21:18 GMT18 January 2021
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    Numerous countries have reported spikes in the number of coronavirus cases amid another wave of the pandemic. The global COVID-19 tally has surpassed 59 million, while the death toll has reached almost 1.4 million worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    At the moment, the most affected countries in the world are the US (over 12.4 million infected, 257,000 deaths), India (9.4 million infected, 133,000 fatalities), and Brazil (6 million cases, 166,000 deaths). The pandemic forced several countries to impose quarantines earlier this month, including the UK, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Hungary, and many others.

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    • 15:54

      COVID-19 Causes HIV, Tuberculosis Testing to Fall in East Europe, Central Asia

      Testing for HIV and tuberculosis has dipped in Eastern Europe and Central Asia during the coronavirus flare-ups, which is a dangerous development that may lead to higher mortality rates, a UN special envoy for AIDS told an online briefing on Wednesday.

      Restrictions to root out the new coronavirus along with the repurposing of health facilities to treat COVID-19 have led to fewer HIV and TB cases being detected, according to Michel Kazatchkine, UN Special Advisor to the Joint United Nations Program on AIDS (UNAIDS) in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

      "The consequence of that will be further delay for the region in reaching the UN targets, most likely increased mortality," he said.

    • 03:39

      Hong Kong Leader Says Central Government to Support Gradual Travelling Resumption Between Hong Kong and Guangdong Without Need for Mandatory Quarantine

    • 03:18

      Hong Kong Leader Says Central Government To Reserve Some Vaccines Developed or Produced in Mainland China for Hong Kong Citizens

    • 02:45

      Ukrainian President Zelensky Forms Delegation for Talks With IBRD on Anti-COVID-19 Loan

      Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has formed a delegation for talks with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) on a loan to overcome the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a decree published on the Ukrainian presidential office's website.

      Earlier, representative of the government in the Verkhovna Rada, Vasyl Mokan, said that the Ukrainian cabinet at an extraordinary meeting approved a draft order, which approved the participation of the Ukrainian delegation in negotiations with the IBRD to sign an agreement and obtain a $300 million loan to overcome the coronavirus outbreak's consequences.

      "To form a Ukrainian delegation to participate in negotiations with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development regarding the signing of a loan agreement between Ukraine and the IBRD," the decree says.

    • 02:38

      Stores in France to Resume Operation November 28 - President Macron

      French President Emmanuel Macron announced the easing of the lockdown regime from November 28, in particular, the reopening of stores.

      "The new stage will begin on Saturday, November 28... Finally, all stores and home services will be able to resume their operation on condition of strict compliance with the sanitary protocol," Macron said in his televised address to the nation on Tuesday evening.

      He clarified that the self-isolation regime would still be in effect and it would be necessary to fill out a special certificate when leaving home. However, from Saturday, the French will be allowed to take walks in the area of ​​20 kilometers from home and for three hours (now it is forbidden to move away from home for more than 1 kilometer and for longer than an hour).

      Amid the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic in France, a new national quarantine was imposed on October 30. In recent days, the number of new cases of COVID-19 has begun to decline.

      The overall number of people infected with the novel coronavirus disease since the beginning of the epidemic in France exceeds 1.2 million, more than 50,000 people have died.

    • 01:14

      Macron Says Self-Isolation Regime in France Could Be Canceled December 15

      French President Emmanuel Macron did not rule out that the self-isolation regime in the country could be cancelled from December 15.

      "If on December 15 we approach the figure of 5,000 cases per day and 2,500-3,000 people are in intensive care, we can set a new direction. Then the self-isolation regime can be cancelled, and we can move again without permission, including between regions, and spend Christmas with the family," Macron said in his televised address to the nation.

      Amid the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic in France, a new national quarantine was imposed on October 30. In recent days, the number of new cases of COVID-19 has begun to decline.

      The total number of people infected with coronavirus since the beginning of the epidemic in France exceeds 1.2 million, more than 50,000 people have died. 

    • 01:14

      Mexico’s Registered COVID-19 Death Toll Rises to 102,739 Cases

    • 00:39

      China Confirms 5 New COVID-19 Cases vs 22 Yesterday

    • 00:08

      Canadian Province Alberta to Stop In-Class Learning for Grades 7-12 From November 30

    • 00:05

      Canadian Province Alberta Declares Health Emergency, Prohibits All Indoor Gatherings Amid COVID-19 Spreads, Premier Kenney Says

    • 21:31

      Brazil Confirms 31,100 New COVID-19 Cases and 630 Fatalities, Death Toll Hits 170,000

    • 21:03

      WHO to Work Closely With Gov'ts on Incorporating Technologies in Fight Against Pandemic

      The World Health Organization (WHO) is determined to continue cooperating with governments and organizations on finding solutions to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, including those involving technologies, WHO said on Tuesday, following China's recent proposal of implementing QR codes for travelling.

      "There are many proposals related to increasing the safety of travel. We will continue to work with governments and industry organizations to gather and share best practices, and provide recommendations, including on digital tools once vaccines become available," the UN health agency said.

      During the G20 virtual summit on Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the creation of a global mechanism on the mutual recognition of health certificates based on COVID-19 test results in the form of internationally accepted QR codes to help fast-track international travel during the pandemic.

      So far, however, Beijing has not provided any information on how exactly and on what platform such a mechanism would work.

    • 20:08

      Canada Signs Deal to Procure 26,000 Doses of Eli Lilly COVID-19 Treatment

      Antibody/antigen interaction measurement.

      Canada Signs Deal to Procure 26,000 Doses of Eli Lilly COVID-19 Treatment

      TORONTO (Sputnik) - Canada has signed a deal to procure 26,000 doses of Eli Lilly's experimental coronavirus antibody treatment called bamlanivimab, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a press briefing on Tuesday.
      Read more
    • 20:06

      Moscow's Death Toll From COVID-19 Rises by 75 Over Past Day to 8,530 - Response Center

      Moscow has registered 75 deaths of patients infected with COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the Russian capital's death toll to 8,530, the city's coronavirus response center said in a statement on Tuesday.

      "Another 75 patients, who were diagnosed with pneumonia and tested positive for the coronavirus infection, died in Moscow," the center said.

      In the previous day, 76 people infected with the coronavirus died in Moscow.

    • 19:43

      France’s Macron Calls on Citizens to Not Have too Many People at the Table During Xmas

    • 19:38

      COVID-19 Tracking App Must be Used in Restaurants And Cultural Venues in France When They Reopen, Macron Says

    • 19:32

      France’s Macron Says Government Will Take Striker Measures to Isolate COVID-Positive People

    • 19:28

      Vaccination Against COVID-19 Will Not be Mandatory in France, Macron Says

      Mass vaccination against the novel coronavirus disease in France may start in late December or early January and it will not be mandatory, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday.

      "[The process of] vaccination must be clear, transparent, information about what we know and what we do not know must be shared at every stage. I want to be clear: I will not make vaccination mandatory," Macron said in his televised address to the nation.

      Once approved by the health authorities and regulators, the elderly and those the most vulnerable will be the first to be administered the COVID-19 vaccine, the French leader added.

      France brought back the lockdown on October 30 after the number of daily cases of coronavirus soared. Macron has announced a three-stage plan to ease restrictions starting November 28.

      Overall, more than 2.1 million people in France have tested positive for the virus since the outbreak began. The death toll has exceeded 50,000.

    • 19:27

      RDIF Could Set Up Production of Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine in Germany - CEO

      The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has applied to a European regulator to register the Sputnik V vaccine and is not ruling out that its production could be set up in Germany, RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said on Tuesday.

      "We will continue to work with the European Union, we applied for approval from the European Medicines Agency on October 22 this year, and we will move in this direction with them … We work with a large number of European countries. Maybe we will even produce our vaccine in Germany as well," Dmitriev told the Rossiya 24 broadcaster.

      The RDIF CEO also mentioned that Hungary, which became the first European country to receive Sputnik V samples, is actively engaged in negotiations.

      Moreover, Dmitriev said that the RDIF is going to receive a large French delegation this week to discuss Sputnik V.

      In August, Russia became the first country in the world to register the Sputnik V vaccine developed by the Gamaleya research institute. The efficacy of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is 91.4 percent, based on the second interim analysis of data obtained 28 days after the first injection. Moreover, the preliminary data obtained on the 42nd day after receiving the first dose suggests that the efficacy rate is above 95 percent.

    • 19:23

      Universities and High Schools Can Restart Courses After January 20, Macron Says

    • 19:22

      Macron Says From January 20 Government May Take Decisions on Easing Lockdown in France

      Restaurants and gyms may open in France on January 20 if the daily number of cases of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) does not exceed 5,000, President Emmanuel Macron said in a televised address to the nation on Tuesday evening.

      "Around January 20, if possible, we will be able to make new decisions. If the daily increase in cases is below 5,000, gyms and restaurants may be open," Macron said.

      He also said that from that date, curfew, which, presumably, will be imposed after the quarantine is lifted - December 15 - could be lifted.

      The French president on Tuesday announced a series of quarantine relief measures from November 28.

      The total number of people infected with coronavirus since the beginning of the epidemic in France exceeds 2.1 million, more than 50,000 people have died.

    • 19:14

      France’s Coronavirus Deaths Pass 50,000 – Statistics

      France’s coronavirus death toll rose past 50,000 on Tuesday after another 458 patients died in hospitals in the past day, according to figures shared by the public health agency.

      The country recorded 9,155 new infections in the past 24 hours, in what is a marked decrease from over 45,000 cases reported exactly a week ago.

      Overall, more than 2.1 million people in France have tested positive for the virus since the outbreak began. Further 12,174 people were hospitalized in the past 7 days, with 1,833 in intensive care.

      France brought back lockdown on October 30 after the number of daily cases soared. President Emmanuel Macron has now announced a three-stage plan to ease restrictions starting November 28.

    • 19:13

      Macron Says COVID-19 Incidence in France Has Declined Significantly, Peak of Epidemic's Second Wave Left Behind

      The number of new cases of COVID-19 in France has dropped significantly recently, the peak of the second wave of the epidemic has been overcome, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday in his televised address to the nation.

      "The number of new cases that are registered daily has dropped significantly. It exceeded 60,000 [per day], and last week it was at an average of 20,000," the French leader said.

      "The peak of the second wave of the epidemic has passed," he said.

    • 18:12

      Slovenia's Daily COVID-19 Deaths Tally Hits Record High

      Slovenia has reported 59 COVID-19-related deaths in the past 24 hours, the highest daily death toll to date, with the total number of fatalities climbing to 1,156.

    • 18:06

      UK to Ease Coronavirus Restrictions Over Christmas

      Coronavirus restrictions will be relaxed across the UK in the run-up to Christmas to allow up to three households to celebrate the festive season together, officials announced Tuesday.

      The arrangement will be effective from 23 December to 27, according to a joint statement by the administrations of the four UK nations, namely England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    • 17:08

      Dow Jones Hits 30,000 Amid Expectations on Economic Recovery Due to Coronavirus Vaccine News

      The Dow Jones Industrial Average has hit a record 30,000, reaching a historic milestone. As news about COVID-19 vaccines has been in the headlines for several weeks, Wall Street is feeling optimistic and expecting a vaccine to pave the way to economic recovery next year.

    • 16:40

      UK Reports Highest Daily COVID-19 Death Toll Since May

      The UK government reported 608 COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, the highest daily coronavirus death toll since May. Meanwhile, officials confirmed that 11,299 new cases were recorded over the past 24 hours, which is the lowest since 2 October.

       

       

    • 15:08

      South Africa To Pick COVAX Distribution Scheme, Committed to Buy COVID-19 Vaccine for 10% of Population

      The South African government is going to use the COVAX global COVID-19 vaccine distribution scheme, a senior official told Reuters. The government has committed to purchase a vaccine for 10% of its population.

      The government was still working through the administrative processes, so the commitment agreement has not been signed yet, Khadija Jamaloodien, director of affordable medicines at the Health Ministry, announced.

       

    • 14:59

      Spain to Limit Holiday Season Gatherings to 6 People, Reports Say

      The Spanish government will present a plan to the regions for the Christmas holidays that implies limiting family gatherings to six people and delaying the night curfew until 1 a.m. (03:00 GMT) on the eves of both Christmas and New Year's Day, Spanish news agency Mundo said on Monday, referring to the draft plan prepared by the government.

      "It is recommended to avoid or minimize gatherings in the social sphere (work, alumni, sports club celebrations etc.). In case of celebration, there will be a maximum of six people and preferably on the outside," the document says.

      The plan stipulates that the night curfew is maintained throughout the holiday period in each region, except for December 24 and 31, when the mobility restrictions will be from 1 a.m. (03:00 GMT) to 6 a.m. (08:00 GMT).

      The draft recommends avoiding all travel that is not strictly necessary and recalls that it is obligatory to present a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours for all travelers before returning to Spain.

      The government emphasized that university students who return home for the holidays should "limit social interactions the days before they return home and take preventive measures."

    • 14:43

      Czech Gov't Intends to Conduct Mass Testing of Citizens for COVID Free of Charge, PM Says

      The Czech Republic intends to follow the suit of Slovakia and conduct nationwide voluntary and free testing of the population for the coronavirus in December, Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Tuesday.

      "I would be glad if we had time to do this even before Christmas [on December 25]. To allow all citizens at least 10 days or a week before Christmas to test for antigen voluntarily and free of charge," Babis said at a meeting with representatives of the Czech Defense Ministry, who were asked to set up a mass testing plan.

      The Czech Republic saw its daily infection rate drop over the past several weeks. On Tuesday 4,377 new cases were registered in the country, while in late October the number of infections per day was over three times higher.

    • 14:25

      Japan to Publish Data on COVID-19 Vaccines to Give Citizens Degree of Choice, Reports Say

      The Japanese Ministry of Health will look to publish information regarding the safety and efficacy of multiple vaccines against the coronavirus disease in order to give citizens some degree of choice about which one they will be inoculated with, a ministry official said on Tuesday, as cited by the Japanese broadcaster NHK.

      While speaking at a parliamentary committee meeting, the official said that the information would be published online to give Japanese citizens as much information as possible before they are vaccinated against the coronavirus disease, the broadcaster reported.

      Norihisa Tamura, the Japanese health minister, was cited by the broadcaster as saying that the public may not have a full choice of which vaccine they are inoculated with, the broadcaster stated.

      The Japanese government has concluded deals with multiple vaccine manufacturers, including AstraZeneca and Pfizer, over recent months. The country is believed to have secured as many as 500 million doses through domestic manufacturing and overseas deals.

    • 13:56

      Iran Breaks Single-Day Record of COVID-19 Cases Despite Toughened Restrictions

      TEHRAN (Sputnik) - Iran has registered an all-time daily high of 13,721 coronavirus cases despite the restrictions that are in place across the country, spokeswoman for the Iranian Health Ministry Sima Sadat Lari said on Tuesday.

      The update brings the country's total number of those infected to 880,542.

    • 13:27

      'Rude Awakening' for Anti-Vaxxers as Airline to Make COVID Vaccine Compulsory for Travel

      Airport

      'Rude Awakening' for Anti-Vaxxers as Airline to Make COVID Vaccine Compulsory for Travel  

      Amid vaccination breakthroughs by multiple trials, the question of whether the Covid-19 vaccine will be enforced on the public by companies and state bodies has become ever more prominent.  
      Read more
    • 13:12

      Czech PM Babis Aims for Free Coronavirus Tests for All Citizens by Christmas

    • 11:39

      Netizens Take a Dig at Indian Celebs Posting Videos of COVID Tests and Holidaying in Maldives

      Maldives

      Netizens Take a Dig at Indian Celebs Posting Videos of COVID Tests and Holidaying in Maldives

      The social media accounts of Bollywood celebs are buzzing with picturesque photos of them enjoying the sunset in the Maldives, flaunting their bikini bodies as they soak in the Sun, or experiencing underwater adventures. Some have also posted videos of them taking COVID-19 tests as they returned to film sets or planned to travel abroad.
      Read more
    • 10:35

      Sputnik V Efficacy Over 95% 42 Days After First Dose, Gamaleya Research Centre Announces

      A researcher works inside a laboratory of the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology where the world's first coronavirus vaccine registered in Russia was developed, in Moscow, Russia

      Sputnik V Efficacy Over 95% 42 Days After First Dose, Gamaleya Research Centre Announces

      Russia's Sputnik V, which is currently undergoing the third phase of clinical testing, became the first anti-COVID vaccine to be registered in the world.
      Read more
    • 10:19

      COVID-19 Fatality Rate in Russia 1.7% - Health Ministry

    • 10:01

      Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine Is 91.4% Efficient, Interim Analysis Shows - RDIF

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The efficacy of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is 91.4 percent, based on a second interim analysis of data obtained 28 days after the injection of the first dose of the two-component vaccine, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on Tuesday.

      As many as 22,000 volunteers have already received the first dose of the vaccine, while over 19,000 volunteers have received the first and the second doses, according to the RDIF. A total of 40,000 volunteers are taking part in the phase 3 clinical post-registration trials.

      "Evaluation of efficacy was carried out among volunteers (n = 18,794) 28 days after receiving the first dose (7 days after the second dose) of the vaccine or placebo upon reaching the second check point of the trial in compliance with the clinical trial protocol. The analysis demonstrated a 91.4% efficacy rate for the Sputnik V vaccine", the RDIF said in a press release, published on the official Twitter account of the vaccine.

      Preliminary data obtained on the 42nd day after receiving the first dose of the vaccine, when the volunteers had already formed a stable immune response, "indicates the efficacy rate of the vaccine is above 95%", the RDIF specified.

      "We plan to conduct the third interim data analysis after 78 confirmed coronavirus cases among volunteers and we have every reason to believe that the results will exceed our initial expectations. The drug’s final efficacy assessment will be made available after Phase III clinical trials are concluded", Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya Research Centre that developed the vaccine, said.

    • 09:38

      Austria Announces Coronaviurs Vaccination Starting in January

    • 09:37

      Polish President Donates Blood Plasma After Recovering From COVID-19

    • 09:17

      Shanghai Cancels Hundreds of Flights Due to Local COVID-19 Outbreak - Reports

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Several hundred flights were cancelled at Pudong International Airport in China's Shanghai after several staffers in the cargo area tested positive for COVID-19, Chinese media reported on Tuesday.

      According to figures from the airline data tracker VariFlight, 277 flights have been cancelled since Sunday night, as cited by the Chinese newspaper Global Times.

    • 08:36

      Ecuador Plans to Start Vaccination Against COVID-19 in January

    • 08:04

      Ryanair CEO Blasts Quarantine as a 'Fig Leaf' That Doesn't Work

      Boeing 737 Ryanair

      Ryanair CEO Blasts Quarantine as a 'Fig Leaf' That Doesn't Work

      The UK had to be put on a month-long lockdown amid a major surge in the number of infected and deaths from coronavirus. However, the country is expected to return to a three-tier system next month, with restrictions varying by areas, depending on the pandemic situation.
      Read more
    • 07:56

      Russia Registers 24,326 COVID-19 Cases in Past 24 Hours

    • 07:54

      Over 117,000 Doses of Russia's Sputnik V Coronavirus Vaccine Already Released

    • 07:39

      Mass COVID-19 Vaccination in Russia to Begin in 2021, Will Be Voluntary, Deputy PM Says

      Sputnik V Vaccine

      Mass COVID-19 Vaccination in Russia to Begin in 2021, Will Be Voluntary, Deputy PM Says

      Last week, the developers of the world's first vaccine against coronavirus announced that the price of Sputnik V would be much lower than that of vaccines developed by US pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna.
      Read more
    • 07:14

      German States Plan to Allow Christmas and New Year Events With Up to 10 People Gatherings

    • 06:55

      South Korea Tightens Social Distancing Rules in Several Areas Amid Spike in COVID-19 Cases

      SEOUL (Sputnik) - South Korea on Tuesday toughened its social distancing regulations in several parts of the country, including the capital city, in the wake of what it described as the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the country's Health Ministry.

      South Korea has been registering over 300 new COVID-19 cases for several days in a row. The authorities consider the new spike in cases to be the third wave of the infection, akin to those seen in February-March and August.

      The country uses a five-tier social distancing system, ranging from 1 to 3 with 0.5 increments. The level 2, which includes limitations on public events and facilities, will now be entering force in Seoul and the metropolitan area as well as the city of Suncheon and the southern county of Hadong.

      Night clubs and other places with a high risk of transmission will be closed, cafes will only sell food and drinks via delivery services or as take-outs, and restaurants will be prohibited to serve customers after 9 p.m. (12:00 GMT).

    • 06:28

      First Vaccines to Reach Israel in December But They Won't Replace Masks & Social Distancing - Expert

      People demonstrate operating of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) checking system, at Ben Gurion International airport in Lod, Israel November 9, 2020.

      First Vaccines to Reach Israel in December But They Won't Replace Masks & Social Distancing - Expert

      After Israel announced that it had signed a number of agreements with leading pharmaceutical companies to provide the country with a large portion of COVID-19 vaccines, many in the Jewish state heaved a sigh of relief. But an expert is warning that it is too early to celebrate.
      Read more
    • 06:01

      New York City to Reopen COVID-19 Field Hospital for First Time Since Spring - Reports

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The southern borough of NYC, Staten Island is set to reopen a temporary field hospital for coronavirus patients for the first time since spring as infections spike, media reported citing officials.

      According to NBC News, a new building originally intended as a psychiatric facility will once again be refurbished for COVID-19 treatment after it hosted patients in April and May.

      Officials said the facility has the capacity for over 100 patients and can be expanded to hold over 250, the broadcaster reported.

      Daily reported cases on the island have increased to around 150 daily, compared to around a dozen daily cases in October.

      New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday designated Staten Island as yellow and orange zones, placing curbs on opening hours for many facilities and limiting gatherings.

    • 05:48

      South Korea Registers Over 300 New Cases of COVID-19

    • 04:41

      Venezuela's COVID-19 Caseload Tops 100,000

    • 04:40

      Germany's COVID Tally Reaches 942,687 as Country Records 13,554 New Cases in 24 Hours

    • 04:39

      India Registers 37,975 New Coronavirus Cases, 490 Deaths

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