18:07 GMT19 April 2021
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    The pandemic has claimed over 2.53 million lives worldwide, while the overall number of infected has surpassed 114 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

    Currently, among the most affected nations are the US (28.6 million infected, 514,000 deaths), India (11 million cases and 157,000 fatalities), and Brazil (10.5 million cases and 255,000 deceased).

    At the same time, Mexico has the third-highest death toll in the world (over 185,000 deaths), while the number of coronavirus cases in the country is just over two million.

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    • 03:24

      Nicaragua Launches Mass Vaccination Against COVID-19 Using Russia's Sputnik V Jab, Reports Say

      In this handout photo released by Russian Direct Investment Fund, a view shows a fridge with packages of Russian Sputnik-Light one-dose vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology during clinical trials, in Moscow, Russia.

      Nicaragua Begins Inoculation of Population With Russia's Sputnik V COVID Vaccine - Reports

      MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - Nicaragua has started inoculating the population with Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Prensa reported.
      Read more
    • 01:25

      Canada's Top Doctor Says Advisory Committee Will 'Adjust' AstraZeneca Recommendation

      TORONTO (Sputnik) - Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) will adjust its decision not to recommend the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to anyone aged 65 and older, the country’s chief medical officer said.

      On Monday, NACI said in a statement that it does not recommend vaccinating seniors with the AstraZeneca vaccine that Canadian health regulators authorized last week. However, Health Canada indicated that vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine would proceed according to its guidelines, which allow for all Canadians over the age of 18 to get the UK-Swedish drugmaker’s inoculation.

      “Fundamentally, [NACI] will update… as they see more and more real-world data accumulating that will be adjusted,” Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam told reporters on Tuesday.

      Tam recommended not to read NACI’s guidance as “static,” insisting that the independent advisory committee would update its position.

    • 00:37

      Croatia Interested in Buying Russian-Made Sputnik V Vaccine, Health Minister Confirms

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

      Croatian Health Minister Confirms Interest in Buying Russia's Sputnik V Vaccine

      Croatian Health Minister Vili Beros has confirmed the country's interest in purchasing the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Russian Embassy in Zagreb said.
      Read more
    • 00:27

      Italy Extends COVID-19 Response Measures Until April 6

      ROME (Sputnik) - The Italian government has passed another decree to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19), extending the existing measures until April 6.

      The government decree signed by Prime Minister Mario Draghi is the first order to contain the epidemic since his cabinet took office.

      Italy will continue to implement fundamental measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, namely a ban on crowds, social distancing and the mandatory wearing of medical masks. In addition, the division of the regions of the country by color, depending on the degree of danger, remains. In November 2020, the Italian authorities introduced "red", "orange" and "yellow" zones, in early January 2021 they said "white", the least dangerous territories, could appear.

    • 22:09

      Merck to Help Produce Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus Vaccine, Biden Says

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Joe Biden announced that pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. will help produce Johnson & Johnson's single-shot coronavirus vaccines in a move bound to accelerate the inculcation campaign in the United States.

      Biden said that the United States is now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May, two months ahead of schedule.

      “Johnson & Johnson and Merck will work together to expand the production of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine. This is a type of collaboration between companies we saw in World War II,” Biden said in televised remarks.

      The US president promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to equip two Merck facilities to the standards necessary to safely manufacture the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. In addition, the Johnson & Johnson's vaccine manufacturing facilities will now begin to operate 24 hours a day seven days a week, Biden said.

      Vials labelled COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine and sryinge are seen in front of displayed Johnson&Johnson logo in this illustration taken, February 9, 2021

      Biden Says US to Have Enough COVID-19 Vaccines for Every American Adult by End of May

      Despite Russia's Sputnik V vaccine being cheaper and logically easier to distribute than the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines that require ultra-cold storage, Washington has so far refused to use the pioneering inoculation.
      Read more
    • 22:03

      Mississippi Governor Lifts County Mask Mandates, Says Businesses Can Return to Operating at Full Capacity

    • 21:31

      Canadian Minister Says AstraZeneca Indicated No Issues With Exporting Vaccines From US

      TORONTO (Sputnik) - AstraZeneca has indicated to the Canadian government that its order of 20 million coronavirus vaccines doses will be delivered to Canada in the second quarter of 2021 without problems and or interference from the United States, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand said.

      The administration of President Joe Biden has said that the United States will not be sharing its supplies of the coronavirus vaccine until the US public is inoculated. Canada already receives its supplies of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines from Europe after former US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to prioritize domestic distribution of vaccines over their shipments to foreign countries.

      "On the question of assurances from the United States: we are in close touch… with [AstraZeneca] that has indicated it has not seen any problems with the export of doses to Canada," Anand told reporters.

    • 20:49

      Slovak President, Foreign Minister Slam Purchase of Russian COVID-19 Vaccine

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Slovakia's President Zuzana Caputova and top diplomat Ivan Korcok have expressed dissatisfaction with the prime minister's decision to use the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V in absence of the EU regulator's approval.

      On Monday, the first batch of Sputnik V vaccines arrived in Slovakia’s eastern city of Kosice. Prime Minister Igor Matovic explained that the country decided to buy the vaccine without the EU’s green light, as "we have no time to waste, there are not enough vaccines in the country, every day dozens of our compatriots die from COVID-19."

      "The use of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine [in Slovakia] is not an act of courage or proof of diplomatic success. This is rather a rejection of established medical rules, which guarantee the highest safety standards for people," Caputova said after a meeting with drug agency chief Zuzana Batova.

      The president noted that she would respect the decision of people choosing to receive the Russian vaccine, but would not call for mass inoculations with Sputnik V, whose safety has yet to be confirmed by the EU’s regulator.

      The solution, according to Caputova, is very simple, i.e. to ask the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for an emergency use authorization for Sputnik V.

      Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, foreign minister Korcok echoed the criticism, calling the Russian vaccine "a tool of hybrid warfare."

      "The fact that the Russian Sputnik V vaccine has not yet been offered for registration with the EMA confirms that this is not a vaccine, but a tool of hybrid warfare," Korcok claimed.

      According to the minister, the Russian vaccine is not a gift, but a commodity that has its own price.

      "It is divides us here, at home, and in the European Union and calls into question EU procedures," the diplomat argued.

      The foreign minister noted that he has questions about both the way Sputnik V had been purchased and the noisy and "inadequate" ceremony involving the prime minister to mark its arrival at the Kosice airport.

      Korcok lambasted that Matovic had not consulted him about the purchase, holding negotiations with Russia on his own.

    • 20:41

      US State of Texas Lifts COVID-19 Mask Mandate, Allows All Businesses to Reopen

      EL PASO (Sputnik) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday said he was rolling back novel coronavirus-related restrictions by lifting a statewide mask mandate and allowing all businesses in the state to reopen.

      "Effective next Wednesday, all businesses of any type are allowed to open 100 percent, that includes any type of entity in Texas. Also, I'm ending the statewide mask mandate," Abbott said in a press conference.

    • 19:20

      Canada Top Doctor Says COVID-19 Case Count Leveled Off, Warns of Rising Variant Numbers

      TORONTO (Sputnik) - The number of new coronavirus cases in Canada has plateaued, but the number of variant strain cases is increasing, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said on Tuesday.

      Canadian health officials reported during the past seven-day period a daily average of 2,933 new coronavirus cases and 42 virus-related deaths, while the number of variant cases now exceeds 1,350, a near threefold increase since mid-February.

      "Following a month-long decline in COVID-19 activity, daily case counts have levelled off and we are now seeing a moderate increase nationally," Tam said. "At the same time, the number of cases involving more contagious variants of concern, continues to increase."

    • 18:57

      First Shipment of AstraZeneca’s Indian Version Vaccine to Arrive in Canada Wednesday

      The first shipment of 500,000 AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine doses made at the Serum Institute of India will arrive in Canada on Wednesday, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand said.

      "The first shipment of half a million AstraZeneca Covishield doses, which are now en route to Canada from the Serum Institute and scheduled to arrive in this country tomorrow", Anand told reporters on Tuesday.

      Anand also said the Canadian government expects to receive a shipment of 444,600 vaccine doses from Pfizer this week.

      Canada has so far secured two million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine version produced by the Serum Institute.

      On Friday, Canadian health regulators authorized the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine along with its Indian analogue.

    • 18:51

      France Reports 22,857 New Confirmed Cases, 417 New Fatalities

    • 17:45

      White House Announces Merck's Partnership With J&J on COVID-19 Vaccine Production

    • 17:06

      Turkey Records 11,837 New COVID Cases, 68 New Deaths

    • 16:52

      Canada Sees Record Economic Decline in COVID-19 Plagued 2020, Statistics Agency's Data Shows

      The Canadian economy declined by a record 5.4 percent during a COVID-19-plagued 2020, the state statistics agency said on Tuesday.

      "In 2020, real GDP shrank 5.4 percent, the steepest annual decline since quarterly data were first recorded in 1961", Statistics Canada said in its quarterly GDP report.

      The statistics agency noted that economic activity did increase by 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, although household disposal income dropped by 1 percent.

      However, Canadian business experts and officials have warned that the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic that began in late 2020 could hamper the country’s economy in the first part of 2021. The Bank of Canada expects that the resurgence of the pandemic will place the country back into recession territory in the first quarter 2021.

    • 16:10

      COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout Kicks Off in Iraq With Sinopharm Vaccine

      The Iraqi Ministry of Health on Tuesday announced the start of a mass vaccination campaign against the coronavirus, after the first shipment of China’s Sinopharm vaccine arrived in the country.

      Early on Tuesday, an Iraqi Air Force plane carrying 50,000 doses of the vaccine landed in the Baghdad airport. Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi told state-run news agency INA that this batch was gifted by the Chinese government, though the Middle Eastern nation has a contract with Sinopharm for two million doses of the vaccine.

      "Among the first, who got inoculated, were health staff in the Baghdad Medical City", the ministry's press service said in a statement seen by Sputnik.

      Medical specialists, military, senior citizens and those individuals with chronic diseases are priority groups to get a vaccine shot.

      Ministry spokesman Seif al-Badr said that Baghdad has concluded a deal for the supply of 16 million doses of the vaccine against COVID-19, and the first shipments are expected to arrive "in the coming days."

      In December, the ministry said that Baghdad plans to receive the first batch of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in early 2021, as the country inked a preliminary import deal for 1.5 million doses of the vaccine.

      In January, the ministry authorised the use of the vaccine from Sinopharm and another vaccine from UK-Swedish firm AstraZeneca.

    • 15:46

      Johnson & Johnson Promises to Deliver 500Mln Vaccine Doses to COVAX

      Johnson & Johnson will provide 500 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine to the World Health Organisation-led COVAX international distribution initiative Dr. Seth Berkley, the chief executive officer of the international vaccine alliance Gavi, said on Tuesday.

      COVAX has recently started a roll-out of Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines and is looking to add more to its portfolio.

      "We're also excited by the progress made by the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, which just received US FDA emergency use authorisation and, as you know, single-dose vaccine, [Johnson & Johnson] has agreed to provide us with half a billion doses", Berkley said at a COVAX Facility press briefing.

      The Gavi CEO also mentioned a recent memorandum of understanding with Novavax, hoping it would pave the way to an advance purchase deal for 1.1 billion doses.

      "We'll continue to add other candidates from any manufacturer that meets our criteria of having received approval from a stringent regulatory authority and/or prequalification by WHO", Berkley said.

      COVAX aims to ship close to 2 billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2021, in an unprecedented global effort to guarantee access to vaccines for all.

    • 15:46

      Lavrov: Uzbekistan Considers Locally Producing Russia's COVID-19 Vaccine Sputnik V

      Uzbekistan is considering the option of manufacturing Russia's coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday following his meeting with his Uzbek counterpart, Abdulaziz Kamilov.

      Uzbekistan certified Russia's Sputnik V for nationwide use last month, seeking to procure 1 million doses. The country is expected to roll out its mass vaccination campaign in the coming days.

      "The production of Sputnik V vaccine is being considered in Uzbekistan. As I said, it has been registered there on an expedited basis. We very much appreciate our cooperation in this area", Lavrov said at a joint press conference, adding that a delegation from Uzbekistan's Ministry of Health is currently in Moscow, working with Russian colleagues.

      The Russian minister also touched on other issues of the meeting's agenda, saying that the talks also addressed cooperation on international labor migration amid the pandemic.

      "We also talked about the fact that as epidemiological restrictions ease, our interaction in the field of labour migration will be restored and will reach its previous level. There are specific agreements on this that make it possible to coordinate the actions of the relevant services", Lavrov said.

      The top diplomat recalled that the two nations had recently adopted a special algorithm for migrant workers allowing them to travel amid the pandemic while borders are closed. The algorithm is applicable to all countries, whose citizens stay in Russia as workers. It requires an employer willing to send back or invite a new migrant worker to submit an application with the relevant regional authority, as the Russian regions are entitled to make decisions related to epidemiological restrictions or their relaxation. The regional authorities then will decide whether to approve the employer's application, taking into account the requirements by regional coronavirus response centers.

    • 15:45

      UK Hunt for Brazilian-Related COVID Variant Narrowed to 379 Households

      UK Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Tuesday that the search for an unidentified person who tested positive for the Brazilian-linked variant of the coronavirus has now narrowed to 379 households in south east England.

      "Our search has narrowed from the whole country down to 379 households in the southeast of England, and we're contacting each one", Hancock told Parliament.

      It is understood that the person who tested positive to the concerning P1 Brazilian variant used a home testing kit between February 12-13 but failed to complete his contact details in the registration form, so health authorities appealed to anyone without a COVID-19 test result to come forward.

      According to Hancock, officials managed to identify the batch of home tests used by the unidentified person, adding that the remaining five cases that tested positive to the variant first discovered in Brazil have been contacted and told to isolate at their homes.

      The arrival of the six cases of the Brazilian variant in the UK prompted criticism from opposition lawmakers who questioned the effectiveness of the mandatory hotel quarantine system for passengers arriving from 35 red-listed countries.

      Labour lawmaker Yvonne Cooper, whose party has advocated for imposing hotel quarantine on all arrivals and not only for people coming from South America, Panama, Portugal and most part of southern Africa, said that "these gaps in the system will let more new variant cases spread."

      Philippa Whitford, from the Scottish National Party, said that the fact the Brazilian variant had been found in the UK demonstrate how travelers from a red-listed country can avoid the hotel quarantine system by separating out the legs of their journeys.

    • 15:44

      WHO Adviser Says COVAX Beneficiaries May Begin Vaccinations in March If Demand Fulfilled

      All 142 countries participating in the COVAX Facility that have not started vaccination campaigns yet will be able to launch the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines among their population in March, provided that pharmaceutical companies meet the demand, the World Health Organisation's (WHO) senior adviser, Bruce Aylward, said on Tuesday.

      On Monday, the international vaccine alliance Gavi said that Ghana and the Ivory Coast became the first countries to launch vaccinations with doses shipped by COVAX. Both countries received the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine licensed and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.

      "It is completely possible to ensure that all countries that have not yet started could begin vaccinating in March. The challenge really remains whether or not now the manufacturers can keep up with the tremendous amount of orders that COVAX is putting through them, but as importantly, that COVAX can access the vaccines and the doses that have been assured to it, to make sure that it can serve all of those countries", WHO senior adviser Bruce Aylward said at a press briefing.

      COVAX is a component of the global ACT Accelerator facility whose aim is to bring together and make equitably accessible all global developments in the diagnostics, treatment and vaccines against COVID-19. The COVAX facility is responsible for the equitable access to vaccines both for countries that can afford it and those in need of assistance. COVAX aims to ship close to two billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2021, in an unprecedented global effort to guarantee access to vaccines for all.

    • 15:43

      US Launches Study of COVID-19 Linked Inflammatory Syndrome in Children

      US scientists will begin researching multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), a rare but deadly outcome of coronavirus infections in children, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said on Tuesday.

      "This research program is developing and funding studies to investigate why some children are at greater risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection than others, why symptoms vary among children who are infected, and how to identify children at risk for severe illness from SARS-CoV-2 infection", NIH said in a press release.

      Much of the research will focus on MIS-C, a life-threatening condition marked by severe inflammation of one or more parts of the body, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes and gastrointestinal organs.

      Most children infected with the coronavirus do not develop serious illness, but those who do go on to develop MIS-C. Symptoms include prolonged fever and severe abdominal pain, although most children survive.

      Projects in the NIH research plan include an examination of long-term outcomes of children who recover and a study of drugs used to treat COVID-19 when used in children.

    • 14:14

      Sweden Likely to Suffer Third Wave of Coronavirus Pandemic, Health Agency Says

    • 13:59

      Spain to Buy 17 Mln Additional Doses of Moderna Vaccine Under EU Contract

    • 13:06

      Norway May Tighten Pandemic Restrictions Amid COVID-19 Spike

    • 13:06

      Sweden Confirms 11,804 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 12:46

      US Emergency Services Rescue COVID-19 Vaccines in Kentucky Amid Record Flooding – Reports

      A nurse prepares an injection of the influenza vaccine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts in this January 10, 2013 file photo. More than three-quarters of Americans who got this season's flu shot could get the virus anyway, given a mismatch between the flu strains covered by the shot and those actually causing illness in people, U.S. officials say.

      US Emergency Services Rescue COVID-19 Vaccines in Kentucky Amid Record Flooding, Reports Say

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US emergency servicemen have transported by boat a batch of vaccines from Beattyville City located in the eastern state of Kentucky amid heavy rains and large flooding that threatened the power supply at the city's health department, the CNN broadcaster reported on Tuesday, citing Kentucky's Governor Andy Beshear.
      Read more
    • 12:18

      Japan Confirms 888 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 12:11

      'Vaccine Centres Can Be Super Spreaders': Videos of Crowds Flocking Indian Hospitals Shock Netizens

        BKC Covid vaccination centre

      'Vaccine Centres Can Be Super Spreaders': Videos of Crowds Flocking Indian Hospitals Shock Netizens

      On 1 March, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off the second phase of the vaccination drive against coronavirus in the country. After getting vaccinated himself at Delhi's premier AIIMS hospital, the PM urged senior citizens, aged above 60, to register themselves and get vaccinated at their earliest convenience.
      Read more
    • 11:44

      Elderly Woman in Japan Dies Several Days After Receiving Pfizer Vaccine

      A medical worker fills a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine as Japan launches its inoculation campaign, at Tokyo Medical Center in Tokyo, Japan February 17, 2021.

      Elderly Woman in Japan Dies Several Days After Receiving Pfizer Vaccine

      On Monday, Japan received its third batch of Pfizer shots, nearly two weeks after the country approved the American vaccine. The country launched the first steps of its vaccination effort on 17 February, offering inoculations for medical workers.
      Read more
    • 11:30

      Hungary Must Prepare for Spike in Coronavirus Cases Due to New Strains, Surgeon General Warns

    • 11:27

      Every EU Member State Responsible for Authorising Additional Vaccines for Themselves, Official Says

      "It's not that the strategy unravelled", Commission spokesman Stefan de Keersmaecker said, noting that EU countries have the right to purchase additional medications for themselves. "For our vaccines, we go through the European Medicines Agency because we want to ensure efficacy and safety. What member states do in addition to that, it's their responsibility".

    • 10:53

      Idea to Introduce COVID Passports in EU Goes Against Voluntary Vaccination, Russian FM Lavrov Says

      FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled COVID-19 Coronavirus-Vaccine and medical syringe are placed on the European Union map in this picture illustration taken December 2, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

      Idea to Introduce COVID Passports in EU Goes Against Voluntary Vaccination, Russian FM Lavrov Says

      European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen confirmed earlier this week that Brussels is set to propose a digital vaccination passport across the bloc.
      Read more
    • 10:34

      Philippines Confirms Over 2,000 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 10:15

      Tokyo Governor Wary of Lifting Emergency Over COVID-19 in Metropolitan Area, Reports Say

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has expressed concerns about the possibility of lifting the state of emergency in the metropolitan region this weekend despite a downward trend in the number of new COVID-19 cases, national media reported on Tuesday.

      The concerns, voiced by other governors as well, come as the government is weighing whether to end the state of emergency declared in early January, on Sunday as planned.

      According to the Tokyo governor, the pace at which the number of new infections is falling may not be fast enough to lift the state of emergency for the greater metropolitan area, the Kyodo news agency reported.

    • 09:57

      Germany to Allow Private Gatherings Starting From 8 March, Report Suggests

    • 09:46

      Canada Rights Watchdog Challenges Gov't COVID Quarantine Rules, Lawyer Points at Freedoms Violations

      A man wearing a mask to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) passes a stop sign written in English, French and Inuktitut as the territory of Nunavut enters a two week mandatory restriction period in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada 18 November 2020.

      Canada Rights Watchdog Challenges Gov't COVID Quarantine Rules, Lawyer Points at Freedoms Violations

      After the Canadian government introduced a mandatory three-day quarantine for all citizens flying into the country, the decision angered many people, who claim that their rights are being taken away.
      Read more
    • 09:28

      Germany to Prolong Lockdown Until 28 March, Reports Say

      Germany plans to extend its lockdown until 28 March, while some restrictions will be lifted next week, Focus Online reported, citing a draft agreement for talks between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the chiefs of German regions.

    • 09:24

      Poland Calls on COVID-19 Vaccine Producers to Share Licenses

      WARSAW (Sputnik) - Poland is calling on the producers of coronavirus vaccines to "share" their licenses, Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said.

      "The agreement with vaccine producers that was signed by the European Commission turned out to be ineffective. [Polish] Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki suggested at the latest EU summit that firms share their licenses, that firms that have developed and authorised vaccines enable vaccine production by other companies, including those operating in Poland", Blaszczak said, as aired by government-owned Polskie Radio.

      Poland has the necessary production capacities, the minister assured.

      "We are ready, we have the required potential", Blaszczak stressed.

    • 08:43

      Indian Lawmaker Demands Ban on BBC Hindi, BBC India For Being 'Jihadi Toolkit'

      BBC

      India's BJP Spokesperson Demands Ban on BBC Hindi, BBC India For Being 'Jihadi Toolkit'

      China banned BBC World News from broadcasting in the country last month. The ban came amid severe criticism of the news channel’s reporting on the coronavirus and the alleged persecution of ethnic minority Uighurs. A similar ban is now being called for in India as well.
      Read more
    • 08:37

      Oxford-AstraZeneca Shot Proves Efficacy Among UK Seniors and Should Be Used by Other Countries, Vaccine Chief Says

      "The strength of evidence that we're now seeing... all of that is being accessed by scientific committees in different countries, and I'm sure will help support their decision making", Oxford Vaccine Group Director Andrew Pollard told BBC radio.

       

    • 08:15

      Russia's Single-Day Increase in COVID-19 Cases Falls Below 11,000

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia's single-day increase in COVID-19 cases fell to its lowest level since 4 October, as 10,565 new cases were confirmed (down from 11,571 the day before), the response centre said on Tuesday.

      "Over the past day, 10,565 coronavirus cases were confirmed across 84 regions, including 1,069 cases (10.1 percent) that were detected among people showing no clinical symptoms", the centre said, adding that the cumulative case count has now reached 4,268,215, with the rate of increase at 0.25 percent.

    • 07:54

      Iran to Take Note of COVID Vaccination Level in Nations While Resuming Tourism

      TEHRAN (Sputnik) - Tehran will take into account the level of vaccination against the coronavirus in other countries when deciding to resume international tourism, the Iranian Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts told Sputnik on Tuesday.

      "As of now, the initial stage of vaccination is underway in a significant number of the countries, there is no large-scale international cooperation in the field of tourism. However, as the level of vaccination reaches an acceptable percentage, we will begin the implementation of joint programs and tourist exchange with these countries in accordance with the developed protocols", the ministry said.

    • 06:48

      As Poverty in Israel is on Rise Amid Pandemic, Why is Government Failing to Address Issue Promptly?

      FILE -  In this Wednesday, March 10, 2010 file photo, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man walks in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo

      As Poverty in Israel is on Rise Amid Pandemic, Why is Government Failing to Address Issue Promptly?

      The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a spike in the amount of people who are poor, which reached two million in 2020. But another reason for the alarming figures has been attributed to the lack of a solid policy, as well as unwillingness of the government to acknowledge the problem.
      Read more
    • 06:13

      China Plans to Immunise 40% of Population Against COVID-19 by June, Top Epidemiologist Says

      BEIJING (Sputnik) - China intends to vaccinate 40 percent of its population against the coronavirus by June, Zhong Nanshan, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering and the director of the National Clinical Research Centre for Respiratory Disease, said on Tuesday.

      "I learnt from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention that by June of this year, the level of immunisation of the population [against COVID-19] in our country is planned to be increased to 40 percent", Zhong said, as cited by Beijing Youth Daily.

      The current level of vaccination in the country, which has a population of 1.4 billion people, is only 3.56 percent, the expert added.

    • 06:07

      Digital Green Pass: UK Mulls Discussing COVID-19 Vaccine Passport Introduction With EU

      A person gets off a mobile vaccination centre for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after receiving the vaccine, in Thamesmead, London, Britain, February 14, 2021.

      Digital Green Pass: UK Mulls Discussing COVID-19 Vaccine Passport Introduction With EU

      On Monday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen confirmed that Brussels is set to propose a digital vaccination passport across the EU that will “provide proof that a person has been vaccinated” against COVID-19.
      Read more
    • 05:50

      Russia to Open Borders Gradually as Coronavirus Pandemic Declines Abroad, Senate Chief Says

    • 05:30

      Philippines Registers 1st Cases of South African Variant of COVID-19

    • 05:19

      Twitter to Start Applying Labels to Posts That May be 'Misleading' About COVID-19 Vaccine

    • 05:18

      UK Coronavirus Strain Becoming More Prevalent in Japan, Investigation in Kobe City Says

      A local health staff shows a special freezer for COVID-19 vaccinations at Tokyo's Sumida ward office Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. Japan is accelerating preparations for COVID-19 vaccinations in hopes of starting them in late February, but uncertainty is growing as the country faces vaccine-shy public, slow approval process and bureaucratic roadblocks, casting a doubt if Tokyo Olympic this summer is possible.

      UK Coronavirus Strain Becoming More Prevalent in Japan, Investigation in Kobe City Says

      TOKYO (Sputnik) - The share of the UK coronavirus variant among COVID-19 cases confirmed in Japan over the past two months has steadily increased, according to an investigation launched in the city of Kobe.
      Read more
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    Coronavirus Live Updates: Germany to Prolong Lockdown Until 28 March, Reports Say
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