03:48 GMT03 March 2021
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    The global coronavirus tally is now over 95,000,000, while the death toll has surpassed 2 million people worldwide, according to Baltimore, Maryland's Johns Hopkins University.

    The US is currently the worst-hit nation amid the pandemic, with around 24 million infected, and at least 397,000 deaths. India has the second-highest overall tally (10.55 million cases, over 152,000 fatalities) and Brazil has the second-highest death toll (more than 209,000 deaths, while over 8.4 million cases have been confirmed).

    At the same time, multiple nations are conducting mass vaccination campaigns to stop the deadly pandemic.

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    • 03:30

      Pakistan Approves Emergency Use of Sinopharm's COVID-19 Vaccine

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Pakistan has approved the emergency use of the coronavirus vaccine by Chinese company Sinopharm, according to a statement by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP).

      "In a meeting conducted by Registration Board of DRAP today January 18, 2021, another vaccine manufactured by China National Pharmaceutical Group (SinoPharm) has also been given EUA [emergency use authoritzation]," DRAP said.

      "This authorization will be reviewed on quarterly basis keeping in view further data regarding safety, efficacy and quality," it said.

    • 01:50

      Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Considering Lockdown Extension for Up to 14 Days, Report Says

    • 23:28

      Morocco Reports First Case of the Highly Transmissible British Coronavirus Strain

      CAIRO (Sputnik) - The first case of the highly transmissible coronavirus variant that originated in the UK has been registered in Morocco, the country’s health ministry has announced.

      "... the Ministry of Health informs all citizens that the epidemiological monitoring system recorded the first confirmed case of the mutated strain of the coronavirus recently discovered in the United Kingdom," the ministry said in a statement.

      According to the release, the patient is a Moroccan citizen who has arrived from Ireland on board a ship that had set off from the port of Marseille (France).

      "The Ministry informs that the person concerned is not showing any symptoms, and is currently in isolation in Casablanca," the health ministry said.

      All the necessary contact tracing has been carried out in accordance with the Moroccan health protocol.

    • 22:47

      Trump to Lift Travel Restrictions on UK, Europe, Brazil Starting on January 26 - Report

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Outgoing US President Donald Trump will cancel entry bans over COVID-19 for the majority of non-US citizens who recently visited Brazil and many European countries starting January 26, Reuters reported citing officials.

      There has been no immediate comment from the White House.

    • 21:03

      40% of Serbians Opt for Russia's Sputnik V Vaccine – Health Ministry

      BELGRADE (Sputnik) - 40% of Serbians who applied for vaccination through the internet or a call center have decided to receive the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, Serbian Health Ministry State Secretary Mirsad Derlek said on Monday.

      On January 16, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that the country expected to receive an additional 250,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine on Tuesday. According to Vucic, Serbia would vaccinate 80 percent of its seven million population with vaccines developed by different pharmaceutical companies.

      "As of today, 28 percent are in favor of receiving Pfizer vaccine, 40 percent have chosen Sputnik V, the others do not care which one [to choose]," Derlek said during a television appearance.

    • 19:37

      Tourism Federation of Italy Seeks to Promote Implementation of Vaccine Passports in EU

      Students, parents and teachers gather in front of the Duomo gothic cathedral, in Milan, Italy,  to protest against the Lombardy's government decision to delay reopening of high schools until Jan. 24 amid an extension of its anti-covid measures, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021

      Italian Tourism Federation Aims to Promote Idea of Vaccine Passports in EU, President Says

      GENOA, Italy (Sputnik) - Italian travel and tourism federation Federturismo Confindustria seeks to promote the idea of EU vaccine passports to stimulate travel among those who have been immunized, the federation's president, Marina Lalli, told Sputnik.
      Read more
    • 19:06

      Saudi Arabia Approves AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine for Use

    • 17:14

      Czech Republic Detects UK COVID-19 Variant, Reports Confirm

    • 17:01

      EU Needs to Speed Up Mass COVID Vaccination Process, Vaccine Deliveries, Vice-President Says

      BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The European Union needs to accelerate the process of mass vaccination against the novel coronavirus, as well as that of vaccine deliveries, Maros Sefcovic, the vice-president of the European Commission in charge of the Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, said on Monday.

      The bloc has secured so far almost 2.3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines, the broadest portfolio in the world, that will allow more than 1 billion people in Europe to be vaccinated. However, according to the senior EU official, there is a large gap between the supplies and the number of those who already received injections.

      "We, first, need to accelerate the vaccination and vaccine supplies, because vaccines on their own achieve nothing," Sefcovic said at a press conference.

      According to the vice-president, the EU needs to ramp up the supply of vaccines by working with companies to maximize production capacity within the bloc. In particular, the member states can invest in new manufacturing plants, securing agreements with producers to repurpose their companies.

      Commenting on the possible introduction of vaccination certificates, the official said that the bloc did not intend to create a situation in which EU residents who were not vaccinated against the coronavirus would face curbs on their rights and freedoms. The aim is to gather data to use it for medical purposes, to assess the efficiency of COVID-19 vaccines.

      "Vaccination is voluntary. We will have, I am sure, a lot of people who, for example, cannot be vaccinated because of medical purposes, even some of them just simply would not like to be vaccinated. And, therefore, we are taking all the precautions that we would not create any ground for different treatment of these people, or any kind of limitations of their rights," Sefcovic added.

      Last week, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis proposed to introduce a standardized EU COVID-19 vaccination certificate. The idea to standardize the certificate aims at facilitating free movement and travel across the bloc. The initiative is set to be discussed during a virtual conference of 27 EU leaders on COVID-19 vaccines on Thursday.

    • 16:56

      Norway Recommends Seniors to Consider Risks of COVID-19 Vaccination Following 23 Deaths

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Norwegian Medicines Agency on Monday commented on the death of 23 people inoculated with Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccines by saying that elderly and frail patients should carefully consider the risk-benefit ratio before vaccination.

      According to the agency, 23 reports of suspected deaths associated with COVID-19 vaccines were received as of January 14 and several more continue to be submitted every day.

      "The Norwegian Medicines Agency and the National Institute of Public Health jointly assess all reports of suspected adverse reactions. Consequently, the Norwegian Institute of Public health has emphasised its advice regarding frail or terminally ill patients. An evaluation should be carried for each individual patient as to whether the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of eventual side effects," the agency said in a press release.

      Pointing out that the Pfizer vaccine's clinical trials did not include participants with serious health conditions and included only a few participants aged above 85, the agency said Norway's vaccination campaign so far covered "the elderly and people in nursing homes with serious underlying diseases."

      "Therefore it is expected that deaths close to the time vaccination may occur," the agency said, adding "We cannot rule out that adverse reactions to the vaccine occurring within the first days following vaccination (such as fever and nausea) may contribute to more serious course and fatal outcome in patients with severe underlying disease."

      The agency also noted that the average weekly death toll in Norwegian nursing homes and long-term care facilities was 400 people.

      Norway's mass vaccination campaign with the Pfizer vaccine began on December 27. With the first tier including seniors at care facilities in Oslo, more than 25,000 people were already vaccinated as of Monday.

    • 16:13

      UK Sees 37,535 New Coronavirus Cases with 599 More Deaths Over Past 24 Hours

    • 16:11

      More Than 4mn People Have Had First Dose of Coronavirus Vaccine in England, Health Authority Says

    • 15:48

      Czech Foreign Minister Tests Positive for COVID-19

    • 15:03

      UK PM Johnson Believes Things Will be Different by Spring

    • 15:02

      Speed of Vaccine Rollout is Encouraging, Says UK PM Johnson

    • 14:07

      Portugal Hits Record With 664 Coronavirus Patients in Intensive Care Units, Health Authority Says

    • 13:58

      Bulgarian Woman Gives Birth to Baby With Antibodies to COVID-19, Reports Say

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A newborn in the Bulgarian city of Pazardzhik was found to have antibodies to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, media reported on Monday.

      The baby’s mother had earlier been admitted to a city hospital with COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever and coughing, according to public outlet Radio Bulgaria. She tested positive for the coronavirus.

      Doctors performed a caesarian section after it was found that the illness had caused placental changes and fetal growth was affected. The baby is in good health and will continue to be monitored after discharge.

      In November, a woman in Singapore gave birth to a child with antibodies after having survived COVID-19 in March.

    • 13:37

      COVID-19 Weekly Death Toll Likely to Reach 100,000 ‘Very Soon’, WHO Emergencies Chief Says

    • 13:34

      Turkmenistan Becomes First Central Asian Country to Approve Sputnik V Vaccine, RDIF Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Turkmenistan has become the first Central Asian country to register Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19, the approval was granted by the Turkmen Health Ministry under the emergency use authorization procedure, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on Monday.

      "Turkmenistan became the first country in Central Asia to officially approve the use of the Sputnik V vaccine. Our partners highly appreciated the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, which is one of the world's leading vaccines against coronavirus," RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said, as quoted in the statement.

      Russia's vaccine has been registered under the same procedure in Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, Serbia, Palestine, Paraguay and Venezuela, according to RDIF.

      Sputnik V is the world's first coronavirus vaccine officially registered for emergency use in Russia on August 11. In December, Russia launched large-scale coronavirus immunization. The latest interim results from Phase 3 clinical trials established the vaccine's efficacy at 91.4 percent and at 100 percent against severe cases.

      Russia produces the vaccine for domestic use on its own. It has also struck agreements with a number of foreign manufactures to produce doses for exports. The RDIF is leading efforts to promote the Russian vaccine abroad.


    • 13:24

      New COVID-19 Cases Spike Significantly in Germany, Gov’t Says

    • 12:53

      UK PM Johnson to Chair First Meeting of New Business Council Aimed to Boost COVID-19 Economic Recovery

    • 12:27

      German Hospital Reportedly Detects Outbreak of New COVID Strain

      Paramedics from a patient transport company wearing face masks and gloves as they stand at the entrance to an apartment building to pick up a patient in the district Steglitz in Berlin, Germany, March 17, 2020

      German Hospital Reportedly Detects Outbreak of New COVID Strain

      Over the last two months, more virulent strains of the coronavirus that emerged separately in the UK and South Africa, have been detected in a number of countries, forcing governments to impose tougher lockdowns.
      Read more
    • 12:21

      Malaysia Confirms 3,306 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 12:12

      Russia Needs to Vaccinate At Least 68.6Mln People Against COVID-19, Deputy PM Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia needs to vaccinate 60 percent of the population or roughly 68.6 million people against the coronavirus, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said Monday.

      "Scientists have determined how many people need to be vaccinated, not counting those who had had [Covid-19] and children below 18. It's 60 percent of the Russian population or 68.6 million people", Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova told a briefing, adding that the number could be adjusted depending the number of new cases.

    • 11:50

      UK Army Establishes 80 New COVID-19 Vaccination Centers Across Scotland

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The UK Armed Forces on Monday launched the largest peacetime resilience operation in its history by setting up 80 new COVID-19 vaccination centres across Scotland, the country's Ministry of Defence said.

      Almost 100 servicemen are expected to support the Scottish healthcare workers and the government in preparing and operationalising vaccination centers for the mass immunisation campaign in the next 28 days.

      "They will use their logistical, organisational and clinical expertise to establish the vaccine centres, before handing them over to NHS Scotland to deliver their vaccination programme", the defense ministry said in a statement.

      According to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, the military will help the Scottish authorities administer the initial 900,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the month.

      "For us all, vaccines are the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm very pleased that the expertise of the British Armed Forces is helping the Scottish Government get vaccines into arms as quickly as possible. The UK Government is supplying and paying for vaccines for the whole of the UK – it is now vital that these doses are administered as soon as possible", Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said, as quoted in the statement.

    • 11:41

      Researchers From 9 Countries Join Sputnik V International Scientific Advisory Board

    • 11:02

      Russian FM Lavrov Says He Has Antibodies After Contracting Coronavirus in Light Form

      "I have antibodies, as I had a mild form of the coronavirus infection. Now I have learned that experts recommend vaccination even to those who have already recovered from the disease", Lavrov said at a press conference. "I learned this yesterday, I will need to consult doctors".

    • 11:00

      RDIF, Gamaleya Center Announce International Scientific Advisory Board on Sputnik V

        Russia Coronavirus Vaccine

      RDIF, Gamaleya Centre Announce International Scientific Advisory Board on Sputnik V

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Gamaleya research centre on Monday announced the establishment of a scientific advisory board on the Sputnik V vaccine, which includes leading scientists from nine countries.
      Read more
    • 10:38

      Switzerland Closes Two Hotels in St. Moritz Resort Due to Spread of Mutated COVID-19

      ZURICH (Sputnik) - Graubünden, a canton in the south-east of Switzerland, on Monday shut down the St. Moritz ski resort and put guests and staff on quarantine, after health authorities registered a surge in the spread of the mutated strain of coronavirus.

      "The Graubünden health department has registered an increase in the spread of the mutated coronavirus in St. Moritz on Sunday evening. So far, about ten cases of infection were reported in two hotels. The health department has isolated two hotels and ordered COVID tests for their employees and guests, to protect the health of the population and guests", it said.

    • 10:34

      Man Lived in Chicago Airport for Three Months Over 'Fear of COVID-19', Reports Suggest

      Workers outnumbered travelers in this photo taken at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on April 16, 2020

      Man Lived in Chicago Airport for Three Months Over 'Fear of COVID-19', Reports Suggest

      The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) has stated that the person didn't pose any threat to the airport or the public but it is continuing an investigation into the matter in coordination with law enforcement agencies.
      Read more
    • 10:00

      Germany to Create Mechanism to Trace Coronavirus Mutations, Health Minister Spahn Says

      "Two highly-infectious variants of the virus have been detected in Germany, one of them is broadly represented in the United Kingdom and the other one is present in South Africa, and we also receive alarming information from Brazil ... In order to early receive full information about known and unknown mutations that are detected in Germany, to see how the virus changes in Germany and which mutations emerge here, we have made a decision to significantly support analytic effort", Spahn said.

    • 09:52

      Prospects for Equitable Distribution of COVID Vaccines Are at Serious Risk, WHO Chief Warns

      "Not only does this me-first approach leave the world's poorest and most vulnerable at risk, it is also self-defeating", WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

    • 09:31

      UK to Pilot 24-Hour COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, Vaccine Minister Says

      LONDON (Sputnik) – The UK's National Health Service will pilot a 24-hour COVID-19 vaccination program in hospitals in London as part of the government's target to offer a vaccine jab to almost 15 million people included in the top four priority groups by mid-February, UK COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Monday.

      "We're going to pilot the 24-hour vaccination. The NHS is going to pilot that in hospitals in London and we’d look at how to expand that", Zahawi told Sky News broadcaster.

      The minister explained, however, that the "important thing" now is to protect people who are over 80 years old, and for them, the current 8 am to 8 pm vaccination times have proved to be more convenient.

      "As you move down the age groups, it’d become much more convenient for people to go late at night or in the early hours, but at the moment, the challenge is obviously to supply the vaccines that need to get into the arms of the most vulnerable", he said.

    • 09:03

      Venezuela Sends 14,000 Oxygen Tanks to Brazil Due to Rise in COVID-19 Cases - Maduro

      "The oxygen [tanks] has been sent, the trucks... consist of six tankers with a total of 136,000 liters of oxygen equivalent to 14,000 tanks or individual cylinders", the Venezuelan President said during a speech published on his Facebook on Sunday.

    • 08:51

      UK Coronavirus Strain Registered in Czech Republic

    • 08:21

      UK Vaccines Minister Confirms Possibility of Vaccinating All Adults Against COVID by Fall

      "It is achievable and we are moving rapidly", Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi told the Sky News when asked to comment on Raab's statement, adding, "we've got millions of doses coming through in the next few months, of course, more of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, more of the Pfizer/BioNTech, and then Moderna, which has just been approved and will come through in the spring, and others".

    • 08:16

      California Recommends to Suspend Moderna Vaccine Batch Due to High Number of Adverse Events

      Coronavirus: On November 16, 2020, US biotech company Moderna announced a vaccine against COVID-19 that is 94.5% effective. Montreal, November 16, 2020

      California Recommends to Suspend Moderna Vaccine Batch Due to High Number of Adverse Events

      Moderna, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are currently reviewing the batch after around 10 people suffered "a possible severe allergic reaction".
      Read more
    • 08:10

      Russia Confirms 22,857 New Coronavirus Cases

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia registered 22,857 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, down from 23,586 the day before, taking the tally to 3,591,066, the coronavirus response centre said on Monday.

      "Over the past day, 22,857 coronavirus cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 2,504 cases (11 percent) that were detected among people showing no clinical symptoms", the centre said, adding that the cumulative case count has now reached 3,591,066 with the rate of increase falling to 0.6 percent.

    • 08:07

      Swedish Gov't Accused of Advocating 'Broad Infection Spread', Pushing Same COVID Strategy in Finland

      Sweden's Prime minister Stefan Lofven attends a press conference at Rosenbad, the Swedish government headquarters, in Stockholm on July 27, 2017

      Swedish Gov't Accused of Advocating 'Broad Infection Spread', Pushing Same COVID Strategy in Finland

      Sweden's lax COVID-19 approach has triggered polarising reactions across the globe, ranging from admiration to scepticism. Still, many more Swedes have fallen sick and died of coronavirus than elsewhere in Scandinavia.
      Read more
    • 07:54

      Czech Republic Confirms 2,618 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 07:54

      Austria Extends Lockdown to 7 February

    • 07:35

      China Reports 109 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 07:22

      South Korea to Form Herd Immunity Against COVID-19 Within Vaccination Programme by Fall, President Says

      A staff member walks before a mural at Incheon international airport on December 29, 2020, amid the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic

      S Korea to Form Herd Immunity Against COVID-19 Within Vaccination Programme by Fall, President Says

      SEOUL (Sputnik) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Monday that the nation would likely achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus disease under the government immunisation program by November of this year.
      Read more
    • 07:10

      UK Minister Zahawi Says 140 Britons Are Vaccinated Every Minute on Average

    • 06:42

      Ukraine Confirms Over 3,000 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 06:13

      Norway Warns Third Vaccine Shot May Prove Necessary for Solid Immunity

      Svein Andersen, 67 years-old resident of 'Ellingsrud home' and first in Norway to receive the vaccine is given the Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 corona virus vaccine by Nurse Maria Golding in Oslo, Norway, on December 27, 2020.

      Norway Warns Third Vaccine Shot May Prove Necessary for Solid Immunity

      Some 23 Norwegians earlier died within days of receiving their first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, with 13 of those deaths apparently related to the side effects of the vaccine. This prompted Pfizer to reduce its deliveries to Europe.
      Read more
    • 05:44

      US May Approve 2 More COVID-19 Vaccines for Emergency Use Soon - Fauci

      "I would imagine within a period of a week or so, or at the most, a couple of weeks, they're going to be getting their data together and showing it to the FDA [Food and Drug Administration]. Well, obviously they are going to have to get their data and safety monitoring board to look at it to see if it is appropriate to start, you know, essentially putting the package together to get an emergency use authorisation. But we're weeks away, not months away, for sure", Fauci told the NBC broadcaster in an interview late Sunday when asked how close is the US to approve Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines.

    • 04:48

      Germany Reports 7,141 New Coronavirus Infections

    • 04:44

      India Reports 13,788 New COVID-19 Cases

    Live Updates: Prospects for Equitable Distribution of COVID Vaccines Are at Risk, WHO Chief Warns
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