16:54 GMT25 January 2021
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    The global coronavirus tally has surpassed 90.8 million, and around 1.94 million have died during the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    The US remains the most affected country with over 22.6 million infected, and a death toll in excess of 376,000. The second-highest COVID tally is in India (10.4 million cases and over 151,000 fatalities), while Brazil has the second-highest death toll (more than 203,000 fatalities and over 8.1 million cases).

    In the meantime, European nations have launched mass vaccination campaigns in a bid to stop the virus.

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      UK Police to Enforce COVID Rules ‘Quicker’ Amid ‘Challenging Circumstances’ , Official Says

      LONDON (Sputnik) - The UK police will enforce rules linked to the coronavirus-related lockdown measures "quicker" amid the "challenging circumstances" in the country triggered by the high infection rate, Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said on Tuesday.

      England imposed its third lockdown last week. People are advised to stay at home, gatherings of more than 2 people are not allowed, and all non-essential shops are closed. The violators of the new measures face a 200 pound ($270) fine.

      The police adopted a strategy of "4 Es" that envisions "engaging, explaining and encouraging" before enforcing lockdown measures. According to Malthouse, the police would stick to its strategy "if people play by the rules" and recognize the law enforcement agency’s difficult job "in very challenging circumstances."

      "But I think you will find that the police are quicker to move to enforcement. That's certainly what they have indicated is their intention," the minister told Sky News, adding that the nation should recognize the severity of the health crisis.

      The UK government confirmed that the country’s health system is under "very significant pressure" at the moment.

      Since the start of the pandemic, the UK has confirmed over 3.1 million COVID-19 cases and more than 82,000 related deaths.

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    • 12:33

      Switzerland Approves Moderna Vaccine

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    • 12:12

      Greek Prime Minister Suggests Launching EU-Wide Digital Vaccination Certificate

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has suggested introducing a vaccination certificate in the European Union to ensure that those who have received the vaccine against the coronavirus can travel freely.

      Greece is not planning to make vaccination mandatory, but those who have been vaccinated should be able to travel freely, Mitsotakis said in a letter to President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

      According to the Greek prime minister, the re-establishment of freedom of movement within the EU and with third countries is "a fundamental priority for us all".

      Greece has developed a sample certificate that could be used on any means of transport, Mitsotakis said.

      "In light of the above, it is urgent to adopt a common understanding on how a vaccination certificate should be structured so as to be accepted in all Member States", Mitsotakis said.

      If the EU member states agree on the matter quickly, the issue can then be presented at international fora, the Greek prime minister said.

      "For countries such as Greece, which are dependent on tourism, it's imperative that this issue is resolved before the summer season", Mitsotakis concluded.

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      Merkel Believes Strict Lockdown Must Be Maintained for 8-10 More Weeks - Reports

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    • 10:05

      China's Hebei Quarantines Over 20,000 Residents in 15 Villages Amid New COVID-19 Outbreak

      BEIJING (Sputnik) - Local authorities in central China's Hebei province have sent over 20,000 residents from 15 villages to centralized quarantine centers, as part of their efforts to curb the recent local COVID-19 outbreak, a top provincial official said on Tuesday.

      "The three villages with the most identified cases and 12 other villages with existing cases have been placed under centralised quarantine. We'll try to quarantine whoever is necessary to be quarantined", Xu Jianpei, deputy governor of Hebei province, said during a press conference on Tuesday.

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      "I want to note that other countries in the region, such as Nepal, are showing great interest in the supplies of the Russian vaccine. A Nepalese pharmaceutical company has signed a memorandum with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, under which up to 25 million doses of Sputnik V can be delivered to the Himalayan republic", Russian Foreign Ministry's Second Asian Department Director Zamir Kabulov said.

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      "If we're going to get through this in good shape, and hopefully make sure that this is the last big lockdown of the country, it's very important that we all stick to the rules", Minister of State for Crime and Policing at the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice Kit Malthouse told Sky News, saying tighter rules would depend on "the numbers" of infected and hospitalised.

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      Today, other airlines like Air India, GoAir, and IndiGo will operate nine flights from Pune with 5.65 million doses to Delhi, and other Indian cities like Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Bengaluru, Lucknow, and Chandigarh.

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    Live Updates: Britons Should Abide by Coronavirus Rules, or They May Be Toughened, Minister Says
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