16:02 GMT30 September 2020
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    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (172)
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    The global death toll from the coronavirus infection has topped 902,468; over 27.7 million cases have been detected, and almost 18.7 million of those patients have recovered, according to Baltimore, Maryland's Johns Hopkins University, which tracks and compiles data from national and local authorities, the media and other sources.

    The United States still has the highest case count in the world, with 6,359,720 cases, including 190,815 fatalities and 2,387,479 recoveries.

    US National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins told Congress that it was impossible to say if the United States would have a COVID-19 vaccine by the November presidential election, although he is cautiously optimistic one will emerge by year end.

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    • 02:09

      Death Toll From COVID-19 in Mexico Rises by 554 to 69,649 People

      MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – The number of people, who have died of COVID-19 in Mexico, has risen by 554 to 69,649 within the past 24 hours, Jose Luis Alomia, the director of epidemiology at the Health Ministry, said.

      He also said on late Thursday that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had increased by 4,857 to 652,364 within the same period of time.

      A day earlier, the Latin American nation recorded 4,647 new cases of the coronavirus, with 611 fatalities.

    • 01:27

      Number of COVID-19 Cases in Argentina Rises by 11,905 to 524,198

      UENOS AIRES (Sputnik) – Argentina has confirmed 11,905 new cases of the coronavirus across the country within the past 24, with the total number of people infected with COVID-19 having reached 524,198, the national Ministry of Health said.

      A day earlier, Argentina registered record 12,259 new COVID-19 cases and 254 fatalities.

      "Today, 11,905 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, bringing the total number of [COVID-19] positive tests in the country to 524,198," the ministry said in a daily bulletin on late Thursday.

      The death toll from the coronavirus has risen by 250 to 10,907 people within the same period of time.

    • 00:53

      Worldwide Number of Coronavirus Cases Surpasses 28 Million - Johns Hopkins University

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The worldwide number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has surpassed 28 million, Johns Hopkins University says.

      The exact number of the coronavirus cases stood at 28,047,828 as of 01:00 GMT on Friday. More than 907,000 people have died of the disease, the university added.

    • 18:05

      US Drug Regulator 'Will Not Cut Corners' in Approving COVID-19 Vaccine - Commissioner

      WASHINGTON, September 10 (Sputnik) - The US Food and Drug Administration will deliver a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to Americans and not rush one under any influence outside of science, Commissioner Steven Hanh said on Thursday.

      Many Democrats have accused President Donald Trump of trying to fast-track the vaccine approval process in order to get one delivered ahead of the November reelection. Trump's Democratic rival Joe Biden has recently urged the regulator agency to maintain transparency and independence.

      "We want to be flexible and we want to be responsive, but we will not cut corners. We will follow our rigorous procedures to assess," Hanh said during an interview with the Economic Club of Washington. "I think everybody in America wants a vaccine as quickly as possible but we also want a very effective vaccine, but we also want a vaccine that's safe."

      The quest for a workable COVID-19 vaccine has become a politically-charged issue in the United States, with Trump dropping broad hints that there will be one approved before the November 3 presidential election. The president's Democrat rivals have, however, accused him of pressuring relevant agencies such as the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to cut important corners to get a vaccine out quickly to boost his chance of getting reelected.

      The COVID-19 has infected more than six million Americans and killed over 190,000 of them, and Trump’s response to the pandemic has become a key issue in the election. His administration is currently working with six trial vaccines for the coronavirus and three have entered the key Phase 3 trial of public testing.

      Two other leading US scientists - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci and National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins - have said there is no certainty that authorities will be able to approve a COVID-19 vaccine in time for the election.

      Hahn said the FDA had to consider the risk-benefit ratio in accelerating any medicines to the market, particularly during a pandemic.

      "We find ourselves in the position that we're accused of either going too fast or too slow or doing too little or too much. I suppose… if we hear criticism from both sides, then we're probably in the right place."

      He added, however, that he had "complete and absolute confidence in the scientists at FDA" and their decision-making.

    • 18:05

      US House Speaker Says Not Ruling Out COVID-19 Aid Package Before November Election

      WASHINGTON, September 10 (Sputnik) - US House Speak Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that she is not ruling out a COVID-19 aid package before the November 3 presidential election.

      "No," Pelosi said responding to a question about whether any deal preceding the election is dead.

      Pelosi added that she considers the $500-billion relief package set for a vote in the Senate later on Thursday to be a feigned attempt at action by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

      Earlier on Thursday, McConnell said American families will see exactly which Senators want to provide them assistance after the vote.

      Congress has so far passed four phases of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, approving roughly $3 trillion to be disbursed as loans and grants to businesses, paycheck protection for workers and personal aid to qualifying US citizens.

      Both Democrats and Republicans have blamed the other for stalling the fifth installment of the CARES Act. Democrats have sought a package worth around $2 trillion versus the $500 billion one proposed by Republicans.

    • 18:03

      Over Half of World’s Tourist Destinations Easing COVID-19 Travel Restrictions - UNWTO

      UNITED NATIONS, September 10 (Sputnik) - A majority of the world’s tourist destinations - 53 percent - have already eased travel restrictions introduced to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease, which shows a gradual restart of tourism, the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said in a press release on Thursday.

      “Analyzing restrictions up to September 1, the research carried out by the United Nations specialized agency for tourism found that a total of 115 destinations (53 percent of all destinations worldwide) have eased travel restrictions, an increase of 28 since July 19,” the release said. “Of these, two have lifted all restrictions, while the remaining 113 continue to have certain restrictive measures in place.”

      According to the UNWTO, destinations with eased travel restrictions have comparatively low rates of novel coronavirus infection and high or very high levels of health and hygiene infrastructure.

      Some 64 percent of those destinations have a high dependence on air transportation for international arrivals, the release said.

      Meanwhile, 93 destinations - 43 percent of all worldwide destinations - continue to have their borders completely closed, of which 27 have had their borders closed for at least 30 weeks.

      UNWTO noted that more than 50 percent of all destinations with borders fully closed are among the world's most vulnerable countries.

    • 16:26

      Portugal Added to England's Coronavirus Quarantine List, Transport Minister Says

      Travellers from mainland Portugal to England will have to quarantine from 04:00 on Saturday, just weeks after the country was previously excluded from the quarantine list, British transport minister Grant Shapps said.

      People who travel to England and Wales from Hungary, French Polynesia and Reunion will also be required to self-isolate for two weeks.

    • 16:22

      IMF Supports India’s Policy Response to Fight COVID-19

      WASHINGTON, September 10 (Sputnik) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) supports India’s actions in fighting COVID-19 including its fiscal stimulus targeting workers, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters on Thursday.

      "The immediate priority is a coordinated policy response to fight the virus. In this context, we support the government’s responses to the pandemic, including fiscal stimulus with a focus on low-income workers," Rice said during the virtual press briefing.

      Fiscal consolidation, monetary easing and other measures are also important, he added.

      The severe impact of the global pandemic caused weaker preliminary GDP estimated for the second quarter of 2020 than previously expected, Rice said. The IMF predicts significant downside risks for India due to COVID-19, he noted.

      The near-term outlook continues to be "clouded" by the global and domestic slowdown, he added.

    • 15:21

      Russia's Direct Investment Fund Plans to Supply Up to 100 Mln Doses of Sputnik V Vaccine Across Latin America

      In this handout photo taken on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, and provided by Russian Direct Investment Fund, a new vaccine is on display at the Nikolai Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, Russia

      Russia Plans to Supply Up to 100Mln Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine to Latin America, Official Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Direct Investment Fund, one of the entities behind the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, plans to supply up to 100 million doses of the vaccine to various countries across Latin America, the company's chief executive officer, Kirill Dmitriev, said on Thursday.
      Read more
    • 15:19

      AstraZeneca's Vaccine Volunteer Felt Unwell 14 Hours After Shot, Report Says

      A chemist works at AstraZeneca's headquarters, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Australians will be among the first in the world to receive a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, if it proves successful, through an agreement between the government and UK-based drug company AstraZeneca, in Sydney, Australia, August 19, 2020

      AstraZeneca's COVID-19 Vaccine Volunteer Reportedly Felt Unwell 14 Hours After Shot

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The UK-developed AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine has allegedly caused high fever, chills, severe headache, and fatigue in one of the volunteers 14 hours after receiving the shot, the London-based Daily Mail newspaper reported on Thursday.
      Read more
    • 14:34

      Georgian Prime Minister Announces Beginning of Second Wave of COVID-19

      TBILISI (Sputnik) - Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced on Thursday the beginning of a second wave of COVID-19 in the country but added that the situation is under the government's control.

      On Thursday, the Georgian health authorities recorded a record-high daily increase in the number of new coronavirus cases in the country, which totaled 57.

      "The 57 cases confirmed today and yesterday's 44 cases directly indicate that the epidemiological situation in the country is gradually changing. As we thought about the second wave, in fact, this process has begun. We assumed it would be in autumn, and this process begins in autumn. The main thing is that there is no reason to panic, since we completely control of the situation," Gakharia said at a government meeting.

      Georgia has confirmed a total of 1,830 cases of the infection since the start of the pandemic and 19 fatalities.

    • 13:48

      Oman Reports 398 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 12:52

      Singapore Airlines Group Cuts 4,300 Jobs Due to COVID-19 Economic Hardship

      Singapore Airlines (SIA) said on Thursday it would dismiss around 4,300 employees across its three airlines, citing an "unprecedented global aviation crisis."

      "The Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group today announced the difficult decision to cut around 4,300 positions across its airlines," the company said in a press release.

      Cuts will affect some 2,400 employees across the three SIA Group airlines — Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot — while another 1,900 positions will be eliminated via a recruitment freeze, natural attrition, and the take up of voluntary departure schemes, according to the press release.

      "This decision was taken in light of the long road to recovery for the global airline industry due to the debilitating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the urgent need for the Group s airlines to adapt to an uncertain future," the press release read.

      The company said it found itself in an "even more vulnerable position" than other major airlines due to the fact that it lacked a domestic market that would be the first to recover from COVID-19. In fact, the SIA Group does not expect the passenger traffic to return to the pre-pandemic levels until "around 2024," it said in the press release, citing industry groups.

      For these reasons, the SIA Group will be operating under 50 percent of its capacity at the end of 2020/21 financial year and use a smaller fleet of aircraft for a reduced network in the coming years.

    • 12:32

      South African Leader Urges Int'l Community to Speed Up Finding Tools to Fight COVID-19

      South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday noted the need to accelerate the process of finding tools to fight the coronavirus pandemic, adding that future vaccines should be regarded as a public good to benefit all.

      "We now have to speed up the process of finding tools to combat the pandemic ... it is essential that humanity should have a sense that if and when a vaccine is developed, all countries, including my own continent, Africa, should benefit and not be left behind," Ramaphosa said at the first Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator Facilitation Council meeting.

      According to the president, a COVID-19 vaccine should be regarded as a public good to benefit all because as long as someone in the world has the coronavirus, however remote they may be, the whole world is at risk of the COVID-19 resurgence of COVID-19.

      "We cannot achieve universal health coverage when the COVID-19 vaccine is available only to countries that are well-resourced in terms of research, manufacturing distribution and service," Ramaphosa added.

      The president also called on countries to act in solidarity and support current global initiatives to fund COVID-19 vaccines, praising the World Health Organization's ACT initiative to enable collaboration among scientists to find safe and effective vaccines.

    • 12:09

      Hong Kong Reports 12 New COVID-19 Cases, 4,913 in Total

    • 11:53

      Kuwait Reports 740 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 11:06

      Mumbai Mayor Tests Positive for COVID-19

    • 10:19

      Over 30 COVID-19 Vaccines Undergoing Clinical Trials, Including in Russia

      Over 30 vaccines against COVID-19 are currently undergoing clinical trials in different countries, including in Russia, and this is very encouraging, the World Health Organization's (WHO) spokeswoman in Russia, Melita Vujnovic, told Sputnik.

      "WHO is encouraged by the fact that more than 30 candidate vaccines are currently undergoing various stages of clinical trials, including in the Russia," Vujnovic said.

      According to her, the WHO continues to interact with Russian scientists and authorities and is looking forward to learning the details of the Russian vaccine trials.

    • 09:11

      African Bank Approves $27Mln to Boost African Union's Post-COVID-19 Recovery Initiative

      The African Union will receive $27 million for its efforts to spur post-pandemic recovery in the African continent, the African Development Bank announced.

      The African Union is a continental block consisting of 55 African states and is aimed at making regional and international efforts for Africa's development.

      "The African Development Bank will strongly support Africa to get through the COVID-19 pandemic and build back, strongly and smartly. The Bank’s financial support [of $27.33 million in grants] to the Africa Centers for Disease Control, reaffirms our strong commitment to regional efforts to tackle the pandemic being coordinated by the African Union. Africa needs a well-financed Africa Centers for Disease Control, today and for the future," the Bank’s President, Akinwumi Adesina, said late on Wednesday.

      The statement added that the grants would be aimed particularly at providing technical assistance, strengthening the epidemiological surveillance and testing capacity for the African countries.

      The African Union has set up the COVID-19 Response Fund to raise funds for the continental response to the pandemic and distribute them among the member states. Meanwhile, the daily numbers of new COVID-19 infections in Africa have been falling over the past few weeks, with a cumulative total of over 1 million cases and more than 23,000 fatalities. However, the World Health Organization advised the African governments to remain vigilant over the virus and keep preventive measures in effect.

    • 08:11

      Indonesia Reports Record 3,861 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 07:33

      Russia Records 5,363 COVID-19 Cases in Past 24 Hours

      Russia has registered 5,363 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours (5,218 yesterday), which brings the cumulative total to 1,046,370, the country's coronavirus response centre said on Thursday.

      "Over the past 24 hours, Russia has confirmed 5,363 COVID-19 cases in 84 regions, of which 1,302 (24.3 percent) have been detected actively, with people showing no clinical symptoms," the response centre said in a statement, adding that the total count has reached 1,046,370.

      Moscow recorded 695 cases, St. Petersburg registered 215 cases, and the Moscow region confirmed 169 new cases. No new cases were recorded in the Nenets Autonomous Region.

      In the past 24 hours, Russia recorded 128 COVID-19 fatalities, bringing the death toll to 18,263, and 5,915 recoveries, taking the total to 862,373.

      According to the public health watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, over 39.5 million tests to detect COVID-19 have been conducted in Russia since the beginning of the pandemic, and 208,000 suspected carriers remain under medical monitoring.

    • 06:01

      Number of COVID-19 Cases in Norway Rises by 123 to 11,746

    • 05:59

      Czech Republic Reports Over 1,000 Coronavirus Cases for Second Straight Day

    • 04:56

      Over 80 New COVID-19 Cases Registered in Kazakhstan

      Health authorities in Kazakhstan have detected 86 new COVID-19 cases over the past day, bringing the overall total to 106,584, the country's interdepartmental commission on the coronavirus said on Thursday.

      "We have registered 86 new cases of the coronavirus infection," the commission said on its Telegram channel.

      The death toll from COVID-19 in Kazakhstan has increased by five to 1,651 people, while more than 100,000 people have recovered.

      A day earlier, Kazakhstan reported 73 new coronavirus cases and six fatalities.

    • 04:55

      Number of Cases in India Rises by Record 95,735

       India has confirmed 95,735 new cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours marking the largest daily increase since the beginning of the outbreak, with the total number of those infected having reached 4,465,864, the country's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Thursday. 

      The death toll from the disease has reached 75,062 people, with 1,172 new fatalities being recorded over the past day. More than 3.47 million people have recovered in India since the start of the epidemic.

      India comes second in terms of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, following the United States with more than 6.35 million COVID-19 patients.

      A day earlier, India registered 89,706 new coronavirus cases and over 1,000 fatalities.

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