22:34 GMT16 January 2021
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    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (274)
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    The United States, India and Brazil lead in terms of the number of registered coronavirus infections, while the largest number of COVID-19-related deaths has been observed in the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    The global death toll from the coronavirus infection has topped 1.518 million, over 65.8 million cases of the infection have been detected, and over 42.3 million of those have been cured, according to Baltimore, Maryland's Johns Hopkins University, which tracks and compiles data from national and local authorities, the media and other sources.

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    • 17:07

      Italy Confirms 21,052 COVID-19 Cases on Saturday, Health Ministry Says

      Italy has registered 21,052 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, and 662 new fatalities, the country's health ministry said. 

    • 15:25

      Domestic Travel Ban in Portugal to Be Reimposed Over New Year, PM Says

      Coronavirus rules in Portugal will be eased over the Christmas period so that people could visit their relatives, however, measures will be reinforced again later, which means a ban on New Year's Eve parties, the government announced on Saturday.

    • 14:42

      UK Labour Leader Starmer Self-Isolates After Staff Member Tests Positive for COVID-19

      “Keir is well and not showing any symptoms. He will now be working from home until his isolation period ends on 16 December," Starmer's spokesperson said, as quoted by the Guardian.

    • 14:23

      Russian Health Minister Says COVID-19 Situation 'Stable', No Major Growth in Cases

    • 14:13

      Russian Health Ministry Sets Maximum Wholesale Price for Sputnik V at $26 for 2 Doses

      Russian Health Ministry Sets Maximum Wholesale Price for Sputnik V at $26 for 2 Doses

      KALININGRAD (Sputnik) - The Russian Health Ministry has registered the maximum wholesale price for the Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 at 1,942 rubles ($26) for two doses, Alexey Kuznetsov, an aide to the Russian health minister, said on Saturday.
      Read more
    • 13:29

      Kyrgyzstan Lifts COVID-19 Restrictions to Allow All International Arrivals

       International travelers arriving from all countries will now be allowed to enter Kyrgyzstan, provided they can present a negative test certificate for COVID-19, following the government's decision to lift the coronavirus-related restrictions, a representative of the Central Asian country's foreign ministry told Sputnik on Saturday.

      "On 4 December 2020, Kyrgyzstan's government decided to permit foreign citizens and stateless persons to enter the country through the borders at the international airports of Manas [Bishkek], Osh, and Issyk-Kul," the representative said.

      Foreign citizens and stateless persons will require a negative PCR test for COVID-19, conducted no earlier than 72 hours, before being allowed to board an aircraft bound for Kyrgyzstan, the representative added.

      The Kyrgyz government closed the country's borders back in March amid the first wave of the coronavirus disease pandemic. Exceptions were later made for a range of countries, including Russia, that were deemed to have control over the spread of the disease.

      Since the start of the pandemic, 74,774 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Kyrgyzstan, resulting in the deaths of 1,290 people. On Saturday, health officials in the Central Asian country confirmed 401 new positive tests for the disease.

    • 13:27

      US Confirms New Single-Day Record of Over 227,000 COVID-19 Cases

      The United States is registering its largest number of new coronavirus cases for the second day in a row, after the case count rose by over 227,000 on Saturday, the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) said.

      The previous record was confirmed on Friday, when the COVID-19 case tally rose by more than 217,000.

      According to the JHU’s real-time tracker, the US confirmed 227,885 new cases over the past 24 hours, taking the overall tally to over 14,3 million.

      At the same time, the coronavirus-related death toll increased by 2,607 over the given period and surpassed 279,000.

      In total, more than 5.4 million patients have recovered from COVID-19 in the US.

    • 13:16

      Portugal Reports 4,935 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 12:22

      Spain Reports 8,745 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 12:15

      Azerbaijan Reports 4,323 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 11:55

      Vietnam Records 4 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 11:55

      Bangladesh Reports 1,888 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 11:54

      Japan Reports 2,497 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 10:50

      Iran's COVID-19 Deaths Surpass 50,000

    • 10:32

      Ukraine Reports 13,825 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 10:20

      Serbia to Begin Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Program in Early 2021

      Serbia expects to begin its mass vaccination program against COVID-19 in the first few months of 2021, Mirsad Djerlek, state secretary at the Serbian Ministry of Health, said on Saturday, adding that experts are currently studying Russia's Sputnik V as well as a candidate vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech.

      "The mass vaccination program is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021. By the end of this year, there will be the required amount of vaccines for health workers, police officers, and the military," Djerlek said during an appearance on Serbian state TV.

      Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday that 20 samples of Russia's Sputnik V had arrived in Belgrade to undergo examination by medical experts in the country. According to Djerlek, any vaccine used in Serbia must receive the approval of the country's health regulator.

      "The Medicines and Medical Devices Agency of Serbia is expected to conduct tests on Sputnik V over the coming days. Serbian citizens will not receive any vaccine unless it has been approved by the agency," the state secretary commented.

      Additionally, Serbia is expecting to receive up to 350,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by March 2021, Djerlek stated.

      "On Wednesday, they sent documents that will be studied quickly, but also very professionally. We hope that the first small batches of vaccines will arrive by the end of the year and 300,000 to 350,000 doses should arrive by next year," the state secretary said.

      The Serbian president said in November that discussions are ongoing with Russia and China over the delivery of their respective vaccines.

      Since the start of the pandemic, Serbia's Ministry of Health has confirmed 206,940 cases of the disease, after 7,782 new positive tests were registered on Friday. The country's death toll currently stands at 1,834.

    • 10:02

      COVID-19 Daily Cases in Russia to Rise Until New Year, Expert Says

      The number of daily COVID-19 cases in Russia will be on the rise until New Year, but some regions may continue facing record daily spikes in infections even after the holidays, Russian infectious disease expert Evgeny Timakov said on Saturday.

      "The number of infected will increase, yes, it does not depend on anything, will increase until New Year, we can do nothing with it. Maybe even after New Year, in some regions," Timakov said, adding that a daily spike in COVID-19 cases in Russia could reach 30,000, depending on the population's susceptibility to the virus.

      According to Timakov, the number of daily COVID-19 infections is connected to the number of tests, the majority of which are taken at the beginning of the week. The results of the tests become available later, that is why the highest daily spikes of COVID-19 cases are recorded on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

      "If we look at the flat curve for all this period, we will see that the infection is spreading, but gradually, not exponentially," Timakov said, warning against judging the situation using only limited data.

      Timakov added that the situation in the capital of Moscow started to stabilize, but situation in regions would depend on the anti-coronavirus measures they would implement.

      "In Moscow, the process is more or less stabilizing, there is no sharp increase in infected, that is why stabilization… is already coming. How the virus will affect the regions, will depend on the measures that will be implemented in the regions," Timakov said.

    • 09:19

      Philippines Reports 1,733 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 08:20

      Lithuania Reports 2,848 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 08:00

      Russia Registers New Single-Day Record of 28,782 COVID-19 Cases

      Russia has registered a new single-day record of 28,782 COVID-19 cases, up from the 27,403 new positive tests recorded the day before, bringing the country's case total to 2,431,731, the federal response centre said on Saturday.

      The previous record of 28,145 new cases was reported on 3 December.

      "Over the past 24 hours, Russia has confirmed 28,782 COVID-19 cases in 85 regions, of which 5,867 (20.4 percent) were detected actively, with people showing no clinical symptoms," the response centre said, adding that the case count has reached 2,431,731.

      Moscow has confirmed a record 7,993 new coronavirus cases over the preceding 24 hours, up from 6,868 the day before.

      The Russian capital was followed by St. Petersburg with 3,726 cases, up from 3,694 the day before, and Moscow region with 1,246 new cases, up from 1,223 the day before.

      The response centre also reported 508 coronavirus-related fatalities, a decrease from the 569 deaths reported the day before. Russia's COVID-19 death toll now stands at 42,684.

      In total, 27,644 coronavirus patients were confirmed to have recovered, a slight fall from the 28,901 the day before, bringing the total to 1,916,396.

    • 07:45

      Philippines to Spend Upwards of $1.5Bln on COVID-19 Vaccine Procurement

      The Philippines is ready to spend up to 73 billion pesos ($1.52 billion) on the procurement of vaccines against COVID-19, the country's budget chief Wendel Avisado said on Saturday, as cited by domestic broadcasters.

      During a press briefing, Avisado, who serves as secretary of the Department of Budget and Management, said that 10 billion pesos were already available for vaccine procurement as part of the government's so-called Bayanihan 2 economic response measures, the ABS-CBN broadcaster reports.

      The funds will be used to procure enough vaccines to immunize roughly 60 million citizens, Avisado was cited by the broadcaster as saying, adding that the government is hoping to achieve "herd immunity."

      Back in September, public health officials in the Philippines held consultations with representatives from both Russia and the United States over the potential purchase of safe and effective vaccines against the coronavirus disease.

      Since the start of the pandemic, more than 436,000 cases of the coronavirus disease have been registered in the Philippines by public health officials, including the 934 new positive tests confirmed on Friday. The country's death toll, as of the same day, is 8,509.

    • 06:51

      Days After Getting Trial Covaxin Shot, Indian State Official Anil Vij Tests Coronavirus-Positive

      Haryana state's Home Minister Anil Vij on Saturday revealed that he has tested positive for coronavirus.

      Taking to Twitter, Vij confirmed he has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been admitted to Civil Hospital Ambala Cantt.

      This comes days after Vij was administered a dose of Covaxin at a hospital in Ambala, as part of its third phase trial.

    • 06:41

      NHS England Issues Call to Start Staffing COVID-19 Vaccination Points By 14 December

      Public health officials in England have called on general practitioners to begin staffing local COVID-19 vaccination centers by 14 December, the Sky News broadcaster reports, citing a letter sent to doctors.

      In the letter, which was sent to all clinics and primary care leaders across the country, NHS England and NHS Improvement urged doctors to begin placing staff in local vaccination centers, the broadcaster said.

      "It is crucial we start to activate local vaccination services to allow priority patient cohorts to start accessing the vaccine," the letter read, as quoted by the broadcaster on Friday evening.

      The local vaccination points, which will operate alongside large-scale hospital hubs, are expected to deliver 975 doses of vaccines against COVID-19 per week, the broadcaster said.

      As many as 50 hospital hubs are expected to start vaccinating high priority groups in England from Tuesday, the broadcaster said.

      The United Kingdom this past Wednesday granted emergency use approval to a candidate vaccine produced by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German firm BioNTech, becoming the first country in the world to do so.

      Ministers have said that they are confident as many as 800,000 doses of the US-German vaccine will arrive by next week.

    • 06:24

      COVID-19 Vaccines Do Not Remove Need to Wear Masks, Gloves, Keep Distance

      People who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 should continue to wear masks, gloves, and maintain social distance to protect themselves, Chief Physician at Moscow Hospital No. 2 Natalia Shindryaeva told Sputnik on Saturday.

      Medical personnel, social service workers and teachers will be the first to have access to the vaccine. Earlier in the day, 70 vaccination stations opened in Moscow's hospitals, which will offer the Sputnik V vaccine.

      "We warn everyone right away that nobody has canceled masks. On the contrary, it is necessary to protect yourself – masks, gloves and social distance in public places either after the first shot, or the second shot," Shindryaeva said.

      Sputnik V became the world's first registered vaccine against COVID-19 on August 11. The vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and is currently completing phase 3 clinical trials.

    • 05:34

      Number of COVID-19 Cases in India Rises by 36,652 to Over 9.6Mln

      India has confirmed 36,652 new cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, with the total number of those infected having reached 9,608,211, the country's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Saturday.

      The death toll from the disease has reached 139,700 people, with 512 new fatalities being recorded over the past day. More than 9.05 million people have recovered in India since the start of the outbreak.

      A day earlier, India confirmed 36,595 new coronavirus cases, with 540 fatalities.

      India comes second in terms of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, following the United States, with more than 14.3 million COVID-19 patients.

    • 05:33

      Germany Confirms Over 23,300 New COVID-19 Cases Over Past Day

      Germany has registered 23,318 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, with total count reaching 1,153,556, the Robert Koch Institute said on Saturday.

      The death toll has grown by 483 to 18,517 people within the same period of time.

      One day earlier, public health officials in Germany confirmed 23,449 new positive tests for the disease and a rise to the death toll of 432.

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