12:25 GMT15 June 2021
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    According to Johns Hopkins University in the US, around 157 million coronavirus infections have been confirmed in the world, while the global death toll from the pandemic has reached 3.28 million.

    The United States currently tops the list of countries most affected by the pandemic, with over 32.7 million cases, while the coronavirus death toll stands at 581,500.

    Next comes India, suffering from a major surge in COVID-19 numbers in the last few weeks, with 22 million cases and over 242,000 deaths. Meanwhile, Brazil has confirmed over 15 million infected and around 422,000 fatalities from the pandemic.

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    • 00:36

      WHO Calls Indian COVID-19 Strain a ‘Variant of Concern’

      FILE - In this April 25, 2021, file photo, a relative of a person who died of COVID-19 reacts at a crematorium in Jammu, India. Countries fighting new surges of the coronavirus are trying to ensure they aren’t hit by an India-style disaster.

      WHO Deems COVID-19 Strain Found in India ‘Variant of Concern’

      The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported 366,161 new COVID-19 cases in India’s capital city of New Delhi within the last 24 hours. To date, the health agency has been following 10 COVID-19 variants that have emerged around the world, including the triple-mutant B.1617 strain found in India.
      Read more
    • 21:53

      US Eases COVID-19 Travel Advisories for UK and Israel

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US State Department said it has bumped down Israel and the United Kingdom after updating their travel advisories to match the latest global health notices and information, but added four states to the Level-4 category advising Americans not to travel there.

      "This week, the following travel advisories have been assessed and reissued with updates, raised to a Level 4 - Do Not Travel: Fiji; Nepal; Timor-Leste; Trinidad and Tobago," the State Department said on Monday.

      The State Department also said it placed the United Kingdom to the Level 3 category, advising Americans to reconsider traveling there. Israel has similarly been placed to the Level 2 category, which signifies a warning to Americans to exercise increased caution if they travel to the country.

      The advisory updates are determined using Center for Disease Control and Prevention notices as well as secondary factors such as flight availability, restrictions on US citizen entry and difficulty obtaining coronavirus test results within the proper time frame.

    • 21:18

      FDA Approves Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Use on Young Teens

      A syringe in front of the Pfizer logo.

      US Health Regulators Grant Use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Young Teens

      The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was previously authorized by US regulators to be administered to those as young as 16. Back in March, the two companies claimed their vaccine was 100% effective against SARS-CoV-2 in a clinical trial of over 2,000 adolescents.
      Read more
    • 21:07

      Argentina Detects First Cases of Indian, South African Coronavirus Mutations

      BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - The Argentine health ministry said on Monday that three travelers had tested positive for highly contagious coronavirus strains, including two infected with Indian subtypes and one with the South African strain.

      "Since we started genomic sequencing surveillance of travelers, we have identified so-called priority variants in almost 50% of positive cases, but this is the first time that we have found variants B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.1 (originally isolated in India) and B.1.351 (originally isolated in South Africa)," chief epidemiologist Analia Rearte said.

      All three travelers — two minors returning from Paris and a 58-year-old passenger returning from Spain — entered the country on April 24 and were quarantined at a Buenos Aires hotel.

    • 21:05

      Kuwait to Lift Curfew on First Day of Eid After Ramadan, Government Says

      DOHA (Sputnik) - Kuwait decided to lift the curfew, first introduced two months ago over COVID-19 concerns, on the first day of the Eid al-Fitr, a religious holiday to mark the end of the month-long fasting of Ramadan, the country's government spokesperson Tareq Al-Mezrim said on Monday.

      "Starting 01:00 on May 13 [10 p.m. Mat 12 GMT], the curfew that has been in effect for two months (from 19:00 to 05:00) will be canceled," al-Mezrim was quoted as saying by state news agency KUNA.

      The government also allowed to open cinemas and theaters, however, they can be accessed only by those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Restaurants and cafes will be able to deliver food. Up to 60% of employees can resume work from their offices.

    • 20:39

      Moscow, Baku Discussing Production of Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine in Azerbaijan, Russia's Lavrov Says

      BAKU (Sputnik) - Moscow and Baku are actively discussing the production of the Russian-developed Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in Azerbaijan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

      "Our agencies are engaged in a substantive discussion on ... the production of this vaccine [Sputnik V] in Azerbaijan. I want to emphasize our sincere wish to ensure more effective cooperation in the fight against coronavirus," Lavrov said at a meeting with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev in Baku.

      The foreign minister added that Russia had recently sent the first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine to Azerbaijan and will deliver another shipment sometime this month.

    • 19:54

      Estonia to Start Vaccinating People Aged 16-49 Against COVID-19 on May 17, Reports Say

      HELSINKI (Sputnik) - Estonia's vaccination working group decided on Monday that people aged 16-49 would be allowed to get inoculated against coronavirus starting from May 17, national media reported.

      As recently as last week, the working group discussed the possibility of dividing the unvaccinated people under 50 years old by age groups and suggested starting vaccinating those who are in the 40-49 age group.

      According to the ERR broadcaster, however, starting from May 17, all people aged 16 to 49 would be eligible for vaccination.

      Health and Labor Minister Tanel Kiik said that vaccine supplies would now be carried out on a regular basis.

      "The AstraZeneca vaccine is directed to be used for people aged 50+, and most of the AstraZeneca stock is now used for the second vaccination. In May-June, enough vaccines will arrive for all residents, enough to offer everyone at least one dose of the vaccine," Kiik said, as cited by the broadcaster.

    • 19:17

      About 27.7% of EU Population Received at Least One Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

      BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - In the European Union, 27.7% of the population have been injected with at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, European Commission spokesperson Dana Spinant announced on Monday.

      "Today’s figures on vaccine deliveries, vaccinations and percentage of the EU population who had at least a shot: 208.6 million doses delivered, 172.5 million vaccinations, 27.7% of the EU population received at least one dose," Spinant posted on Twitter.

    • 16:43

      US Capital to Lift Most COVID-19 Restrictions on 21 May

      "On Friday, May 21, we will be turning on substantially more activity in the District [of Columbia]", Mayor Muriel Bowser said. "We anticipate, three weeks following that, on June 11, that we will be able to turn up activity in the district all the way. So, restrictions on public and commercial activity, including capacity limits, types of activities and time restrictions, will be lifted, except for bars, nightclubs and large sport and entertainment venues where we will have a capacity limit until June 11."

    • 16:41

      UAE Halts Air Arrivals From Another 4 Asian Countries Over COVID-19

    • 13:51

      Netizens Question Meghan Markle's Statement That COVID-19 Has 'Disproportionately Affected Women'

      (FILES) In this file photo Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive for the unveiling of a plaque dedicating 20 hectares of native bush to the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy project at The North Shore Riding Club in Auckland on October 30, 2018

      Netizens Question Meghan Markle's Statement That COVID-19 Has 'Disproportionately Affected Women'

      This was the first televised appearance by the Duchess of Sussex since she appeared alongside her husband in the controversial tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, during which the couple shed light on life inside Buckingham Palace.
      Read more
    • 13:13

      About 21.5Mln People in Russia Vaccinated Against COVID-19, President Putin Says

    • 12:28

      Doctor Warns India May Witness 1 Million New Cases Each Day

      Lilaben Gautambhai Modi, 80, wearing an oxygen mask, sits inside an ambulance as she waits to enter a COVID-19 hospital for treatment, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ahmedabad, India, May 5, 2021.

      Doctor Warns India May Witness 1 Million New Cases Each Day

      India is currently struggling to contain the outbreak of COVID-19, which has crippled its healthcare system, with thousands waiting for hospital beds, oxygen, and ventilators on a daily basis. The devastation may escalate in the coming days, as the virus is spreading in rural parts of the country.
      Read more
    • 12:22

      Russia Has Vaccinated Around 21 Mln People, President Putin Says

    • 12:19

      Germany Lifts Age Restrictions for J&J COVID-19 Vaccine

      BERLIN (Sputnik) - German citizens of any age will be able to get inoculated with the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine at their own discretion and upon medical recommendation, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Monday.

      The AstraZeneca vaccine was given a similar green light in Germany last week. Some countries have imposed age limits to the vaccine over its blood clotting side effects.

      "Given all recommendations of the Standing Committee on Vaccination and rare but serious side effects that may occur, we will cancel all priorities in relation to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, as to the AstraZeneca vaccine", Spahn said at a briefing, adding that the country expects to receive more than 10 million doses of the US single-dose vaccine in June-July.

      All those who want to get inoculated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be able to receive the shot "after medical consultation and at their own discretion," the minister added.

      "This is the same that we do in relation to AstraZeneca", the official noted.

    • 12:11

      Traditional Recipe: Indian Village Treats COVID-19 Patients With Cow Urine and Dung

      Indian Village Treats COVID-19 Patients With Cow Urine and Dung

      Traditional Recipe: Indian Village Treats COVID-19 Patients With Cow Urine and Dung

      India is currently battling its second wave of COVID-19, but this time, the infection has also reached rural part of the country, challenging the healthcare system. Witnessing the surge, many state governments have permitted villages to set up isolation centres and treat villagers with mild symptoms of the disease.
      Read more
    • 11:55

      'Ridiculous' Conspiracy on WhatsApp India Says COVID Deaths Are Due to ‘5G Rays’, Cops Clarify

      An Indian woman uses her mobile phone  in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015

      'Ridiculous' Conspiracy on WhatsApp India Says COVID Deaths Are Due to ‘5G Rays’, Cops Clarify

      “I felt so helpless watching my own mother, who is a highly educated professor, falling for this misinformation and forwarding it to more of her friends on WhatsApp – it was both laughable and farcical”, Arjun Parashar, a 23-year-old tech savvy Indian told Sputnik, commenting on people blaming COVID deaths on “5G rays”.
      Read more
    • 11:37

      French Health Minister Confirms Reopening Terraces of Cafes, Restaurants on May 19

      "Yes, I confirm that the conditions allow us to do this", Health Minister Olivier Veran told French broadcaster LCI, when asked if cafe terraces will reopen as scheduled.

    • 11:05

      UK Prime Minister Confirms Further COVID-19 Lockdown Easing for England From 17 May

      UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on Monday that the government's road map out of the COVID-19 lockdown in England will progress as planned with the implementation of Step 3 starting May 17.

      "Today we are announcing the single biggest step on our road map, it will allow us to do many things we have yearned to do for a long time", Johnson said during a televised press briefing, where he announced that beginning from next Monday, indoor hospitality and indoor entertainment, as well as non-essential foreign travel will resume.

      Announcing the road map in late February, Johnson said there would be four prerequisites to lifting the restrictions as scheduled. These included the success of the vaccine program, reductions in deaths and hospital admissions, low infection rates and a low risk from variants of concern.

    • 10:05

      Laos Registers Its First Death From COVID-19, Reports Say

    • 08:38

      COVID in Himalayas: China to Put 'Separating Line' on Mt Everest to Keep Climbers From Nepal Away

      The Dhaulagiri mountain range in the Himalayas is seen from the village of Nagi, some 200 kms west of Kathmandu on October 27, 2010.  Surrounded by the lofty heights of the Himalayas, Nepal is a land of colorful cultures, ancient history and people, picturesque scenery and some of the best walking on earth.

      COVID in Himalayas: China to Put 'Separating Line' on Mt Everest to Keep Climbers From Nepal Away

      In recent weeks, several climbers aiming to conquer high-altitude peaks of the mighty Himalayas have had to cancel their adventures after testing positive for the novel coronavirus. A majority of these infected climbers began their journeys from Nepal and had to return to Kathmandu for tests and treatment.
      Read more
    • 08:21

      Russia Registers 8,465 COVID-19 Cases in Past 24 Hours

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia registered 8,465 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, up from 8,419 the day before, taking the overall tally to 4,888,727, the coronavirus response centre said on Monday.

      "Over the past day, 8,465 coronavirus cases were confirmed across 82 Russian regions, including 1,304 cases (15.4%) without clinical symptoms", the centre said, adding that the rate of increase was at 0,17%.

    • 07:42

      Nearly 60% of Japanese in Favor of Canceling Tokyo Olympics Over COVID-19 - Poll

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A total of 59% of Japanese citizens think that the summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo should be cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a fresh poll conducted by the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper showed on Monday.

      The survey was conducted from May 7-9 amid a countrywide surge in infections. The state of emergency will remain in place in the prefectures of Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo until May 31 and has been additionally imposed in Aichi and Fukuoka.

      On average, 64% of respondents in the six prefectures were in favour of cancelling the Games. In 41 other prefectures, the average was 57%.

      Among those who want the sporting event to take place, 23% believe that the Games should be held without spectators, while 16% backed limiting their number.

    • 07:29

      Israel Relaxes Restrictions While Medics Worry New COVID Strains May Be Resillient to Vaccines

      Huge coronavirus-shaped and submarine-shaped balloons float in the Yarkon River during a protest over Israeli governments handling of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's alleged corruption, in Tel Aviv, Israel February 12, 2021.

      Israel Relaxes Restrictions While Medics Worry New COVID Strains May Be Resillient to Vaccines

      In a country where the majority of its citizens are fully vaccinated, new strains of the virus are not that scary but an expert warns that Israelis should still be observing restrictive measures to avoid a repetition of past mistakes.
      Read more
    • 06:53

      France Confirms at Least 20 Cases of the Indian Coronavirus Strain

    • 06:42

      Delhi Gov't Orders Probe After COVID Patients Go Missing From Hospitals

      Patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are seen inside the ICU ward at Holy Family Hospital in New Delhi, India

      Delhi Gov't Orders Probe After COVID Patients Go Missing From Hospitals

      According the Health Ministry, India on Sunday witnessed a massive surge of 366,161 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 22.6 million, while 3,754 people died due to the virus in the last 24 hours.
      Read more
    • 05:42

      Ukraine Confirms 2,817 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 05:24

      India Should Prepare for Possible ‘Third’ COVID Wave by Issuing Under-15s With Vaccine, Prof. Says

      3D-printed small toy figurines, a syringe and vial labelled coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine are seen in front of India flag

      India Should Prepare for Possible ‘Third’ COVID Wave by Issuing Under-15s With Vaccine, Prof. Says

      Veteran Indian virologist Professor Ramaswamy Pitchappan tells Sputnik that even as there is no conclusive data to predict that a third COVID surge in India would infect children, he concedes that the immune system of kids below 15 years of age is not as “experienced” as that of adults.
      Read more
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    Live Updates: India Confirms Over 366,000 New Coronavirus Cases
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