12:21 GMT18 January 2021
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    The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus is now over 1.4 million, while the global case tally is more than 60 million The most affected countries are the US (12.7 million infected, 262,000 deaths), India (9.2 million cases, 134,000 fatalities), and Brazil (6.1 million cases, and over 170,000 deaths).

    Scientists are working on vaccines in order to stop the global pandemic, as a new wave has forced multiple countries to re-impose lockdowns or severe restrictions. In Europe, lockdowns have been imposed in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, and other countries.

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    • 04:16

      Germany Confirms 22,806 New COVID-19 Cases and 426 COVID-Related Deaths

    • 03:52

      Number of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Germany Surpasses 1 Million – Robert Koch Institute

      Germany has confirmed 22,806 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, with the total count reaching 1,006,394, the Robert Koch Institute said on Friday.

      The death toll has grown by 426 to 15,586 people within the same period of time. More than 696,000 patients have recovered from the disease.

      The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11. To date, more than 60.8 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 1.43 million fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    • 01:11

      Mexico’s Registered COVID-19 Death Toll Hits 104,242 Cases

    • 22:14

      US President Trump Says COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery to Start Next Week

      U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the presentation (and pardoning) of the 73rd National Thanksgiving Turkey in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 24, 2020.

      Trump Says COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery to Begin Next Week

      The US president previously said that the vaccine would be available before the 3 November presidential election, prompting criticism from Democrats who believed he was rushing its development.
      Read more
    • 21:09

      Brazil Confirms 37,614 New COVID-19 Cases and 691 COVID-Related Deaths

    • 20:33

      Switzerland May Start COVID-19 Vaccination in January 2021 - Official

      Switzerland may begin mass vaccination against the coronavirus disease in January of next year, Alain Berset, the head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs, said on Thursday.

      Switzerland has been monitoring the work of various COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers since March, and by now has already identified the most effective one, Berset told reporters. Bern is in contact with the producers of these vaccines, which are located in the EU, he added.

      "This way we can start vaccinations in early 2021. However, we have to be careful because there is still a lot of uncertainty," the official said.

      Switzerland has so far confirmed 313,978 COVID-19 cases and 4,109 related deaths.

    • 20:06

      Moscow's Death Toll From COVID-19 Rises by 77 Over Past Day to 8,680 - Response Center

      Moscow has registered 77 deaths of patients infected with COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the Russian capital's death toll to 8,680, the city's coronavirus response center said in a statement on Thursday.

      "Another 77 patients, who were diagnosed with pneumonia and tested positive for the coronavirus infection, died in Moscow," the center said.

      In the previous day, 73 people infected with the coronavirus died in Moscow.

    • 19:02

      Russian Research Center Suggests Use of Sputnik V to Boost Efficacy of AstraZeneca Vaccine

      Sputnik V Vaccine

      Sputnik V Developers Suggest Combining Their Vaccine With AstraZeneca Shot to Boost Efficacy

      The vaccine developed by AstraZeneca in collaboration with Oxford University demonstrated 62% efficacy - a far cry from the 90% and over shown in the trials of two US and one Russian vaccine that were presented earlier.
      Read more
    • 18:35

      UK Prime Minister Says Three-Tiered System Best Way to Avoid Spike in COVID-19 Cases

      "These tougher tiers strike a balance. They're sufficient to continue driving the virus downwards, but it is important to recognize, they're less intrusive than the current national measures. In all tiers, shops, gyms, the leisure sector, hairdressers, other forms of personal care, places of worship, will reopen," Boris Johnson commented at a press briefing, as Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that the government would return to its three-tiered COVID-19 alert system, originally introduced in October, when the COVID tally was much lower than this month. 

      "These tougher tiers strike a balance. They're sufficient to continue driving the virus downwards, but it is important to recognize, they're less intrusive than the current national measures," Johnson pointed out.

       

    • 18:09

      UK Chief Medical Officer Warns Against Expecting to Escape Tough Anti-COVID Measures This Winter

      A fresh batch of COVID-19 restrictions slapped on most of England are unlikely to be relaxed this winter, Chief Medical Officer for England, physician Chris Whitty has warned.

      He went on to rule out any more areas moving down into tier 1, the zone with the loosest curbs, in line with the special COVID zone system introduced by the UK authorities earlier this year, arguing cases “will rise” should this happen.

    • 17:55

      Top UK Scientific Adviser Believes AstraZeneca's COVID-19 Vaccine Works

      As per the British government's chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance, the major relevant thing about the AstraZeneca  anti-COVID vaccine was that it worked.

      "The headline result is the vaccine works and that's very exciting," Vallance said during a news conference with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, when asked to comment on the recent uncertainty about itsefficacy in the wake of the next round of testing.

    • 16:53

      UK Unveils COVID-19 Tier Restrictions With England Set to Leave Lockdown on 2 December

      End in Sight? UK Post-Lockdown Tier Plan Unfolded Ahead of Prime Minister's Presser

      The UK Health Secretary has set out England's coronavirus tiers on Thursday as he addressed parliamentarians in the House of Commons, which comes ahead of the Prime Minister’s press conference later in the evening.
      Read more
    • 16:16

      Lithuania Confirms COVID-19 Cases Among Minks

      VILNIUS (Sputnik) - COVID-19 cases have been detected among minks at a fur farm in Lithuania, the State Food and Veterinary Service said on Thursday.

      "The State Food and Veterinary Service informs that at a fur farm in the Jonava district, where animals belonging to companies UAB Danmink and AB Vilkijos ukis have been kept, following the death of 169 minks and the analysis of their samples, the animals were confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19", the press release said.

      According to veterinary service chief Darius Remeika, one farm employee has tested positive for COVID-19 and all those who came into contact with them have self-isolated.

      The fur farm is home to about 60,000 animals.

      The Lithuanian veterinary service noted that "based on the risk assessment by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and available information about SARS-CoV-2 transmission routes and the complexity of the disease" the virus found in fur farms "does not pose a threat to human health, except for those who are directly employed at these enterprises."

      In total, over 1.6 million minks are kept at 86 fur farms across the Baltic country. Fur farms are required to report on the deaths of minks daily.

      COVID-19 cases have been recently detected at mink farms in Denmark, the United States, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Italy and Poland. Some of the countries have decided to cull animals at infected farms.

    • 16:14

      Turkey Records 29,132 New Cases, 174 Deaths Over Past 24 Hours

    • 16:09

      Italy Reports 29,003 New Cases, 822 New Fatalities Over Past 24 Hours

    • 16:04

      UK Registers 17,555 New Cases, 498 New Deaths Over Past 24 Hours

    • 15:34

      Moscow Mayor Says City Ready for Mass Vaccination

    • 15:14

      Moscow's Economic Sector to Remain Open, No Plans to Shut Down Businesses, Mayor Says

    • 14:00

      Austrian Chancellor Opposes Common EU Rules for Ski Resorts Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

      "It would be an exaggeration to talk about international agreements. Some countries said they were opening a certain number of ski resorts, just like others said they were opening certain catering services or events on a certain date. Some countries have expressed a desire that others would follow them. I discussed this with the head of the European Commission [Ursula von der Leyen] and the president of the European Council [Charles Michel], and I got the impression that the European Union does not see the task of setting details for certain countries", Kurz said.

    • 13:47

      French Government to Unveil Details of Virus Vaccination Plan Next Week, PM Says

    • 13:23

      Netherlands Surpasses 500,000 Coronavirus Cases

    • 13:06

      Ethiopia Open to Beginning Domestic Production of Russia's Sputnik V Vaccine, Ambassador Says

      Health staff holds the Russian coronavirus vaccine Gam-COVID-Vac, trade-named Sputnik V, developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology during the vaccination of medical workers, in Krasnodar, Russia

      Ethiopia Open to Beginning Domestic Production of Russia's Sputnik V Vaccine, Ambassador Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Ethiopia is open to producing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 should Russian investors show interest, the African country's ambassador in Moscow, Alemayehu Tegenu Aargau, told Sputnik in an interview, adding that Ethiopia is also ready to purchase the vaccine once it becomes available on the market.
      Read more
    • 12:19

      Spain's Catalonia Plans to Extend Curfew for Another Three Months - Reports

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Catalonia, a Spanish autonomous community, is mulling the extension of a curfew for an additional three months to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the region, Catalan Public Health Secretary Josep Maria Argimon said in an interview with the Catalan channel TV3 on Thursday.

      Argimon also said that the regional authority was developing a package of measures concerning the rules for Christmas and New Year's celebrations.

    • 12:14

      Croatia Registers Record Daily Increase With 3,308 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 12:02

      Sweden's Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia Test Positive for COVID-19

      STOCKHOLM (Sputnik) - Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and his wife Princess Sofia have tested positive for COVID-19 and are self-isolating, the royal family said in a press release on Thursday, adding that other royals will be tested for the disease.

      "Since Wednesday, 25 November, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia have been in self-isolation after displaying symptoms of illness, and it was subsequently found that they had contracted COVID-19", the press release read.

      King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, as well as Prince Carl Philip's older sister Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel, are expected to be tested for the coronavirus disease over the course of the day, the royal family added.

    • 11:39

      EU Drug Agency Confirms Talks With Producer of Russia's Sputnik V Vaccine are Ongoing

      A nurse during the second stage of vaccination against coronavirus of doctors with the vaccine Gam-Covid-Vak in the city polyclinic No. 7 in Simferopol

      EU Drug Agency Confirms Talks With Producer of Russia's Sputnik V Vaccine are Ongoing

      A representative of the European Commission said the day before that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is in talks with the manufacturer of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus.
      Read more
    • 11:05

      South Korea Bars Servicemen From Leaving Duty Stations Amid COVID-19 Spike

    • 10:47

      Georgian Government Introduces New Coronavirus Restrictions Starting 28 November

      TBILISI (Sputnik) - Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Georgian government will introduce new nationwide restrictions starting Saturday; the operation of restaurants, public transport, shopping malls, markets, and gyms will be suspended, the response centre said in a statement.

      "Taking into consideration the epidemiological situation in the country, a decision was made to toughen the targeted restrictions", the document read.

      Sputnik saw the draft order on restrictions on Wednesday. Now it has been officially confirmed by the government.

    • 10:15

      Russia to Start Mass Covid Vaccination Before New Year, Proceed in Stages - Kremlin

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia will start mass vaccination against the coronavirus before the new year and proceed in stages, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.

      "I cannot give you the exact date [when the vaccinations will start]. But it is supposed to start before the new year", the spokesman told journalists.

      The vaccination will be voluntary and the plan is to do it in stages, taking into account Russia's geography and the vaccine’s specific storage requirements.

      "The goal is to make them very small stages and ensure that all those who want to vaccinate have access to it as soon as possible", Peskov said.

    • 09:57

      Walt Disney Company Plans to Cut 32,000 Jobs Following Coronavirus-Related Park Closures

    • 09:47

      Ukrainian Interior Minister Urges 3-4 Week Lockdown in the Country

    • 09:01

      German Gov't to Assess Effect of COVID-19 Restrictions Before Christmas - Merkel

      "Given the high level of infection spreading, we assume that the restrictions that will be effective until Christmas ... should remain in force further on most of Germany's territories. If the number of new infections sees a sharp decrease in the coming weeks, we will assess this once again before Christmas and we will perhaps draw new conclusions. People have the right for hope. Unfortunately, we cannot promise relaxation [of restrictions] for the New Year holidays", Merkel told the German parliament.

    • 08:24

      Baghdad Closely Following Development of Russia's COVID-19 Vaccine, Foreign Minister Says

      A medic wearing a face mask holds the Gam-COVID-Vak vaccine ahead of vaccination at the city polyclinic No. 7, in Simferopol, Crimea, Russia

      Baghdad Closely Following Development of Russia's COVID-19 Vaccine, Foreign Minister Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iraq is closely following Russia's effort related to the coronavirus vaccines and maintains contact with Moscow on the matter, Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said on Thursday.
      Read more
    • 08:21

      Merkel Vows to Seek Closure of European Ski Resorts to Curb Pandemic

    • 08:18

      Pandemic Situation in Finland is Deteriorating, PM Marin Says

    • 07:48

      Iran to Begin Human Trials of Domestic COVID-19 Vaccine Soon

      TEHRAN (Sputnik) - Iranian companies are prepared to begin human trials of a domestically-developed coronavirus vaccine, Health Ministry Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told Sputnik.

      "At the moment, four companies are engaged in the production of a vaccine against coronavirus, they have informed the World Health Organisation about the stages [of their work]. Probably, one or two companies will soon begin the human [trial] stage", Lari told Sputnik in Tehran.

    • 07:40

      Russia Confirms 25,487 New Coronavirus Cases Over Past 24 Hours

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia has registered a new single-day record of 25,487 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, up from 23,675 the day before, bringing the total to 2,187,990, the federal response centre said on Thursday.

      The previous record of 25,173 cases was confirmed on Monday.

      "In the past 24 hours, Russia has confirmed 25,487 COVID-19 cases in 85 regions, of which 5,511 (21.6 percent) were detected among people showing no clinical symptoms", the response centre said, adding that the case count has reached 2,187,990.

    • 06:41

      India Extends Suspension on International Flights Until 31 December

    • 06:12

      Moscow Mayor Extends 'Stay Home' Recommendation for Residents Aged 65+ to 15 January

    • 04:40

      Number of COVID-19 Cases in India Rises by 44,489 to Over 9.26Mln

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – India has confirmed 44,489 new cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, with the total number of those infected having reached 9,266,706, the country's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Thursday.

      The death toll from the disease has reached 135,223 people, with 524 new fatalities recorded over the past day. More than 8.67 million people have recovered in India since the start of the outbreak.

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