03:34 GMT03 March 2021
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    The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has now surpassed 99,700,000, while the global death toll from the virus is over 2.1 million people, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    The most affected nation is currently the US, with over 25.2 million infected and 420,000 deaths. It is followed by India (over 10.6 million cases, more than 153,500 fatalities) and Brazil (more than 8.8 million cases, at least 217,000 deaths).

    In the meantime, multiple countries have launched mass vaccination campaigns to curb the virus.

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    • 02:24

      Tunisia's Coronavirus Case Tally Tops 200,000 - Health Ministry

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The number of cases of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) in Tunisia has exceeded 200,000, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

      According to the ministry, 2,026 new cases of infection have been recorded in the country over the past day, 83 patients have died.

      In total, since the beginning of the pandemic, Tunisia has registered 200,662 cases of COVID-19, with 6,370 deaths and over 148,000 recoveries.

    • 01:03

      Yellen Says Working Toward Addressing K-Shaped US Economic Recovery After COVID-19

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she was working toward addressing a K-shaped recovery of the US economy expected to take place after the coronavirus pandemic.

      "People worry about a K-shaped recovery to the pandemic -and that is a cause for concern - but long before COVID-19 infected a single individual, we were living in a K-shaped economy, one where wealth built on wealth while certain segments of the population fell further and further behind," Yellen said in her first message to staff at the Treasury Department on Tuesday. "I believe our Department can play a major role in addressing each of these crises."

      A K-shaped recovery occurs when, following a recession, different parts of the economy recover at different rates, times or magnitudes. This is in contrast to an even, uniform recovery across sectors, industries or groups of people.

      The US economy shrank 5 percent in the first quarter of last year and 31.4 percent in the subsequent three months, as businesses shut down during the height of the pandemic and struggled to stay open later. Third quarter GDP rebounded 33.1 percent, with fourth-quarter data not published yet.

    • 22:53

      Vice President Harris Gets 2nd COVID-19 Vaccine Dose, Urges Everyone to Do Likewise

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Vice President Kamala Harris took her second dose of the coronavirus vaccine in a televised setting at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and urged Americans to get vaccinated. Harris received her first vaccine dose on December 29.

      "I want to urge everyone to take the vaccine when it is your turn," Harris told CSPAN viewers on Tuesday. "It will save your life."

      Following a slow roll-out after two coronavirus vaccines received emergency approval in December, the United States administered more than 1 million shots daily for the past week.

      President Joe Biden has said the goal of his administration is to vaccinate 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of his presidency.

    • 21:10

      Brazil Suspends Flights From South Africa to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

      Brazil on Tuesday extended the suspension of flights from the United Kingdom and introduced a fresh ban on arrivals from South Africa.

      "International flights to Brazil, which depart from or pass through the United Kingdom and South Africa, are temporarily banned," a decree, published in the government newspaper, reads.

      The authorities have also suspended boarding permit for persons who have arrived from the UK and South Africa or were there on transit in the past 14 days. Failure to comply with the new rule will result in the deportation of the passenger to the country of origin.

      Brazil comes third in terms of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, following the United States and India. The nation has registered more than 8.8 million cases of the disease and over 217,000 fatalities.

      In December, the UK informed the World Health Organization of a mutated COVID-19 variant, which is reported to be 70 percent more transmissible than other coronavirus strains. Although the new strain has not been proven to be more pathogenic, many countries shut their borders and suspended travel with the United Kingdom. The closures, however, has so far not prevented the strain from infiltrating dozens of countries.

      Another mutant strain was detected in South Africa at approximately the same time.

    • 21:09

      Ireland Extends COVID-19 Lockdown Until March 5 - Prime Minister

      LONDON (Sputnik) - The Irish government decided to extend its coronavirus-related restrictions until March 5 to decrease the infection rate, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said on Tuesday.

      "The government has decided to extend all of the current level five restrictions until the fifth of March, with a view to crushing the numbers of those contracting the disease, and in turn the numbers needing hospitalization and intensive care," Martin said during a press release.

      Additional measures have also been introduced to prevent new coronavirus variants from entering Ireland. In particular, people who fail to provide a negative PCR test taken within three days before arrival will have to quarantine in a specialized facility.

      Dublin is also suspending visa-free travel for South Africa and all countries of South America.

      The level five lockdown envisions the closure of all non-essential shops, schools, restaurants, bars and cafes. To date, Ireland has confirmed nearly 190,000 COVID-19 cases and over 3,000 related deaths.

    • 21:08

      Iraq Reaches Deal for 2Mln Doses of AstraZeneca Vaccine - Health Minister

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iraq has reached an agreement with AstraZeneca to receive two million doses of its coronavirus vaccine, Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi said on Tuesday in a news conference.

      "An agreement was reached with AstraZeneca to provide two million doses of coronavirus vaccine," the minister said, as reported by state news agency INA.

      In late December, the Iraqi drug authority granted an emergency vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Following that, the director general of public health at the health ministry said that Baghdad plans to receive the first batch of the vaccine against COVID-19 sometime in February, as the country has secured a preliminary import deal for 1.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Last week, the Ministry of Health also approved the use of the Chinese vaccine from Sinopharm and the vaccine from AstraZeneca.

      According to the latest data from the health ministry, 615,380 cases of coronavirus infection have been registered in the country, 13,010 patients with COVID-19 have died.

    • 21:06

      Bolsonaro Approves Purchase of 33Mln Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine by Private Sector Companies

      RIO DE JANEIRO (Sputnik) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday that he had greenlighted a group of private sector companies to purchase 33 million doses of the vaccine against the coronavirus developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

      Bolsonaro said at a virtual event hosted by Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse, that a business representative contacted the administration last week and a letter of intent was signed "so that 33 million doses of vaccine produced by the University of Oxford would be shipped from the UK to Brazil at zero cost for the federal government."

      The president added that half of the doses would be given to the healthcare sector. The rest would be taken by companies to vaccinate their employees.

      Brazil has so far approved the emergency use of the vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and China's Sinovac.

      The Latin American country comes third in terms of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, following the United States and India. The nation has registered more than 8.8 million cases of the disease and over 217,000 fatalities.

    • 20:37

      US Emergency Agency Earmarks $467Mln for New York to Offset COVID-19 Vaccination Costs

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - New York will receive nearly a half-billion dollars to help cover costs of administering COVID-19 vaccines, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said in a press release on Tuesday.

      "The award provides $202,056,000.00 in federal funding to the City of New York Office of Management and Budget and $264,744,000 to the New York State Division of Budget to reimburse costs associated with emergency protective measures taken by the state to store, handle, transport, distribute and administer vaccines to reduce the spread the of the virus," the release said.

      FEMA issues grants to help communities recover from disasters, with the coronavirus pandemic now included along with typical calamities such as earthquakes, floods and wildfires that are traditionally associated with the agency.

      FEMA also awarded $76.6 million to the US territory of Puerto Rico, $216 million to the state of New Jersey and $2.5 million to the US Virgin Islands to help cover vaccination costs.

    • 19:45

      Number of Coronavirus Cases Globally Tops 100Mln - Johns Hopkins University

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the world now exceeds 100 million, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University, which tracks and compiles data from federal and local authorities, media and other sources.

      According to the latest update, 100,032,461 people have been infected with the coronavirus, 2,149,385 have died of the disease, and over 55 million have recovered.

    • 17:56

      UK’s PM Johnson Urges EU Not To Restrict UK Supplies of COVID-19 Vaccine and To Work Together

    • 17:55

      Canada to Announce New COVID-19 Travel Restrictions in Coming Days, Trudeau Confirms

    • 17:37

      UK's PM Johnson Says He Takes ‘Full Responsibility’ for All of Gov’t Actions as Country Records 100,000 Coronavirus Deaths

    • 17:21

      UK COVID-19 Death Toll Passes 100,000

    • 17:16

      WHO Experts Set to Discuss Sputnik V Vaccine on 28 and 29 January, Document Says

    • 17:05

      Regional Policy Minister Darias Appointed Spain's New Health Minister as Country Hits Record Coronavirus Infections

    • 16:40

      Nobel Prize Hall to be Used as Temporary Coronavirus Vaccination Venue

    • 14:55

      Norway Cancels Joint Viking Military Exercise Over COVID-19 Pandemic

      MURMANSK (Sputnik) - The Norwegian government on Tuesday announced canceling planned military drills due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the annual Joint Viking military exercise.

      Last week, the country imposed strict restrictions in 15 communes over the spread of the UK strain of the coronavirus.

      "We have weighed the arguments and our decision has been to cancel the planned allied exercise activity in Troms. The decision entails cancelling both Excercise Rein I and Joint Viking, exercises that were to include allied participation from several countries in addition to Norwegian troops," Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen said in a statement.

      Joint Viking is a massive winter military exercise, conducted by Norway and its allies every year in the counties of Troms and Finnmark, the latter borders Russia. The drill aims to check the participant's combat capabilities under severe winter conditions. This year's exercise was scheduled for March and was supposed to involve 10,000 troops, including 3,400 allied servicemen.

    • 14:41

      Suga ‘Terribly Sorry’ Over Strained Hospitals Unable to Tackle Inflow of COVID-19 Patients

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Tuesday expressed his sorrow at overcrowded hospitals being unable to deal with a mounting inflow of coronavirus patients amid reports of out-of-hospital deaths from the virus.

      Suga spoke at the lower house’s committee meeting after authorities confirmed that almost 200 people with the coronavirus have died outside the health care system since the onset of the pandemic.

      "We have not been able to provide the necessary care, and I recognize that because of this the Japanese people are feeling anxious," Suga said, as quoted by the Kyodo news agency.

      When asked by an opposition lawmaker if he feels responsible for coronavirus patients who have died at home after being denied care in overcrowded hospitals, he replied: "As the one in charge, I feel terribly sorry."

      Japan has so far confirmed over 370,000 coronavirus cases, including 300,000 recoveries and nearly 5,300 deaths. The second wave of COVID-19 is reported to have put national hospitals under severe strain.

    • 13:29

      Recovered COVID-19 Patients Retain Immunity for 7-8 Months, Russian Health Minister Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Recovered COVID-19 patients remain immune against the disease from seven to eight months, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Tuesday.

      "We see that patients who had the coronavirus disease, retain a robust immunity for about seven or eight months. The further observation is underway," Murashko said at a meeting of the coordination council on the fight against the coronavirus.

      The observation was in line with the conclusion of a paper titled "Immunological memory to SARS-CoV-2 assessed for up to 8 months after infection," published by Science Magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which showed that most of former patients still have durable immunity against the disease for up to eight months after infection.

    • 13:28

      UK Health Authorities Hail Progress of COVID-19 Vaccination Among Seniors as 'Fantastic'

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Around three-quarters of UK citizens aged 80 and older were already administered coronavirus vaccines, which is a "fantastic" progress given the initially set general target of 75 percent, National Health Service (NHS) chief executive Simon Stevens said on Tuesday.

      "We are seeing more vaccine hesitancy on the part of some groups in the population. Overall, at this point I have to say, given the targeting at the moment, on people aged over 80 and over 75 and so on, actually take up has been … fantastic," Stevens told a parliamentary committee meeting.

      NHS' original vaccination strategy set "something like 75 percent" as the hypothetical level of take-up among the population, according to the official.

      "We're obviously at 80 percent already in the over 80's, over half of people aged 75-79 have now had their first vaccination, so actually uptake is going very well," Stevens added.

      The UK vaccination campaign began on December 8. As of Tuesday, around 6.5 million people received at least one vaccine dose. The vaccination is currently open to five priority groups, including people over 80 years old, some people over 70 years old, clinically vulnerable persons, personnel of care homes, and medical workers.

      There are three vaccines with authorization in the United Kingdom at the moment — the domestically-made one by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, the one by US-German due Pfizer/BioNTech, and the one by US company Moderna.

    • 13:16

      World Economy May Bounce Back if Vaccines and Therapies Remain Effective Against Coronavirus, IMF Chief Economist Says

    • 13:07

      Merkel Says Cooperation With Developing World Must Go On, Grow After Pandemic

      GENOA (Sputnik) - Cooperation of the wealthier countries with the developing world must be not only maintained but also increased after the current pandemic is over, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in her address to the Davos Agenda virtual meeting.

      "There is a clear danger that after this pandemic we all become more inward-looking, we, industrialized countries, concentrate on our own policies, and we are not caring for the developing countries. That’s something that we must avoid at all costs, that’s why the German objective is (and it also regards the recovery program of the European Union) that we must not actually reduce our expenditure in our cooperation with the developing countries but rather do more," the chancellor said.

      Markel added that the benefits of a multilateral approach to resolving problems have become even more evident during the pandemic.

      "We see that on the vaccination front. COVAX was founded. The wealthier countries need to pay into this fund, that is right, the EU is doing that, Germany is participating," Merkel said.

      However, funding is not the only important factor at a time when vaccines are a precious commodity, so "fair distribution" is also crucial, Merkel said.

    • 12:56

      WHO Plans to Review AstraZeneca Vaccine on 8 February, Expert Says

    • 11:46

      Russia's Sputnik V Vaccine Has Been Registered in Iran

      Mass vaccination against COVID-19 in Russia

      Russia's Sputnik V Vaccine Has Been Registered in Iran

      Last week, Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei stated that Iran had held talks with Russia, China, and India on the potential procurement of vaccines against the coronavirus.
      Read more
    • 10:29

      New Zealand Likely to Keep Borders Shut for Most of 2021 Over COVID-19, PM Says

      New Zealand's borders are likely to remain closed for most of the year depending on the progress in the vaccination campaign against the coronavirus, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday.

      New Zealand closed its borders to foreigners and non-residents in the spring of 2020, when the global COVID-19 crisis kicked off.

      "Given the risks that exist in the world, and the uncertainty with the introduction of vaccines, we can expect that this will affect our borders for most of the year," Ardern said at a briefing broadcast on her Facebook page.

      The prime minister explained that the borders could be opened either when the vaccination curbed the virus' transmission among the population or when enough citizens were inoculated to allow safe entry.

    • 09:36

      Colombian Defence Minister Dies From COVID-19

      Colombian Defence Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo has died from coronavirus, his brother José Renán Trujillo confirmed on Twitter.

      "With deep sorrow, I learned of the death of my brother. He fought for his convictions and died defending them," the minister's brother confirmed on Twitter.

    • 09:34

      Peruvian ICU Medics Call for Quarantine in Lima Over 'Unbearable' COVID-19 Situation

      The Peruvian Society of Intensive Care Medicine (Sopemi) has urged the government to put the capital of Lima on a lockdown due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

      "We need quarantine, the disease is spreading very quickly, we see very young people dying. As the Peruvian Society of Intensive Care Medicine we met and each of us spoke about the situation and it is unbearable, we need a targeted quarantine, Lima has to intervene. Health workers are sick," Sopemi head Jesus Valverde told the national RPP broadcaster on Monday.

      The Latin American country has so confirmed nearly 1.1 million coronavirus cases, including over 1 million recoveries and more than 39,000 deaths.

    • 08:15

      Russia Records Less Than 19,000 COVID-19 Cases in 24 Hours for 1st Time Since 3 November

      Russia's single-day coronavirus cases increase fell below 19,000 for the first time since November 3, as 18,241 new cases were confirmed in the past 24 hours (down from 19,290 the day before), the response center said on Tuesday.

      "Over the past day, 18,241 coronavirus cases were confirmed across 85 regions, including 1,933 cases (10.6 percent) that were detected actively, with people showing no clinical symptoms," the center said, adding that the cumulative case count has now reached 3,756,931, with the rate of increase at 0.49 percent.

      Moscow confirmed 2,317 new coronavirus cases over the given period, down from 2,382 the day before. The Russian capital was followed by St. Petersburg with 1,510 cases, down from 2,116 the day before, and the Moscow Region with 1,129 new cases, down from 1,163 on Monday.

      The response center reported 564 coronavirus fatalities, up from 456 the day before, raising the country's death toll to 70,482.

      Total recoveries count 3,174,561 after 23,798 people were discharged from hospitals over the past day, up from 19,003 the day before.

      According to the national consumer health watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, over 100 million tests to detect COVID-19 have been conducted in Russia since the beginning of the pandemic, and 648,799 suspected carriers remain under medical monitoring.

    • 07:51

      Too Early for Britons to Book Overseas Summer Holidays, Vaccination Minister Zahawi Says

    • 07:31

      UK Vaccine Minister Says He's Confident EU, Britain Will Receive Pfizer, AstraZeneca Vaccines

      UK Vaccine Minister Says He's Confident EU, Britain Will Receive Pfizer, AstraZeneca Vaccines

      Last week, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides said that British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca had announced delays in the delivery of vaccines against COVID-19 to the EU.
      Read more
    • 07:17

      India Registers Over 9,000 New COVID-19 Infections

    • 06:18

      Ukraine Confirms 2,779 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 05:56

      Decade-High Uptick in Finnish Homicides Ascribed to COVID-Driven Stress, Financial Woes

       Woman with a gun

      Decade-High Uptick in Finnish Homicides Ascribed to COVID-Driven Stress, Financial Woes

      The stark 33-percent year-on-year rise represents a break from a steady downward trend, researchers said, pointing to the anti-COVID lockdown as the possible culprit. The last time Finland saw a similar anomaly was over legal amendments concerning alcohol.
      Read more
    • 05:44

      Minnesota Health Officials Detect First US Case of COVID-19 Strain Originating in Brazil

      Minnesota Health Officials Detect First US Case of COVID-19 Strain Originating in Brazil

      Moderna announced earlier on Monday that early laboratory tests suggest its COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new coronavirus variants emerging around the globe.
      Read more
    • 05:08

      Neither COVID, Nor Brexit: What's the Reason Behind Food Shortages in Northern Ireland?

      A person on a bike is seen as a ferry arrives at the Port of Larne, Northern Ireland Britain January 1, 2021

      Neither COVID, Nor Brexit: What's the Reason Behind Food Shortages in Northern Ireland?

      Empty shelves in Northern Ireland's supermarkets have rubbed some salt into old wounds –while Irish politicians are pinning the blame on Brexit, NI Unionists are calling for the abolition of the Northern Ireland Protocol and a clear break from the EU.
      Read more
    • 05:05

      COVID-19 Death Toll in Mexico Tops 150,000 - Senior Health Official

      MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - The coronavirus death toll in Mexico has surpassed 150,000 people, a senior health official said.

      "To date, 150,273 deaths have been registered in Mexico", Jose Luis Alomia, director of epidemiology at the Mexican Secretariat of Health, said at a press conference broadcast on Twitter.

    • 04:50

      Portland Mayor Pepper Sprays Man Who Accosted Him Over COVID-19 Guidelines, Reports Suggest

      In this Jan. 17, 2017, file photo, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler speaks during a press conference in Portland, Ore. A Portland man is suing the city and Wheeler, claiming the mayor's office has improperly kept secret records about a homeless shelter project.

      Portland Mayor Pepper Sprays Man Who Accosted Him Over COVID-19 Guidelines, Reports Suggest

      Amid the increasing numbers of new COVID-19 cases, some US officials throughout the country have reportedly been spotted violating their own coronavirus guidelines, imposed to prevent the spread of the disease.
      Read more
    Live Updates: Number of Coronavirus Cases Globally Tops 100Mln - Johns Hopkins University
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