03:29 GMT03 March 2021
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    The United States, India and Brazil remain in the lead in terms of both COVID-19 cases and deaths. To date, more than 93.8 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide.

    Johns Hopkins University has updated the total, global number of fatalities caused by the coronavirus infection, which has now crossed the 2 mln mark, having reached 2,008,237 as of press time.

    The total number of cases is 93,816,953, with the US, India and Brazil reporting the highest national case counts, followed by Russia and the United Kingdom.

    The same nations (except Russia) also comprise the top five most affected nations in terms of related deaths, with Brazil being the second most affected nation, and Mexico ranking fourth.

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    • 18:10

      Delhi Reports One Severe, 51 Minor Cases of Adverse Reactions on First Day of COVID Vaccinations

    • 16:41

      First Case of 'South African' Coronavirus Variant Detected in Denmark, State Serum Institute Says

      The first case of a more transmissible coronavirus variant, first detected in South Africa, known as B.1.351/501Y, has been discovered in Denmark, the country's State Serum Institute said.

    • 16:41

      Russia's Sputnik V Vaccine Can Receive Authorisation in Peru Within Month, RDIF Says

      Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine can receive authorization in Peru within a month, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said.

      On Friday, the Peruvian Health Ministry said that it had struck a non-disclosure agreement with the Sputnik V developer, the Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute.

      "The Russian Direct Investment Fund confirms negotiations with the Health Ministry of Peru. The Russian vaccine can be registered in the country within a month," the RDIF said.

      According to the Peruvian Health Ministry, the country is also in vaccine talks with US pharma company Moderna.

    • 16:38

      Guinean President Reportedly Takes Shot of Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine

      Guinean President Alpha Conde, 82, has taken a shot of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, the West African nation’s RTG broadcaster showed footage on Saturday.

      According to the public broadcaster, the president got inoculated to set an example for the nation.

      Guinea launched a vaccination with Russia’s Sputnik V on an experimental basis in late December. According to Guinee News, the country received 55 doses back then. Earlier, 19 high-ranking Guinean officials, including Defense Minister Mohamed Diane, received the shots.

      With a population of 12.77 million, Guinea has so far registered over 14,000 COVID-19 cases, including more than 13,300 recoveries and 81 deaths.

    • 16:37

      Over 250 Cases of Mutant Coronavirus Strain Linked to UK Registered in Denmark, Ministry Says

      Denmark has registered 256 cases of mutant coronavirus infection originally found in the UK, with nearly 50 cases recorded over the past three days, the Danish Health Ministry said on Saturday.

      "To date, 256 cases of UK's B117 mutation have been recorded in positive tests. On January 13, this figure stood 208," the ministry said.

      The authorities of Denmark, where the vaccination of the population began on 27 December, are afraid of the spread of the much more transmissible UK strain of coronavirus, therefore, strict restrictive measures were introduced in the country, which in many ways look like a lockdown. Notably, under the current measures, bars, restaurants, shopping malls, gyms and other major public places are closed, educational facilities practice distance learning and a ban on gatherings of more than five people are in effect.

    • 16:36

      Over 1 Million People Vaccinated in Germany, Robert Koch Institute Says

      As many as 1,048,160 people in Germany have already received a vaccine from COVID-19, the Robert Koch Institute, a national authority for infectious diseases, said on Saturday.

      Over the past 24 hours, nearly 80,000 people received the vaccine.

      On Friday, media reported that Edith Kwoizalla, a 101-year-old woman residing in a care home in the town of Halberstadt, had become the first German to receive the second shot of the two-dose vaccine against coronavirus.

      According to the data, 18,678 new cases of COVID-19 were registered in Germany, while 980 patients have died. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Germany recorded over 2 million cases of the infection and nearly 46,000 fatalities.

      In late December, Germany launched a vaccination campaign against COVID-19, using the vaccine developed by companies Pfizer and BioNTech.

    • 16:30

      Italy Suspends Flights From Brazil Amid Discovery of New Coronavirus Strain

      Italy has suspended flights from Brazil in response to a new coronavirus strain, the country's health ministry said. 

      People who have transited Brazil in the past two weeks are also banned from entering Italy, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Facebook. 

    • 16:13

      Italy Reports More Than 16,000 New COVID Cases on Sat, 475 New Deaths

    • 16:06

      UK Records Over 41,000 New COVID Cases on Saturday

      The UK has confirmed 41,346 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, with 1,295 new fatalities.

      Meanwhile, 3,559,179 first doses of the coronavirus vaccine were administered in the UK, the country's health officials say. 

    • 15:14

      Argentina Receives Second Batch of Russian Sputnik V Vaccine

      A plane carrying the second batch of 300,000 doses of Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V landed at the Ezeiza airport in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

      On 25 December, the country received the first batch of the vaccine, which also contained 300,000 doses.

    • 15:07

      Pfizer, BioNTech to Scale-Up Vaccine Production Amid Reports on Shortage in Deliveries

       Pfizer and BioNTech pharmaceutical companies have developed a plan to scale-up the production of the vaccine against COVID-19 amid reports on reduction in vaccine deliveries to some EU countries, the companies said.

      "Pfizer and BioNTech have developed a plan that will allow the scale-up of manufacturing capacities in Europe and deliver significantly more doses in the second quarter. To accomplish this, certain modifications of production processes are required now. As a result, our facility in Puurs, Belgium will experience a temporary reduction in the number of doses delivered in the upcoming week," the statement said.

      According to the statement, the companies plan to be back to the original schedule of deliveries to the European Union beginning the week of January 25, with increased delivery beginning the week of February 15.

      This will allow the companies "to deliver the fully committed quantity of vaccine doses in the first quarter and significantly more in the second quarter."

      Earlier this week, a number of EU countries said that they were receiving vaccines against coronavirus in smaller quantities than expected, and complained about the indefinite timing of future vaccine deliveries.

    • 14:04

      First Stage of India's Vaccination Drive to Take About 6 Months, Health Minister Says

      The first stage of India's vaccination campaign against the coronavirus disease will take up to six months, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said Saturday.

      Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the national vaccination drive. The country has opened approximately 3,000 vaccination centres, planning to increase their number to 5,000 by the end of the month and to 12,000 by March. According to the health minister, India is planning to vaccinate 300 million people during its first phase, including frontline medical staff, those over 50 years of age and those with comorbidities.

      "We should be able to get vaccines for the 30 crore [300 million] people in the next five-six months," Vardhan told journalists.

      India has the second-highest number of COVID-19 infections in the world after the United States, with over 10.5 million cases in total and more than 152,000 fatalities.

    • 13:54

      165,714 Frontline Workers Received Jabs on Day 1 of Vaccination in India

    • 13:20

      Denmark Indentifies 256 Cases of B117 Coronavirus Variant Infections

    • 12:42

      Russia Resumes Flights With Finland, Vietnam, India, Qatar From 27 January

      Russia will resume air traffic with Finland, Vietnam, India and Qatar starting 27 January, the country's response centre against COVID-19 said Saturday.

      "Per the discussion that took place and taking into account the epidemiological situation in some countries, the centre made the decision to renew international air traffic on the mutual basis with the following countries, starting January 27, 2021: Vietnam (Moscow-Hanoi, two times a week); India (Moscow-Delhi, two times a week); Finland (Moscow-Helsinki, two times a week, and St.Petersburg-Helsinki, two times a week); Qatar (Moscow-Doha, three times a week)," the statement reads.

      "Apart from that, it was decided to increase the number of regular flights to Egypt via the Moscow-Cairo route up to five times a week," the statement added.

    • 11:51

      Norway Introduces Obligatory COVID-19 Testing on Border From Monday

      Norwegian authorities have decided to introduce obligatory testing for coronavirus infection for all arrivals starting from Monday, the government announced on Saturday.

      "The government introduces obligatory testing on border for all arrivals who come from countries with an unfavorable epidemiological situation. Testing at entry points will be introduced from 05:00 p.m. local time [16:00 GMT] on Monday, 18 January", the statement said.

      According to Health Minister Bent Hoie, those, who refuse testing without a proper reason, will be fined and will be required to spend quarantine in a special hotel.

      Until now, Norway had a rule for entry, according to which everyone was required to undergo a test within 24 hours before arrival, however now this procedure will be carried out at airports, sea terminals or land border checkpoints.

      Norway has so far confirmed over 58,000 cases of COVID-19 and 517 fatalities.

    • 11:26

      Vucic Notes Absence of COVAX Shipments While Meeting Jet With 1Mln Chinese Vaccine Doses

      Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Saturday personally met in Belgrade a plane with the first 1 million doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine, praising effectiveness of bilateral deals with manufacturers and lamenting the absence of shipments via the international COVAX Facility.

      The Serbian leader met the Air Serbia plane at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport together with Chinese Ambassador Chen Bo and Health Minister Zlatibor Loncar.

      "We have not received yet a single vaccine dose through the COVAX mechanism. We have bilaterally ensured [supplies] through the Americans, through the Russians, and now thanks to [Chinese President] Xi Jinping received the largest amount of a vaccine", Vucic said at the airport.

      According to the president, his country is the first in Europe to receive such a large shipment of the Sinopharm vaccine. Vucic noted that Belgrade had contributed several million euros to the COVAX facility, but, like other countries in the region, had not received a single dose via it.

      The Chinese COVID-19 vaccine is expected to first receive a temporary authorisation from the Serbian regulator, as was the case with the Pfizer/BioNTech and Russia’s Sputnik V, and will be later reviewed for permanent approval.

    • 10:20

      Switzerland to Hold Referendum on Government's Powers to Impose Lockdown Measures

    • 10:15

      Video From Inside Vaccination Centre in India

    • 08:40

      India’s Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla Receives Covishield Jab, Greets PM Amid Vaccine Drive - Video

      Serum Institute (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla was administered the first dose of the Covishield coronavirus vaccine this afternoon, hours after Indian Prime Minister Modi launched India's nationwide vaccination drive.

      He tweeted a video of himself getting the vaccine shot.

      SII is manufacturing the Covishield vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, that has been rolled out throughout India.

      Two vaccines have been cleared for emergency use in India - Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. While the former has completed the three phases of clinical trials as mandated by law, Covaxin has only finished two; the third is ongoing.

    • 08:13

      Russia Registers 24,092 COVID-19 Cases Over Past 24 Hours

      Russia registered 24,092 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, down from 24,715 the day before, taking the tally to 3,544,623, the coronavirus response centre said on Saturday.

      "Over the past day, 24,092 coronavirus cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 3,113 cases (12.9 percent) that were detected actively, with people showing no clinical symptoms", the centre said, adding that the cumulative case count has now reached 3,544,623, with the rate of increase at 0.7 percent.

      Moscow confirmed 5,639 new coronavirus cases over the given period, up from 5,534 the day before. The Russian capital was followed by St. Petersburg with 3,625 cases, up from 3,094 the day before, and the Moscow Region with 1,300 new cases, down from 1,361 the day before.

      The response centre reported 590 coronavirus fatalities, up from 555 the day before, raising the country's death toll to 65,085.

      Total recoveries count 2,936,911 after 27,311 people were discharged from hospitals over the past day, down from  27,636 the day before.

    • 07:27

      Mahesh Sharma Among First Indian MPs to Get Inoculated Against Coronavirus - Video

    • 07:27

      First Indians Vaccinated Against COVID-19 After Government OKs Two Immunisers for Emergency Use

      Health workers shift a box containing COVID-19 vaccine from a vehicle to a cold storage at Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality hospital in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. On Jan. 16 India will start the massive undertaking of inoculating an estimated 30 million doctors, nurses and other front line workers, before attention turns to around 270 million people who are either aged over 50 or have co-morbidities

      First Indians Vaccinated Against COVID-19 After Government OKs Two Immunisers for Emergency Use

      Last week, India carried out a a mock vaccination drill across 33 states and union territories. The country is currently the second-most-affected by the pandemic in terms of cases and has had the third-highest number of fatalities.
      Read more
    • 06:42

      Head of Pulmonology Dept at Rajiv Gandhi Hospital in Delhi Says Privileged to Get the Jab as India Kicks Off Vaccination

    • 06:06

      Health Workers Wait Outside to Receive COVID Vaccine Jab

    • 06:01

      First Vaccination Done at AIIMS Delhi in Presence of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

    • 05:09

      Germany Reports 18,678 New Cases, 980 New Fatalities

    • 04:30

      Number of COVID-19 Cases in India Rises by 15,158 Over Past 24 Hours

      India has confirmed 15,158 new cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, with the total number of those infected having reached 10,542,841, the country's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Saturday.

      The death toll from the disease has reached 152,093 people, with 175 new fatalities being recorded over the past day. More than 10.17 million people have recovered in India since the start of the outbreak.

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