16:20 GMT01 March 2021
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    Multiple countries are taking measures to prevent the new coronavirus strain from spreading, suspending their transport connections with Britain, as the new mutated version of the virus has led to severe Tier 4 restrictions in London, Manchester, and other English cities.

    The global coronavirus death toll has surpassed 1,750,000, while the number of infected worldwide has reached 80 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    The US tops the list of the most affected nations, as over 19 million have been infected, while the death toll of over 333,000 means one in 1,000 individuals has died from the disease in America. India is next with over 10.1 million infections and more than 147,000 fatalities, while Brazil has the second-highest death toll of over 191,000 and over 7.4 million cases.

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    • 18:40

      Mexico Will Not Oppose Private Purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine

      BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - Mexican authorities will not object to purchases or imports of COVID-19 vaccine by private entities or companies, but there have been no such requests so far, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday.

      "We are not against allowing someone who has money get the vaccine, but it is our responsibility to ensure that everyone could have the vaccine despite any circumstances ... We do not have a single request from any national company, we are not aware about any company that is in the process of purchasing a vaccine," Lopez Obrador said at a press conference broadcast by Milenio TV channel.

      At the same time, the president stressed that the authorities would not allow the vaccines already secured by the government to fall into the hands of private companies.

      On Sunday, presidential spokesman, Jesus Remirez Cuevas, said that Mexico expected to get deliveries of about 200 million doses of different coronavirus vaccines in 2021. According to him, this includes 34 million Pfizer vaccine doses, 77.4 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, 35 million doses from CanSino and 51.5 million doses as part of COVAX international mechanism.

      Earlier this month, Mexican health authorities announced that the country was going to roll out its mass vaccination campaign in late December and was aiming for a blanket immunization by the end of next year.

    • 18:27

      South African Gov’t Introduces New Level 3 Restrictions, Prohibits Alcohol Sales

    • 17:56

      Spain’s COVID-19 Death Toll Tops 50,000

    • 16:38

      Norway Extends Air Traffic Ban on Britain Until 30 December

    • 16:36

      Half of Russian Internet Users Consider COVID-19 Pandemic Difficult Period of Life, Study Finds

      Almost half of Russian internet users said the outgoing year 2020 completely changed their lives while the same number of people considered COVID-19 pandemic a very difficult lifetime experience, a study by the Russian social network Odnoklassniki (OK) in conjunction with the ResearchMe company showed.

      The study was conducted in December in an online survey of more than 1,100 adult internet users.

      According to the study, 47 percent of respondents noted that 2020 completely changed their lives, especially those aged 18-24 (64 percent) and 25-34 (53 percent) answered this way. The users rated the way in which their lives changed on a ten-point scale: 33 percent of respondents called this year successful (rated from 6 to 10), while 41 percent called it unsuccessful (rated from 1 to 4).

      The period of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic was generally called difficult by 48 percent of respondents. Among users aged under 24, 68 percent find it the most difficult year in their life.

      More than a third of respondents (31 percent) said that they began to treat their friends and family more reverently, and 17 percent said they communicated more with their parents. In contrast, 35 percent of respondents said that they began to communicate with friends less often this year .

      In addition, 22 percent said that they spent more time cooking.

    • 16:35

      Putin, Netanyahu Discuss Building Up Cooperation, Including in Fight Against COVID-19

      Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed building up cooperation, including in the context of combating the spread of the coronavirus, the Kremlin said on Monday.

      "Russian President Vladimir Putin had a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Topical issues of Russian-Israeli relations in various spheres were considered. Mutual disposition was confirmed to build up multifaceted bilateral cooperation, including in the context of combating the spread of coronavirus infection", the statement says.

      The leaders agreed on further contacts, it says.

    • 16:19

      Turkey Registers 15,197 New Cases, 257 New Deaths

    • 16:18

      Deputy Prime Minister Golikova Recommends That Russians Get COVID-19 Vaccine

      PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKIY (Sputnik) - Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said on Monday that she would recommend that all Russian citizens get a COVID-19 vaccine.

      "I would recommend [to do that] ... Our vaccine Sputnik V has been approved for use for citizens aged 18 and older with no final age limit. In the instructions for use there are certain indications that you need to focus on, but nevertheless, it proved itself quite good enough", Golikova said in comments broadcast by Channel One.

      She noted that Russians have the right to voluntary vaccination in accordance with the law on immunisation.

      Russia has been among the leaders of COVID-19 vaccine development with two of its products, Sputnik V, created by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, and EpiVacCorona, by the Siberian research centre Vector, already in the Phase III trials.

      Earlier in December, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to launch mass vaccination against the coronavirus. COVID-19 vaccination stations opened in Moscow on 5 December. Medical personnel, social service workers and education professionals have been prioritised to have access to the vaccine.

    • 16:02

      UK Reports 41,385 New COVID Cases, Setting Daily Record

    • 15:04

      Novavax Starts Phase 3 Trial of COVID-19 Vaccine in US, Mexico

      “Novavax, Inc. … today announced initiation of PREVENT-19, its pivotal Phase 3 study in the United States and Mexico to evaluate the efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of NVX-CoV2373, the company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate”, the company said in a news release.

      Almost 30,000 volunteers in more than 100 cities in both countries will enroll the trial, and two-thirds of the participants will receive an active vaccine, it added.

      Two initial phases of the trial demonstrated that the vaccine produces a robust immune response, generating a good amount of antibodies against the virus, the company noted.

      “With the COVID-19 pandemic raging around the globe, this trial is a critical step in building the global portfolio of safe and effective vaccines to protect the world’s population”, Novavax president and chief executive officer Stanley Erck said.

      Novavax is currently conducting different phases of scientific trials in such countries as the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia.

      The company said it plans to enroll people from different groups, including those intended to be in the 65 years of age or older, African Americans, Latin Americans and American Indians.

      Novavax is the fifth company to launch a Phase 3 trial of a coronavirus vaccine in the US, following similar moves by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZenca and Johnson & Johnson.

    • 15:01

      Latvia Begins Vaccination of Medical Workers Against COVID-19

      RIGA (Sputnik) - Latvia began a campaign to vaccinate medical workers against COVID-19 on Monday, the republic's Ministry of Health said.

      "Voluntary vaccination of medical personnel against COVID-19 will begin today in the vaccination rooms in Latvian hospitals", the ministry said.

      The first to receive the vaccine was a medical worker at the Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital in Riga, which is one of the largest hospitals in the republic. The hospital plans to vaccinate 1,055 employees over the next three days.

      The first batch of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine under the brand name Comirnaty was delivered to Latvia on Saturday.

    • 14:56

      Russia Extends Ban on Flights From UK Until 13 January

      "To prevent the import and spread of the new coronavirus infection, the [federal coronavirus response] centre decided to extend the suspension of flights with the UK. To ensure the protection of public health, the restrictions have been extended to 23:59 [20:59 GMT] on 12 January 2021," the federal coronavirus response centre told reporters.

      On 22 December, Russia suspended flights with the UK for 7 days in connection with the detection of a new strain of COVID-19 in this country.

    • 14:49

      Combined Sputnik V-AstraZeneca Vaccine Will Give Immunity for Two Years, Russian Developer Says

      The Sputnik V and AstraZeneca combination coronavirus vaccine will give immunity for two years, Alexander Gintsburg, the head of Russia's Gamaleya centre, which developed Sputnik V, said on Monday.

      He recalled that Gamaleya had invited its Oxford colleagues to add a Sputnik V component to the component that is part of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Oxford vaccine will be two-component, and this makes it possible to increase the strength of the immunity that will arise as a result of the use of this vaccine, and to extend the duration of the protective effect of this drug.

      "That is, as a result of using such a two-component hybrid vaccine, memory cells will be much better formed, and the vaccine will obviously, accordingly, protect the vaccinated not for 3-4 months, but at least for two years, although, of course, additional work will be required to prove this experimentally", Gintsburg told the Rossiya 24 broadcaster.

    • 14:25

      Putin and Xi Note Effective Efforts of Russia, China to Combat Pandemic

      "The effective joint efforts of the relevant agencies of the two countries to combat the coronavirus pandemic were noted with satisfaction. The importance of cooperation in the development and production of vaccines was noted", the statement says.

    • 14:09

      US Stocks Hit Record Levels as Trump Signs $2.3 Trln Coronavirus Stimulus Aid Bill

      Futures tracking the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq spiked on Monday as US President Donald Trump decided to sign into law a long-awaited $2.3 trillion pandemic aid legislation.

    • 13:32

      119 New COVID-19 Infections Confirmed in Saudi Arabia

    • 13:03

      Netanyahu Says Israel Ranks First in COVID-19 Vaccination Rate, 379,000 People Inoculated

      "[A total of] 379,000 Israelis have already received the vaccine. We make almost 100,000 shots per day! Israel is the world champion in terms of the vaccination rate, together we will be the first to get out from the pandemic and re-open our economy", Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.

    • 13:02

      Russia to Start Trials of Antibodies-Based Medication Against COVID-19 in Fall - Gamaleya

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia will start clinical trials for a new antibodies-based medication against coronavirus in the fall of 2021, Alexander Gintsburg, the head of the Gamaleya Research Institute, told Sputnik on Monday.

      Gintsburg announced that the institute was working on this medication in November. He expressed hope back then it could be registered in a year.

      "I hope that clinical trials will start in fall. I hope we will launch phase one or phase two trials. Different technologies are being used to form antibodies and develop clinical medication. They have slightly different features. One can never guess in advance which features are better, which technologies and medications have advantages. I can only say that if we have a serious approach to that — and this is the only possible option — we should use several technologies at a time when developing the medication. This is what we are doing", Gintsburg said.

    • 12:56

      New South African Coronavirus Strain Reported in Finland

    • 12:30

      Belgium Starts Coronavirus Vaccination Campaign by Delivering Doses to Nursing Homes

      BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - Belgium on Monday started its coronavirus vaccination campaign with 96-year-old nursing home resident Jos Hermans becoming the first Flem to receive the shot, media reported.

      According to national newspaper De Standaard, nursing homes in Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia have already received shipments of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and are set to begin immunizing the elderly and staff over the course of the day.

    • 12:07

      Germany Expects to Get 15.5Mln Doses of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

      BERLIN (Sputnik) - Germany plans to receive 15.5 million doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine as soon as it is approved by the European Union’s drug regulator, a health ministry spokeswoman said Monday.

      "The Moderna vaccine has not been approved yet, but under an EU contract we would receive 15.5 million doses", a spokeswoman told reporters at a news briefing.

    • 12:03

      Kazakhstan Inks COVID-19 Vaccine Deal With Pfizer - Health Ministry

      NUR-SULTAN, (Sputnik) - Kazakhstan signed a deal with US pharmaceutical company Pfizer to begin receiving its vaccine against the coronavirus disease, the health ministry said.

      "Today, we signed a non-disclosure agreement with company Pfizer and are ready to receive shipments of the vaccine in Kazakhstan by issuing special papers", First Vice Minister Marat Shoranov said at a briefing.

      According to the official, the timing will depend on manufacturing capacity and the company's shipping capabilities.

      "We have come up with the rules that allow registering a vaccine based on interim reports of the Phase 3 trials. Regarding the Pfizer vaccine, apart from high demands for transportation and storage demands — down to minus 70 degrees [Celsius, minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit] — it has a different price, it costs up to twice as much that the vaccine manufactured in the Russian Federation," Shoranov added.

    • 11:50

      Hundreds of Inmates With COVID-19 Moved From Seoul Facility to Cheongsong Prison - Reports

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Hundreds of prisoners with COVID-19 at a Seoul Dongbu detention center were moved to a Cheongsong prison in the southeastern region, prompting consternation among local residents wary of further spread of the virus, the media reported on Monday, citing the Ministry of Justice.

      Around 350 prisoners were transferred to a correctional facility in Cheongsong, where they will stay in solitary confinement cells and receive medical care.

      Those prisoners from risk groups, including elderly, were excluded from the transfer, and in case of severe symptoms will be transferred to hospitals.

      According to the Yonhap news agency, 488 inmates and 21 prison officials were known to be infected with a new coronavirus disease, however, none of them have shown serious symptoms.

    • 11:33

      UK's Economic Outlook Bleaker Than Official Forecasts Amid Fresh Lockdowns, Report Suggest

      UK's Economic Outlook Bleaker Than Official Forecasts Amid Fresh Lockdowns, Report Suggests

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United Kingdom’s economic outlook looks to be bleaker than predicted by official surveyors just several weeks ago due to unforeseen factors in the pandemic, a thinktank concluded in a report published Monday.
      Read more
    • 11:07

      Less Than Half of Polish Residents Plan COVID-19 Vaccination - Poll

      WARSAW (Sputnik) - Less than 50 percent of people in Poland intend to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported on Monday, citing the findings of a poll conducted by the Warsaw-based Institute for Social and Market Research.

      The poll found that only 47 percent of respondents said they either "definitely" or "probably" intend to get vaccinated against COVID-19, compared to 44 percent who had no such plans and 9 percent who said they were undecided.

      According to the findings, those who plan to receive a COVID-19 vaccination include more men than women, 59 percent to 35 percent, respectively.

    • 10:45

      Vaccination to Improve Epidemiological Situation By Spring, Russian Deputy PM Says

      "Making forecasts is the most thankless task, However, we should take into consideration that quite a significant number of people have already recovered and developed natural immunity, and we launched vaccination in December. If vaccination is promoted even more actively after the New Year, we will certainly have better results in terms of the epidemiological situation", Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said.


    • 10:32

      Serological Survey Shows 4.43% of Residents of China's Wuhan Have COVID-19 Antibodies

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Serology tests for COVID-19 antibodies showed that about 4.43 percent of residents in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the initial coronavirus outbreak, contracted the virus, the country's Centre of Disease Control (CDC) said on Monday.

      "The [serological] survey discovered that about 4.43 percent of the population in local communities in Wuhan had COVID-19 antibodies," China's CDC wrote on its official WeChat account.

      The survey was based on samples from 34,000 people in the Hubei province and six other provinces.

      According to the survey, only 0.44 percent of residents in other cities in the Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, had COVID-19 antibodies, while only two positive results were identified among the 12,000 people tested in the six other provinces.

    • 10:27

      German Health Ministry Opposes Easing COVID-19 Restrictions for Vaccinated People

      "Some have a priority now to get vaccinated first because were have only few vaccines available. Those who have not been vaccinated can expect those who have to show solidarity and not declare that they are no longer subject to something like wearing a face mask... We have confronted the pandemic until now in solidarity as a society, and we will confront it in the coming months the same way until everyone will be offered a vaccine", Health Jens Spahntold the German ZDF broadcaster.

    • 10:19

      Turkish Airlines to Require Negative COVID-19 Tests From All Arrivals Starting 30 December

      "Passengers flying to Turkey or another country via Turkey are required to submit a negative PCR test, sampled maximum 72 hours prior to their flight, as per the current regulation in Turkey. This procedure will be in effect as of 30 December 2020 12 AM, with the local dates and times of the departure countries. There is no obligation to submit a test result for passengers under 6 years old", Turkey's flagship carrier said in a press release.

    • 09:59

      Australia to Complete Vaccination Rollout by October – Health Minister

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Australia will have most of the population vaccinated against coronavirus by October, Health Minister Greg Hunt said Monday, emphasizing that shots would not be mandatory.

      "We expect that Australians will be fully vaccinated by the end of October, on the basis that it is free, universal and entirely voluntary", he said during a news conference.

      The Australian government said earlier it planned to complete vaccination by the end of 2021. It has purchased three vaccines made by Pfizer and Biontech, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, and by Novavax.

      Health workers and care home patients will be first in line to receive a shot. March has been set as the start of the nationwide vaccination campaign, Hunt added.

      "We are ahead of schedule and our approach is to underpromise and overdeliver and always to make sure that not only do we have a safe and effective vaccine but we have the strongest safety and assessment processes", he added.

    • 09:31

      Indonesia Announces 2-Week Entry Ban From 1 January Amid New Coronavirus Strain Fears

      International travellers will be banned from entering Indonesia for two weeks as the archipelago nation tries to curb the spread of a new, more contagious strain of the virus, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said.

    • 09:21

      No Doubts That Russian Vaccine Will be Able to Beat New Coronavirus Strain, Deputy PM Says

    • 09:12

      India Begins Dry Run For COVID-19 Vaccine Immunisation

      A doctor engages in screening of residents at an apartment complex for COVID-19 symptoms in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

      India Begins Dry Run For COVID-19 Vaccine Immunisation

      India, which has been preparing for the mass vaccination of its 1.3 billion population, has yet to announce when the campaign will kick off. Meanwhile, the country has confirmed 22,272 new cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, with the total number of those infected having reached 10,169,118.
      Read more
    • 08:55

      COVID-19 Immune Response Likely to Protect Against New Virus Strain - French Virologist

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Initial studies have shown that the COVID-19 immune response has prevented infection with the new coronavirus variant that was first detected in the United Kingdom, Bruno Lina, a virologist and member of the French Scientific Council, has said.

      "Early data show that this virus behaves exactly like other viruses and the immune response of people infected with the coronavirus protects against this variant virus," Lina said, as cited by the RTL broadcaster on Monday.

    • 08:53

      Chinese Journalist Jailed for 4 Years Over Reports on Early COVID-19 Outbreak in Wuhan

      Patient Zero: Wuhan One Year Later After The Coronavirus Outbreak

      Chinese Journalist Jailed for 4 Years Over Reports on Early COVID-19 Outbreak in Wuhan

      MOSCOW, (Sputnik) - A court in Shanghai on Monday found citizen journalist Zhang Zhan guilty of "picking quarrels and provoking trouble" in her reporting of the country's early coronavirus outbreak in the city of Wuhan early this year, Zhang's lawyer said, adding that the journalist was sentenced to four years in prison.
      Read more
    • 08:43

      Zambia Considering Russian Proposal to Use Its COVID-19 Vaccine, Envoy 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

      Zambia Considering Russian Proposal to Use Its COVID-19 Vaccine, Envoy Says

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Zambia is currently considering the proposal by Russia for the use of its domestically produced Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19, Russian Ambassador to Zambia Alexander Boldyrev told Sputnik.
      Read more
    • 08:31

      Authorisation of Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine Could Help Relax COVID Restrictions, UK Minister Gove Says

    • 08:24

      Gibraltar Imposes 2-Week Curfew Amid Continuous Rise in COVID-19 Cases

    • 07:57

      Russia Registers 27,787 COVID-19 Cases in Past 24 Hours

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia has registered 27,787 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, down from 28,284 the day before, bringing the total to 3,078,035, the federal response centre said on Monday.

      "Over the past 24 hours, 27,787 coronavirus cases were confirmed in 84 regions, including 3,748 cases (13.5 percent) without clinical symptoms", the centre said, adding that the cumulative case count has now reached 3,078,035, with the rate of increase at 0.9 percent.

    • 07:53

      Spain to See End of Pandemic Next Summer, as 70% of People Will Get Immunity, Health Minister Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Spain may overcome the coronavirus pandemic at the end of summer 2021, once about 70 percent of the population is vaccinated, Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Monday.

      "The beginning of the vaccination is the beginning of the end [of the pandemic]. And the end is when we manage to immunize 70 percent [of the population], this may happen at the end of summer", Illa said in an interview with the Cadena Ser radio station.

    • 07:00

      Trump Signs Spending Bill That Includes COVID-19 Relief Legislation

      Trump Signs Spending Bill That Includes COVID-19 Relief Legislation

      The US president specified that he will send back to Congress "a redlined version," requesting that "wasteful items" be removed from the bill.
      Read more
    • 06:17

      Half of Sweden's Intensive Care Patients With COVID-19 are Immigrants, Report Says

      A Swedish police officer adjusts a protective mask at the border control point at Hyllie station, as the Swedish government shut the border after a mutated strain of the coronavirus was discovered in Denmark, in Malmo, Sweden December 22, 2020

      Half of Sweden's Intensive Care Patients With COVID-19 are Immigrants, Report Says

      The drastic overrepresentation of immigrants among intensive care patients and COVID-19 deaths under 65 prompted Expressen, one of the country's leading tabloids, to urge the authorities to respect the fact that Sweden is "a country of immigrants".
      Read more
    • 06:10

      Saudi Arabia Extends Entry Ban Amid New COVID Strain Fears

    • 06:05

      Japan Halts Entry of Foreigners to ‘Protect’ Citizens Amid Fear of New Virus Strain, PM Suga Says

      TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japan imposed new COVID-19 response measures that include a ban on entrance for non-resident foreigners from most countries until the end of January to "protect" citizens amid the spread of a new and more transmissible coronavirus variant, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Monday.

      "These are proactive measures to protect the lives of the country's citizens", Suga told reporters.

    • 05:44

      Number of 'UFO Sightings' in UK Spiked Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, Alien Hunter Claims


      Number of 'UFO Sightings' in UK Spiked Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, Alien Hunter Claims

      The quarantine measures caused by the pandemic prevent people from travelling, but it doesn't appear to be as efficient for extraterrestrials - or at least that's what some people believe.
      Read more
    • 05:11

      Mexico to Get About 200 Million Doses of COVID-19 Vaccines Next Year

      BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - Mexico expects to get deliveries of about 200 million doses of different coronavirus vaccines in 2021, Presidential spokesman Jesus Ramirez Cuevas said.

      "The Mexican government has signed agreements to ensure millions of vaccines against COVID-19 for all Mexicans. Thirty-four million Pfizer vaccines will arrive in 2021; 77.4 million from Astra Zeneca; 35 million from Cansino; 51.5 million from Covax", Ramirez said on Twitter on Sunday.

    • 04:51

      Thailand Confirms 144 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 04:31

      Brazil’s Vice President Contracts Coronavirus

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Brazil’s Vice President Hamilton Mourao has tested positive for the coronavirus and will self-isolate, his press service informs.

    • 04:31

      Trump Says More News Coming on 6 January, 'Information to Follow' on Coronavirus Relief

    Live Updates: US Stocks Hit Record Levels as Trump Signs $2.3 Trln Coronavirus Stimulus Aid Bill
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