. Right now, we're very long way even from that 200 million doses", Bruce Aylward, a senior adviser to the World Health Organisation (WHO) told a virtual briefing.

      The optimal sequence of distributing the vaccine, according to the WHO official, is to first provide it to health care workers, then the elderly and then the other groups considered a high risk before enough vaccine become available to provide for entire populations.

    • 18:59

      Russia Ready to Share Experience of COVID-19 Vaccine, Drug Development With BRICS, Lavrov Says

      "Let me remind you that the first Russian vaccine against COVID-19, Sputnik V, was registered recently. Russian scientists have developed treatments against the coronavirus disease. And we are ready to share this experience with other countries, including, of course, our friends in BRICS", the foreign minister stated.

      With regard to BRICS, in particular, Lavrov said the fight against the coronavirus continued to be among the organization's priorities at the moment.

      The minister specifically mentioned the support extended by Brazil, India and South Africa to Russia's and China's efforts for combating the pandemic.

      "All of them gratefully accepted the statement made by our Chinese colleague and me that we are interested in the widest possible cooperation, including with the participation of our friends in BRICS", Lavrov said.

    • 16:37

      COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Expected to Start in Mid-2021, WHO Chief Scientist Says

      "So realistically speaking, probably the second half, the middle of 2021 - maybe the second quarter, the third quarter of 2021 - is when we can start seeing doses actually flowing into countries so that they can start to immunize their populations", the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) chief scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan told a press briefing.

      This timeline is based on the fact that Phase 3 trials of many candidate vaccines are not expected to be concluded until the end of the current year, the WHO’s chief scientist added.

      "We expect results from some of the candidates, which are already in Phase 3 trials, to come by the end of the year or beginning of next year, following which they'll have to be scaling [up] manufacturing to produce the hundreds of millions of doses that are going to be needed. In fact, the world is going to need billions of doses, and that is going to take time to manufacture. So we have to be optimistic and realistic at the same time", Swaminathan commented.

    • 16:30

      France Registers Record High Number of 8,975 COVID-19 Cases, Health Authorities Say

    • 15:41

      No EU Country Should Deny Entry to Bloc's Citizens Despite COVID-19, Von Der Leyen Says

      "We believe that no EU citizen should be denied entry to another EU country. Instead, we recommend governments to use testing or quarantine. Testing should be the preferred option to make it easier for people to travel", the European Commission's president, Ursula von der Leyen, said in a video that was published by the European Commission.

      The commission has proposed establishing a single set of rules that will govern travel throughout the bloc amid the ongoing pandemic, von der Leyen added.

      "It is indeed very important to try to limit the spread of the virus. But citizens are often left confused about where they can travel, which rules they have to respect on the way, what must they do on arrival to stay safe, and as many citizens have experienced, these rules change very often. So we need to ensure more clarity and predictability", the European Commission president said.

      The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) will publish a weekly colour-coded map to identify COVID-19 hotspots within the bloc, von der Leyen added.

      Since the start of the outbreak, the ECDC has registered more than 2.3 million cases of COVID-19 in the EU, countries of the European Economic Area, and the United Kingdom.

    • 15:41

      Madrid Gov't Bans Dancing, Drinking While Standing at Weddings in New COVID-19 Measures

      Authorities in the Spanish capital of Madrid have issued a host of new guidelines to curb the spread of COVID-19 that targeting citizens’ private lives and occasions.

      According to the new guidelines, voiced by Health Minister of the Community of Madrid Enrique Ruiz Escudero, wedding guests are henceforth not allowed to dance, drink while standing — as is traditional at Spanish weddings — or frequent bar stands serving alcohol. The authorities also extended the 10-person limit on public gatherings to private spaces.

      "We should avoid family and friendly visits because there we relax … A maximum of 10 people can gather not only in public but also in private places", Escudero said at a briefing in Madrid.

      Escudero added that the guidelines will be reviewed every 15 days to issue a community-wide lockdown if the epidemiological situation deteriorates.

      The guidelines take aim at the younger and more socially active citizens of the city, who are now seen as the drivers of infection transmission. According to health authorities, 70 percent of new infections occur among people aged 15-59. The average age of a COVID-19 patient in Madrid is now 38.

      Madrid remains the worst-hit area of the entire country, with over 14,000 COVID-19 cases registered in the past seven days, more than a third of Spain's 46,000 total.

    • 14:15

      India’s Defence Minister Expresses Confidence in Russia's Sputnik V Anti-COVID Vaccine

      A scientist dilutes samples during the research and development of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a laboratory of BIOCAD biotechnology company in Saint Petersburg, Russia June 11, 2020

      India’s Defence Minister Expresses Confidence in Russia's Sputnik V Anti-COVID Vaccine

      The Indian government has confirmed that it is in direct touch with Moscow on the Sputnik-V anti-COVID vaccine, which is the first in the world against the deadly virus. The meeting between Rajnath Singh and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu covered a broad range of areas of cooperation between the two countries.
      Read more
    • 13:32

      Northern Businesses Welcome Start Of HS2 Rail Work – But Critics Say Covid-19 Makes It Useless

      A train passes the construction site of the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail line at Euston station in London

      Northern Businesses Welcome Start Of HS2 Rail Work – But Critics Say Covid-19 Makes It Useless

      High Speed 2 will create tens of thousands of jobs across the country, but faces opposition from residents and environmentalists who say it will destroy natural habitats in addition to the hundreds of homes and business premises that will be demolished.
      Read more
    • 12:44

      Gamaleya Research Centre Expects Mass COVID-19 Vaccination in Russia to Take 9-12 Months

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Alexander Gintsburg, the director of Russia's Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, expects mass vaccination against COVID-19 in Russia to take 9-12 months.

      According to Gintsburg, the transfer of technologies to other states that are interested in the vaccine developed by the institute is currently the main task.

      "This principle, as far as I understand, will remain in place until the domestic market, the needs of our country, the needs of our population are met, until we have immunised most of our population. This, according to preliminary estimates and based on the capacities that are currently being deployed in our country, will happen within 9-10-12 months", Gintsburg said at a briefing.

    • 12:34

      US Gains 1.4Mln Jobs in August as Labour Recovery Slows Due to COVID-19

      "Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.4 million in August, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent", the Labor Department said in a statement. The economy lost more than 21 million jobs for all of March and April, at the height of lockdowns forced by the COVID-19. It posted a strong rebound of 2.5 million jobs in May and 4.8 million in June before the recovery began slowing last month with just 1.8 million new jobs.

    • 12:18

      Russia's Defence Minister Has Been Inoculated With Sputnik V Coronavirus Vaccine

      Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan meet in Moscow

      Russia's Defence Minister Has Been Inoculated With Sputnik V Coronavirus Vaccine

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday he had been inoculated with the country's coronavirus vaccine, according to the Defence Ministry.
      Read more
    • 11:01

      The Lancet Publishes Results of Russian COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trials

      A handout photo shows vials during the production of Gam-COVID-Vac vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), at Binnopharm pharmaceutical company in Zelenograd near Moscow, Russia August 7, 2020

      The Lancet Publishes Results of Russian COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trials

      Leading international scientific journal The Lancet has published the results of the first two stages of clinical trials for the Russian COVID-19 vaccine.
      Read more
    • 10:16

      Tory MP's Husband Dubs COVID-19 'Outbreak of Mental Illness': Report

      Chloe Smith MP

      Tory MP's Husband Dubs COVID-19 'Outbreak of Mental Illness': Report

      Late last week, Sandy McFadzean attended a rally against lockdown restrictions in central London's Trafalgar Square, where thousands of protesters specifically called for an end to social distancing, as well as the use of face masks.
      Read more
    • 09:18

      Greece Locks Down Refugee Camp Near Athens Over COVID-19 Outbreak – Reports

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Two confirmed coronavirus cases among residents of the Oinofyta refugee camp, located in the Boeotia region north of Athens, have prompted the authorities to lock down the facility, the media reported, citing the migration ministry.

      According to the newspaper Ekathimerini, the ministry on Thursday said that an Iraqi man and a Syrian woman had contracted COVID-19.

      Nearly 1,000 people live in the Oinofyta refugee camp, which only has a capacity to host 500 refugees.

    • 08:39

      Ex-PM Berlusconi Diagnosed With Early Stage Double Pneumonia, Reports Say

    • 08:26

      Russian-Chinese Laboratory for Study of COVID-19 to Receive 1st Results in 2021

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A Russian-Chinese joint laboratory for the study of COVID-19 will be created by the end of the year and will receive the first results in 2021, the director of the I.I. Mechnikov Scientific and Research Institute of Vaccines and Serums, Oksana Svitich, told Sputnik.

      "We plan to create a joint laboratory for the study of COVID-19 by the end of 2020. The benefit of cooperation with the Chinese Academy of Sciences is the opportunity to conduct work based on both organisations, jointly publish scientific articles, exchange experience, etc. New unique data will be received in the field of COVID-19. The results of the laboratory are expected in 2021”, the scientist said.

      According to Svitich, the Russian institute signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese Academy of Sciences to set up a joint laboratory to study COVID-19. The sides plan to conduct joint research in the field of pathogenic microbiology and immunology, with a special focus on COVID-19, hold an annual scientific meeting and organise postgraduate study and exchange of young scientists.

    • 07:59

      Russia Records 5,110 COVID-19 Cases in 24 Hours, Total Reaches 1,015,105

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia has registered 5,110 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the cumulative total to 1,015,105, the federal response centre said Friday.

      Moscow recorded 692 cases, St. Petersburg 193, and the Moscow region 164.

      In the same period, Russia recorded 121 deaths, taking the total to 17,649, and 5,812 recoveries, bringing the total to 832,747.

    • 06:50

      France Closes 22 Schools Due to Pandemic

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - France was forced to halt the activities of 22 schools after new coronavirus cases were detected among the pupils days after the new school year began, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said on Friday to the Europe 1 broadcaster.

      He noted that over half of the 22 establishments were closed on the French mainland, and the rest are located in overseas territories, including the island of Reunion.

      "There are twelve closed facilities in the Metropolitan [France] today, on Reunion we have ten. All in all, that's 22 [schools]", Blanquer said.

      The minister clarified that usually a school is closed when at least three COVID-19 infections are confirmed within it, followed by a transition to virtual learning.

      He also said that if the mass closure of educational facilities is necessary in the future, the authorities would initiate a protocol to help families whose children would have to receive their education via digital means.

      France is currently experiencing a second surge in COVID-19 infections, with a new daily record high of 7,379 infections registered on 28 August. In the wake of the resurgence, the government has re-imposed some restrictive measures across the country, in particular, the requirement to wear face masks.

    • 06:44

      New Zealand Extends COVID-19 Emergency Measures Until Mid-September

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - New Zealand is extending coronavirus alert level 2, which envisions certain restrictions on social gatherings, until at least mid-September, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said during a press conference on Friday.

      "Today, Cabinet [of Ministers] decided to retain the current settings with the next review to take place on Monday the 14th of September", the prime minister said, adding that if the government decides to change the alert level at that point, changes to COVID-19 restrictions will be introduced starting 16 September.

      The maximum level 3 alert envisages closure of all educational facilities and non-essential stores, as well as a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.

    • 06:28

      Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Hospitalised With COVID-19

      The 83-year old politician was admitted to San Raffaele hospital in Milan, as he was diagnosed with coronavirus after vacationing in Sardinia.

      The party Forza Italia has addressed his condition, saying in an official statement it is not a cause for concern.

       

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