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    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (220)
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    More than 38.01 million cases of the coronavirus infection have been detected and over 1 million have died from the disease since the pandemic broke out, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    The number of new COVID-19 cases has been increasing around the world; each of the last four days saw the highest number of new cases yet, Director-General of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday.

    The WHO chief urged caution regarding the idea of herd immunity, pointing out that it referred to the protective barrier achieved through the vaccination of a certain percentage of the population rather than their exposure to the disease.

    The United States still has the highest case count in the world, with over 7.8 million infections confirmed, including more than 215,800 fatalities.

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    • 02:35

      Germany Registers 5,132 New Cases of Coronavirus - Robert Koch Institute

      A total of 40 people have died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, it said.

    • 02:20

      Australia Reports 21 New Cases of Coronavirus in Past 24 Hours

    • 02:02

      Global COVID-19 Tally Tops 38 Mln - Johns Hopkins University

      The recoveries have reached 26,388,633, the university said.

    • 01:31

      Israeli Government Extends COVID-19 Lockdown Until 18 October

      A woman wearing a protective face mask plays with her daughter next to a statue of the first Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, during a nationwide three-week lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus at the beach in Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, Sept 22, 2020.

      Coronavirus-Related Lockdown in Israel Extended Until 18 October

      TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - The period of the general quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Israel has been extended until October 18, the prime minister and the health minister said in a joint statement.
      Read more
    • 00:11

      Mexico's Coronavirus Death Toll Rises to 84,420 - Health Ministry

    • 23:53

      World Bank Approves $12 billion in Aid to Developing States for COVID-19 Vaccines, Treatments

      A woman and a child wait to give their nasal swab samples to test for COVID-19 at a government hospital in Unchahar, Raebareli district, Uttar Pradesh, India, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020.

      World Bank Approves $12Bln to Help Developing Countries Get COVID-19 Vaccines, Treatments

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The World Bank approved $12 billion to help developing countries purchase novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines and treatments, the organisation said in a statement.
      Read more
    • 21:11

      Brazil Registers 10,220 New Cases of Coronavirus - Health Ministry

    • 20:29

      Another 52 Patients Diagnosed With COVID-19 Die in Moscow - Response Centre

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Moscow has registered 52 deaths of patients infected with COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the Russian capital's death toll to 5,739, the city's coronavirus response centre said in a statement on Tuesday.

      "Another 52 patients, who were diagnosed with pneumonia and tested positive for the coronavirus infection, died in Moscow", the centre said.

      In the previous day, 58 people infected with the coronavirus died in Moscow.

    • 19:47

      Study of Eli Lilly Coronavirus Medicine Put on Pause Over Safety Concerns - Reports

      "Safety is of the utmost importance to Lilly. We are aware that, out of an abundance of caution, the ACTIV-3 independent data safety monitoring board (DSMB) has recommended a pause in enrollment", a spokeswoman Molly McCully told CNBC.

      The ACTIV-3 trial is designed to test a monoclonal antibody developed by Eli Lilly in combination with remdesivir, an antiviral medication with emergency use authorisation for the virus, the report said.

      The trial is one of several that are part of the National Institute of Health's "Activ" programme, which is designed to accelerate the development of novel coronavirus vaccines and treatments. The trial is backed by Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration's effort to manufacture and distribute novel coronavirus vaccines.

    • 18:07

      New Law Regarding Remote Work Takes Effect in Spain

      A new law that regulates remote work takes effect in Spain on Tuesday as part of the measures to combat the COVID-19 crisis, according to the decree released by the Official Bulletin of Spain.

      The main objective of the law is to provide "sufficient, transversal and integrated regulation in a substantive standard that responds to various needs, balancing the use of new forms of work ...  providing a framework of rights that satisfy, among others, the principles on its voluntary and reversible nature or the principles of equal treatment under professional conditions," the memorandum says.

      The law establishes "the necessity to sign an agreement with the employee who is going to work remotely more than 30% of the week" during a three-month period and will provide them with the same rights as those who work from the office. Remote work will be voluntary and will require signing a written contract.

      In general, the new law distinguishes between the definition of remote work, which is work from home or a place chosen by the worker, and direct work provided from the office.

      This spring Spain topped the list of the countries with the highest number of COVID-19 cases and has been showing again a considerable increase of infections during recent weeks.

    • 18:05

      Americans’ Willingness to Take COVID-19 Vaccine Plunges 11 Points to 50% - Poll

      Acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine by US adults plunged by 11 percentage points in late September from a month earlier, with half of those surveyed saying they would refuse to be vaccinated, a Gallup poll revealed on Tuesday.

      Partisanship possibly triggered by President Donald Trump’s announcement that a vaccine could be ready in October likely explained a shift in confidence that a vaccine will be safe, Gallup said in a press release explaining the poll.

      “After two months of Democrats being more likely than Republicans to say they would be vaccinated, about half of all political party groups now say they would get the vaccine. This marks a new low among Democrats and independents, while Republicans' interest in getting the vaccine has returned to the levels recorded in July, up from their low point in late August,” the release said.

      Currently, 53% of Democrats said they would take a vaccine, down from 78 percent a month earlier. That compares with 49 percent of Republicans willing to be vaccinated, up from 37 percent a month earlier. Among independent voters, 49 percent would now decline a vaccine, down from 57 percent, the release added.

      “It appears some Americans have lost confidence in the safety of the approval process for the vaccine, and are not merely answering as if a vaccine were literally available right now," the release said

      Polls since early August have consistently found young adults to be more willing than middle-aged and older adults to be vaccinated, according to Gallup. 

    • 17:51

      Merkel Urges EU Countries to Prevent Second Coronavirus Lockdown

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that she was concerned over the rising coronavirus cases across Europe and urged EU countries to maintain epidemiological security measures to prevent a second COVID-19 lockdown.

      "I am watching with great concern the renewed increase in infection numbers in almost every part of Europe. And I must say the situation continues to be serious. We must not throw away what we achieved due to restrictions over the past months. These restrictions have not been easy for any of us. Many have lost their lives," Merkel said during a debate on the German presidency of the European Union at the bloc’s Committee of the Regions.

      She added that European countries should work to avoid second coronavirus lockdown so that the National Healthcare System is not overloaded.

      "We must show that we have learned our lesson and should ask people in Europe to follow the rules, wear masks, keep social-distancing, and do what we can to suppress the virus and at the same time support economic activity in Europe," the German chancellor said.

      As in other European countries, Germany's number of new COVID-19 cases began to increase in the fall. While in the summer, Germany saw several hundred COVID-19 cases emerging every day, in October, several thousand daily cases were registered. Over the last 24 hours, more than 4,100 new cases have been recorded. During the whole pandemic, Germany recorded over 330,000 cases, with over 9,600 deaths.

    • 13:58

      Norway Vows to Make Coronavirus Vaccination Free for Citizens

      A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a Vaccine COVID-19 sticker and a medical syringe in this illustrationd

      Norway Vows to Make Coronavirus Vaccination Free for Citizens

      MURMANSK, Russia (Sputnik) - The vaccination against COVID-19 in Norway will be free of charge and might begin as early as in the beginning of the coming year, Norwegian Health Minister Bent Hoie said on Tuesday.
      Read more
    • 13:49

      COVID-19 Growth in Russia to Persist Until Early November

      Daily growth in the number of COVID-19 patients in Russia will continue for another 20 days, through the first ten days of November, Aleksandr Gorelov, the deputy head of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology at the national consumer rights and human welfare watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, told Sputnik on Tuesday.

      "The growth is anticipated. As we said in the spring, coronavirus is not an exception among seasonal infections. There are two incubation periods, that is 28 days, but since the growth began a few days ago, conditionally we discard eight days. Thus, we expect an increase [in the number of patients] to last for another 20 days, until about the first ten days of November," Gorelov said.

      He said the situation with coronavirus in Russia will continue to stabilize until mid-November, after which a smooth and steady decline in the number of cases will begin.

    • 12:02

      Swedish Confirmed Covid-19 Cases During Pandemic Rise Above 100,000

    • 11:56

      WHO Regional Official Says World Still Facing 1st Wave of COVID-19 Pandemic, Not 2nd One

      There is not yet global second wave of the coronavirus infection, as the world is still facing the first wave that started in early 2020, World Health Organization (WHO) European Region Health Emergencies Coordinator Dorit Nitzan said on Tuesday.

      Countries across the world have been recently reporting an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases per day, with some of them setting new single-day records for infection. According to the official, nations, where the major outbreak was brought under control, have been witnessing something "literally like a second wave." At the same time, while some countries started reporting more cases, the WHO faced problems with the data, Nitzan noted.

      "Some countries are reporting to us the number of positive tests and some are reporting only the sick ones. Some are reporting the ones without those that were in contact. So the denominator and the numerator in the reports [are] different and that we see those different shapes and forms. And those different shapes and forms show that, indeed, there is no second wave, the virus is here with us, the virus would stay with us until a better solution would be found," Nitzan said at a conference devoted to the pandemic and its consequences.

      In late September, Professor Walter Ricciardi, a scientific adviser to the Italian health minister, also expressed a similar point of view, saying it was incorrect to talk about an alleged second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the first had not subsided yet.

    • 11:46

      Conte Signs Decree With New Measures to Counter COVID-19 in Italy

       Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has signed a decree introducing new restrictive measures to counter COVID-19 in Italy.

      According to the decree, face masks are obligatory everywhere outdoors and also indoors in public places, as well as recommended at home.

      "With regard to private homes, it is strongly recommended to avoid parties, as well as to avoid receiving more than six non-cohabitants," the decree, published on the government website, reads, adding that "all competitions and all activities related to contact sports of amateur character are prohibited."

      The new document also prohibits all school trips, exchange initiatives and guided visits organized by educational institutions of all levels.

      Bars and restaurants will be required to close at midnight.

      For cinemas, concerts and other public events, the limits of 200 participants indoors and 1000 outdoors remain in place, with the obligation to provide at least one meter of distance between the seats.

      Events that involve indoor gatherings in which it is not possible to keep distance have been suspended.

      From October 22-23, Italy is going to hold the Eurasian Economic Forum in Verona with at least 500 indoor participants.

      The new measures enter into force immediately.

    • 11:38

      Japan Confirms 496 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 11:18

      Dominican Expat Infects Over 125 People With COVID-19 in Italy's North

      A young man from the Dominican Republic with permanent residence in Italy has practically created a new hotbed of COVID-19 in the country's north, having infected at least 126 people by this point, Italian epidemiologist Fabrizio Faggiano said on Tuesday.

      Faggiano spoke at a national symposium on medical law in the northwestern Italian city of Alessandria, when commenting on Italy's imported coronavirus cases.

      As told by the epidemiologist, the young man, who permanently resides in the northwestern Italian city of Vercelli, returned to Italy from the Dominican Republic in mid-July and did not self-isolate for 14 days, as required by law. Instead, he carried on with his normal life style and did not even used masks, thus becoming the "patient zero" of a whole new hotbed.

      First, he infected a married couple in a public pool who then transmitted the virus to 33 colleagues at work who, in turn, passed it on to another eight people. On July 26, the Dominican man visited a night club in Vercelli where 58 people ended up contracting the virus from him. Some of these people passed the virus further after going to another bar that night. At least eight cases were traced back to these people. One of these cases later attended a funeral where they infected six other people who, in turn, infected another six people. 

      According to Faggiano, the authorities were able to confirm 126 cases originating from the Dominican patient over the past 25 days. The doctor suspects there were other transmission chains which have not yet been identified.

      During the initial wave of the coronavirus at the beginning of this year, Italy emerged as Europe's worst outbreak, with its northern regions hit particularly hard. It was the first European country to lock down completely as a nation in early March.

      The country has managed to curb the spread of the virus and lift most of the restrictions during the summer. The fall brought a resurgence of the infection all over Europe, and Italian authorities to reinstate some of the restrictions, including limited operation hours and rules of conduct for cafes and other entertainment businesses.

      For the first time since the spring peak of COVID-19, Italy reported over 5,000 new cases per one day last Friday. As of Tuesday, Italian authorities have confirmed nearly 360,000 cases, including 36,205 deaths and 240,600 recoveries.

    • 11:14

      EU Leaders Agree Upon Guidelines of COVID-19-Related Travel Measures For All Member States

      The heads of EU member states have jointly set up common health measures for travel in the wake of the renewed spread of COVID-19 across the European area, which they seek to curb, the European Commission announced on Tuesday.

      The meeting of EU envoys who adopted the guideline took place in Luxembourg.

      "On 13 October, EU Member States adopted a Council Recommendation on a coordinated approach to the restriction of free movement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic," the European Commission said in a statement.

      The agreement includes a ban on movement limits for essential travel and, in particular, cross-border workers within Europe, except for cases meeting the common criteria. It will determine the rates of testing, test positivity and the number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the last two weeks.

      In addition, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control will create a colored map of EU states, based on the data received from their authorities, to show the COVID-19-risk levels of European countries by color from green to grey, the latter for information insufficiency regarding the health situation in the region.

      EU member states will be allowed to adopt health measures they consider necessary, including imposing a quarantine or testing for travelers arriving from highly infected areas, provided that governments of these states promptly inform the Commission and other EU countries of such decisions. In addition, those with essential function or need will not be required to quarantine upon arrival.

      Europe has been under a surge of coronavirus infections. Governments of the EU member have reported increasing daily numbers, but have been trying to prevent nationwide lockdowns by implementing additional restrictive measures locally.

    • 11:09

      Russian Sputnik V Vaccine Trials on Volunteers Aged 60+ to Finish in Mid-2021

      The trials of Russia's coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V on volunteers aged over 60 are set to be completed in mid-2021, and after that the vaccine will be tested on children, Alexander Gintsburg, the head of the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, said on Tuesday.

      In August, Russia became the first country in the world to register the vaccine against COVID-19, created by the Gamaleya Institute. Post-registration clinical trials were launched in Moscow on September 7. A total of 40,000 volunteers are due to take part in the tests. As many as 10,000 of them will receive placebo.

      "We are already working on the draft documents jointly with the Health Ministry, as I hope that we will manage to successfully complete the trials on volunteers aged over 60 in the middle of the next year. After that, we will submit the package of documents to start testing the vaccine on children," Gintsburg said at an online conference, dubbed Pandemic 2020.

    • 11:04

      Swiss Pharmaceutical Firm Roche Plans to Launch New COVID-19 Antigen Test by Year's End

      The Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche plans to launch a new COVID-19 antigen test by the end of the year, the company said in a press release on Tuesday.

      Roche said that the testing system, named Elecsys, will accurately detect the coronavirus antigen by using nasal or oral swabs, adding that the results of tests can be achieved in just 18 minutes. The new system is marked for use in Cobas analyzers, which Roche said are commonly found across the globe.

      "We are aware that governments and healthcare systems are under intense pressure to increase SARS-CoV-2 testing capacity to effectively manage the spread of the virus. A high-volume antigen test is a valuable addition to the testing portfolio for helping diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection," Thomas Schinecker, the CEO of Roche Diagnostics, said in the press release.

      Roche has already launched the Cobas test system to detect the coronavirus disease, as well as an antibody test. The Swiss firm struck a deal in May with the UK government to offer the antibody test to National Health Service workers.

    • 10:49

      UK Unemployment Rate at 4.5 Percent Amid Second COVID-19 Wave

      The UK’s unemployment rate grew to 4.5 percent in the three months to August, amid fears that new local lockdown measures imposed by the government in an attempt to contain a second COVID-19 wave will translate into more people being made redundant, official figures showed on Tuesday.

      “Estimates for June to August 2020 show an estimated 1.52 million people were unemployed, 209,000 more than a year earlier and 138,000 more than the previous quarter,” the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a report.

      According to the ONS, the 4.5 percent increase is 0.6 percentage points higher than a year earlier and 0.4 percentage points higher than in the three months to June.

      It added that the number of payroll employees has fallen by 673,000 since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the UK in March.

      Nearly 10 million people benefited from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme the government implemented in March to avoid massive layoffs and which saw the government covering up to 70 percent of the salaries of workers so they can keep their jobs amid the national lockdown.

      The scheme is due to expire on October 31, and the UK Finance Minister, Rishi Sunak, told Parliament on September 24 that he “cannot save every job” when he unveiled the government's economy plan for winter.

      The new furlough scheme to be implemented from November 1 will run for six months and will see the government paying only for 22 percent of the hours not worked by employees who are told to self-isolate because of the novel coronavirus.

      On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK is entering a crucial phase as he announced a new three-tier COVID-19 alert system aimed at tackling the second wave of the pandemic that is raging across England.

      As part of the new alert system, most of England will be in the “medium” level from Wednesday, meaning existing social distancing measures such as the Rule of Six, a ban on indoor or outdoor meetings of more than six people, and the closure of hospitality venues at 10:00pm (21:00 GMT), will apply.

      “High” adds extra measures including a ban on indoor social mixing between households or support bubbles, while the “Very High” level will be for places where a rapid increase in the rate of infections could put the public health service under intolerable pressure.

      The highest-risk category will be enforced from Wednesday in the Liverpool City region, and includes a ban on all social mixing between people from different household in private and public places, and the closure of leisure centers, gyms and betting shops.

      Pubs and bars will also have to close, unless they can operate solely as restaurants, serving alcohol as part of a main meal, Johnson said.

    • 10:13

      Bangladesh COVID-19 Cases Rise to 381,275

    • 09:48

      Polish PM in Quarantine After Contact With COVID-19

    • 09:22

      Poland Reports Over 5,000 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 09:10

      WHO on Johnson&Johnson Halting COVID-19 Vaccine Trial: Safety Paramount

      The company logo for Johnson & Johnson is displayed to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the company's listing at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 17, 2019.

      WHO on Johnson&Johnson Halting COVID Vaccine Trial: Safety Paramount

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The World Health Organization believes that safety in research is crucial and is pleased to see developers acting by the rules, the WHO spokesperson said regarding Johnson&Johnson suspending its vaccine trials.
      Read more
    • 08:56

      Hotel Owners Rally in Paris in Bid to Get State Aid Amid COVID-19 Crisis

      Hotel owners have partially blocked traffic on the Ring Road in the French capital of Paris, demanding that authorities provide support packages to the crisis-hit industry after restrictive measures were intensified following a surge in COVID-19 infections, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Tuesday.

      Paris city administration declared maximum coronavirus alert last week, and ordered closures of bars, swimming pools and gyms for 14 days to prevent further spread of the virus. Other health measures, such as the requirement to wear masks in shared spaces, and social distancing rules, were reintroduced in July.

      In a video footage provided by the correspondent, protesters can be seen holding posters with inscriptions like: "Aid to companies, partial unemployment to IDC [indeterminate employment contract], 'white year' [year free of income tax] for spectacles, and what about us???"

      France has seen a resurgence in coronavirus cases, with the daily numbers steadily increasing since mid-summer. The most recent daily record high of 26,896 new infections was confirmed on October 10. To date, France has registered 776,097 COVID-19 cases with a death toll at 32,703.

    • 08:13

      Egypt Records 132 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 07:45

      Russia's COVID-19 Daily Growth Hits New Record, 13,868 New Cases Reported

      Russia has registered 13,868 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, up from 13,592 yesterday, breaking the daily growth record and taking the cumulative case total to 1,326,178, the country's coronavirus response centre said on Tuesday.

      "In the past 24 hours, Russia has confirmed 13,868 COVID-19 cases in 85 regions, of which 3,892 (28.1 percent) were detected actively, with people showing no clinical symptoms," the response centre said in a statement, specifying that the total count has reached 1,326,178.

      The largest increase was identified in Moscow, where 4,618 new positive tests were registered (up from 4,395 yesterday). A total of 557 new cases were recorded in St. Petersburg (up from 538 yesterday) and 420 cases were confirmed in the Moscow region (down from 440 yesterday).

      The response center reported 244 new coronavirus-related fatalities, up from 125 yesterday, raising Russia's total death toll to 22,966.

      As many as 7,550 coronavirus patients were confirmed to have recovered over the last day, up from 3,793 yesterday, bringing the total number of discharges to 1,031,785.

    • 07:41

      Russian Watchdog Says Country's Average COVID-19 Incidence Totals 8 per 100,000 People

      Russia's average coronavirus incidence totaled eight per 100,000 people over the past week, while it amounts to 54 in Israel and to 22 in the United Kingdom, Anna Popova, the head of the public health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, said on Tuesday.

      "Even now, amid a spike, the Russian Federation's daily average [incidence] rate amounted to around eight per 100,000 of the population over the past seven days. On different days, it could total 7.5, slightly more or slightly less, around eight," Popova said at the Pandemic 2020 international conference.

      According to the Rospotrebnadzor chief, the average coronavirus incidence totals 54 per 100,000 people in Israel, 28 in Belgium and France, 27 in the Netherlands, 22 in the UK and 21 in Spain.

    • 07:10

      Armenia Reports 745 New COVID -19 Cases

    • 06:30

      French Сabinet to Discuss Coronavirus Measures on Tuesday

    • 06:22

      China Postpones November's Airshow in Zhuhai Over COVID-19

      The 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in the city of Zhuhai — Airshow China — initially scheduled for November has been postponed until further notice over the worsening epidemiological situation, the event's organizing committee said on Tuesday in a press release.

      "The global situation of the Covid-19 pandemic is still developing rapidly. After careful consideration regarding the health of our guests and exhibitors, safety of travel and the quality of the exhibition, we regret to announce that the 13th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition (namely Airshow China), originally scheduled to be held from November 10th to 15th, 2020, at Zhuhai International Airshow Center, will be postponed until further notice," the press release said.

      Airshow China is the Asian country's largest international aerospace trade show. It has been held every two years since 1996, showcasing military and civil aircraft, space technology, weapons and military equipment, as well as air defenсe systems and electronic warfare technology.

    • 04:23

      Number of Cases in India Up 55,342 in 24 Hours

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