08:42 GMT30 November 2020
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    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (246)

    The global death toll from the coronavirus infection has topped 1.123 million, over 40.7 million cases of the infection have been detected, and over 27.7 million people 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 8,272,427 infected, including 220,992 fatalities and 3,295,148 recoveries. It is followed by India, which has the second-largest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding 7.5 million.

    Brazil comes third in terms of coronavirus cases with the total number of those infected with COVID-19 nearing 5.3 million. 

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    • 03:54

      Total of 28 US Colleagues to Arrive to Help Czech Doctors Fight COVID - Prime Minister

      PRAGUE (Sputnik) - A total of 28 colleagues from the United States will arrive next week to help Czech doctors fight the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis told reporters.

      “The government is doing everything to prevent the collapse regarding coronavirus patients. We are trying to organize aid from abroad. By agreement with the US ambassador to Prague, 28 doctors representing the National Guard of [the US state of] Nebraska will fly in to us next week. They already have experience in combating COVID-19," Babis said.

      According to the prime minister, US doctors will arrive with their own personal protective equipment and will be involved in a field hospital, which is now being deployed by Czech soldiers in the Letnany district of Prague.

      Earlier this week, Babis said there were preliminary agreements with the authorities of a number of neighboring countries, in particular Germany and Austria, to provide assistance to Czech doctors. It is assumed, among other things, that if there is a lack of beds in local hospitals, COVID-19 patients can be sent to medical facilities in these countries.

      Over the past day, a record number of new coronavirus patients has been registered in the country - 11,984 people. Overall, 113,219 people are undergoing treatment, of whom 4,064 are in hospitals, including 634 in serious condition. During the pandemic, 1,619 people have died.

    • 03:25

      Germany Registers Record 11,287 New COVID-19 Cases Over Past Day – Robert Koch Institute

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Germany has confirmed 11,287 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours marking the largest daily increase since the start of the outbreak, with the total count reaching 392,049, the Robert Koch Institute said on Thursday.

      The death toll has grown by 30 to 9,905 people within the same period of time. Some 306,000 people have recovered since the start of the outbreak.

      A day earlier, the country confirmed 7,595 new coronavirus cases and 39 fatalities.

    • 02:36

      Less Than 1% of Qatar Airways Passengers Contracted COVID During Flights - CEO

      DOHA (Sputnik) - Significantly less than 1 percent of more than 4.6 million passengers who have flown Qatar Airways aircraft since February 2020 has become infected with COVID-19 afterwards, the airline's CEO Akbar Al Baker told reporters.

      "The latest statistics have shown that with the right measures, including good hygiene on board and at airports, as well as social distancing, testing, air travel cannot be a source of concern for passengers," Baker said.

      "The number of people infected with coronavirus during flights since February, among more than 4.6 million passengers, is very small. More than 99.988% reached, on over 37,000 flights, their destination healthy," he said.

      The world's leading airline Qatar Airways has continued to fly to multiple destinations during the coronavirus pandemic. Currently, it operates flights to 100 destinations.

    • 02:12

      Number of COVID-19 Cases in France Surpasses 1 Million - Johns Hopkins University

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The number of people, who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in France, has surpassed 1 million, Johns Hopkins University (JHU) says.

      According to the university, the exact number of confirmed coronavirus cases in France stands at 1,000,369 as of 02:00 GMT.

      The death toll from COVID-19 in France amounts to 34,075 people, the university adds.

      France has thus become the second EU nation with more than 1 million coronavirus cases following Spain.

    • 23:43

      Israeli Government Approves Quarantine Exit Plan

      TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - The Israeli government commission to respond to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak has approved a plan for Israel's exit from quarantine, which will depend not on specific dates, but on the incidence rates in the country, the cabinet said in a statement.

      "At a meeting of the commission of ministers on coronavirus response, it was decided to approve the principles for exiting quarantine. The transition from stage to stage of easing restrictions will be determined by data on incidence, and not specific dates," the cabinet said.

      There will be at least 14 days between the stages of exit from quarantine, despite the fact that the number of stages can be reduced to five instead of the previously approved nine.

      "Before proceeding to the next stage, a briefing will be held, at which the current situation will be checked for compliance with the indicators set in the program," it said.

      A partial exit from quarantine restrictions in Israel, including the reopening of kindergartens and the opening of businesses that do not receive clients, began on 18 October. Also, the ban on moving away from houses for more than a kilometer has been lifted, and visits to parks and beaches are allowed.

    • 23:40

      German Health Minister Jens Spahn Tests Positive For Coronavirus

      Germany’s Health Minister, Jens Spahn, 40, has contracted the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the ministry announced on Wednesday.

      In a Wednesday tweet, Spahn said that he is currently self-isolating at home.

      “Thanks for the many good wishes. I am in domestic isolation and am currently only experiencing cold symptoms,” Spahn tweeted in German. “I wish good health to everyone with whom I have been in contact. Let's continue to take care of each other!”


    • 23:26

      South Ossetia Asks Russia to Send Military Field Hospital to Fight COVID-19

      TSKHINVAL (Sputnik) - The leadership of South Ossetia has requested a military field hospital from Russia due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the presidential press service said in a statement.

      "On an instruction from President Anatoly Bibilov, the Defense Ministry of the Republic of South Ossetia sent a letter to the Russian Ministry of Defense with a request to send a military field hospital to the republic," the statement said.

      In a letter addressed to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, acting Defense Minister of South Ossetia Ibragim Gasseyev noted that there was an outbreak of new coronavirus infection in the republic and asked to quickly deploy a 150-bed hospital in South Ossetia, as well as specialists and required medical equipment.

      The letter was sent in accordance with the agreement between Russia and South Ossetia on allied relations and integration and the agreement on the provision of medical assistance to servicemen.

      Overall, 305 COVID-19 cases have been registered in South Ossetia, with two deaths.

    • 22:24

      Bulgarian Health Ministry Clarifies Details of Face Mask Requirements on Streets

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Bulgarian Health Ministry has clarified the procedure for using protective face masks on the streets.

      Earlier, Health Minister Kostadin Angelov announced the new mask requirements, which, as part of the response to COVID-19, would concern not only closed public spaces, but also the stay of people outdoors.

      On Wednesday, the Health Ministry published an official resolution on the expansion of anti-epidemic measures, starting on 22 October.

      In line with the resolution, masks on the streets will be required only when people are crowded and it is impossible to maintain a social distance of 1.5 meters. Instead of masks, it is allowed to use substitute means, for example, shawls and scarves.

      Children under six years of age will not have to wear masks.

      According to Johns Hopkins University, there are 31,863 confirmed coronavirus cases in Bulgaria, with 1,019 deaths and 17,414 recoveries.

    • 20:34

      IMF Approves $156Mln for Cameroon to Finance COVID-19 Response

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Cameroon will receive emergency aid totaling $156 million to help cover a shortfall in the nation's budget and balance of payments due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Monetary Fund said in a press release on Wednesday.

      The $158 disbursement from the fund’s Rapid Credit Facility represents about 40 percent of Cameroon’s IMF credit line, the release said.

      "This is the second emergency disbursement to the country since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing total IMF emergency support since the outbreak of the pandemic to SDR [special drawing rights] 276 million (about US$ 382 million, 100 percent of quota)," the release added.

      The release credited Cameroon with a mounting and proactive response to COVID-19 with efforts to contain the disease while boosting health and social spending.

      The disbursement will help the nation pay for crisis-related emergency programs and cope with a pandemic-related economic slowdown, according to the release.

    • 20:06

      Death Toll From COVID-19 in Moscow Rises by 66 Over Past Day to 6,187 – Response Center

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Moscow has registered 66 deaths of patients infected with COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the Russian capital's death toll to 6,187, the city's coronavirus response center said in a statement on Wednesday.

      "Another 66 patients, who were diagnosed with pneumonia and tested positive for the coronavirus infection, died in Moscow," the center said.

      In the previous day, 63 people infected with the coronavirus died in Moscow.

    • 17:37

      Spain Records One Million COVID-19 Cases

      Spain has confirmed that the total number of coronavirus cases in the country has exceeded one million.

      According to the country's health ministry, the tally currently stands at 1,005,295, with over 16,000 cases registered in the past 24 hours. 


    • 17:27

      Brazil's Health Authority Says Volunteer in Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Trials Dies

      FILE - In this Wednesday, June 24, 2020 file photo, a volunteer receives an injection at the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg.

      Brazilian Volunteer in Clinical Trials of Oxford Anti-Covid Vaccine Dies, Health Authority Says

      It's not clear yet whether the late participant was receiving the vaccine or placebo.
      Read more
    • 16:57

      Russian Research Centre Vector Says More Dangerous Pandemic Possible in 5-10 Years

      Rinat Maksyutov, the head of the Russian State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology Vector, which developed Russia's second COVID-19 vaccine, said on Wednesday that a more dangerous pandemic than the coronavirus one could hit the world in 5-10 years or later.

      "One can imagine an example of a more dangerous pathogen of a viral nature, a pandemic of which will have much more dire consequences. This situation has high chances to take place in five or 10 years, or 20 years," Maksyutov told a session of the Valdai Discussion Club.

      The specialist explained that such a scenario was possible due to a number of reasons, including the significant development of the humankind, the appearance of people in remote areas of the planet and coming into contact with animals that people had not previously contact with.

    • 16:56

      Lithuanian Government Introduces Quarantine in 12 Municipalities Over COVID-19, Reports Say

      The Lithuanian government on Wednesday decided to introduce a quarantine in 12 municipalities from October 26 to November 9 over a surge in COVID-19 cases, media reported.

      Quarantine rules will be introduced in the cities of Elektrenai and Marijampole, as well as in the districts of Joniskis, Jurbarkas, Kelme, Klaipeda, Kretinga, Pasvalys, Plunge, Skuodas, Siauliai and Svencionys. The authorities also decided to extend the quarantine in the district of Raseiniai until November 6.

      The introduction of a quarantine prescribes limiting the intensity of urban and suburban traffic. Public gatherings will be limited to five people in one group, with the exception of family members, and children over six years old must wear masks.

      Lithuania has confirmed 8,239 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, including 120 fatalities. A total of 3,599 patients have recovered.

    • 15:46

      Switzerland May Introduce Stricter COVID-19 Measures Next Week If Cases Continue to Rise

      The Swiss authorities are considering an introduction of harsher coronavirus-related restrictions starting next week due to a surge in the infection cases, Alain Berset, the head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs, said on Wednesday.

      On Sunday, Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga said that wearing face masks was mandatory in all public places across Switzerland, and gatherings of over 15 people were banned. According to Berset, the number of new COVID-19 cases is doubling every week.

      "If the measures announced on Sunday and, first and foremost, all the measures taken by the cantons, do not show a clear change in the figures next week, we are preparing to take a number of additional measures next Wednesday [October 28] in relation to government institutions, assemblies, private or public events. So it is quite possible, and it seems to me very likely, that the Federal Council will take further action next Wednesday," Berset said.

      The official noted that the Swiss authorities were trying to find a better solution to the epidemiological crisis, however, if the situation did not change in the coming week, the Federal Council would consider the introduction of additional measures.

      Switzerland has set a daily record, as 5,583 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed over the past 24 hours. So far, the country has confirmed a total of 91,763 cases, including 1,856 fatalities.

    • 15:27

      Russia's President Says Vaccination of Russians Against COVID-19 Top Priority

      Sputnik V Vaccine

      Putin Says Vaccination Against Coronavirus Must Be Rolled Out Across Russia

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - It is necessary to roll out vaccination against the coronavirus across the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.
      Read more
    • 15:10

      Italy Reports Record 15,199 COVID-19 Cases in 24 Hours

      Italy recorded the highest daily number of new coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic —15,199 infections, the Health MInistry said Wednesday.

      Before that, the highest number of new cases was registered on October 18 and stood at 11,705.

    • 15:06

      German Health Minister Tests Positive for COVID-19

      German Health Minister Jens Spahn, 40, tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday afternoon, the health ministry said.

      The minister has been self-isolating since then, it added. 

    • 14:48

      Germany Nears Full or Partial Lockdown Over Worsening COVID-19 Situation, Bavaria's Head Says

      Germany is approaching the introduction of full or partial quarantine due to the deteriorating epidemiological situation in the country, Markus Soder, the minister-president of the southern state of Bavaria, said on Wednesday.

      The resurgence of new infections across Germany over September-October has reached a point requiring a return of strict control measures. Thus, authorities in the Berchtesgadener Land region of Bavaria imposed on Tuesday a new set of strict coronavirus restrictions similar to a lockdown amid a sharp resurgence. In addition, Berlin has made wearing of face masks mandatory at markets and streets with heavy pedestrian traffic.

      "We are much closer to a lockdown, or at least a partial lockdown, than many people imagine," Soder said during his address in Munich, as aired by the N24 broadcaster.

      According to the minister-president, given that the pandemic is "out of control" in many neighboring countries, such as France and Belgium, Germany may soon face a similar threat.

      So far, Germany has confirmed more than 373,000 cases of the coronavirus infection, including 9,836 fatalities and over 298,000 recoveries. On Wednesday, the country registered 7,595 new cases.

    • 14:39

      Germany Reportedly Ready to Send 160 Soldiers to NATO Countries for COVID-19 Operations

      Germany is ready to deploy 160 specialists of the Bundeswehr to NATO member and partner countries to help decongest their overloaded healthcare systems in the wake of the second wave of COVID-19, Spiegel reported on Wednesday.

      According to the paper, Germany expressed its willingness to deploy сhemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense military specialists, as well as medical personnel, not only to NATO member states, but also to the alliance's partner countries.

      The specialists would be sent to these countries, if their health care systems could not cope with the high rate of COVID-19 infections and the states have requested for Germany’s support, the news outlet wrote.

      Spiegel sources also told the paper that four other NATO members, including the United Kingdom and France, have also agreed to provide their specialists.

      NATO’s personnel might be engaged in the construction of field hospitals and the transportation of infected people, the paper wrote.

      According to the World Health Organization, 373,167 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Germany with 9,836 deaths. Germany reported 6,868 infection cases on Tuesday. The German authorities have limited private gatherings to 15 people and obliged pubs and restaurants to close by 11 p. m. to improve the epidemiological situation that had deteriorated recently.

    • 14:39

      Young Employees in South Korea Among Worst Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic, Reports Say

      Young employees in South Korea have been severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which first struck Asia's fourth-largest economy in late January, media reported on Wednesday, citing the data from Statistics Korea.

      According to the Yonhap news agency, nearly 420,000 employees in South Korea aged 15-39 lost their jobs in April, compared to a decline of 195,000 in March as a result of the pandemic. In September, over 500,000 young South Korean workers lost their jobs amid a resurgence of infections.

      As for the employees in their 40s and 50s, 333,000 lost their jobs in April and 309,000 became unemployed in September. Meanwhile, the number of people aged 60 or older has increased during the pandemic.

      The total number of coronavirus cases released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency has exceeded 25,000, with 450 deaths. The majority of cases came from the densely populated metropolitan area of Seoul. The total number of full recoveries stands at 23,584.

    • 14:38

      Another Large Area of England Put Under Tougher COVID-19 Restrictions, UK Gov't Says

      The region of South Yorkshire, in northern England, will move from local COVID-19 alert level high to very high from Saturday, after seeing a rapid increase in the rate of coronavirus infections, the UK government announced on Wednesday.

      “In South Yorkshire rates are among the highest in the country and continuing to rise rapidly with case rates ranging from 285 people per 100,000 in Doncaster up to 402 people per 100,000 in Sheffield,” the statement said.

      The three-tier local lockdown system was designed by the government, in an attempt to try to contain the second wave of the pandemic without having to impose a national lockdown. The three-level system is divided into medium, high and very high.

      Medium means existing national social distancing measures such as the so-called Rule of Six, which prohibits indoor or outdoor meetings of more than six people, and the closure of hospitality venues at 10 p.m. (21:00 GMT) are applied.

      High adds extra measures including a ban on indoor social mixing between households or support bubbles, and Very High includes a ban on all social mixing between people from different household in private and public places, and the closure of pubs and bars, unless they can operate solely as a restaurant, serving alcohol as part of a main meal.

      As of Saturday, South Yorkshire will join the Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester as the areas under the strictest restrictions or Tier 3 while most parts of the rest of England are under the high alert level.

      Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition leader Keir Starmer clashed again over the three-tier system on Wednesday in Parliament, with the Labour leader urging Johnson to follow the example of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, whose semiautonomous authorities have opted for time-limited lockdowns.

      “The widespread fear is that tier 3 is the worst of all worlds. It brings significant economic harm without getting the virus under sufficient control to exit tier 3,” Starmer said.

      Johnson replied, however, that the areas put into the tougher restrictions, which he said could be in place for up to 28 days, are already making progress.

      “We are pursuing a local, a regional approach, which is the sensible approach for this country," the prime minister said, stressing that another national lockdown would cause further psychological and economic damage.

      UK health authorities have recorded 762,542 COVID-19 cases and 43,697 deaths since the pandemic struck.

    • 14:37

      UK's Johnson Says Manchester to Get $78.5Mln in Funding for Entering Tier 3 COVID-19 Level

      The authorities in Greater Manchester will receive 60 million pounds ($78.5 million) to help support businesses after the government forcibly raised the region to tier three, or very high, in England's new COVID-19 alert level system, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, adding that the funds will be distributed despite Mayor Andy Burnham's rejection of a deal.

      "Yesterday, the mayor of Greater Manchester was offered a further 60 million pounds, which he turned down … that cash will be distributed to the boroughs of Greater Manchester," Johnson said in parliament on Wednesday.

      The UK government has clashed with Burnham over the last 10 days after the Greater Manchester authorities refused to accept a deal to move into tier three. The enhanced social distancing measures could see the closure of pubs, bars, casinos, and bookmakers.

      Burnham has previously said that funding totalling 65 million pounds was the "bare minimum" that the region needed to support its population of roughly 2.8 million people. The mayor has also stated that a fully costed plan had put the required amount at 90 million pounds.

      According to a new initiative announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, those left without work under tier three measures will receive 67 percent of their wages from the government. Burnham has urged leaders to raise this amount to 80 percent, the figure that was given to furloughed workers this past spring.

      Johnson on Tuesday evening announced that despite no deal being reached with the region's authorities, Greater Manchester will come under tier three restrictions from Friday.

      The UK Department of Health and Social Care registered 21,331 new positive tests for COVID-19 on Tuesday, the largest single-day rise recorded since the 22,961 new cases added to the country's case total on October 4 following a technical error.

      A further 241 deaths were also reported by public health officials in the UK on Tuesday, the largest single-day increase to the death toll since June.

    • 13:19

      Iran Breaks Single-Day Record of COVID-19 Infections 2nd Day in Row

      Iran has confirmed 5,616 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, breaking its single-day record of infections for the second day in a row, Sima Sadat Lari, a spokeswoman for the Iranian Health Ministry, said on Wednesday.

      The previous highest number of infections was recorded on Tuesday and amounted to 5,039.

      The new record high brings the country's total toll of those infected to 545,286, the spokesman said.

      The death toll from the virus over the past day has increased by 312 to 31,346, while the number of recoveries has reached 438,709.

    • 12:17

      COVID-19 Cases in Netherlands Rise By More Than 8,500

    • 12:15

      About 60% of Beds Allocated for COVID-19 Patients in Poland Occupied

      About 60 percent of hospital beds allocated for the treatment of coronavirus patients are occupied in Poland, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Wednesday.

      Poland has been facing a sharp increase in the incidence of coronavirus infection and the number of fatal cases. On Wednesday, the authorities registered record 10,040 new cases of the disease. The total number of those infected has exceeded 200,000 since the beginning of the pandemic.

      "About 60 percent of beds are occupied today. This is a high figure, but we are constantly increasing the number of beds," Morawiecki said in the parliament.

      According to the prime minister, in the beginning of the pandemic there were 6,000 beds for COVID-19 patients in hospitals across Poland and now this figure stands at about 16,000-17,000 beds.

    • 12:09

      Bolivia Plans to Produce Up to 300,000 Pills of Russian COVID-19 Drug Avifavir Daily

       Bolivian pharmaceutical firm Sigma Corp plans to produce up to 300,000 pills of Russian-developed COVID-19 medication Avifavir per day, the company's executive director, Sergio Pol, told Sputnik on Wednesday.

      “The production capacity should be at the level of 300,000 tablets per day in a one-shift operation. If we work harder, we can reach the level of 700,000 [pills] per day," Pol told Sputnik, adding that production is expected to begin in January.

      Bolivia is among the 18 countries that currently import Avifavir from Russia, with Sigma Corp being the authorized national dealer.

      Russian Direct Investment Fund Head Kirill Dmitriev presented the medication in the Latin American market in July and has since secured several deals on its production and distribution.

      According to Pol, Sigma Corp intends to export Avifavir to Bolivia's neighboring countries after fulfilling the domestic demand. Export talks are underway to potentially cover Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Honduras, El Salvador, Panama and the Dominican Republic, he specified.

      “At the moment, with the number of infections in the country, we have no problems with supplying not only Bolivian, but other markets as well,” Pol said.

      The landlocked Latin American nation currently counts over 140,000 cases of COVID-19 and is at the tail end of its single wave of transmissions that predominantly took place over July and August. There are currently about 35,000 active cases and 8,526 deaths from the coronavirus disease in Bolivia. The health authorities have posted fewer than 200 new cases daily over the past week.

    • 12:04

      Scottish First Minister Sturgeon Extends COVID-Related Restrictions on Hospitality Until 2 November

      Scottish First Minister Sturgeon Extends COVID-Related Restrictions on Hospitality Until 2 November

      Scotland has been under a 'circuit breaker' lockdown policy since 8 October. The new restrictions which saw the closing of pubs, bars, and other hospitality venues were introduced to stop the resurgent spread of coronavirus in the country and allow for the NHS test and trace system to be finalised.
      Read more
    • 11:48

      EU Signed Contract With Johnson & Johnson on Up to 400Mln Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine

    • 11:38

      French Government Spokesman Says Looking to Extend Health State of Emergency in France to Deal With COVID-19

    • 10:25

      UK Gov't Planning to Discharge COVID-19 Patients in Care Homes

      UK local authorities are asking care homes across England to inform the amount of beds they can provide in their facilities for COVID-19 patients, as the United Kingdom is heading towards another peak of infections,  a prominent watchdog said on Wednesday, citing leaked official documents.

      “There is renewed pressure for patients infected with COVID-19 to be discharged into care homes once again without independent assessment of their capacity to do so safely,” the UK branch of Amnesty International said in a press release.

      Claiming to have seen the documents sent by local authorities, the watchdog warned that by discharging COVID-19 patients into care homes without an independent assessment of their capacity to do so safely, the government is risking to make the same mistake it made when the pandemic started in March and a national lockdown was enforced.

      “The discharge of COVID-19 patients into care homes full of vulnerable residents is widely regarded as one of the biggest and most devastating mistakes of the Government’s handling of the pandemic.  Yet the same deadly policy is being pursued despite the knowledge of how disastrous it was,” the press release quoted Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen as saying.

      According to the human rights organization, between March 2 and June 12, 28,186 “excess deaths” were recorded in care homes in England, with over 18,500 care home residents confirmed to have died with COVID-19 during this period.

      “If the Government is serious about protecting people through winter it must urgently require an independent mechanism to assess care homes’ capacity to accept COVID-19 patients safely. We must see a full independent public inquiry with an immediate initial phase so that lessons can be learnt and informed decisions can be made before any more lives are lost,” Allen said.

      The UK government has imposed tougher restrictions in most parts of England in an attempt to tackle the current spike in coronavirus infections.

    • 10:19

      Italian Health Minister Urges Citizens to Stay Home to Avoid New Lockdown

       Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza on Wednesday called on the citizens to stay indoors and refrain from unnecessary moves to limit the COVID-19 spread in the Apennines.

      "The situation is very serious: the epidemic curve has been on the rise for many weeks. We need everyone to make additional efforts. This means that we should reduce the risk of infection — avoid movements that are not necessary. And this also implies staying at home as long as possible," the minister said on Italian channel La7.

      Speranza added that the government spared no efforts to prevent the imposition of a new lockdown, but noted that "the recent COVID-19 statistics depend on our actions and decisions that we will make together with the heads of regions and city mayors."

      According to the World Health Organization, 423,578 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Italy with 36,616 deaths. These days the country has faced a record daily rise of COVID-19 cases with 11,705 cases confirmed on Sunday and 9,337 on Monday.

    • 10:15

      Government Will Create More Temporary Hospitals, Poland's Prime Minister Says

    • 09:41

      Coronavirus Unlikely to Be Eradicated, UK Science Advisor Says

      "We are going to have to live with this virus for evermore. There is very little chance that it's going to become eradicated," John Edmunds, a member of Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), said. 

    • 09:12

      US to Provide Israel With COVID-19 Vaccine, Israeli Finance Minister Says

      Israeli Finance Minister Israel Katz has met with US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and asked his US counterpart to supply the COVID-19 vaccine to Israel as soon as the US receives it, Katz said on Wednesday as quoted by his adviser Zina Roitman.

      “I have asked my American counterpart to undertake efforts to provide Israel with the COVID-19 vaccine immediately after the Americans get it. Mnuchin, who is a great friend of Israel, has promised to assist in this matter,” the minister said.

      Katz added that “the adoption of the vaccine will be an important event for the Jewish state. It will have positive effect on the social security of Israeli people and Israel's economy.”

      The parties also discussed the development of the economic situation in Israel and changes in the global economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • 08:31

      Poland Reports Record Daily Increase in COVID-19 Cases, With 10,040 New Infections

      Poland has registered 10,040 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, setting a new single-day record, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

      The previous highest spike of 9,622 cases was reported on Saturday. On Friday, the country saw the record daily COVID-19 death toll, confirming 132 new fatalities.

      As of Wednesday, the death toll from COVID-19 in Poland has risen by 130 to 3,851. The total number of confirmed cases in the country stands at 202,579.

      Another daily record spike was registered in Slovakia, as the country's health authorities reported 2,202 news COVID-19 cases.

      "Among the new patients are 1,200 women and 1,002 men aged between several months to 95," the Slovakian Health Ministry said in a statement.

      The country has so far recorded 33,602 cases of the coronavirus, 98 related deaths and 8,404 recoveries.

      Austria, like many other European countries, has been experiencing a sharp rise in the infection rate since early September. As such, it has set a new daily record, as 1,958 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed over the past 24 hours.

    • 08:28

      Indonesia Reports 4,267 New Coronavirus Infections

    • 08:14

      Vaccination Against COVID-19 in Venezuela to Start in December-January, Maduro Says

      Chinese coronavirus vaccine and Russia's Sputnik-V will be supplied to Venezuela in December and January 2021 to help the nation start massive vaccination of the most vulnerable categories of its citizens, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said.

      "The complete batches of Russian and Chinese vaccines should be delivered [to Venezuela] in December-January, and [then] we are going to start vaccination," Maduro said during a video conference on Tuesday.

      Maduro added that doctors, teachers, older people and those who suffer from any disease will be the first to get the vaccines.

      Russian vaccine Sputnik-V is undergoing the third phase of its clinical trials in Venezuela, in which 2.000 volunteers are expected to participate. 

    • 08:07

      South Yorkshire to Enter Tier 3 From Saturday, Mayor Confirms

    • 07:30

      Russia Records 15,700 COVID-19 Cases in Past 24 Hours

      Russia has registered 15,700 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, down from yesterday's single-day record of 16,319, taking the cumulative total to 1,447,335, the country's coronavirus response centre said on Wednesday.

      "In the past 24 hours, Russia has confirmed 15,700 COVID-19 cases in 85 regions, of which 4,076 (25.9 percent) were detected actively, with people showing no clinical symptoms," the response centre said, adding that the case count has reached 1,447,335.

      The largest increase was identified in Moscow, where 4,389 new positive tests were registered (down from 4,999 yesterday). A total of 684 new cases were recorded in St. Petersburg (down from 695 yesterday) and 466 cases were confirmed in the Moscow Region (up from 426 yesterday).

      The response center reported a new record of 317 COVID-19 fatalities, up from 269 yesterday, raising the country’s death toll to 24,952.

      A total of 10,952 coronavirus patients were confirmed to have recovered over the past day, up from 9,704 yesterday, bringing the total to 1,096,560.

      According to the national public health watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, over 55.1 million tests to detect COVID-19 have been conducted in Russia since the beginning of the pandemic, and 321,488 suspected carriers remain under medical monitoring.

    • 07:22

      'We Needed to Act': Situation in Greater Manchester Was 'Serious & Deteriorating', UK Minister Says

      A woman wearing a face mask walks in Manchester, England, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020

      'We Needed to Act': Situation in Greater Manchester Was 'Serious & Deteriorating', UK Minister Says

      Despite the UK government and authorities in Manchester failing to come to an agreement on bumping the city into the highest tier of the country's new COVID-19 alert system, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions will be imposed on Greater Manchester from Friday at 00:01 BST (11:01 GMT).
      Read more
    • 07:21

      Swedish State Epidemiologist Pins Faster COVID-19 Spread on Larger Immigrant Population

      A group of migrants off an incoming train walk down a platform as they are accompanied by the police at the Swedish end of the bridge between Sweden and Denmark near Malmoe on November 12, 2015.

      Swedish State Epidemiologist Pins Faster COVID-19 Spread on Larger Immigrant Population

      As of mid-October, Sweden has the 15th-highest per capita death rate in the world (with 581 deaths per million people). While this is only half that of world leader Peru, it is around ten times higher than the death rate in neighbouring Finland and Norway.
      Read more
    • 06:22

      UK Housing Minister Jenrick Had Conversations With South Yorkshire Leaders Over Serious Situation There

      "There's a serious situation there and, rightly, they wanted to take action," Jenrick said.

      "We've discussed that over the course of yesterday and early this morning and an announcement will be made shortly," he added.

    • 05:25

      Czech Republic Reports 11,984 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 04:37

      India's Coronavirus Tally Climbs to 7.65 Mln

    • 04:34

      Germany Reports 7,595 New COVID-19 Cases

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