07:20 GMT08 March 2021
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    The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has now surpassed 100 million, while the global death toll from the virus is over 2.1 million, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

    The worst-hit nations are currently the US, with over 25.5 million infected and 429,000 deaths, India (over 10.6 million cases, more than 153,500 fatalities) and Brazil (almost 9 million cases, at least 217,000 deaths).

    In Europe, the most affected country is the UK, which suffers from a new coronavirus strain, there a total of 3.7 million have reportedly been infected and over 102,000 have succumbed to the virus.

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    • 22:21

      Number of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Brazil Surpasses 9 Million

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Brazil has increased by 61,811 within the past 24 hours and reached 9,058,687, the Ministry of Health said.

      The death from has risen by 1,386 to 221,547 within the same period of time, according to the ministry.

      Brazil comes third in terms of the number of cases after the United States and India, as well as second in terms of the deceased people following the United States.

    • 18:23

      US Indicts Businessman Over $2Mln in COVID-19 Aid For Fictitious Workers

      The US government has indicted a businessman in the state of Nevada on fraud charges for winning $1.9 million in government COVID-19 aid by filing applications on behalf of a fabricated workforce, the Justice Department said in a press release on Thursday.

      “The indictment alleges that [Jorge] Abramovs obtained nearly $2 million in Paycheck Protection Programme (PPP) loans from seven different lenders by, among other things, submitting multiple loan applications in the names of three different businesses while falsely claiming to have numerous employees earning wages,” the release said.

      The indictment further alleges that Abramovs used the PPP funds for personal purposes, including purchases of a Tesla, a Bentley and two condominiums, while paying his home mortgage, the release said.

      Charges announced by the Justice Department include five counts of bank fraud, one count of making false statements to a bank, and five counts of money laundering, the release also said.

      US Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach ordered that Abramovs remain in pre-trial detention, the release added.

    • 18:12

      Moldova Counts on UN, WHO Assistance to Secure COVID-19 Vaccines, Sandu Says

      Moldova hopes that the United Nations and the World Health Organization will assist the county in the issue of acquiring COVID-19 vaccines, President Maia Sandu said on Thursday.

      Sandu met with UN Resident Coordinator for Moldova Simon Springett and the WHO’s representative in the country, Igor Pokanevych, on Thursday.

      "The key topics that we discussed today at a meeting with UN Resident Coordinator Simon Springett and WHO Representative in our country Igor Pokanevych are the fastest possible access to a vaccine for Moldovan citizens, as well as support for economic recovery after the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic", Sandu wrote on her Facebook page.

      The Moldovan leader mentioned that the UN and the WHO assisted Moldova’s health care system last year during the pandemic.

    • 18:12

      Netanyahu Plans to Extend Border Closures for 2 Weeks Amid Fears Over New COVID Strains

      Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday announced plans to prolong the closure of the borders for two more weeks over fears of the spread of the new coronavirus variants.

      "At the upcoming Cabinet meeting, I will seek to add at least two weeks to the closure of the borders and the halt to flights. We closed the land crossings because we do not want to allow the new mutations to enter at a time when we are running to be vaccinated. We can do this", Netanyahu said, as cited by his office.

      According to the prime minister, the parliament will soon adopt a government-sponsored law to increase fines for those violating quarantine restrictions.

      Commenting on the national vaccination campaign, Netanyahu said that the state would provide a vaccine to every citizen of Israel, regardless of nationality and religion.

      Earlier in January, the Israeli government extended the third nationwide lockdown, which came into force on 27 December, until 31 January as daily coronavirus cases continue to spiral despite active vaccination. Earlier this week, Israel closed Ben Gurion Airport over the pandemic.

    • 18:11

      UK's Johnson Rejects Germany's Claims Over 65s Should Avoid AstraZeneca Vaccine

      UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday that he rejects the conclusions of German experts who have said that a vaccine against COVID-19 produced by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford should not be given to people aged 65 or above.

      On Tuesday, the German newspaper Handelsblatt published a report which claimed that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine had shown to be only eight percent effective among elderly residents. Two days later, media outlets reported that Germany's vaccine committee issued a recommendation telling elderly residents not to get the vaccine.

      Speaking during a visit to Scotland, Johnson told broadcasters that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was "very good and efficacious" across all age groups, adding that he did not agree with Germany's decision.

      The prime minister spoke during a visit to a facility in Livingston run by French vaccine producer Valneva, which announced earlier in the day that it would begin production with the aim of supplying 60 million vaccine doses by the end of the year.

      During a government press briefing on Wednesday, Johnson said that he expects that the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to work "very well."

      The UK has a total of 360 million COVID-19 vaccine doses on order from seven different suppliers. This figure includes 100 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

    • 17:12

      Mask Wearing Could End This Year Amid Mass COVID-19 Vaccination, Russian Health Chief Says

      An end to mandatory face mask wearing in Russia could come as early as this year as greater numbers of residents are inoculated against COVID-19, Anna Popova, the head of public health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, said Thursday.

      "There is certainly hope. This hope rests on the fact that we have already shown that we can live with the virus, and secondly, because we are getting vaccinated", Popova said in response to a question posed during an appearance on Russia's Channel 1 broadcaster.

      Popova also noted the seasonality of the coronavirus disease, as demonstrated by the current decline in new cases being registered in Russia.

      "At the moment, it is slowly leaving", the public health chief said.

      The number of new positive tests registered daily in Russia has steadily declined since 24 December, when a record 29,935 cases were registered. On Thursday, 19,138 new cases were confirmed by the Russian coronavirus response center.

    • 16:49

      US State of South Carolina Confirms 2 Cases of South African COVID-19 Variant

      "The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced today the detection of two cases associated with the SARS-CoV-2 variant that first emerged recently in South Africa. These are the first two cases of this variant in the United States", the state's Health Department said in a press release on Thursday.

    • 16:45

      Watchdog Says Brazil Uses Dictatorship-Era Law to Jail Critics of Its COVID-19 Response

      An international rights group on Thursday accused the administration of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of using a dictatorship-era law to imprison critics of the government’s COVID-19 response.

      According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), Brazil resorted to the 1983 National Security Law, which was enacted during the country’s dictatorship, to seek prison sentences for those who criticize the government’s strategy during the global health crisis.

      "Since June 2020, federal police have opened criminal investigations against at least four government critics under the 1983 National Security Law at the administration’s request", the HRW said in a press release.

      In addition to those four cases, the government called for an investigation into a Supreme Court justice based on the 1983 law and two reporters based on a differed law but prosecutors and the police have not yet said if the investigation is opened, the HRW added.

      "The National Security Law grants special protections to the reputations of high-level officials, including the president, and the armed forces that no other Brazilian citizen or institution receives", HRW’s Americas Director Jose Miguel Vivanco said, as quoted in the press release.

      The rights group mentioned the case of caricaturist Renato Aroeira who published a cartoon that depicted Bolsonaro drawing a giant swastika. Brazilian Justice Minister Andre Mendonca called for an investigation against Aroeira and a reporter who shared his cartoon online for violating Article 26 of the 1983 law which criminalizes defamation or slander of the president.

    • 16:39

      Renowned Chelsea Flower Show Postponed for First Time in 108-Year History Due to COVID-19

      The United Kingdom's world-renowned Chelsea Flower Show has been pushed back from May to September for the first time in the event's 108-year history due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) said Thursday.

      "For the first time in its 108 year history, the RHS is postponing RHS Chelsea Flower Show to take place in the autumn instead of spring, due to the worldwide pandemic", the RHS said in a press release.

      The RHS said that the rate of new COVID-19 infections was too high across the United Kingdom to hold the event safely, adding that the show could be staged in September, when millions more people across the country may be vaccinated against the disease.

      "Whilst we are sad to have had to delay RHS Chelsea and are sorry for the disruption this will cause, we are excited that we are still planning to bring the world’s best loved gardening event to the nation at a time when more people are gardening more than ever", Sue Biggs, the director general of the RHS, said.

      More than 150,000 people visit the Chelsea Flower Show, which is held in the London region bearing the same name, annually.

    • 16:14

      Portugal Registers 16,432 New Cases, 303 New Deaths

    • 16:07

      UK Reports 28,680 New Cases, 1,239 New Fatalities

    • 15:54

      Plane Carrying 3rd Batch of Sputnik V Vaccine Arrives in Argentina

    • 15:49

      Russian Public Health Chief Says 20-25% of Country's Population Have Covid Antibodies

      "At the moment, some 20-25 percent have got antibodies for this virus," Russian public health chief Anna Popova said as aired on Pervy channel.

    • 15:46

      Turkey Delivers Second Shipment of 20,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses to N. Cyprus, Reports Say

      Turkey has delivered a second shipment of 20,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the region's health minister, Ali Pilli, told the Anadolu news agency on Thursday.

      "Turkey has always been by our side, and the supply of vaccines is further proof", Pilli said, as quoted by the agency.

      The public health official said that the shipment contained 20,000 doses of a vaccine against COVID-19 produced by the Chinese firm Sinovac. A first shipment of the same amount of doses arrived in North Cyprus on 14 January, the agency said.

      Turkey received 6.5 million doses of the China-developed vaccine on Monday, following an initial delivery of three million doses one month ago.

    • 15:46

      Merkel to Hold National Talks With Vaccine Manufacturers on Monday

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet regional governors by video on Monday for emergency talks on coronavirus vaccine deliveries, a cabinet spokesman said.

      "Apart from other members of the federal government and heads of federal and state cabinets, vaccine producers and relevant unions will also be present at the negotiations," the spokesman told reporters.

      This comes after Pfizer and AstraZeneca both cut vaccine supplies to the European Union, citing production issues.

      German media reported that AstraZeneca would deliver only 31 million doses in the first quarter, down from the promised 80 million, due to problems at a site in Belgium. The factory was raided on Thursday at the request of the EU's executive body.

    • 15:35

      Olympic Committee Reportedly Considering Option of No Audience at Games Due to COVID-19

      A passerby wearing a protective face mask walks past a display showing the logo of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan January 23, 2021.

      Olympic Committee Reportedly Considering Option of No Audience at Games Due to COVID-19

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Tokyo Olympic organising committee does not rule out the possibility of holding the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2021 without spectators amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus, Japanese media reported on Thursday.
      Read more
    • 15:29

      Global Tourism Suffers Worst Year in 2020 With $1.3Mln in Losses Due to Pandemic, UN Says

      Global tourism suffered its worst year in 2020, losing $1.3 trillion due to the COVID-19 pandemic measures, the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) said in a statement on Thursday.

      "The collapse in international travel represents an estimated loss of USD 1.3 trillion in export revenues - more than 11 times the loss recorded during the 2009 global economic crisis", the statement said.

      While the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to slowly normalise travel in 2021, the agency said most experts do not see a return to pre-pandemic levels taking place before 2023.

      "While much has been made in making safe international travel a possibility, we are aware that the crisis is far from over", UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said.

      Extended scenarios indicate that it can take two-and-a-half to four years to return to 2019 levels, according to UNWTO.

      Asia and the Pacific recorded the largest decrease in arrivals last year compared to 2019, 84 percent, followed by the Middle East and Africa both with a 75 percent decline.

      Europe suffered the largest drop in absolute terms with more than 500 million fewer international tourists.

    • 15:28

      Belarus Expects China to Deliver COVID-19 Vaccine Batch Free of Charge

      Belarus expects the delivery of a free batch of coronavirus vaccines from China, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said on Thursday.

      "We are working closely with our Chinese partners. A couple of days ago the leaders of our states discussed this issue [supplies of vaccines]. China is ready to provide a batch of vaccines free of charge", Makei told reporters.

      Makei added that Belarus was also cooperating with other COVID-19 vaccine developers from Russia, US and other countries.

      According to the minister, Belarus continues to work with Russia on the delivery of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to the country after already receiving the first batch and starting its vaccination campaign.

      On Tuesday, the press service of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that the president had a telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Beijing confirmed its readiness to supply Minsk with the COVID-19 vaccine in the necessary amounts.

      The Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is producing Sputnik V along with the Gamaleya research institute, said in December that Belarus had become the first foreign country to register the Russian-made vaccine.

      Sputnik V was the first COVID-19 vaccine registered in Russia and the world. It is 91.4 percent effective, according to the latest trial results released by Russian developers.

    • 15:19

      Revelers Given Suspended Sentences, Fines for Thailand COVID-19 Rules Breach, Reports Say

      Thai police have issued one-month suspended jail sentences and fines of 10,000 baht ($133) to more than 100 revelers who attended a party on the island of Ko Pha Ngan earlier this week in violation of the country's COVID-19 rules, the UK's Sky News broadcaster reports, noting that six Britons were among those fined.

      Law enforcement officers informed the broadcaster of the ruling, adding that the owner of the Three Sixty Bar, where the party took place on Tuesday, as well as a drink seller were given two-year suspended jail sentences and fines of 10,000 baht.

      In total, 111 people, including 89 foreigners, were arrested after the event, the broadcaster said.

      The Thai government in April introduced strict limits on tourists entering the country as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. In December, restrictions for citizens from 56 countries were eased, although visitors are still required to undergo a period of hotel quarantine.

    • 15:13

      Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople Receives COVID-19 Vaccine in Istanbul, Reports Suggest

      Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has received a shot of the vaccine against the coronavirus in a clinic located at Turkey's Istanbul University, the Orthodox Times news website reported on Thursday.

      In early January, 80-year-old Bartholomew said that he was planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine since he was in the risk group, and called on the faithful to adhere to the coronavirus related precautionary measures.

      According to the news outlet, during the visit to the clinic, Bartholomew expressed gratitude to the clinic's staff and to all health care workers dedicated to their professional duty.

      The patriarch expressed hope that more people would be vaccinated soon and the world would finally curb the spread of the virus.

      The news website did not specify with which vaccine the patriarch was vaccinated.

      Turkey launched its nation-wide vaccination on 14 January, after it received the first batch of CoronaVac vaccines developed by China's Sinovac pharmaceutical company. The first Turkish citizen who received the vaccine was health minister Fahrettin Koca. According to Koca, Turkey planned to receive 50 million doses of CoronaVac vaccine by February and would acquire 4.5 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by the end of March.

    • 15:09

      AstraZeneca Poised to Publish Delivery Deal with EU, Reports Say

      The AstraZeneca logo is pictured outside the AstraZeneca office building in Brussels as part of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination campaign, Belgium, January 28, 2021.

      AstraZeneca to Publish Vaccine Delivery Contract on Friday Amid EU Supply Delays, Reports Say

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - UK-Swedish pharma giant AstraZeneca is in talks with the European Union about which parts of their vaccine delivery contract should be made public, a German daily cited EU sources as saying Thursday.
      Read more
    • 15:08

      Over 72% of Spaniards Ready to Be Vaccinated Immediately, Poll Shows

      About 72.5 percent of Spaniards are ready to receive vaccine against COVID-19 immediately, according to the results of a survey released by the Social Investigation Centre (CIS) on Thursday.

      According to the survey, 72.5 percent are ready to get a shot of vaccine immediately, while 16.5 percent of people still do not want to be vaccinated.

      Among the main reasons why Spaniards do not want to be vaccinated is mistrust of vaccines, the fear of experiencing side effects and the willingness to wait in order to see how the vaccine works.

      In a previous poll was conducted 1-9 December, before the start of vaccination campaign in Spain, only 40.5 percent of citizens expressed their interest in immediate vaccination.

      On 27 December, Spain as well as other European countries began vaccination campaigns against COVID-19. To date, the country received over 1.3 million doses of the US Pfizer vaccine and 35,700 shots of the Moderna vaccine.

    • 14:47

      New Delhi Says Gifted Over 5.5Mln Doses of India-Made COVID Vaccines to Neighbouring States

      India has delivered to neighboring countries more than 5.5 million doses of domestically-manufactured vaccines against the novel coronavirus free of charge since 20 January, external affairs ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said on Thursday.

      "From 20 January 2021 onwards, we have gifted over 55 lakh [a lakh is equal to 100,000] doses of vaccines to our neighbouring countries and in our extended neighbourhood ... These supplies are based on requests from these countries. Over the next few days, we plan to gift further quantities to Oman (1 lakh), CARICOM countries (5 lakh), Nicaragua (2 lakh) and Pacific Island states (2 lakh)", Srivastava said at a press conference.

      According to the diplomat, India has shipped 150,000 doses to Bhutan, 100,000 to the Maldives, 1 million doses to Nepal, 2 million Bangladesh, 1,5 million doses to Myanmar, 100,000 doses to Mauritius, 50,000 doses to Seychelles, 500,000 doses to Sri Lanka and 100,000 doses to Bahrain.

      The spokesman added that India also supplied the vaccines to Brazil, Morocco and Bangladesh on a commercial basis and was expected to extend them to Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Canada, Mongolia and other countries.

      "Further, we are going to supply 1 crore (10 million) doses to Africa and 10 lakh (1 million) to UN health workers under GAVI’s COVAX facility", Srivastava said.

      India is currently shipping domestically-manufactured Covieshield vaccine, developed jointly by UK pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and the Oxford University. Apart from that, the country is also distributing the Covaxin vaccine, which is developed by Indian biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech.

    • 14:46

      UK-Linked COVID-19 Strain Identified in Vienna Wastewater, Reports Say

      Sewerage

      UK-Linked COVID-19 Strain Identified in Vienna Wastewater, Reports Say

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A highly infectious variant of COVID-19 first identified in the United Kingdom, termed B.1.1.7, has been discovered in the wastewater system of the Austrian capital, Vienna, Norbert Kreuzinger from the Institute for Water Quality and Resource Management at the Vienna University of Technology, told the ORF broadcaster on Thursday.
      Read more
    • 14:39

      US Weekly Jobless Claim Dips 2nd Week in Row as COVID-19 Fallout Continues

      A woman looks to get information about job application in front of IDES (Illinois Department of Employment Security) WorkNet center in Arlington Heights, Ill., Thursday, 9 April 2020. Another 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to the US Department of Labour, as American workers continue to suffer from devastating job losses, furloughs and reduced hours during the coronavirus pandemic.

      US Weekly Jobless Claims Dip 2nd Week in Row as COVID-19 Fallout Continues

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US weekly jobless claims fell more than 7 percent last week, registering their second weekly decline as the labour market and economy continued to struggle from the coronavirus pandemic, Labour Department data showed on Thursday.
      Read more
    • 14:17

      Modi Promises More India-Produced COVID-19 Vaccines Soon to Help World Fight Pandemic

      Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday promised that more vaccines against the novel coronavirus produced in his country would soon be made available in order to help the world fight the pandemic.

      Earlier in January, India began shipping the free-of-charge domestically-manufactured Covieshield vaccine, developed jointly by UK pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and the Oxford University, to neighbouring countries. Apart from that, the country is also distributing the Covaxin vaccine, which is developed by Indian biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech.

      "So far, only two made-in-India coronavirus vaccines have been introduced to the world. In the near future many more such vaccines will be made available from India. These vaccines will help us in assisting countries across the world faster and on a much bigger scale", Modi said in his special address to the Davos Agenda virtual event as part of the World Economic Forum.

      The prime minister also recalled that at the beginning of the outbreak, several experts and organisations made predictions that India would be most affected by the pandemic, with hundreds of millions of Indians being infected with the virus.

      "Looking at the condition of countries with better health infrastructure, the world was right in worrying about us. India, however, took a proactive public participation approach and developed a COVID-specific health infrastructure and trained its resources to fight COVID", the official said, adding that the country also was using technology for testing and tracking the spread of the virus.

      According to the prime minister, India, which hosts 19 percent of the world population, not only fulfills its need for personal protective equipment but also exports the necessary equipment and vaccines to help other countries.

      In addition, India has already vaccinated over 2 million health workers and will meet the target of vaccinating 300 million senior citizens and those with co-morbidities in the next few months, Modi said.

      "India's upcoming vaccines will help other countries at a swifter pace to fight the pandemic", the official added.

      Commenting on the economic situation in the country, the prime minister said that it would change in the post-COVID era, as India continued its economic activities during the pandemic, providing employment.

      Modi also noted that the country was launching a new initiative to provide a unique health ID to 1.3 billion citizens for easy access to health care.

    • 14:14

      Russian Population Shrinks by 500,000 in 2020 Pandemic Year, Preliminary Figures Show

      Russia's population declined by 500,000 over a year to 1 January 2021, totaling 146,238,185, preliminary official figures showed.

      As of 1 January 2020, Russia had a population of 146,748,600. The decline thus amounted to 510,000 people.

      Some 109.3 million Russians live in urban areas and about 37 million in the countryside, according to state statistics agency Rosstat.

    • 14:13

      Nearly 128,000 People Vaccinated Against COVID-19 in Finland

      Nearly 128,000 Finnish citizens have been vaccinated against the coronavirus by Thursday, the result of a month-long vaccination campaign, the national institute for health and welfare THL reported.

      "A total of 127,783 people have been vaccinated", the institute said in a COVID-19 vaccination data update, adding that 10,540 citizens have received two shots.

      In particular, it noted that 32,936 people were inoculated in the capital region, including 3,596 local residents who received two shots of the vaccine.

      Finland kicked off its mass vaccination campaign on 27 December, using the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines against the virus.

      The THL reported an increase in the incidence of the coronavirus in Finland after a long steady period since last month. To date, the national health authorities have confirmed 43,616 COVID-19 infections and 660 related fatalities.

    • 14:13

      US Economy Shrinks 3.5% In 2020 on Coronavirus Toll

      The US economy shrank 3.5 percent in 2020, its sharpest contraction on record since 1946, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to take its toll on the country, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.

      “Real GDP decreased 3.5 percent in 2020, compared with an increase of 2.2 percent in 2019”, the department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis said in a statement on its first reading of fourth-quarter 2020 Gross Domestic Product.

      The contraction was the first for the US economy since 2009, and the sharpest decline since 1946, when GDP shrank by 11.6 percent in the wake of World War II.

      The economy expanded by a 4-percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2020, but that growth came on the heels of a record plunge of 33.4 percent in the April-June quarter amid business restrictions and closures in many parts of the country.

      “The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the GDP estimate for the fourth quarter of 2020 because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified”, the department said.

      The third quarter GDP expansion of 33.1 percent was the highest ever attained by the United States for a three-month period.

      But despite that rebound, the economy came under renewed stress in the fourth quarter after a fresh spike in coronavirus infections that have now topped 25.5 million cases and killed nearly 430,000 people. Daily COVID-19 hospitalisation rates also hit daily record highs in the fourth quarter, even with vaccination programs accelerating.

    • 13:50

      EU Should Use All Legal Means to Ensure Promised Vaccines Are Delivered, European Council Head Michel Says

    • 13:44

      Cristiano Ronaldo Investigated Over Possible Breach of Italy's COVID-19 Rules - Reports

       In this May 23, 2019, file photo, Cristiano Ronaldo, left, is flanked by his partner Georgina Rodriguez as they watch the second practice session for a Formula One race at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco

      Cristiano Ronaldo Investigated Over Possible Breach of Italy's COVID-19 Rules, Report Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Italian law enforcement is investigating Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo over a possible breach of COVID-19 rules in Italy, media reported Thursday.
      Read more
    • 13:40

      Switzerland Reports 1,699 New Coronavirus Infections

    • 13:33

      Unemployment in Spain Increases by 16% in 2020 Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The unemployment rate in Spain increased by 16.13 percent in 2020, with 622,600 jobs lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said on Thursday.

      The current unemployment rate is the highest since 2017 when it reached 16.55 percent, according to INE.

      In absolute terms, by the end of 2020 the number of the unemployed in Spain amounted to 3.71 million people, which is almost 528,000 more than in 2019. It is the largest increase since 2012.

    • 13:30

      Russian Deputy PM Says Vaccination Should Be Voluntary, Calls COVID-19 Passports 'Harmful'

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Vaccination passports are a bad idea, as it makes people wrongfully think that COVID-19 immunisation is mandatory, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said on Thursday.

      "Introduction of additional passports or some other documents, as we see, annoys citizens, and citizens in this case interpret vaccination as a mandatory thing, this is unacceptable", Golikova said at a president-led meeting with cabinet members.

      She particularly warned Russian regions against introducing vaccination passports, describing it as an "inexpedient and even harmful" measure.

    • 13:25

      Poland's COVID-19 Hospitalisations Declining - Health Ministry

      WARSAW (Sputnik) - The number of people hospitalised with the coronavirus infection in Poland is declining, the country's ministry of health said on Thursday.

      The COVID-19 dynamics in Poland went sharply up in November, hitting a record daily increase of 27,875 new cases and 674 new deaths in one day.

      According to the ministry of health, 13,879 people remain in hospitals across Poland due to COVID-19, of whom 1,406 are on ventilators. On Tuesday, there were 14,596 COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

    • 13:19

      Mexican President Obrador is Well, With 'Light Sympthoms" After Contracting COVID-19, Interior Minister Says

    • 12:55

      Health Experts Warn Drug-Resistant Germs Coming Back as Attention Shifted Towards COVID-19

      Virus

      Health Experts Warn Drug-Resistant Germs Coming Back as Attention Shifted Towards COVID-19

      The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 2 million people since its outbreak, prompting governments all around the world to take unprecedented measures to curb the spread of disease. However, heightened attention towards the coronavirus paved the way for resurgence of some other dangerous bacteria and fungi.
      Read more
    • 12:07

      Vietnam Registers First Domestic COVID-19 Outbreak in 55 Days, Reports Say

      BANGKOK (Sputnik) - Vietnam has registered 84 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases over the past day after nearly two months of zero local infections, the government's news portal reported on Thursday.

      According to the VGP news portal, the new coronavirus statistics were announced at an emergency government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

    • 12:05

      Scientists Find 92 Pecent Twin of Novel Coronavirus in Cambodian Bat Samples, Study Says

      Short-tailed Fruit Bat

      Scientists Find 92 Percent Twin of Novel Coronavirus in Cambodian Bat Samples, Study Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Scientists in Cambodia have found coronavirus strains whose nucleotide identity is 92.6 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2 in samples of horseshoe bats collected back in 2010, according to a preprint of a study on the BioRxiv medical research portal.
      Read more
    • 11:54

      EU Adopted Guidelines on Coronavirus Vaccination Certificates for Medical Purposes

    • 11:44

      New Coronavirus Variants Showing Resistance to Vaccines

      The Critical Hour

      New Coronavirus Variants Showing Resistance to Vaccines

      International health professionals are concerned that vaccines developed by pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are less effective against the South African variant of the novel coronavirus.
      Read more
    • 11:25

      US Confirms Over 152,000 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 11:13

      WHO Europe Director Says Had 'Very Productive Talk' on Sputnik V With Russian Ambassador

    • 10:55

      UK-Linked Coronavirus Variant Cases in France Triple in Mere Weeks

      French lab scientists at Pasteur Institute in Paris

      UK-Linked Coronavirus Variant Cases in France Triple in Mere Weeks

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - France has seen three times more cases of the new coronavirus strain originating in the United Kingdom within less than a month, the French government's spokesman Gabriel Attal told the France Inter broadcaster on Thursday.
      Read more
    • 10:38

      New Zealand Ranked Best at Responding to COVID-19, Brazil's Handling Worst, Think Tank Says

    • 10:33

      Vaccine Rollout and Emergence of New Strain in Europe Create 'Pandemic Paradox', WHO Official Says

      A medical worker fills a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at the CHIREC St Anne-St Remi Clinic in Brussels, Belgium January 27, 2021.

      Vaccine Rollout and Emergence of New Strain in Europe Create 'Pandemic Paradox', WHO Official Says

      In late December, the United Kingdom detected a new coronavirus mutation that is reportedly more transmissible than other strains. In the wake of the announcement, many nations around the world suspended travel to the UK.
      Read more
    • 09:54

      Hungary Extends Lockdown Measures Until 1 March

    • 09:38

      Pharmaceutical Company Valneva Begins Manufacturing Candidate Vaccine Against COVID-19 in Scotland

    • 09:36

      Sputnik V Vaccine Trials Show No Serious Side Effects , Gamaleya Research Centre Says

    • 08:54

      Sputnik V Efficiency in Creating Cell Immunity Reaches Almost 100 Percent, Developer Says

      Sputnik V vaccine

      Russia's Sputnik V Almost 100% Efficient in Developing Cell Response to COVID-19, Developer Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia's Sputnik V vaccine's efficiency in formation of cellular immunity to COVID-19 is close to 100 percent, a senior researcher at a genetic engineering laboratory of the Gamaleya institute said on Thursday.
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    • 08:38

      London Stocks Dive to Near One-Month Low as EU-UK Vaccine Row Rages On

      London Stocks Dive to Near One-Month Low as EU-UK Vaccine Row Rages On

      The EU and the UK have locked horns over coronavirus vaccine supplies as Brussels has demanded that AstraZeneca hand over some 75 million doses of its vaccine, manufactured at its British plant.
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    • 08:31

      Sweden Stops Mink Breeding for the Rest of the Year Over COVID Scare

      Sweden Stops Mink Breeding for the Rest of the Year Over COVID Scare

      While prohibiting mink breeding until the end of the year, Sweden stopped short of Danish-style blanket culls and decided to spare the existing animals. In late 2020, Denmark slaughtered its entire 15-million-strong mink stock due for fear that the mutated COVID found in mink may jump species and interfere with the vaccination programme.
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    • 08:19

      Taiwan Asks Germany for Assistance in Obtaining Coronavirus Vaccine

    • 08:11

      Russia Registers 19,138 COVID-19 Cases in Past 24 Hours

    • 08:10

      Germany Records 17,553 New Cases of COVID-19 Over Past 24 Hours

    • 08:05

      UK Minister Gove Says ‘We Will Work to Help EU Friends’

    • 08:04

      China Warns US Against 'Politicising' WHO Probe Into COVID-19 Origins

    • 08:01

      German Minister Expects Shortage of Vaccine Supply to Last Until April

    • 07:52

      Pfizer/BioNTech Says Their Vaccine Effective Against UK and South African Strains of COVID-19

    • 07:48

      South Africa Advises Citizens Against Wrapping Coffins of COVID-19 Victims in Plastic

      "The Department of Health has issued health directions on the management of human remains that died of COVID-19 that prescribes measures to be implemented. These directions do not prescribe the covering of coffins with plastics, use of biohazard stickers nor wearing full PPE by funeral directors or sanitising of the graves or clothes of people attending the funeral as this is unnecessary", the department said in a press release.

    • 07:15

      Germany Prepares Border Restrictions to Stop New Coronavirus Strain From Entering the Country

    • 07:03

      Mexico's Foreign Minister Gets 2nd Negative COVID-19 Test After Contact With President

    • 06:34

      Scottish Hospital Wastes Dozens of Pfizer Vaccine Doses, Reports Suggest

      A nurse prepares to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy's Hospital in London, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020

      Scottish Hospital Wastes Dozens of Pfizer Vaccine Doses, Reports Suggest

      Previously, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon admitted that at least one percent of the coronavirus vaccine supply has been wasted amid a mass rollout.
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    • 06:22

      Ukraine Registers 5,529 New Coroanvirus Cases

    • 05:39

      India Confirms 11,666 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 05:17

      EU-UK Vaccine Row: Britain Has Been Lucky to Develop Its Own COVID Jab, Academics Say

      EU-UK Vaccine Row: Britain Has Been Lucky to Develop Its Own COVID Jab, Academics Say

      The UK and the EU have crossed swords over coronavirus vaccine supplies as Brussels warned it could restrict exports of the Belgian-made Pfizer jab to Britain, prompting Health Secretary Matt Hancock to accuse the union of “protectionism”. British observers have weighed up whether the bloc's restrictions may hurt Britain's inoculation plans.
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    • 04:46

      Colombia Suspends Flights to Brazil for Month Over New COVID-19 Strain

      A Boeing E-4B at Bogota Airport in Colombia

      Colombia Suspends Flights to Brazil for Month Over New COVID-19 Strain

      MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – Colombia has suspended air traffic with Brazil for a month over the spread of a new strain of the coronavirus, Colombian President Ivan Duque announced.
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