19:26 GMT19 April 2021
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    The global death toll from the coronavirus has topped 2.599 million and over 117.1 million cases have been detected, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University, which tracks and compiles data from federal and local authorities, the media, and other sources.

    Currently, the most affected nations are the US (29 million cases, 525,752 deaths), India (11.2 million cases, 157,853 fatalities), and Brazil (11 million cases, and a death toll of over 266,398).

    In terms of recent developments, the number of coronavirus-positive migrants has nearly doubled after they were released to Texas authorities by the US Border Patrol, while schools have been reopening in England as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's four-step roadmap out of the coronavirus lockdown.

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    • 00:28

      Estonia to Request Additional 660,000 Doses of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines - Ministry

      HELSINKI (Sputnik) - The Estonian government has approved a proposal by Health and Labor Minister Tanel Kiik to request the supply of an additional 660,552 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines as part of joint EU procurement to increase the rate of vaccination in the country, the Ministry of Social Affairs said in a statement.

      “The main obstacle to vaccination progress so far has been the limited number of vaccines that have arrived in Estonia and the uncertainty about the supply, which will decrease in the second quarter. Discussions are currently underway at the European Union level, during which we may also request additional quantities of vaccines for Estonia. We use this opportunity to speed up vaccination," the ministry quoted Kiik as saying.

      The total EU vaccine portfolio includes vaccines from eight manufacturers (Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, CureVac, Sanofi, Novavax, Valneva). Estonia has so far joined the EU co-procurement of COVID-19 vaccines from five manufacturers: Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV and CureVac. Estonia may purchase a total of 5,229,362 vaccine doses.

    • 23:00

      Biden's $1.9 Trillion Relief Bill May Not Be Last COVID-19 Measure - Pelosi

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - There is no certainty whether President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill will be the last legislative measure with respect to the coronavirus pandemic, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

      "It's not anything anybody can predict," Pelosi said on Tuesday when asked if another fiscal package will be required to manage the fallout from the strict coronavirus measures. "You are just going to have to ask the virus. If it stops mutating, if it stopped spreading and therefore mutating, then this will be."

      Biden’s so-called "American Rescue Plan," which cleared the Senate last week, is awaiting final approval expected by Wednesday from the House of Representatives. The US president is expected to sign it into law thereafter.

      The bill aims to provide US states with coronavirus vaccinations and other pandemic-related assistance, including unemployment weekly benefits of $300 and a one-time check of $1,400 for most Americans.

      In 2020, former president Donald Trump issued two COVID-19 relief bills totaling spending of nearly $4 trillion.

    • 22:18

      Brazil Registers 70,764 New Cases of Coronavirus And 1,972 New COVID-19 Deaths - Health Ministry

    • 22:17

      Italy Denies Helping Russia Secure Contract for Sputnik V Vaccine Production Near Milan

      ROME (Sputnik) - Authorities in the Italian region of Lombardy had no play in a Swiss-Italian pharma company’s decision to make the Russian COVID-19 vaccine at its factory near Milan, a government spokesman said Tuesday.

      The Italian-Russian Chamber of Commerce said earlier in the day that Swiss-based Adienne had signed a deal with the Russian Direct Investment Fund to start producing a 10 million Sputnik V doses in July, the first such contract in the European Union.

      "The Lombardy region insists that it did not play a role in the aforementioned deal, of which it learned indirectly through the media. This deal… lies in the area of private law," a spokesman for the central government in Rome said.

      Lombardia’s President Attilio Fontana has praised the agreement as "good news." The EU drugs regulator EMA launched a rolling review of the Russian vaccine last week, which is the first step toward having it authorized for EU-wide use.

    • 21:45

      US Approves 340 Different COVID-19 Tests Thus Far, Some for Home Use - Health Dept

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Some 340 different coronavirus tests have won emergency use authorization (EUA), including one that can be used at home without a prescription to detect the virus, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said.

      "As of today, 340 tests and sample collection devices are authorized by the FDA under EUAs [emergency use authorizations]. These include 253 molecular tests and sample collection devices, 72 antibody and other immune response tests and 15 antigen tests, the FDA said in a press release on Tuesday.

      Molecular or PCR tests, which detect genetic material in the coronavirus, are the most accurate, but can take several days to process. In contrast, antigen tests can deliver results in as little as 15 minutes by detecting certain proteins from the virus, but sometimes fail to detect active infections, according to media reports.

      There are 38 molecular tests that allow samples to be taken in homes, including the first at-home test that can be used without a prescription. The test made by Cue Health requires a smartphone and downloadable app, the FDA said.

    • 17:24

      Tunisia Receives 1st Batch of Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine, Reports Say

      Tunisian Health Minister Faouzi Mehdi on Tuesday was present at the Carthage International Airport in the capital city of Tunis to welcome the first batch of the Russian-made COVID-19 vaccine, broadcaster Mosaique FM reported.

      According to Mehdi, as cited by the outlet, the country will start its mass vaccination campaign on Saturday, with healthcare workers, the elderly and the servicemen first in line to get immunized.

      The minister added that Tunisia was also planning to acquire 93,600 doses of the Pfizer vaccine via the World Health Organisation's COVAX facility.

      "By June, about three million Tunisians will have received the vaccine", Mehdi said, as quoted by the radio broadcaster.

      The COVID-19 death toll in Maghreb country topped 8,225, with the infection tally exceeding 238,000 cases.

    • 17:06

      Latvia Halts Use of 1 AstraZeneca Batch After Complications, Reports Say

      Latvia has suspended the use of ABV5300 batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine after two recipients had health problems after vaccination, the Delfi internet portal reported on Tuesday, citing spokeswoman of the Latvian State Agency of Medicines Dita Okmane.

      On Sunday, Austria suspended inoculations with the same batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a precaution after one vaccinated woman died and another developed pulmonary embolism.

      According to the news outlet, the decision to suspend the use of the vaccines from the batch numbered ABV5300 was made after unspecified health problems were found in two patients following the inoculations.

      Okmane told Delfi that, though the research by the European Medicines Agency said that there was no cause-and-effect link between the vaccination and health problems, Latvia decided to suspend the use of vaccines from the batch as a precaution.

      Latvia has confirmed over 86,000 COVID-19 cases, with 1,618 deaths, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. The country has managed to vaccinate only 1.1 percent of its adult population that is the second-lowest figure among the EU countries, with only Bulgaria lagging behind.

    • 16:59

      Italy Registers 19,749 New Coronavirus Cases, 376 New Fatalities

    • 16:30

      Downing Street Dismisses 'False' Reports on UK Vaccine Export Ban

    • 16:14

      Nearly 22.6 Mln UK Citizens Inoculated With First COVID-19 Vaccine Dose

    • 16:07

      UK Reports 5,766 New Cases, 231 New Fatalities

    • 16:04

      North Macedonia Imposes 12-Day COVID-19 Curfew Starting Wednesday

      North Macedonia is set to introduce a countrywide coronavirus-related ban on nighttime traffic from 10-22 March, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said on Tuesday.

      "At today's government meeting, a decision was made to ban movement of the citizens and public transport in the Republic of North Macedonia from 10.00 p.m. to 5.00 a.m. starting from March 10 to March 22, 2021", Zaev wrote on Facebook.

      The premier noted that arriving passengers were exempt from the curfew, while those transiting would be granted permission to stay in the country for no more than three hours during the restricted hours.

      The COVID-19 death toll in North Macedonia has surpassed 3,205, with the infection tally standing at over 107,000 cases.

    • 15:01

      EU Regulator to Make Decisions on Sputnik V Vaccine Based Only On Scientific Data

      Empty vials of the second dose of the Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine are pictured at the San Martin hospital, in La Plata, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina January 21, 2021.

      EU Regulator to Make Decisions on Sputnik V Vaccine Based Only On Scientific Data

      BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will review the compliance of Sputnik V, a Russian vaccine against COVID-19, with standards of the European Union and make recommendations based solely on the scientific data, a spokesperson from the EMA told Sputnik on Tuesday.
      Read more
    • 14:45

      Fewer Than 1 in 10 Americans Plan to Abandon Facemasks After COVID-19 Vaccination, Poll Shows

      Just 7 percent of Americans who now abide by Centers for Disease Control recommendations for facemasks during the pandemic plan to stop covering their faces after being vaccinated, an Axios/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday.

      "People remember the start, but there's no clarity on the finish. Right now there's just murkiness", Ipsos Public Affairs President Cliff Young said in an Axios press release.

      With about 60 million Americans having received the first dose of a vaccine and another 30 having completed the two-dose regimen, the CDC has announced that small groups of vaccinated people can now safely meet indoors.

      At the same time, the CDC is still attempting to determine whether and to what extent vaccinated individuals can carry the virus and transmit the disease, officials say.

      The poll revealed that 81 percent of those surveyed plan to keep wearing masks compared with 7 percent who expect to discard face coverings, the release said.

      In addition, 66 percent said they plan to keep social distancing after being vaccinated compared with 13 percent who say they will stop adhering to CDC recommendations to remain at least 6 feet apart from others, it said.

       An 87 percent majority also said they will continue to frequently wash their hands, according to the release.

    • 13:30

      Latvia Opens Live Virus Research Laboratory, Reports Suggest

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Center (BMC) has opened a new cell laboratory to study and grow live viruses with the aim of developing new vaccines and treatments, including against COVID-19, local media reported on Tuesday.

      The laboratory was designed following all safety precautions to allow working with dangerous biological agents up to biosafety level three. Hermetically sealed research rooms ensure that viruses are contained inside the facility, while strict security measures make sure only authorized personnel has access to hazardous substances, the media said.

    • 13:15

      Australian Health Minister Hospitalised 2 Days After COVID-19 Vaccination, Reports Say

      Australian Minister of Environment Greg Hunt signs the Paris Agreement on climate change held at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York, U.S., April 22, 2016

      Australian Health Minister Hospitalised 2 Days After COVID-19 Vaccination, Reports Say

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Australian Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt has been taken to hospital with a suspected infection, two days after he received AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, Australian broadcaster ABC reported on Tuesday, citing the minister's office.
      Read more
    • 13:15

      Czech Police Detain Man Over Death Threats to Officials For Imposing COVID-19 Restrictions

      Riot police officers wait during a protest against the Czech government's restrictions at the Old Town Square, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Prague, Czech Republic, March 7, 2021

      Czech Police Detain Man Over Death Threats to Officials For Imposing COVID-19 Restrictions

      PRAGUE (Sputnik) - Czech police have detained a 54-year-old man suspected of sending emails with death threats to government officials and employees tasked with enforcing coronavirus restrictions, Prague police spokeswoman Eva Kropacova said on Tuesday.
      Read more
    • 12:34

      France Says It lacks Industrial Capacity for Sputnik V Vaccine Production

    • 11:52

      Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella Receives First Dose of Coronavirus Vaccine

      ROME (Sputnik) - Italian President Sergio Mattarella received a coronavirus vaccine at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani in Rome on Tuesday, the Quirinal Palace said.

      The 79-year-old got the first dose of the vaccine as part of the ongoing campaign to inoculate people born in 1941 and earlier, according to the statement.

      According to national media, Mattarella was vaccinated with Moderna’s shot, which is "intended for patients of his age."

      In his New Year's message, Mattarella called vaccination "a duty and a responsible choice." Back then, he promised to receive the vaccine in the near future, after the most vulnerable categories get inoculated.

      Italy hopes to vaccinate at least 70 percent of the population and achieve herd immunity by the fall. Almost 1.7 million Italians have already received both coronavirus shots.

    • 11:52

      Prince Charles Visits Vaccination Centre in London

    • 10:58

      Putin Will Urgently Study Potential Assad's Request for Assistance With COVID-19, Kremlin Confirms

    • 10:02

      More People Will Die if England Opens Up Too Fast, Chief Medical Officer Warns

    • 07:17

      Indian Actor Ranbir Kapoor Tests Positive for Coronavirus, Now Self-Isolating

    • 07:16

      Germany Records 4,252 New Coronavirus Cases, 255 Fatalities Over Past 24 Hours

    • 05:34

      Melinda Gates Expects Humanity to Develop Herd Immunity to COVID-19 'Sometime in 2022'

      Melinda Gates Expects Humanity to Develop Herd Immunity to COVID-19 'Sometime in 2022'

      The philanthropist, who co-chairs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has spent billions of dollars to fund the development of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus and related research.
      Read more
    • 04:34

      Indonesia Greenlights AstraZeneca Coronavirus Vaccine for Emergency Use

    Live Updates: Biden's $1.9 Trillion Relief Bill May Not Be Last COVID-19 Measure
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