06:35 GMT05 December 2020
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    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (247)
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    The global death toll from the coronavirus infection has topped 1.224 million, while over 48 million cases of the infection have been detected and over 31.8 million patients have recovered, according to Baltimore, Maryland's Johns Hopkins University, which tracks and compiles data from national and local authorities, the media and other sources.

    The United States still has the world's largest coronavirus case count, with 9,480,292 cases registered since the start of the pandemic. The country's death toll currently stands at 233,663.

    India and Brazil, which come next in the list of the most-affected countries, have reached 8,313,876 and 5,590,025 cases in total, respectively.

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    • 01:09

      US Registers Record Daily COVID-19 Infection Increase for Second Day in Row - Reuters Tally

      The United States has registered a record number COVID-19 infection cases for the second day in a row, according to the Reuters coronavirus tally.

      Virus infections had risen by at least 109,658 new cases on Thursday, although California's county-by-county data has not yet been added.

      On Wednesday, the US saw almost 108,000 new COVID-19 cases. As of Thursday, the US total number of coronavirus cases is 9.75M, while the death toll has exceeded 236K.

    • 21:20

      US Economy Has Weathered COVID-19 Well, But Virus Resurgence Worrying - Fed Chair Powell

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US economy has weathered the coronavirus pandemic better than most centers of the world despite record infections and deaths, but a resurgence of COVID-19 cases among Americans is particularly concerning, Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell said Thursday.

      “We've gotten through the first five, six months of the (virus’) expansion better than expected, but we do see … another spike in cases as the cold weather arrives and people are inside more,” Powell told a news conference after the Fed’s monthly policy meeting. “So I think we have to be humble about where we are relative to this disease. It hasn't gone away. The recent rise in COVID cases is particularly concerning.”

      The US economy rebounded by 33.1 percent in the third quarter, after shrinking 31.4 percent in the previous three months and 5 percent in the first quarter.

      Despite the rebound, the economic outlook for the United States remains dire with a rash of new coronavirus infections reported across a nation with 9.5 million COVID-19 cases and over 234,000 fatalities to date. New lockdowns imposed by Germany and France are also likely to dampen the global trade, putting further strain on the US economy.

      Powell said the therapeutics developed for COVID-19 were advancing and research on vaccines were progressing, while death rates and hospitalization rates were declining lower. “So, we're learning. But we're very far from saying that we think we've got this and eliminated the tail risks.”

      Oh the economic front, the Federal Reserve chairman said business investment had picked up since the earlier days of the outbreak in March while the housing sector appears to have fully recovered.

      “Yet the pace of improvement in the job market has moderated, and the outlook for the economy is extraordinarily uncertain,” he said. The Fed, in its monthly policy statement, said the path of the economy “will depend significantly on the course of the virus.”

      The United States lost more than 21 million jobs between March and April, at the height of lockdowns forced by the COVID-19. A rebound of 2.5 million jobs was logged in May and 4.8 million in June, before the recovery began slowing. For all of September, there were just 661,000 jobs added. October jobs data would be revealed Friday.

    • 21:11

      France Sets New Daily Record With Over 58,000 COVID-19 Cases

      PARIS (Sputnik) - France has registered over 58,000 COVID-19 cases in one day, marking another all-time high, Director General of Health Jerome Salomon said on Thursday.

      A day before, the country reported over 40,500 new infections.

      "A total of 58,046 people received positive test results yesterday," Salomon told a briefing, noting that all these people had contracted the virus at least a week ago.

      France, the public health chief went on, conducts over 2 million coronavirus tests per week. Over 20 percent of them come back positive.

      In the past 24 hours, France has seen about 3,000 coronavirus hospitalizations, and 447 of the patients have been admitted to intensive care, according to the official.

      The death toll has risen by 363 to over 39,000.

    • 21:10

      Hungary to Start Importing Russian COVID-19 Vaccine in December, Foreign Minister Says

      Minister for foreign affairs of Hungary Peter Szijjarto arrives to attend a European Foreign Affairs ministers council in Luxembourg October 12, 2020.

      Hungary to Start Importing Russian COVID-19 Vaccine in December, Foreign Minister Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Hungary will begin purchasing a Russian coronavirus vaccine in December in small doses so that it could complete clinical trials and licensing on its soil, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Thursday.
      Read more
    • 18:57

      UK Foreign Secretary Raab Self-Isolating After Contacting COVID-19 Positive Person, Report Says

    • 18:20

      China Suspends Entry From Russia for Visas, Residence Permits Owners

    • 17:39

      Bars and Restaurants, Schools, All Public Transport, Will be Shut Down in Northern Denmark Starting Saturday

    • 17:39

      France Reports New Daily Record as 58,000 New Covid Cases Registered

    • 17:37

      UK's Johnson Says Confident No Need to Extend English COVID-19 Lockdown After December 2

      K Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said on Thursday that the advice he has received suggests that there will be no need to extend England's COVID-19 lockdown, which entered into force earlier in the day, after December 2.

      "The advice I've received suggests that four weeks is enough for these measures to make a real impact. So, these rules will expire, and on December 2, we plan to move back to a tiered approach," Johnson said at a government COVID-19 press briefing.

      A four-week nationwide lockdown entered into force in England earlier in the day, after it was approved by lawmakers in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

    • 17:13

      Greece Reports 2,917 New Covid Cases

    • 16:35

      Moscow Has No Plans to Introduce Lockdown Due to COVID-19 Yet

      Moscow is not planning to introduce a lockdown due to the spread COVID-19 yet, the Russian capital's mayor Sergey Sobyanin said Thursday.

      According to the mayor, Moscow's health care system is handling the existing challenges at this point. However, Sobyanin drew attention to the fact that this week there has been an increase in the number of detected carriers of coronavirus, as well as in hospitalization numbers. The city mayor stressed that it was not the time to relax yet, since the virus is very much around.

      "We see much tougher measures abroad, up to full lockdown, we do not intend to do this yet. We believe that the health care system at this stage is coping fully with the current challenges and problems," Sobyanin said in an interview with Russia's Rossiya 1 channel.

    • 16:35

      Indian Company Bharat Biotech to Launch COVID-19 Vaccine in February - Report

      India’s pharmaceutical company Bharat Biotech expects to launch its COVID-19 vaccine COVAXIN, developed in cooperation with the the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), in February, which is several months earlier than was planned before, The Times of India newspaper reported on Thursday.

      "The vaccine has shown good efficacy," senior ICMR scientist Rajni Kant said, as quoted by the newspaper.

      India started to trial COVAXIN back in July. The third phase of trials is set for November and will engage over 25,000 people.

      "It has shown safety and efficacy in the phase 1 and 2 trials and in the animal studies – so it is safe but you can’t be sure 100% unless the phase 3 trials are over," Kant said.

      India is still testing three national COVID-19 vaccines. The Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila companies are going through the second phase of testing their vaccines. New Delhi also cooperates with foreign pharmaceutical companies. The AstraZeneca Oxford COVID-19 vaccine has passed two trial phases in India. Back in September, Russia has agreed to deliver 100 million doses of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V to India for clinical trials.

    • 15:01

      Portugal's COVID-19 Toll Rises by 4,410, Health Ministry Says

    • 14:59

      Italy Introduces Medical Workers Day to Honour Victims of Fight Against COVID-19

      "We endorse the initiative to establish a day dedicated to doctors and medical workers. Many of them have become victims of COVID, contracted this infection, but other medical professionals courageously continue to make efforts to overcome the current public health emergency", President of the Italian Federation of Medical Associations (FNOMCeO) Filippo Anelli said.

      According to FNOMCeO, Italy has registered 43,618 health care workers who contracted COVID-19, 186 of which have died.

    • 14:40

      Japanese Virologist Achieves Artificial Synthesis of Coronavirus, Reports Say

      Wataru Kamitani, a professor of virology at the Gunma University, has succeeded in artificially synthesizing the coronavirus, which potentially bears use for understanding more about the virus' behaviour and ways to subdue it, Japanese newspaper The Mainichi reported on Thursday.

      "An artificially synthesized virus is the first tool in the process of unravelling the novel coronavirus. It is possible to simulate the spread of infections and growth of the virus to find out how pathogenicity occurs", the professor was quoted as saying.

      Kamitani implanted the novel coronavirus genes into bacterial artificial chromosomes and reproduced the virus by reproducing the genetic information within a cell.

      Given that 80 percent of the novel coronavirus genetic code is about 80 percent similar to that of the SARS coronavirus, the synthesized virus can help in understanding COVID-19-causing peculiarities, such as why the ORF3b gene — the one that activates immune cells — differs in length, the report said.

      Moreover, the synthesized virus can reportedly be subjected to genetic modification to allow the implant of the green fluorescent protein and make it exhibit fluorescence, which emits light that is visible to the human eye.

    • 13:37

      Number of COVID-19 Cases in Poland Rises by Record 27,143, Health Ministry Says

      Poland has set a new record for COVID-19 infections over the past day, with 27,143 new cases, the country's ministry of health reported on Thursday.

      On Wednesday, the previous record was reported with 24,692 cases of infection and 373 deaths.

      According to Poland's ministry of health, over the past 24 hours, more than 360 coronavirus-related deaths were recorded.

      To date, Poland has confirmed over 466,600 COVID-19 cases, with a death toll of 6,842.

    • 13:24

      UK Government Extends COVID-19 Job Support Scheme to March 2021

      Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is seen as he arrives at Downing Street

      Chancellor Rishi Sunak Extends UK's Furlough Scheme Until March

      As new cases of coronavirus begin to resurge rapidly in the United Kingdom, the government has announced that England will go into a second lockdown until 1 December in order to curb the outbreak.
      Read more
    • 13:23

      UK's COVID-19 Tracing System Missed 40% of Close Contacts in England From 22-28 October

      The UK government's NHS Test and Trace COVID-19 tracking service missed more than 40 percent of close contacts of coronavirus-positive individuals in England from 22-28 October, the Department of Health and Social Care said in a new statistical update published on Thursday.

      According to the department, the service failed to reach 40.1 percent of 327,203 close contacts identified from October 22-28, up from 39.4 percent in the preceding week, in one of the worst showings for the contact tracing system since its May introduction.

      Since the NHS Test and Trace system was launched, the service has failed to reach just under one-third of all identified close contacts of coronavirus-positive individuals in England, according to the department.

      Labour leader Keir Starmer has been a staunch critic of the government's contact tracing failings. In late September, Starmer called on the government to apologise for the "near collapse" of the system.

      Public health advocacy groups in the UK have also criticized the government for calling the service NHS Test and Trace, when in fact private subcontractor Serco is operating the system.

    • 13:23

      Paris to Close Some Take-Out, Drinking Facilities to Curb COVID-19 Virus Spread, Mayor Says

      "Faced with the worrying health situation, to avoid gatherings and overflows, I gave a nod to the request of the Prefecture of Police to close certain places of take-out and drinking establishments [in Paris and its inner suburbs] from 22 h", Hidalgo tweeted.

      She specified that such a measure is adopted due to frequently detected overflows of people near these facilities, which increases risks for further spread of the virus. 

      Hidalgo said that more details on the matter will be unveiled in a special decree, which will be issued by the Paris prefecture later on Thursday.

      As of Thursday, France has confirmed 1,591,152 coronavirus infections, the world's fifth-highest total, with the death toll at 38,728.

    • 13:23

      Russian Research Foundation Develops Technology to Detect COVID-19 With Rats

    • 12:38

      Nearly 20% of Russians Have COVID-19 Antibodies, Private Company Study Shows

      Invitro, a private Russian medical company, tested 940,000 residents of various Russian regions over a five-month period.

      "Positive test results on class G (IgG) antibodies, indicating the formation of an immune response, were obtained cumulatively among 19.2% of Russians who took part in the study", the company said.

      In particular, the study revealed that 55 per cent of Russian adults aged between 18 and 45 have COVID-19 antibodies.

      The study also showed that 15.2 per cent of Moscow residents and 21.4 per cent of Saint Petersburg residents have antibodies.

      G-class antibodies become detectable 3 to 4 weeks after a person contracts COVID-19 or 2 to 3 weeks after a patient shows the first symptoms, according to Invitro.

    • 12:29

      Colombia No Longer Needs Negative COVID-19 Test for Incoming Travellers, Health Ministry Says

      "From now on the PCR test will not be required of international travellers to enter Colombia," the health ministry said on Twitter on Wednesday.

      According to the new conditions presented by the health ministry, travellers who arrive in Colombia will not have to present a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken not later than 96 hours before their flight.

      The ministry still has some requirements for travellers such as not having a fever or respiratory symptoms related to COVID-19, wearing and changing masks during the flight, avoiding using lavatories on flights of less than two hours and reporting to the authorities about the symptoms related to coronavirus within 14 days from the time of arrival.

      Since the beginning of the pandemic, Colombia has registered more than 1,108,000 positive cases, including more than 1,002,000 patients who have recovered and 32,013 deaths.

    • 12:22

      Austria Records 7,416 New COVID-19 Cases in 24 Hours, Reports Say

    • 12:10

      US Records 102,831 COVID-19 Daily Cases, Johns Hopkins Reports

      The United States registered more than 100,000 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, according to Johns Hopkins University.

      Nationwide, there are more than 9.48 million coronavirus cases and over 233,000 fatalities.

    • 11:42

      Trials of Turkey's COVID-19 Vaccine Started

      A health worker displays a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine currently on phase III clinical trials to be administered to Cem Gun, an Emergency Medicine Physician at the Acibadem Hospital in Istanbul, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020

      Turkey Begins Clinical Trial of Its Coronavirus Vaccine, Health Ministry Says

      ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkey begins the first phase of the clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Thursday.
      Read more
    • 11:14

      'We Won't Waste Time': UK Police Put Pressure on Those Who Break Coronavirus Rules

      Mass gathering protest in Hyde Park

      UK Police to Get Tougher on COVID-19 Rule-Breakers as England Enters Another Lockdown

      LONDON (Sputnik) – The UK Police will strengthen the enforcement of the new COVID-19 lockdown rules being imposed in England as of Thursday, and people who “recklessly” ignore the regulations will be fined, the chair of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), Martin Hewitt, has announced.
      Read more
    • 10:18

      UK Gov't Taskforce: AstraZeneca Fails to Provide 30 Million Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine in September

      (FILES) File photo taken on July 21, 2020 of the offices of British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca PLC in Macclesfield, Cheshire, UK

      AstraZeneca Misses Target for Delivering COVID-19 Vaccine, UK Gov't Taskforce Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has missed its target of delivering 30 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the UK by September, and is expected to be able to hand over only 4 million doses by the end of the year, according to Kate Bingham, head of the Government's vaccine task force.
      Read more
    • 10:14

      Situation in London as England Enters Second COVID-19 Lockdown

      A runner pauses next to a mural showing medical images in the Shoreditch area of east London, following the introduction of measures to bring England out of the coronavirus lockdown, Thursday June 4, 2020

      Situation in London as England Enters Second COVID-19 Lockdown

      Like most countries around the world, the United Kingdom is struggling to tackle the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic as the number of cases in the country has risen to over 1 million, with the death toll standing at 47,742.
      Read more
    • 10:12

      1,009 New COVID-19 Cases With 6 Deaths Registered in Malaysia, Reports Say

    • 10:08

      Greek PM Orders Three-Week Nationwide Lockdown Over Coronavirus

      Greece has introduced a nationwide lockdown for three weeks in order to curb the surge in COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.
      He added that the new restrictions will come into effect on 7 November.

      This will be the second lockdown in Greece since the beginning of the pandemic.

    • 09:53

      Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church Hospitalised With COVID-19

      "His Holiness has been admitted to a COVID hospital in Belgrade", Irinej's office said.

      On 1 October, Irinej, the 90-year-old Serbian Patriarch attended the funeral of Metropolitan Amfilohije, the most senior cleric of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, who died from COVID-19.

    • 09:47

      Swedish PM is Self-Isolating After Contact With COVID-19 Positive Person

    • 09:41

      Australia Signs COVID-19 Vaccine Deals With Novavax, Pfizer-BioNTech Consortium

      "Under the agreements, Novavax will supply 40 million vaccine doses and Pfizer/BioNTech will provide 10 million vaccine doses, should the vaccines be proven safe and effective", the statement on the Australian government website said.

      Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government’s COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatment Strategy had now secured access to four types of vaccines and over 134 million doses.

      "By securing multiple COVID-19 vaccines we are giving Australians the best shot at early access to a vaccine, should trials prove successful", the prime minister said.

      Vaccines from Novavax and Pfizer-BioNTech are expected to be available in Australia starting in early 2021.

    • 09:38

      Top Israeli Hospital Reportedly Orders 1.5Mln Doses of Russian COVID-19 Vaccine Sputnik V

      Top Israeli Hospital Orders 1.5Mln Doses of Russian COVID-19 Vaccine Sputnik V

      TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - The Jerusalem-located Hadassah Medical Center has ordered 1.5 million doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, Israeli media reported on Thursday, citing the hospital's CEO, Zeev Rotstein.
      Read more
    • 08:49

      Indonesia Reports 4,065 New COVID-19 Cases, Death Toll Rises by 89, Task Force Says

    • 08:13

      Cuban-Indian Drug Against COVID-19 to Be Tested in US, Mexico, Brazil

      The recent Cuban research showed that this drug was successfully tested in elderly people with different associated illnesses and patients with a critical phase of the disease.

      According to the specialists, this treatment allowed a significant reduction in the risk of emergency hospitalization and mortality.

    • 08:06

      Philippines Records 1,594 New COVID-19 Cases, Death Toll Rises by 42, Health Ministry Says

    • 07:40

      Russia Registers 19,404 COVID-19 Cases in 24 Hours, Response Centre Says

      Russia has registered  19,404 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the cumulative total to 1,712,858, the federal response centre said on Thursday.

      In the same period, 292 patients with the coronavirus have died and 12,238 have been recovered, according to doctors.

      5,255 new cases have been recorded in Moscow, 1,093 in St. Petersburg, and 588 in the Moscow region.

      On Wednesday, Russia reported a daily increase of 19,768 cases, including 5,826 in Moscow.

    • 06:59

      Ukraine Records 9,850 COVID-19 Cases in 24 Hours, Health Minister Says

    • 06:15

      Moscow Mayor: New COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalisations Show Situation Worsening This Week

      The strict compliance with rules on mask and work or study from home has helped contain the virus, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in his blog, so the number of the new cases was decreasing over the last two weeks.

      "But the situation became tenser again at the beginning of this week. You can see it by the number of new cases and hospitalisations", Sobyanin said.

      The city government extended online learning for high schools by another two weeks, until 22 November, according to a decree published Thursday.

    • 05:14

      Germany Reports 19,990 New Coronavirus Cases

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