03:24 GMT15 May 2021
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    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (329)

    A few weeks are left before the anniversary of the pandemic, as the World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on 11 March 2020.

    Currently, the US (28.2 million infected, 502,000 deaths), India (11 million cases, 156,000 fatalities), and Brazil (10.2 million cases and a death toll of over 248,000) are the most affected nations.

    Some EU nations fear that they are already seeing a third wave of the pandemic.

    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted he could not guarantee that legal limits on social contacts would be lifted in England on 21 June.

    Follow Sputnik’s feed to find out more. 

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    • 03:29

      Moderna Sends Vaccine Against South African COVID-19 Strain for Phase 1 Clinical Trial

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The US company of Moderna, Inc. said it had sent its vaccine against the South African strain of the coronavirus to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a Phase 1 clinical trial.

      “Moderna, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA), a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, announces that it has completed manufacturing of clinical trial material for its variant-specific vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273.351, against the SARS-CoV-2 variant known as B.1.351 first identified in the Republic of South Africa, and has shipped doses to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a Phase 1 clinical trial that will be led and funded by the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID),” the company said in a statement on late Wednesday.

      The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11. To date, more than 112.52 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 2.49 million fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

      The mutated strain was first detected in South Africa last October and since then has spread to Europe. It is believed to be more contagious than the original coronavirus.

    • 03:28

      Peru Eases Lockdown, Extends Curfew in COVID-19 Risk Areas

      MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - Peruvian Prime Minister Violeta Bermudez announced the extension of the night ban on movement of citizens in 24 provinces with the highest risk of COVID-19 infection from March 1 to March 14, whereas a total lockdown in these regions is canceled.

      "From Monday, March 1, for 14 days, there will be mandatory and strict social immobilization [curfew] at night and on Sundays," the minister said, speaking at a press conference broadcast on the Council of Ministers' Twitter.

      The travel ban will be in effect from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., as well as 24 hours a day on Sundays in 24 provinces with an "extreme risk" of COVID-19 infection. Among the settlements that retain the maximum level of threat are Lima, Huaura, Huanuco and others.

      The abolition of the total quarantine will entail the resumption of the work of enterprises related to optional types of activity, and intercity transport links. For shopping and for walking, people can go out in company and for more than an hour a day, as was required before, although visiting the beaches in a number of provinces is still prohibited.

      Health Minister Oscar Ugarte, speaking with Bermudez, pointed to a downward trend in the number of cases. According to him, until last week, there was a vertical growth without any changes.

      Since the beginning of the epidemic, Peru has registered 1,293,497 cases of COVID-19 infection, with 45,487 deaths.

    • 03:09

      Austria Proposes Introducing 'Green Passports' for Those Vaccinated Against COVID

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Austria will submit to the European Council a proposal to introduce "green passports" for those who have been vaccinated against coronavirus, have immunity from the disease or have taken a new test, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said.

      "We need a 'green passport' for everyone who has either been vaccinated or has immunity, because he has just gone through coronavirus, or has taken a new test," Kurz told ORF.

      According to the country's Ministry of Health, almost 448,000 confirmed cases of the disease have been recorded so far, 8,470 people have died, and 424,348 have recovered.

    • 03:08

      South Korean Prime Minister Calls on People to Take Part in COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun called on Thursday on the country's citizens to take part in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

      “Please have trust in the government and actively participate in the inoculation plan prepared based on science and facts,” Chung said during an inter-agency meeting, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.

      The prime minister stressed that the government's plans to develop nationwide herd immunity would “remain no more than a delusion” if people do not trust the vaccination campaign and refrain from inoculations.

      The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11. To date, more than 112.51 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 2.49 million fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

      South Korea has confirmed more than 88,000 COVID-19 cases so far, with over 1,500 fatalities.

    • 02:46

      EU Leaders to Discuss COVID-19 Response, Security by Videoconference

      BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The heads of state and government of the EU member states will discuss the coordination of the coronavirus response and security issues during a two-day videoconference on February 25-26.

      The first day of the summit will begin on Thursday at 15:00 Brussels time (14:00 GMT) and will be devoted to joint measures to counter COVID-19.

      European leaders will, in particular, discuss ways to combat new variants of coronavirus, adapting vaccines to new strains, developing vaccination certificates, increasing vaccine production in Europe, as well as supplying vaccines to EU partners under the COVAX program, border issues and other restrictive measures to counter the spread of the pandemic.

      On February 26, the summit, which will involve NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, will focus on security issues, including cyberattacks and hybrid threats.

    • 01:06

      Brazilian State of Sao Paulo Imposes Curfew Over Rising Number of Serious COVID-19 Cases

      RIO DE JANEIRO (Sputnik) - The Brazilian state of Sao Paulo is imposing a night curfew from February 26 to March 14 amid rising incidence of the new coronavirus, Governor Joao Doria said.

      At a press conference, Doria explained that movement restrictions would apply "from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. throughout the state," where more than 46 million people live.

      The measure may be unpopular, Doria said, but other cities and countries have already adopted it, and saving lives is a priority.

      Brazil has registered 10,195,160 cases of COVID-19 infection, with 247,143 deaths from complications.

    • 00:54

      Residents of Retirement Home in Lithuania Caught COVID-19 Despite Vaccination

      VILNIUS (Sputnik) – An outbreak of the coronavirus has been registered in one of Lithuania's retirement homes despite the vaccination of its residents, the facility said.

      “A new outbreak of the coronavirus disease has been registered in a retirement home in Lauksargiai, the Taurage District. 14 out of 15 people infected with COVID-19 have been vaccinated in line with the schedule,” the retirement home said in a statement on late Wednesday.

      The National Public Health Center will carry out additional checks of the vaccination in the facility.

      There is no information, which vaccine has been received by residents of the retirement home.

    • 00:28

      Toronto Cancels Outdoor Events to July 1 Over Pandemic

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The city of Toronto is extending its cancellation for all outdoor events for more than four months up to the beginning of July because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the municipal government announced in a news release.

      "To slow the spread of COVID-19, the City of Toronto is extending the cancellation of in-person City-led and City-permitted major outdoor events to July 1, including Canada Day parades, festivals and fireworks," the release stated on Wednesday.

      The announcement also covers festivals and other large, in-person gatherings held at outdoor sites managed by the city government or other public locations, such as roads, parks and civic squares, the release explained.

      The decision was made in consultation with Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, the City’s Emergency Operations Center, Toronto Police Service and major event organizers, the release added.

    • 00:27

      San Marino to Start Vaccinations With Russia's Sputnik V on Thursday - Senior Health Official

      ROME (Sputnik) - A campaign to vaccinate the population against coronavirus with Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is being launched in the Republic of San Marino on Thursday, head of the local healthcare institute Alessandra Bruschi said.

      The first batch of the Russian vaccine arrived in the southern European microstate, which is completely enclosed by Italy, on Tuesday.

      Earlier, the authorities of San Marino said the use of the Sputnik V vaccine would make it possible to vaccinate 15 percent of the republic's 34,000-strong population.

      "The reduction of infections that we want to achieve will be possible from tomorrow... On Monday, we will start implementing the vaccination plan, starting, naturally, with medical workers," Bruschi said at a press conference, noting that the vaccine would also be given to elderly people above 75.

    • 00:15

      Data From Over 1Mln Israelis Show Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine 94% Effective - Report

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine demonstrated 94 percent effectiveness in a study involving more than one million Israelis, half receiving the inoculation and the other half remaining unvaccinated, a report in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) said.

      The study paired each of 596,618 vaccine recipients to an unvaccinated control person, the report said on Wednesday.

      "We matched vaccine recipients and controls on variables [such as] age, sex, sector (general Jewish, Arab, or ultra-Orthodox Jewish), neighborhood of residence, history of influenza vaccination during the preceding 5 years, pregnancy, and the total number of coexisting conditions," the report said.

      Estimates for participants starting seven days after the second dose showed the vaccine 94 percent effective in preventing symptomatic coronavirus infections, the report added.

      Data for the trial was provided by Clalit Health Services (CHS), the largest of four integrated health care organizations in Israel, which insures more than half of the nation’s population, according to the report.

      Results from the Israeli study nearly match the 95 percent effectiveness rate estimated in a phase 3 clinical trial that persuaded the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to grant emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine in December.

    • 00:14

      US Deploys 780 Service Members to Vaccination Centers in Florida, Pennsylvania NORTHCOM

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - About 780 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines will join the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at five community-based coronavirus vaccination centers in the US states of Florida and Pennsylvania, the Northern Command (NORTHCOM) said.

      “Four of the six service branches will help our federal and state partners in these new vaccination centers, giving more people access to vaccines,” the commander of Army forces in NORTHCOM, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson said in a press release on Wednesday.

      At the request of FEMA, the US military previously deployed medical and support personnel in the states of California, New York, Texas, New Jersey and the US Virgin Islands, NORTHCOM said.

    • 23:10

      Jordan Re-Imposes Curfew Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases - Minister of State for Media Affairs

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Jordan is re-imposing a curfew on Fridays and at night due to the rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the kingdom, Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Ali Al-Ayed said.

      "Full curfew from 10 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Saturday every week is being introduced until further notice," the minister said during a news conference broadcast on Facebook.

      In addition, a night curfew will be in effect every day from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., he said.

      Earlier, the country's authorities imposed a full curfew on Fridays and at night until the end of 2020.

      Overall, since the beginning of the pandemic, Jordan has registered over 376,000 cases of COVID-19 infection, with more than 4,600 deaths.

    • 22:15

      Brazil COVID-19 Death Toll Close to 250,000

      Brazil registered 66,588 new positive COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours, along with 1,428 deaths from the disease, the highest daily toll since 7 January, the Health Ministry reported on Wednesday.

      The country has revealed 10,324,463 coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic outbreak, while the official death toll has reached 249,957, according to ministry data. Brazil has the world's third-highest COVID-19 infection rates, after the US and India, and has the second highest number of deaths.

    • 21:14

      Israel Plans to Lift All COVID-19 Restrictions, Fully Reopen by April - Netanyahu

      TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - The Israeli authorities intend to gradually lift all coronavirus-related restrictions and fully reopen the country by April, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday.

      Israel lifted the third lockdown on February 7 but kept many restrictions in place. A new round of quarantine easing, in particular regarding the operation of shopping centers and markets, took effect on Sunday.

      "We seek to vaccinate the entire adult population by late March and fully relaunch the country's economy by April," Netanyahu said at a press conference broadcast by national media.

      According to the prime minister, the country's mass vaccination campaign is set to cover at least 6.2 million Israelis.

      The plan for exiting from the lockdown includes five phases. The country is currently at the first stage — the issuance of so-called green passports to those who have been vaccinated. The second stage will begin in mid-March and envisages the full restoration of the education institutions' work. The vaccination of all Israeli adults is set to be completed by the end of March, marking the fourth stage. And in April, at the fifth stage, the country will return to normal life, as all lockdown measures will be lifted.

      Israel started mass immunization of its population on December 20. To date, over 4.5 million people — roughly half the population — have received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and more than 3.14 million both doses.

    • 21:10

      Biden Renews National Emergency Declaration for COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - President Joe Biden has renewed the US Declaration of National Emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic, the White House announced in a press release.

      "I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared in Proclamation 9994 of March 13, 2020, beginning March 1, 2020, concerning the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, is to continue in effect beyond March 1, 2021," Biden said on Wednesday.

      Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect, the release noted.

      "There remains a need to continue this national emergency ... and it is essential to continue to combat and respond to COVID-19 with the full capacity and capability of the Federal government," Biden said.

      The pandemic continues to cause significant risk to the public health and safety of the nation and more than 500,000 people in the United States have already died from it, Biden noted.

    • 21:05

      Mexico Rolls Out Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine Inoculating Senior Citizens

      MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - Mexico on Wednesday started inoculating senior citizens using Russia's coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, with a 72-year-old man being the first to receive the shot.

      The Latin American nation received the first 200,000 of the booked 24 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 early on Tuesday.

      The immunization campaign is taking place at the Palacio de los Deportes sports complex in Mexico City, as well as in two other districts of the capital. Each vaccination center is set to serve 5,000 people per day.

      Mexico plans to inoculate 12 million people with the Sputnik V vaccine under the two-shot scheme. The national regulator gave the drug its emergency approval on February 2.

      To date, over 2 million people have been infected with the virus in Mexico, according to the national health ministry. Meanwhile, the death toll from the disease has surpassed 181,800. As of now, there are some 49,000 active cases.

    • 20:51

      COVID-19 Antibodies Appear to Prevent Reinfection for 'A Few Months' - US Health Dept.

      WASHINGTON, (Sputnik) - People with evidence of prior coronavirus infection appear to be well protected against reinfection at least for a few months, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) said in a report on Wednesday.

      "People who have had evidence of a prior infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, appear to be well protected against being reinfected with the virus, at least for a few months," a press release explaining the report said.

      The finding may explain why reinfection appears to be relatively rare and could have important public health implications including decisions about returning to work and school and prioritizing vaccine distribution, the health agency said.

      NCI based the report on data from five commercial labs, electronic medical records and private insurers, including antibody test results from more than 3 million people, NCI said.

      When the researchers looked at test results for the virus 90 or more days after the initial antibody test, only about 0.3% of those with with positive antibody tests, tested positive for the virus - about one-tenth the rate of those with negative antibody tests.

      The report cautioned that scientist still do not know how long protection lasts in a person with antibodies and called for follow up studies to determine if protection wanes over time.

      The NCI, part of the National Institutes of Health, normally focuses on cancer, but the organization’s expertise in serological sciences prompted Congress to request the research.

    • 20:45

      Nicaragua Announces First Deliveries of Russia's Sputnik V Vaccines

      Nicaragua received its first jabs against the coronavirus with an initial donation of Russia's vaccine, Sputnik V, Vice President Rosario Murillo noted on Wednesday.

      At the same time, the vice president did not specify the exact number of doses received by Nicaragua.

    • 20:38

      Russian Embassy in Cairo Expects to See Sputnik V Produced in Egypt

      CAIRO (Sputnik) - The Russian Embassy in Cairo said on Wednesday it expects to see Russia's Sputnik V vaccine manufactured in Egypt after the Arab country approved its use.

      Earlier in the day, the country's drug authority approved the emergency use of two vaccines, Sputnik V and AstraZeneca. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) also confirmed Egypt's decision regarding Sputnik V. According to the Russian mission in Cairo this opens a path for delivering the vaccine to Egypt and will contribute to the bilateral cooperation against the pandemic.

      "We hope that further on we will manage to expand the boundaries of the mutually beneficial health care partnership and localize production of Russian medicine against the coronavirus in Egypt," the embassy said in a statement.

      The Russian vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Epidemiology and Microbiology Center and registered by the Russian Ministry of Health on August 11, was the world's first registered vaccine against the coronavirus.

      In February, peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet published an interim analysis from Phase 3 clinical trial of the Russian vaccine, showing its 91.6-percent efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19. The vaccine has already been approved in more than 35 countries, including Belarus, Serbia, Hungary, San Marino, Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Algeria, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, among others.

    • 18:37

      France Announces Partial Lockdown in Northern Regions Over Surge in COVID-19 Cases

      France will introduce a lockdown over the weekend in the northern coastal city of Dunkerque and the communes of Hauts-de-Flandre to head off a spike in COVID-19 cases, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Wednesday.

      "A confinement regime will be introduced over the weekend, from Friday evening to Monday morning, in Dunkerque and the communes of Hauts-de-Flandre, where some 250,000 people live," Veran said, adding that the measures will take effect from February 27-28.

      Under new restrictions, people will be allowed to leave their homes only to buy basic necessities and see the doctor.

      On Monday, the prefect of France's southeastern department of Alpes-Maritimes, Bernard Gonzalez, also announced additional confinement measures for at least two weeks in coastal cities in a bid to contain a surge in new COVID-19 cases.

      Meanwhile, a nationwide curfew from 06:00 p.m. to 06:00 a.m. local time (from 17:00 to 05:00 GMT) remains in force in France. Museums, theatres, cinemas, restaurants and bars remain closed.

      Since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, France has confirmed more than 3.6 million cases of the coronavirus, including over 85,000 fatalities, according to the country's health authorities.

    • 17:21

      Honduras Becomes 36th Country to Register Russian COVID Vaccine

      Russian Gam-COVID-VAK (trademark Sputnik V) coronavirus vaccine

      Honduras Registers Russia's Sputnik V Coronavirus Vaccine

      Earlier this month, peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet published an interim analysis from the Phase III trial of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, showing its 91.6 percent efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19.
      Read more
    • 17:04

      EU Drug Regulator Begins Rolling Review of South Korean COVID-19 Treatment

      The European Medicines Agency began on Wednesday a rolling review of data sent by South Korean drugmaker Celltrion on its experimental antibody treatment for the coronavirus.

      "The decision to start the rolling review is based on preliminary results from an ongoing study looking at the ability of the medicine to treat COVID-19," an EMA statement read.

      EMA’s human medicines committee will be evaluating animal studies and clinical trials of the promising antibody medicine, called Regdanvimab, as they become available, in order to speed up the authorization process.

      There is no timeline for the review. The expert committee has not yet evaluated the first full batch of data and cannot draw any conclusions on possible risks or benefits of the drug, the agency said.

    • 17:02

      Data Shows 3rd US Coronavirus Vaccine Effective as Panel Mulls Approval, Health Dept. Says

      Data from more than 40,000 participants in a clinical trial of a single-dose coronavirus vaccine by Johnson & Johnson, which shows the vaccine achieves 85 percent effectiveness 28 days after inoculation, was publicly released by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Wednesday ahead of a critical review by an advisory panel on Friday.

      The data contained in a 62-page report showed FDA backing for the vaccine, which would join two previously approved vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, as front line weapons against the coronavirus pandemic.

      “Based on the totality of scientific evidence available, the benefits of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine outweigh its risks for active immunization to prevent COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 in individuals 18 years of age and older,” the report said. "The analysis supported a favourable safety profile with no specific safety concerns identified that would preclude the issuance of an EUA [emergency use authorization]."

      The vaccine achieved 76.7 percent effectiveness 14 days after the shot and 85.4 percent after 28 days, the report said.

      Unlike its predecessor vaccines, which require two doses and storage at temperatures well below freezing, the Johnson & Johnson version requires a single dose and can be kept in an ordinary refrigerator. For that reason, many healthcare providers consider it a potential game-changer, especially in global vaccination efforts that must reach poor nations without the health infrastructure of advanced nations.

      On Friday, the FDA’s independent Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will decide whether to recommend that the vaccine receive authorization for people 18 years old and above, the report said.

      In support of their emergency use authorization request, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Hanssen Biotech submitted safety and efficacy data from a Phase 3 randomized, double-blind trial of a single dose to more than 40,000 participants. Half received the vaccine and the other half a placebo.

      “There were no COVID-19-related deaths and no COVID-19 cases requiring medical intervention occurring 28 days or more post-vaccination among participants age 60 years or older with medical comorbidities in the vaccine group,” the release said.

      The most common adverse reactions were site pain, headache, fatigue and muscle soreness – symptoms described as mild to moderate.

    • 16:40

      UEFA Medical Advisor Says Fans Will Be Allowed to Travel to June's Euro 2020 Games

      There is no question of June's Euro 2020 tournament being cancelled or postponed, Daniel Koch, UEFA's medical advisor on Euro 2020, said on Wednesday, as quoted by Reuters.

      He added that fans could yet be allowed to travel internationally to the games.

    • 16:40

      Member of US Vice President's Press Pool Tests Positive for Coronavirus, White House Says

      A member of the press pool that regularly covers Vice President Kamala Harris has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and therefore the pool has been temporarily disbanded while its other members are tested, the White House announced in a note on Wednesday.

      "This morning, a member of the Vice President’s press pool tested positive for COVID-19 during routine screening," the note said. "As soon as we were notified, we disbanded the Vice President’s pool and sent them home. They will be tested again tomorrow."

      The White House has also made arrangements for the briefing room to be cleaned, the note said.

      "We have also begun the process of contract tracing. This individual did not have any contact with the Vice President or White House staff," the note added.

    • 16:10

      Iraq to Start Receiving Coronavirus Vaccines Next Week, President Says

      Iraq expects to receive first shipments of coronavirus vaccines in about a week and is working to remove hurdles for an inoculation campaign, President Barham Salih said on Wednesday.

      “We should be getting the first batches of vaccine in about a week time. Like in many other societies, the distribution, I am sure, will be challenging,” Salih said during a virtual conference at the Brookings Institution.

      The Iraqi president pointed out that some vaccine makers demand having legal immunity, which has to be passed as law in the country's parliament.

      “We are working on this matter,” Salih said.

      Iraq is going through a "second wave" of the coronavirus pandemic with about 4,000 cases daily and more than 13,000 virus-related deaths in total.

    • 16:09

      Finnish Lab Says New Coronavirus Strain Going Undetected, 2 Cases Confirmed

      A new variant of the coronavirus has been confirmed in two patients, a Helsinki lab said Wednesday, a week after the strain was first reported in Finland.

      The mutation, identified provisionally as Fin-796H, appears to be circulating undetected by tests, the Helsinki-based Vita Laboratories said.

      "Another corona infection caused by the same variant has been confirmed. There are presumably more cases," a press statement read.

      The lab has mapped out the genome of the elusive new strain. It identified 15 areas in the genetic code that are unique to this mutation. It also shares some of the mutations seen in the UK and South African strains.

      Research director Petri Auvinen said such a number of mutations could only accumulate over a long period in a region where genetic sequencing was hardly being done, suggesting it came from outside Finland.

    • 16:08

      Bolivia Receives 500,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses From China's Sinopharm

      Bolivia has received 500,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by China’s Sinopharm company, President Luis Arce said on Wednesday.

      "Due to good relationship with China, we received today 500,000 doses of Sinopharm's vaccine against the coronavirus for the Bolivian people," the president wrote on Twitter.

      The Latin American nation rolled out its mass inoculation campaign in late January. Apart from the Chinese vaccine, Bolivia has ordered over five million doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine.

    • 16:08

      Hungary Receives 100,000 Doses of Russia's Sputnik V Vaccine

      A shipment of 100,000 doses of the Russian coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, arrived in Hungary earlier in the week, the country's government said Wednesday.

      "A delivery of 100,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine arrived in Hungary late on Monday," the government said in a statement.

      According to Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, the vaccine was taken to the National Public Health Center.

      "Speed is of the essence … as advancing the inoculation plan by a single day would save the lives of 100-150 people," Szijjarto said, adding that the country is working to get all approved vaccines into the country as soon as possible.

      As the European Union was struggling with its vaccination campaign, Budapest took initiative and unilaterally approved the use of Sputnik V, China's Sinopharm and the AstraZeneca vaccine, without waiting for a decision from the European Medicines Agency. Since then, the EMA has approved the AstraZeneca vaccine, while the authorization of Sinopharm and Sputnik V is pending.

    • 15:28

      More Measures Needed to Curb Spread of COVID-19 in Sweden, PM Says

    • 13:21

      Sweden Records 5,371 New COVID Cases in Last 24 Hours, 80 Virus-Related Deaths

    • 13:21

      Norway to Reassess National COVID Measures in Second Part of March, Health Minister Says

    • 12:55

      Reading, Leeds Music Festivals to Happen This Summer, Organisers Confirm

    • 12:26

      Egypt Registers Russia's Sputnik V Coronavirus Vaccine

    • 12:25

      Putin: Information Campaign Exists Abroad to Undermine Russia's Achievements in Medicine

      A shipment of doses of the Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

      Putin: Information Campaign Exists Abroad to Undermine Russia's Achievements in Medicine

      Since Russia registered the world's first COVID vaccine in August 2020, the West has repeatedly tried to spread disinformation about the vaccine.
      Read more
    • 12:00

      Irish Tánaiste Varadkar Says Gov’t Happy to Buy Extra Vaccines from UK if Available

    • 11:09

      Lockdown Restrictions Will Not be Lifted in Athens Due to Recent COVID Spike, Greek PM says

    • 10:42

      Tbilisi No Longer Requires COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate From Entering Russians

      TBILISI (Sputnik) - Tbilisi expands the list of countries citizens of which can enter Georgia by air after presenting a negative PCR test for coronavirus, Russia is among the nations added on the list, prime minister Irakli Garibashvili announced on Wednesday.

      Prior to that, providing a negative PCR test was sufficient for EU citizens only, while other foreigners were obligated to undergo vaccination before entering Georgia.

      "Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus were added to the list of countries from which citizens will be able to enter Georgia by air starting March 1 with a negative PCR test. At the land borders, the existing regime remains in force at this stage," Garibashvili said at a briefing.

    • 10:03

      India Will Start Vaccinating Senior Citizens Against COVID-19 on 1 March, Sources Say

      NEW DELHI, February 24 (Sputnik) - India will proceed to the second stage of coronavirus vaccination on 1 March, people aged over 60 will be inoculated, sources told Sputnik.

      India ranks second globally in terms of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, behind only the United States. It has confirmed over 11 million cases since the beginning of the pandemic. India launched its vaccination campaign in mid-January, with medical staffers and representatives of other high-risk groups being the first in line for inoculation.

    • 09:04

      West Using Pandemic to Punish ‘Unwelcome’ Governments, Lavrov Says

      Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Moscow, Russia February 5, 2021.

      West Using Pandemic to Punish ‘Unwelcome’ Governments, Lavrov Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Western countries persist in sanctions pressure despite the pandemic, making use of coronavirus woes to punish "unwelcome" governments, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.
      Read more
    • 09:04

      UK Prime Minister Optimistic But Says He Cannot Guarantee Lockdown Ends by 21 June

      FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a vial of an Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, during his visit at a vaccination centre at Cwmbran Stadium in Cwmbran, south Wales, Britain February 17, 2021. Geoff Caddick/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

      UK Prime Minister Optimistic But Says He Cannot Guarantee Lockdown Ends by 21 June

      LONDON (Sputnik) – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that he is “very optimistic” on meeting the government’s target of fully lifting the COVID-19 legal limits on social contact by 21 June, but admitted that nothing can be guaranteed.
      Read more
    • 07:58

      Number of Chileans Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Exceeds 3Mn, Health Ministry Confirms

      BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - The number of people in Chile who have received a COVID-19 vaccine has exceeded 3 million, the country's health ministry said.

      "Three weeks since the beginning of the mass vaccination in Chile, the number of vaccinated people has exceeded 3 million," the ministry said on Twitter.

      A total of 3,037,063 people received the shot of the vaccine.

      Chile has received two vaccines against the coronavirus: those of Sinovac Biotech and Pfizer. The vaccination campaign started on February 3.

    • 07:50

      France Receiving Enough COVID-19 Vaccine to Hit Target of Vaccinating 15 Million by End of June, Minister Says

    • 06:28

      Ukraine Detects 5,850 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 06:11

      Colombia Approves AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine

      Colombia has approved the AstraZeneca/Oxford coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, drug regulator Invima announced.

      The country has already approved Pfizer/BioNTech and Sinovac vaccines, which are used in the immunization campaign.

      "Today, an emergency use authorization was granted to the vaccine developed by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca," Invima regulator tweeted on Tuesday.

      The registration documents were submitted just four days ago, but the regulator noted that it maintains early contacts with various developers and has all the necessary data to decide on authorization.

      Since the onset of the pandemic, Colombia has logged over 2.2 million coronavirus cases, including some 59,000 deaths.

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      Germany Registers 8,007 New COVID-19 Cases

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      Serum Institute of India Dispatches First Batch of AstraZeneca's Covishield Vaccine to WHO's Covax Facility, Supply for African Countries

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      Delhi Makes Negative COVID-19 Test Mandatory for Visitors Entering City

      A negative COVID-19 test is mandatory starting from 26 February for people travelling to Delhi from Maharashtra, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Chhattisgarh.

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      Biden Administration to Mail Out Masks to ‘Disadvantaged Populations’, Reports Say

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