04:01 GMT07 March 2021
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    To date, the coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of at least 2.1 million people worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    The US continues to remain the hardest-hit country in the world, with more than 25 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 registered since the pandemic erupted.

    It is followed by India (over 10.6 million cases, more than 153,500 fatalities) and Brazil (more than 8.9 million cases, at least 217,000 deaths).

    The global case count, meanwhile, has topped 100 million. 

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    • 18:24

      Moscow's Budget Lost $9.3Bln Due to Pandemic in 2020 - Deputy Mayor

      MOSCOW Sputnik) - Moscow's budget lost 700 billion rubles ($9.3 billion) due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Deputy Mayor Vladimir Efimov said.

      "Economically speaking, the results of last year for the budget, we lost about 700 billion due to the pandemic", Efimov told the Rossiya 24 broadcaster.

    • 18:18

      US Could Reach 514,000 COVID-19-Related Deaths By February 20 - Health Official

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States could have up to 514,000 COVID-19-related deaths by February 20 under the current trajectory of decreasing cases, hospitalisations and deaths, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said on Wednesday.

      "If we continue on the current trajectory, the CDC's most recent national ensemble forecast predicts that 479,000 to 514,000 COVID-19 deaths will be reported by February 20, 2021", Walensky said in a virtual White House coronavirus press briefing.

      Walensky also highlighted recent data showing downward trends in the number of US deaths, cases and hospitalisations.

    • 17:57

      Bolivian Batch of Sputnik V Vaccine Arrives via Same Flight Argentina Uses, Source Says

    • 17:30

      French Gov't Considers Tough Lockdown to Contain COVID-19 - Spokesman

      "We are considering several scenarios that vary – from the preservation of the current frameworks with the introduction of a curfew from 6 p.m. to a tough self-isolation regime", government spokesman Gabriel Attal said at a press briefing, adding that the scenarios were considered during the meeting of the defense council held earlier in the day.

    • 16:59

      Italy Confirms 15,204 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 16:55

      Third Flight Carrying Russia's Sputnik V Vaccine Arrives in Argentina

    • 16:51

      Madrid, Spain to Suspend COVID-19 Vaccination for 2 Weeks Due to Lack of Medications

    • 16:12

      UK Boy Sentenced for Punching Singaporean and Shouting About Not Wanting 'Your F***ing Coronavirus'

      Jonathan Mok posted selfies of his injury on his Facebook page

      UK Boy Sentenced for Punching Singaporean and Shouting About Not Wanting 'Your F***ing Coronavirus'

      The first case of COVID-19 was reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019 but the virus rapidly spread around the world in the early part of 2020. In August last year a Singaporean student in London bore the brunt of coronavirus-inspired xenophobia.
      Read more
    • 15:32

      UK Variant of Coronavirus Less Likely to Cause Loss of Smell, Taste - Survey

    • 15:24

      Oman Prohibits Mass Events, Advises Against Tourism to Curb Coronavirus

    • 14:56

      UK Interior Minister Patel Vows to Review Travel Exemption List ASAP

    • 14:45

      Cyprus to Gradually Lift COVID-19 Restrictions Starting From 1 February, Health Minister Says

      "We are in the 3rd week of lockdown, which entered into force on 10 January 2021, and the improvement of the epidemiological picture allows us to begin to gradually de-escalate the restrictive measures. ... The de-escalation steps will be gradual, coordinated and controlled, so that the epidemiological situation can be monitored and the possibility of epidemiological deterioration reduced", Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said.

    • 14:30

      Mexico’s President Obrador is 'Stable and Well' After Contracting COVID-19, Minister Says

    • 13:51

      UK Schools Won't Reopen After February Half-Term, PM Johnson Confirms

    • 13:40

      UK PM Johnson Says Opening Schools Must Be National Priority

    • 13:16

      Thailand Plans on Inoculating 19 Mln People in First Phase of Vaccination

    • 12:55

      Madrid to Postpone Vaccinations For At Least Two Weeks Due to Problems With Vaccine Supply

    • 12:20

      UK Plans to Set Out Tougher COVID-19 Border Measures, PM Johnson Says

    • 12:00

      Lack of Access to Vaccines Poses a Global Threat With Uncontrolled Epicentres of COVID-19, Putin Says

    • 11:38

      COVID-19 Pandemic Exacerbating Existing Lack of Balance, Putin Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated problems and imbalance in the world, tensions may aggravate even further, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

      "The coronavirus pandemic has become a major challenge to mankind, it has accelerated structural changes ... The pandemic has exacerbated problems and imbalance that accumulated in the world earlier. We have every reason to believe that tensions may aggravate even further, and such tendencies might emerge in almost every area”, Putin told the World Economic Forum.

    • 10:04

      Italian President Meets With Psychotherapists to Discuss COVID-19

      ROME (Sputnik) - Italian President Sergio Mattarella has met with psychotherapists to discuss the role of therapy during the pandemic, amid a government crisis triggered by disagreements over the national COVID-19 response, the presidential press service said on Wednesday.

      A delegation of psychotherapy experts promoting a conference on the role of psychotherapy in countering COVID-19, was received at the presidential palace, according to the press release.

      Disagreements around the national COVID-19 response caused a split in the government earlier this month and led to the collapse of the governing coalition. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte officially stepped down.

      From Wednesday on, the Italian president will hold a series of consultations with various parties to search for a way out of the political crisis.

    • 10:02

      COVAX Expected to Deliver 355 Mln Doses of Vaccine to Eastern Mediterranean Region in March

    • 10:01

      Morocco Receives 500,000 Doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 Vaccine

    • 09:51

      Beijing City Imposes Stricter Curbs Ahead of Lunar New Year

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) -The Chinese capital Beijing will block domestic travellers from areas with a high risk of COVID-19 infection and require negative COVID-19 test results from those from low-risk areas over the next 1.5 months, local officials said on Wednesday.

      As part of the city's efforts to reduce the risks of local COVID-19 outbreaks during the upcoming domestic travel rush, expected to take place between 28 January and 15 March, local authorities have introduced a series of new requirements for domestic travellers who plan to arrive in the city during that period.

    • 09:40

      Indonesia Hits Record of 387 Daily COVID-19 Deaths, Registers 11,948 New Coronavirus Cases Over Past 24 Hours

    • 09:34

      China Using 'Accurate' Anal Swabs to Test for COVID-19, Report Says

      A nurse prepares to administer a polymerise chain reaction (PCR) test to detect the presence of the COVID-19 antigen, at a testing site affiliated with the Methodist Health System, in Omaha, Neb., Friday, April 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

      China Using 'Accurate' Anal Swabs to Test for COVID-19, Report Says

      Although many have deemed a nasal COVID-19 test as uncomfortable, there is perhaps another option that is arguably even more so, but, notably, in equal measure conclusive.
      Read more
    • 09:33

      US Small Business Administration Okays Additional COVID-19 Relief Loans Worth $35 Billion

       A Chinese restaurant and barber shop in Harlem are closed, as retail sales suffer record drop during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, U.S., April 15, 2020

      US Small Business Administration Okays Additional COVID-19 Relief Loans Worth $35 Billion

      Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan to tackle the economic fallout from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
      Read more
    • 09:32

      UK Set to Introduce Hotel Quarantine for Citizens Returning From Abroad

    • 08:49

      At Least 45 Injured in Anti-Lockdown Protest in Lebanon, Red Cross Says

    • 08:24

      Russia Records Less Than 18,000 COVID-19 Cases in 24 Hours for 1st Time Since Late October

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia's single-day coronavirus cases increase fell below 18,000 for the first time since 29 October, as 17,741 new cases were confirmed in the past 24 hours (down from 18,241 the day before), the response centre said on Wednesday.

      The country reported 17,717 COVID-19 cases on 29 October before the single-day increase surged to 18,283 the next day.

      "Over the past day, 17,741 coronavirus cases were confirmed across 85 regions, including 1,834 cases (10.3 percent) that were detected with people showing no clinical symptoms”, the centre said, adding that the cumulative case count has now reached 3,774,672, with the rate of increase at 0.47 percent.

      Moscow confirmed 1,837 new coronavirus cases over the given period, down from 2,317 the day before. The Russian capital was followed by St. Petersburg with 1,813 cases, up from 1,510 the day before, and the Moscow Region with 928 new cases, down from 1,129 on Tuesday.

      The response centre reported 594 coronavirus fatalities, up from 564 the day before, raising the country's death toll to 71,076.

      Total recoveries now count 3,202,483 after 27,922 people were discharged from hospitals over the past day, up from 23,798 the day before.

    • 07:46
      A nurse prepares a syringe with the Pfizer/Biontech COVID-19 vaccine at the CHC Landenne care home in Landenne-sur-Meuse, near Namur, Belgium, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021

      Sweden Suspends Payments to Pfizer Over Vaccine Dosage Uncertainty

      While each vial was to initially contain five doses of the vaccine, the medical giant started to charge its client countries more after the European Medicines Agency announced that a sixth dose can be extracted with the correct type of needle.
      Read more

      Sweden Suspends Payments to Pfizer Over Vaccine Dosage Uncertainty

    • 07:39
      A royal Marine from 539 Assault Squadron performing a beach assault from a Landing craft Air Cushioned (LCAC) Hovercraft in Harstad, Norway.

      Norway Cancels Major Drill Joint Viking for Fear of Mutated COVID Spread

      The main goal of the drill Joint Viking numbering some 10,000 soldiers, including Norway's NATO allies, was to practice the defence of the country. The drill would have taken place in late February and March 2021 in northermost Norway, including the border area.
      Read more
    • 07:38

      US President Biden Set to Bring COVID-19 Briefings Back

    • 07:17

      Armenian Citizens Allowed to Visit Russia Starting 1 February With Negative Coronavirus Test, PM Pashinyan Says

    • 07:17

      Myanmar Kicks Off COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

    • 06:20

      Moscow Mayor Lifts Ban on Nighttime Operation of Restaurants Amid Receding COVID-19 Cases

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Wednesday lifted restrictions on nighttime operations of restaurants and clubs, and also cancelled the mandatory requirement to send at least 30 percent of staffers to work from home — it was downgraded to a recommendation amid the decrease in coronavirus incidence.

      The coronavirus pandemic is “on the wane”, and the Moscow authorities must ensure the fastest possible recovery of the economy, most importantly the severely damaged sectors of the consumer market, the mayor said.
      "Starting 27 January 2021, the provision of public catering services for citizens will be resumed between 23:00 and 06:00, entertainment events in night clubs, bars, discos, karaoke halls, bowling clubs, and kart racing centre are also resumed”, Sobyanin wrote in his personal blog.

      "The requirement to send at least 30 percent of employees to work from home is no longer mandatory, it will be advisory in nature”, the mayor continued.

    • 04:36

      Germany Records 13,202 New Cases of COVID-19 and 982 Coronavirus-Related Deaths Over Past 24 Hours

    • 04:27

      South African, Japanese Strains of Coronavirus Not Found in Russia, Epidemiologist Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The South African and Japanese strains of coronavirus have not been discovered in Russia yet, Deputy Director for Research at the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Gorelov, told Sputnik.

      "Rospotrebnadzor is closely monitoring the circulation of strains in Russia”, Gorelov said.

      "So far, the South African or Japanese strains of coronavirus have not been detected in Russia”, he added.

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