19:38 GMT17 January 2021
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    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (274)
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    Countries across the world continue to set new records, as the daily increase in COVID-19 cases continues to rise.

    The death toll from the coronavirus infection throughout the world as of Sunday has topped 1.112 million, over 39.8 million cases of the infection have been detected, and more than 24.3 million of those patients have since 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, India and Brazil are the top three countries in terms of the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases.

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    • 00:46

      Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Canada Exceed 200,000

    • 23:45

      Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Argentina Exceed 1 Million, Health Ministry Says

      LA PAZ (Sputnik) - The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Argentina has surpassed one million, the country’s Health Ministry said in a statement.

      "Today, 12,982 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed, taking them into account, the total number of registered cases amounts to 1,002,662, of which 803,965 are recovered patients," the Monday statement says.

      In the past 24 hours, Argentina confirmed 451 new deaths from COVID-19. The country’s total coronavirus death toll stands at 26,716, according to the health ministry.

      Argentina is now fifth in terms of the total number of confirmed cases. The US, India, Brazil, and Russia are the other four countries that have already surpassed the 1 million COVID-19 cases mark.

      Last week, Argentina prolonged coronavirus restrictions for a further two weeks, until 25 October.

    • 22:55

      Swiss Armed Forces Chief Tests Positive for Coronavirus, Government Says

      ZURICH (Sputnik) - Swiss Armed Forces Chief Thomas Sussli tested positive for coronavirus, he has been in quarantine since Monday, the country's government said in a statement.

      "Due to contact with a person who tested positive for coronavirus, Army Chief Thomas Sussli took a test today. The result was positive," the statement said.

      Sussli currently has no symptoms and continues to work from home.

      He is 54 years old and has been the Swiss army chief since 1 January 2020. 

    • 20:21

      Death Toll From COVID-19 in Moscow Rises by 49 Over Past Day to 6,058 – Response Center

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Moscow has registered 49 deaths of patients infected with COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the Russian capital's death toll to 6,058, the city's coronavirus response center said in a statement on Monday.

      "Another 49 patients, who were diagnosed with pneumonia and tested positive for the coronavirus infection, died in Moscow," the center said.

      In the previous day, 51 people infected with the coronavirus died in Moscow.

    • 20:17

      PM Micheal Martin Says Ireland Moving to Highest Level of COVID-19 Restrictions

    • 17:26

      WHO Hopes to Get Info on Pause in COVID-19 Treatment Trial by US' Eli Lilly in Near Future

      Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization's (WHO) chief scientist, said during a virtual briefing on Monday that the UN health agency was expecting to be updated on a pause of the US pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly’s trial of its monoclonal antibody treatment for the coronavirus disease this or next week.

      "We are still waiting for details of that, but obviously the Data Safety Monitoring [Board] Committee is a committee that looks at the blinded data, so the investigators are not aware of what the issues are. I think we will hear something more later this week or next week about that particular study," Swaminathan said.

      Last week, Eli Lilly spokeswoman Molly McCully said that the treatment's trial was put on hold by health regulators due to its safety concerns.

      Eli Lilly's trial is one of several that are part of the US National Institute of Health’s "Activ" program, which aims to the development of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. The trial is backed by Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s initiative to manufacture and distribute vaccines.

      The pharmaceutical company is currently testing a combination of two lab-engineered immune system proteins called monoclonal antibodies to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients. The treatment is similar to the one made by Regeneron that was given to President Donald Trump, among other treatments, earlier this month after he tested positive for the coronavirus.

      The decision by Eli Lilly comes after Johnson & Johnson announced that it had learned of an "unexplained illness" in one of the volunteers that prompted it to pause its phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trial earlier this month.

    • 16:04

      French First Lady Brigitte Macron Self-Isolates After Contact With COVID-Positive Person

      In this file photo taken on September 28, 2020, French President's wife Brigitte Macron takes off her face mask after a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Vilnius, Lithuania. - Brigitte Macron has gone into a 7-day self-isolation period after being in contact with a person who has been tested positive with Covid-19, her entourage told AFP on October 19, 2020. Brigitte Macron, who does not show any symptoms of the disease, was in contact on October 15 with a person declared positive for Covid-19 on October 19, and showing symptoms, according to her entourage.

      French First Lady Brigitte Macron Self-Isolates After Contact With COVID-Positive Person

      The first lady had contact with a person who later tested positive for the coronavirus on 15 October, and will now stay isolated for a week.
      Read more
    • 15:56

      WHO Official Says Impossible to Predict How Next COVID Wave Affects Any Particular Country

      "We've seen countries do okay in the first wave and many countries may have just received a glancing blow - we don't know to what extent in some cases countries got it right and in other cases countries were just a little bit luckier than others. But what we're seeing now is the second wave. If you look at Asia, South Asia and South-East Asia, we're seeing countries that were little affected in the first wave being more affected now. And, again, in Africa, we're seeing some countries that had very few cases in the first way seeing more activity now than they saw before", Ryan told a virtual press conference. "So, therefore, it's really, really hard to predict what the next wave holds for any country".

    • 15:34

      Russian Upper House Speaker Expects Russia, Europe to Open COVID-19 Vaccines to Each Other

      "We are open to the exchange of experience, to make these vaccines [available to other countries], we offer them to other states and are ready to supply them, and we want the same response", the Russian parliament's upper house speaker, Valentina Matviyenko, said at a meeting with Secretary-General of the Council of Europe Maria Pejcinovic Buric.

    • 15:18

      Joe Biden Tests Negative for COVID-19 on Monday

    • 15:06

      UK Registers 18,804 New Cases, 80 Deaths on Monday

    • 14:32

      Merkel: Pandemic Becomes Test for Society, Economy, Migrants in Germany

      "The pandemic and its consequences confront us with great challenges. They present a significant test of our social cohesion. We feel the consequences in social interaction, as well as in economic development. The pandemic affects us all, though to a varying extent", Chancellor Angela Merkel told a virtual conference on integration on Monday.

      This is because government measures to support integration, in a particular language and vocational training courses "cannot be conducted online," and the economic consequences affect "the industries in which people with a migration background are employed," the chancellor noted.

      Migrant children and teenagers, who have been restricted in social contacts as a result of the pandemic, have emerged as one of the most vulnerable groups, she went on. Federal and regional authorities are therefore making every effort to ensure that schools and kindergartens remain open.

      Merkel expressed hope that the 13th edition of the conference would be held in a traditional in-person format, reiterating the need to provide migrants with training opportunities, including those professional, and acquaint them with our "core values, rights and responsibilities."

      According to a September poll, conducted by the Forsa Institute for the n-tv channel, only 37 percent of Germans are satisfied with the ruling coalition’s migration and asylum policy, while an

    • 14:23

      Russia's Vector Centre Hails Its COVID-19 Vaccine as Safe, Easy to Produce

      EpiVacCorona

      Russia's Vector Centre Hails Its COVID-19 Vaccine as Safe, Easy to Produce

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The main advantages of EpiVacCorona, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology Vector in the Russian city of Novosibirsk, are its effectiveness, safety and simplicity of production, the centre's Director-General Rinat Maksyutov said on Monday.
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    • 13:59

      Iran Joins WHO's COVAX Initiative on Equitable Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine

      TEHRAN (Sputnik) - Iran has joined the World Health Organisation’s COVAX initiative for the equitable global distribution of prospective COVID-19 vaccines, Director-General of Drugs and Controlled Substances of Iran’s Ministry of Health Heidar Mohammadi said Monday.

      Tehran has signed the necessary paperwork to be part of the global vaccine drive, Mohammadi said, as cited by the  state news agency IRNA.

      Iran joins over 170 nations and entities as part of the network aimed at fairly delivering some two billion vaccines worldwide by the end of 2021.

      IRNA also cited Iran’s Minister of Health Saeed Namaki as saying that the country was also working on developing its own vaccine against the virus. Iran’s vaccine candidate is now in the animal testing phase and is set to move to phase one human trial in the near future, the agency reported.

      China announced it was joining the initiative earlier this month, which puts it in the running with most other major world economies. The United States and Russia have so far refrained from joining the programme.

    • 13:12

      Austrian Gov't to Ban Indoor Social Gatherings of More Than 6 People Amid COVID-19 Surge

      "As of Friday, indoor face-to-face meetings can take place with a maximum of six adults, and 12 adults outdoors", Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Monday at a press briefing.

      The previous limit for indoor social gatherings stood at 10 people. Professional sports events, restaurants, bars, and shops are excluded from abiding by the new limit, providing that measures are put in place to ensure social distancing, the chancellor said.

      Outdoor professional sports events will be capped at 1,500 spectators, and the limit for indoor events will be 1,000 people, Kurz stated.

      Regional governments also have the power to impose their own measures, such as mandating that bars and restaurants close at a certain time, Kurz remarked, adding that the authorities are doing everything in their power to avoid a second nationwide lockdown.

      Public health officials in Austria registered 1,121 new positive tests for COVID-19 on Monday, with the European country being in the midst of its second wave of the pandemic. Austria's current single-day record of 1,747 new cases was registered this past Saturday.

      Since the start of the pandemic, 65,927 cases of the coronavirus disease have been identified in Austria, resulting in the deaths of 904 people.

    • 12:50

      Georgia Not Planning to Impose State of Emergency Due to COVID-19

      "We are in a completely different situation. In past, the decision to impose a lockdown was right, as it protected the health of our citizens. Back then, there were simply not enough medical masks in the country. Today, when the whole world agrees that the most effective way to fight the virus is by wearing medical masks, we, of course, will not impose a lockdown. There is no such need, our economy will not survive it", Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said on Monday during a briefing.

      The prime minister added that targeted restrictions and social distancing measures are most effective against COVID-19. According to Gakharia, the surge in the number of cases was expected, and the world needs to learn how to live with the new normal.

      Gakharia once again confirmed that the upcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled for October 31, will go ahead as planned.

      To date, Georgia has registered over 18,600 COVID-19 cases, 143 related deaths and more than 8,300 recoveries. The state of emergency was in place from mid-March to mid-May.

    • 12:49

      Ireland's Coronavirus-Related Jobless Benefits Claims Rise for 2nd Week in Row

    • 12:48

      Mexican President Says He Takes COVID-19 Tests Weekly Following Confirmed Infection of Military Aide

    • 12:15

      Poland's Deputy PM Self-Isolates After Contact With COVID-Infected Person

    • 11:57

      Norway Detects New Type of Coronavirus With Faster Transmission Properties

      Signs reading wash your hands immediately on entering the kindergarten (top) and Please ring the bell and wait, you will be picked up. Remember to keep at least a meter away from others are fixed at a door of a Espira Grefsen Station Kindergarten in Oslo, on April 20, 2020. - Norway, which says it has the new coronavirus under control, started opening up pre-schools after a month-long closure. Authorities have said the reopening was possible because children have been less affected by COVID-19, although some parents have expressed reservations over the decision.

      Norway Detects New Type of Coronavirus With Faster Transmission Properties

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Norwegian health authorities have detected a new mutation of the coronavirus with a higher transmission capacity in the central municipality of Trondheim, local chief physician Tove Rosstad told the NRK public broadcaster on Monday.
      Read more
    • 11:24

      Wales Enters Two-Week Lockdown From Friday

    • 11:10

      Iran Registers Record 337 Single-Day Virus Fatalities

      TEHRAN (Sputnik) - Iran has registered 337 new deaths from COVID-19 on Monday, breaking its single-day record of coronavirus-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, Sima Sadat Lari, a spokeswoman for the Iranian Health Ministry reported.

      Lari noted that the Iranian authorities recorded 4,251 new infections on Monday, pushing the total number to over 534,630.

      The previous highest number of deaths from COVID-19 was 279.

      Iran is going to join the COVAX initiative to ensure access to coronavirus vaccines at the international level, Heidar Mohammadi, the director-general of drugs and controlled substances of Iran's Ministry of Health, told the IRNA news agency on Monday. According to the official, Tehran is in line to purchase a vaccine and will have its share of doses whenever one is produced.

      Early in the pandemic, Iran was one of the epicentres of the coronavirus infection. Due to the increase in the virus cases, Tehran’s governor announced on Saturday the city’s partial shutdown. The closure of the public gathering places will remain until at least October 23.

      To date, Iran has confirmed more than 534,000 COVID-19 cases, with a death toll of 30,712.

    • 10:30

      Senior Palestinian Official Saeb Erakat in Critical Condition Due to COVID-19, Reports Say

      TEL AVIV (Sputnik) – Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Dr Saeb Erakat, who recently tested positive for COVID-19, is in critical condition and receiving lung ventilation at the Hadassah medical centre in Jerusalem, Israel’s Channel 13 reported on Monday.

      Erakat’s health has deteriorated to critical this morning, the broadcaster reported.

      Erakat’s treatment has been complicated because of a previous lung transplant surgery, which affected his immune system, the channel said. Members of the official’s inner circle and high-ranking representatives of the Fatah movement, which is affiliated with the PLO, are in the hospital.

      Hadassah medical staff are reportedly in contact with foreign doctors to discuss Erakat's treatment.

      The senior Palestinian official contracted the infection around a week ago and self-isolated at his home in Jericho, located in the West Bank. Erakat’s condition worsened on Sunday and he was then taken to the hospital at the insistence of his relatives.

    • 10:24

      Switzerland Posts 8,737 New COVID Cases

    • 10:23

      Global COVID Cases Surpass 40 Mln Milestone, Johns Hopkins University Says

    • 09:54

      Slovenia Declares 30-Day Nationwide State of Emergency

      "According to the official data on the number of infected people in Slovenia, we have reached the second wave of COVID-19. We are seeing its rapid and exponential spread among the population, significantly exceeding the normal incidence. The current epidemiological situation with the spread of the SARS-COV-2 virus requires an immediate declaration of an epidemic throughout the Republic of Slovenia, as all statistical regions have either reached or surpassed the threshold required for declaring an epidemic", the Slovenian cabinet said in a statement.

    • 09:35

      Moldovan Parliament Speaker Contracts Coronavirus

      CHISINAU (Sputnik) - Speaker of Moldovan Parliament Zinaida Greceanii has tested positive for COVID-19, the legislature's press office said on Monday.

      "The chairwoman of the Moldovan parliament, Zinaida Greceanii, was diagnosed with the new coronavirus. Today, she informed the parliament's secretariat that she had received confirmation of her infection", the press office said.

      Greceanii is in quarantine at home and is being treated by a family doctor.

      Coronavirus-positive lawmakers must stay in isolation until a test confirms that they have recovered, according to a parliamentary decree.

      To date, Moldova has registered over 67,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 1,500 coronavirus-related deaths. Like many other European countries, Moldova has been seeing a spike in daily registered COVID-19 cases in October — a single-day record of over 1,000 cases was confirmed last week.

    • 08:16

      Philippines Reports 2,638 New Cases, 26 Fatalities

    • 08:13

      RDIF Signs Deal on Distribution of Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine in India, Reports Say

      NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and New Delhi-based Mankind Pharma signed an agreement for the marketing and distribution of Sputnik V, the first Russian vaccine against the coronavirus, in India, the Livemint financial newspaper reported on Monday, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

      According to Livemint, a formal announcement is expected to be made this week.

      On Saturday, the RDIF and Dr. Reddy's, another Indian pharmaceutical company, said that they had received approval from the Drug Controller General of India to conduct phase 2 and 3 of clinical trials of Sputnik V in the South Asian country. The RDIF and Dr. Reddy's have entered into a partnership to supply the Indian company with 100 million doses of Sputnik V in September.

      Livemint said the RDIF’s deal with Mankind Pharma does not include clinical trials of the vaccine.

      Russia registered the world's first coronavirus vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Institute, in August. The RDIF has been teaming up with partners to conduct Sputnik V clinical trials in Belarus, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates.

    • 07:46

      Russia Registers Almost 16,000 COVID-19 Cases in Past 24 Hours

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia has registered a new single-day record of 15,982 COVID-19 cases, up from 15,099 yesterday, taking the cumulative total to 1,415,316, the country's coronavirus response centre said on Monday.

      "In the past 24 hours, Russia has confirmed 15,982 COVID-19 cases in 84 regions, of which 4,184 (26.2 percent) were detected actively, with people showing no clinical symptoms", the response centre said.

      The largest increase was identified in Moscow, where 5,376 new positive tests were registered (up from 4,610 yesterday). A total of 686 new cases were recorded in St. Petersburg (up from 674 yesterday) and 466 cases were confirmed in the Moscow Region (up from 460 yesterday). No new cases were recorded in the Chukotka Autonomous Region.

      As many as 179 coronavirus patients died in the past 24 hours, down from 185 yesterday, raising the country’s death toll to 24,366.

      As many as 5,328 coronavirus patients were confirmed to have recovered over the past day, down from 5,377 yesterday, bringing the total to 1,075,904.

      According to the national public health watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, over 54.3 million tests to detect COVID-19 have been conducted in Russia since the beginning of the pandemic, and 311,167 suspected carriers remain under medical monitoring.

    • 06:19

      UK Government Offered Manchester Money to Impose Stricter Covid-19 Lockdown

    • 06:12

      Moscow Mayor Says Such Radical Steps as Curfew, Ban on Citywide Movement, Entry/Exit Restrictions Impossible

      Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin expressed the belief on Monday that it was necessary to contain the spreading of the coronavirus without affecting key sector of the economy, praised the efficiency of the implemented measures and noted that curfews and bans on city entry and exit are absolutely inadmissible.

      "Last resort measures, such as curfews, a complete ban on movement across the city, a ban on entry and exit, and closure of almost all the enterprises, are absolutely inadmissible for us, this is just impossible. The optimal strategy is to find some happy medium between city closure and complete rejection of all the restrictive measures. We should not affect the key sectors of the economy and deprive people of their job, but at the same time we should find a possibility to break chains of coronavirus transmission," Sobyanin wrote in his blog.

      Sobyanin noted that the already implemented measures — including the recommendation for senior citizens to stay at home, the obligation to employers to send a significant share of staffers to work from home, and remote education for 6-11th grade students — were efficiently contributing to protecting a great share of Moscow residents from coronavirus.

      "This week has resulted not only in the increased number of hospitalizations: We see the first signs showing that we succeed in gaining control over the spreading of the infection," Sobyanin went on to say.

    • 04:29

      India's Case Tally Surpasses 7.5 Mln

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