21:30 GMT16 January 2021
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    The pandemic continues to spread across the world, reaching 36,000,000 infected globally, according to Johns Hopkins University, with the highest number of confirmed cases in the United States (7.5 million), India (6.84 million), and Brazil (5 million).

    The global death toll from the virus has now surpassed 1,054,000, forcing numerous countries to introduce mandatory mask-wearing, travel restrictions, and curfews in order to curb the disease. At the same time, multiple labs are developing coronavirus vaccines, with Russia's Sputnik V being the first officially registered. It is at present undergoing stage III trails.

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    • 02:25

      Number of COVID-19 Cases in Mexico Surpasses 800,000 – Health Ministry

      MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Mexico has increased by 5,300 within the past 24 hours and has thus reached 804,488, Jose Luis Alomia, the director of epidemiology at the Health Ministry, said.

      “As of today, 804,488 cases of the disease have been confirmed,” Alomia said at a press conference on late Thursday.

      The death toll from the coronavirus has increased by 370 to 83,096 people within the same period of time.

    • 01:50

      China Officially Joins COVAX International Program – Foreign Ministry

      BEIJING (Sputnik) – China has officially joined the World Health Organization-led COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Friday.

      COVAX is co-led by the WHO, Gavi vaccine alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. It is part of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator under the WHO auspices to bring together vaccine developers from different countries in a common quest for a safe COVID-19 vaccine.

      “On October 8, China and the Gavi global alliance signed an agreement on the official accession to COVAX. This is an important step, which has been made by China as part of its promises to make COVID-19 vaccine a public good for the whole world,” Hua said in a statement.

    • 22:01

      Airlines Report Tiny COVID-19 Risk With 1 Case for Every 27Mln Passengers - Trade Group

      WASHINGTON, October 9 (Sputnik) - The risk of contracting the novel coronavirus on a passenger airline is so miniscule that of 1.2 billion passengers that flew so far this year, air carriers reported just 44 confirmed or probable cases, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a press release.

      "We recognize that this may be an underestimate but even if 90% of the cases were un-reported, it would be one case for every 2.7 million travelers," IATA’s Medical Adviser David Powell said in the release on Thursday. "Furthermore, the vast majority of published cases ocurred before the wearing of face coverings inflight became widespread."

      Masks, first recommended by the IATA in June, have since become a standard requirement for airline passengers, the release said.

      The industry claims High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters and systems that replace cabin air supplies every two minutes add a key layer of protection to universal face coverings now used by passengers and crew.

      The release cited experiments by the aircraft manufacturer Airbus demonstrating that filtering systems reduce the concentration of respiratory droplets - a primary source of coronavirus transmission - to a level comparable to an indoor environment where people remain six feet apart.

    • 18:35

      WHO Reports Record Single-Day Rise in Global COVID-19 Cases, Up by Over 338,000

    • 17:58

      Seven Other People Self-Isolating After UN Refugees Chief Contracts COVID-19, Spokesman Says

      "In total, seven other people who were in close contact with the high commissioner on Monday are now self-isolating for 14 days, watching for any symptoms", UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said. "So far, as of yesterday, no one had developed any symptoms".

      Dujarric said that after testing positive for the virus, Grandi has been following all medical procedures and local guidelines implemented in Switzerland, where he is based.

    • 17:10

      US Capital Area Health Officials Urge White House Visitors to Test for COVID-19

      "If you have worked in the White House in the past two weeks, attended the Supreme Court announcement in the Rose Garden on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, and/or have had close contact with others who work in those spaces or attended those events, you should get a test for COVID", health officials said in public guidance.

      They complained about the "growing numbers" of positive COVID-19 cases among staff working in and near the White House on 26 September, and those who attended the event on that day.

      "There may be other staff and residents at risk for exposure to COVID positive individuals", read the guideline signed by health officials from the US capital and nine major neighbourhoods in the states of Maryland and Virginia.

      People, who were identified as a contact, should put themselves to quarantine even if they have a negative test, the guideline added.

    • 16:18

      Nebenzia Tests Negative for COVID-19, Urges All in UNSC Envoys to Get Tested Often

      "Just before this meeting, I underwent a coronavirus test, and I have to tell you that it was negative", Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia told a UN Security Council meeting. "I would urge all of you to undergo these tests as frequently as possible for your own security, for the security of everyone in this room".

    • 16:14

      US Senators Question Calls for New Round of COVID-19 Relief for Airlines

      "For the past six months, the American taxpayers have spent $25 billion covering the payroll obligations of passenger airlines", US Senators Pat Toomey and Mike Lee said in a press release. "The excess capacity of the airline sector will not be resolved in the near future and continuing to force the entire payroll obligation onto the taxpayers is not sustainable".

      Instead of collecting another round of grant funding, airlines should take advantage of low-interest, long-term loans that are still available under the CARES Act to survive the pandemic.

      "The favourable terms of these loans will make it possible for the airlines to repay the taxpayers once air travel picks back up", the release said.

      Any legislation to help airlines should offer "adequate protections for taxpayers", the release added.

      The travel data company, Cirium, found that 43 commercial airlines have failed since January this year, compared to 46 in the whole of 2019 and 56 in all of 2018. A failed airline is one that has completely ceased or suspended operations, according to Cirium.

      US airlines continue to crisscross the nation with a surfeit of empty seats while some international flights are nearly empty. Congress required that airlines continue servicing existing routes as a condition to receive $25 billion in grants under the CARES Act.

    • 15:49

      Russian Health Ministry Recommends Spending Weekend at Home Due to COVID-19

      The Russian Health Ministry has recommended that people spend the upcoming weekend indoors at home in light of the worsening coronavirus situation, Aleksey Kuznetsov, an assistant to the Russian health minister, said on Thursday.

      "At present, multiple regions noted an increase in the incidence of coronavirus infection. We recommend that citizens spend the coming weekend at home with family members who live together. Please, refrain from visiting others' homes and public places and limit the use of public transport", Kuznetsov told journalists.

      The official emphasized the importance of continuing to exercise social distancing and proper hygiene, and wearing masks.

      "We urge all citizens to support the medical workers and the health care system and prevent an explosive increase of pressure on it from the increase in the number of infected people", Kuznetsov added.

    • 15:14

      Number of COVID-19 Cases in UK Rises by 17,540

    • 15:12

      US Vice President Pence Tests Negative for COVID-19, Senior Administration Official Says

    • 14:48

      Polish Prime Minister Not Ruling Out Declaring COVID-19 Emergency

      Poland is not ruling out declaring a state of emergency should the coronavirus situation continue deteriorating, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday.

      "If there is further escalation of the situation, if there is a need for another type of management, we do not exclude any options, including those that you asked about", Morawiecki told reporters, when asked whether the country could declare an emergency.

      The prime minister noted that the state of emergency was already in place in neighboring Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

    • 13:43

      EU Signs Deal With US Firm Gilead to Procure 500,000 Courses of Remdesivir COVID-19 Treatment

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Commission said on Thursday it has inked a deal with US pharmaceutical firm Gilead to procure 500,000 treatment courses of remdesivir to treat coronavirus symptoms.

      "Today we secure access to Remdesivir for the treatment of up to 500,000 patients in need. We are leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to ensure that safe and efficient therapeutics are available against COVID-19", Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said in a statement from the EU's executive body.

      The agreement is part of a procurement framework that seeks to provide all European nations, including the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway, and EU candidate nations.

    • 13:32

      European Parliament President Sassoli in Self-Isolation Due to Coronavirus

    • 13:17

      EU Commission Approves 3rd Contract for Potential COVID-19 Vaccines

      BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The European Commission has green-lighted a third contract for potential COVID-19 vaccines, this time with Johnson & Johnson, a spokesman for the EU Commission for health, food safety, and transport said on Thursday.

      "The commission has approved a third contract today with a pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson, which will allow the member states to purchase vaccines for 200 million people. They will also have a possibility to purchase vaccines for an additional 200 million people should the need arise. This vaccine candidate is in already phase 3 of clinical trials", Stefan De Keersmaecker said at a briefing.

    • 13:16

      Chancellor Merkel Says Doesn't Want Repeat of Spring Outbreak in Germany, Too Soon to Give All Clear

    • 12:40

      Trump Says He's Stopped Taking Most Medications for Coronavirus, Still on Steroids

      "I'm back because I'm a perfect physical specimen," Trump told Fox Business Network, ading that he had stopped taking "most therapeutics" for the virus but was still on steroids.

    • 10:35

      Switzerland Reports 1,200 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 10:32

      Boris Johnson Under Fire From Tories as He Mulls Closing Pubs in England to Curb COVID-19

      A pedestrian walks past a shuttered restaurant with a mural that reads Stay Safe on it in Glasgow on May 16, 2020, during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic lockdown

      Boris Johnson Under Fire From Tories as He Mulls Closing Pubs in England to Curb COVID-19

      On Wednesday, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon announced that pubs and restaurants would close in five areas in the central belt of the country for 16 days from 9 October to stop the number of COVID-19-infected people from rising.
      Read more
    • 10:12

      Malaysia Confirms 375 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 09:45

      Spanish Court Strikes Down Order on Partial Lockdown of Madrid Amid Pandemic

      A Madrid court on Thursday ruled to strike down an order from the Health Ministry, imposing a partial lockdown in the capital city and nine satellite towns, and barring residents from leaving without a valid reason.

      The court "had denied the ratification (of the measures) on grounds they impacted on the rights and fundamental freedoms" of individuals, the official statement read.

    • 09:25

      Croatia Records Its Highest Increase, Confirming 542 New Cases

    • 08:46

      No Final Decision Made Yet on Russian COVID-19 Vaccine Trials in India, Authorities Say

      NEW DELH (Sputnik) - No final decision has yet been made about trials of Russia's coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V in India, the Indian Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation's Drug Controller General department told Sputnik on Thursday.

      "There is no go-ahead for a large-scale trial in India. The application [from Dr Reddy's Laboratories] is still under review and under examination. No final decision has been taken”, Dr V. G. Somani said.

      This came as a comment to reports that India had declined a proposal from Dr Reddy’s Laboratories to conduct a large study on the Russian vaccine's effectiveness against the coronavirus.

      Russian Direct Investment Fund spokesman Arseniy Palagin declined to provide any comment.

      "Will not comment on that at this moment. Stay tuned, news to follow", Palagin told Sputnik.

    • 08:32

      Russia Records 11,493 COVID-19 Cases in Past 24 Hours

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia has registered 11,493 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, up from 11,115 yesterday, taking the cumulative case total to 1,260,112, the country's coronavirus response centre said on Thursday.

      "In the past 24 hours, Russia has confirmed 11,493 COVID-19 cases in 85 regions, of which 2,954 (25.7 percent) were detected with people showing no clinical symptoms", the response centre said in a statement, specifying that the total count has reached 1,260,112.

    • 08:22

      Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill Under Quarantine After Contact With Coronavirus-Infected Person

    • 08:08

      Austria Breaks March Record With Around 1,200 New Cases, Reports Suggest

    • 07:19

      Germany Facing 'Worrying Rise' in Coronavirus Numbers, Health Minster Says

      German Health Minster Jens Spahn on Thursday stated that a recent spike in new cases is worrying, adding that Berlin wants to prevent an exponential rise.

      "We won't get to the situation we had in March or April", he added.

    • 06:58

      France Plans to Impose Maximum COVID-19 Alert on Lyon and Lille, Reports Suggest

    • 06:27

      UK Considers Local COVID-19 Curbs Amid Rising Numbers of Infected, Minister Says

    • 05:13

      Ukraine Sets New Daily High With 5,397 Infected

    • 04:44

      Bulgaria Confirms Daily Record of 437 COVID-19 Cases

    Live Updates: WHO Reports Record Single-Day Rise in Global COVID-19 Cases, Up by Over 338,000
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