19:21 GMT11 April 2021
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    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (317)

    The global death toll from the coronavirus infection has topped 2.579 million; over 116 million cases of infection have been detected, according to Baltimore, Maryland's Johns Hopkins University, which tracks and compiles data from national and local authorities, the media and other sources.

    The United States, India, and Brazil are in the lead in terms of the number of registered coronavirus infections, while the highest number of COVID-19-related deaths has been observed in the United States, Brazil, Mexico and India, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    EU member states should refrain from conducting parallel negotiations for the supply of coronavirus vaccines with manufacturers who have centralised procurement contracts on behalf of the European Commission, but can independently conclude purchase contracts with other vaccine developers, including Russian and Chinese producers, European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said.

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    • 01:38

      Moderna, Philippines Sign Deal on Coronavirus Vaccine Supplies

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Moderna Inc. has signed an agreement with the Philippines on the supply of 13 million doses of the company’s coronavirus vaccine to the country.

      "Under the terms of this agreement, deliveries would begin in mid-2021. The COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna is not currently approved for use in the Philippines, and the Company will work with regulators to pursue necessary approvals prior to distribution," Moderna said in a Saturday statement.

      According to the release, a separate agreement has been signed with the Philippine government and the private sector for the supply of an additional 7 million doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine.

      "We thank the Government and the private sector for their collaboration to bring the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna to the Philippines," Stephane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna, said as quoted in the company’s Saturday statement.

    • 01:13

      COVID-19 Infection Rates in Russia Expected to Increase in Mid-Spring

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A spike in coronavirus infections is expected in Russia in mid-spring, but the number of COVID-19 cases will go down at the end of May, infectious disease experts told Sputnik.

      "I think that in mid-spring, most likely, there will not be a decrease, but an increase in infections," Evgeny Timakov, head physician, infectious disease specialist at the "Lider Meditsiny" medical center told Sputnik.

      Timakov explained that even those who have already come into contact with the coronavirus, particularly people who had mild or asymptomatic COVID-19, will be at risk since their antibody protection from the virus is wearing off.

      "We also have the seasonal increase in infections which weakens immunity, the air contributes to the spread of the coronavirus infection because of certain humidity and temperature," Timakov explained.

    • 00:23

      FDA Warns Against One-Dose Regimen for Coronavirus Vaccines - Reports

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Scientists at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are strongly against administering only single doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, as their efficacy has only been proven if people get two shots, The Wall Street Journal reports.

      "It is essential that these vaccines be used as authorized by FDA in order to prevent Covid-19 and related hospitalizations and death," Peter Marks, director of the FDA center that oversees vaccines, told The Wall Street Journal on Saturday.

    • 21:34

      Israel Eases Coronavirus Restrictions, Reopening Restaurants, Stadiums, Borders

      TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israel is entering the third stage of lockdown lifting and is reopening restaurants, theaters and other venues for those vaccinated against COVID-19, the country's government informs.

      According to a Saturday government release, the third stage begins on Sunday, March 7.

      People with the so-called "green passports" (those who have been vaccinated) are now allowed inside restaurants, while those who have not been vaccinated can sit outside with certain limitations. Theaters, stadiums and event halls are also reopening with some restrictions.

      Cultural, sports and public events are now allowed provided that no more than 500 people are in attendance if the event is held indoors, or no more than 750 people if the event is held outdoors.

      Israeli citizens and permanent residents are now allowed to enter Israel, but there is still a limit for the total number of people allowed in the country per day (no more than 3,000). Arriving passengers will no longer be subject to special quarantine measures, but will still be required to self-isolate at home.

    • 19:38

      Georgia Vows to Secure COVID-19 Vaccines by End of March, Ruling Party States

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Georgia sets the end of March as its deadline for importing the first COVID-19 vaccine doses, Mamuka Mdinaradze, ruling party Georgian Dream’s parliamentary faction chair, said on Saturday.

      Georgia was supposed to receive shipments of vaccines developed by US company Pfizer and UK drugmaker AstraZeneca via the World Health Organization-led (WHO) COVAX facility last month but deliveries have been postponed. COVAX has said that delays were linked to the financial reinsurance of liability, and Tbilisi demanded more explanations from the WHO’s facility.

      "At the meeting of the political council of the party, we also reviewed the issue of vaccination. Despite the difficult situation, which concerns not only Georgia, we promised the citizens of Georgia to import exclusively WHO-authorized vaccines. The deadline is the end of this month," Mdinaradze said, adding that the country expects deliveries of vaccines made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

    • 17:26

      UK Reports 6,040 New COVID Cases, 158 New Fatalities

    • 17:21

      Second Batch of Russian Sputnik V COVID Vaccine Arrives in Venezuela

    • 17:05

      Paris Police Evacuate People on Banks of Seine for Non-Compliance With COVID-19 Measures

      French police on Saturday dispersed Parisians who gathered on the banks of the Seine for violations of COVID-19 restrictions.

      "Operation in progress | Sanitary measures adopted to combat the spread of COVID19 are not being respected on the banks of the Seine. Security forces are intervening to end these gathering," the Paris police prefecture tweeted.

      According to the department, those dispersed failed to respect such coronavirus measures as social distancing rules and the requirement to wear face masks.

      The Paris police conducted operations to disperse mass gatherings of people for non-compliance with health restrictions for the second weekend in a row. A total of 4,400 police officers were mobilized on Saturday to monitor if the measures in effect, including a curfew, are respected.

      Paris lists among areas of concern over the spread of COVID-19 in France. To date, the national health authorities have confirmed nearly 3,890,000 COVID-19 cases and over 88,000 related fatalities.

    • 16:20

      Italy Reports Over 23,000 COVID Cases on Sat, 307 More Deaths

    • 15:42

      Maduro Gets His First Sputnik V COVID Vaccine Jab

      Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, gestures while speaking during a press conference at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas on February 17, 2021.

      Venezuelan President Maduro Gets First Dose of Russian Sputnik V COVID Vaccine

      Earlier this week, Sputnik V was ranked the world's second-most imported COVID-19 vaccine after AstraZeneca's, while those by Pfizer and Moderna are third and fourth, respectively.
      Read more
    • 15:07

      Von der Leyen, Barroso Discuss Equal Access to COVID Vaccines Worldwide

    • 15:04

      Nigerian President Gets Vaccinated From COVID-19

      Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo received their first COVID-19 vaccine jabs on Saturday, the president said.

      The African nation launched its inoculation campaign on Friday and frontline health workers were first to receive vaccine shots. Nigeria received its first shipment of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines via the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility earlier in March.

      The president also called on Nigerian citizens to get vaccinated and protect themselves from COVID-19 and urged "all state governments, traditional and religious leaders" to lead the mobilization efforts.

      Nigeria has so far confirmed over 158,000 COVID-19 cases and nearly 2,000 related deaths.

    • 13:56

      Finland Postpones Municipal Elections Until June Over COVID-19, Justice Minister Says

      Municipal elections in Finland are postponed from April until June because of the pandemic, Finnish Justice Minister Anna-Maja Henriksson said on Saturday.

      The Finnish municipal elections were scheduled for April 18. The Justice Ministry proposed the postponement to the party leaders on Friday.

      "The meeting with party secretaries is over. Eight out of nine parties support rescheduling the municipal elections to June due to the deteriorating COVID-19 situation. The elections will be held on 13 June," Henriksson said on Twitter.

      The number of new COVID-19 cases in Finland has been on an upward curve since the beginning of the year. The number of patients in hospitals and intensive care units has also been on the rise over the past week.

      As of Saturday, the country reported 60,904 cases, an increase of 704 from the day before, including 1,295 cases caused by the new variants. Finland's cumulative death toll from COVID-19 is 767 people.

    • 12:18

      EU to Ask US to Ship AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Amid Supply Shortfalls, Reports Say

      The European Union is planning to take up the matter of the bloc-wide AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine delivery delays with the help of the United States, the European Commission told the Financial Times on Saturday.

      The EU is currently going through a spat with the UK-Swedish drugmaker over delayed vaccine shipments. Brussels even threatened to take legal action against AstraZeneca after it said it would deliver only 31 million of the 80 million doses contracted for the first quarter. The row with the pharmaceutical giant took another turn this week after Italy, in coordination with the EU, blocked a shipment of 250,000 coronavirus shots bound for Australia.

      "We trust that we can work together with the US to ensure that vaccines produced or bottled in the US for the fulfilment of vaccine producers’ contractual obligations with the EU will be fully honoured," the European Commission told the newspaper.

      According to the Financial Times, citing EU officials, Brussels will raise the issue during the upcoming transatlantic discussions.

      AstraZeneca was committed to delivering 180 million doses to Europe in the second quarter of 2021, and the European Commission was getting ready to dispatch the shots to all corners of the bloc. Now, media report that it would deliver less than 90 million doses in the second quarter.

    • 12:05

      Protest in Paris Against the Continuation of COVID-19 Restrictions Measures

    • 12:05

      Made-in-India COVID-19 Shots Arrive in Somalia as Part of Vaccine Maitri Initiative

      Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Saturday that a consignment of Indian-made COVID-19 vaccines under the Vaccine Maitri initiative is arriving in Somalia.

      "Reaching across the Indian Ocean. Made in India vaccines arriving in Somalia. #VaccineMaitri," Jaishankar wrote on Twitter.

      This comes after Somalian Health Minister Fawziya Abikar on Monday warned that the COVID-19 situation in the country is "dire" and called for strict adherence to health measures in fighting the disease.

      India's Vaccine Maitri initiative was launched on January 20 with the aim to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to countries in need. According to Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava, the country has already delivered hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses both through grants and on a commercial basis.

      Made-in-India vaccines have already been received by 25 nations across the world and 49 more countries will be supplied in the coming days, the ANI news outlet reported. Srivastava said that the Vaccine Maitri initiative has been guided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement that India's delivery and production capacity will be used for the benefit of mankind.

      The deliveries under the Vaccine Maitri consignment include shots created by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), which has received territorial rights to produce the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for domestic use and distribution to countries in Africa and Latin America.

    • 09:42

      Saudi Arabia to Lift Coronvairus-Related Precautionary Measures Starting Sunday, Reports Say

    • 07:42

      Russia Reports Over 11,000 New Coronavirus Cases

      Russia's coronavirus tally has increased by 11,022 cases over the past 24 hours, slightly down from the 11,024 cases recorded the day before, the government's coronavirus response centre said in an update on Saturday.

      "Over the past day, 11,022 coronavirus cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 1,290 cases (11.7 percent) without clinical symptoms," the centre said.

      The highest local daily increases were confirmed in Moscow (1,820), St. Petersburg (975) and the Moscow Region (746), as stated in the update.

      Russia's cumulative case count has now reached 4,312,181 cases, with the rate of increase at 0.26 percent, according to the centre.

      The death toll has reached 88,726, with an increase of 441 over the past day, down from 462 from the day before. Moscow and St.Petersburg reported highest daily increase in coronavirus-related fatalities — 50 and 39 respectively.

      Total recoveries count 3,900,348 as 15,027 more people were discharged from hospitals over the past day, down from 15,464 from the day before.

    • 06:41

      Dalai Lama Inoculated With Indian-Made Covishield Vaccine, Source Says

      Tenzin Gyatso, known as the 14th Dalai Lama.

      Dalai Lama Inoculated With Indian-Made Covishield Vaccine, Source Says

      NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - The Dalai Lama received the first shot of a coronavirus vaccine on Saturday, with sources in his office telling Sputnik that they used the Indian-made Covishield vaccine.
      Read more
    • 06:28

      Ukraine Reports 9,144 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 04:27

      Number of COVID-19 Cases in India Rises by 18,327

      India has confirmed 18,327 new cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, with the total number of those infected having reached 11,192,088, the country's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Saturday.

      The death toll from the disease has reached 157,656 people, with 108 new fatalities being recorded over the past day. More than 10.85 million people have recovered in India since the start of the outbreak.

      India comes second in terms of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, following the United States, with more than 28.88 million COVID-19 patients.

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    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (317)
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