07:07 GMT18 June 2021
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    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (340)
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    The global death toll from the coronavirus has topped 3.34 million and over 160.8 million cases of the infection have been detected, according to Baltimore, Maryland's Johns Hopkins University.

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

    Meanwhile, China has voiced support for a World Trade Organisation (WTO) proposal to waive intellectual property protection for coronavirus vaccines.

    Follow Sputnik’s feed to find out more. 

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    • 02:59

      Taiwan Decides to Raise COVID-19 Alert Level Amid Surge in Daily Cases, Recording 180 Infections in One Day - Reports

    • 19:35

      US, WHO Chief Discuss Patent Waiver on COVID-19 Vaccines, Trade Office Says

      A person receives a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a sports hall in Berlin, Germany, May 14, 2021.

      US Discusses Patent Waiver on COVID Vaccines With WHO Chief, Trade Office Says

      WASHINGTON, (Sputnik) - United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai has discussed a patent waiver on COVID-19 vaccines in a virtual meeting with World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the USTR said on Friday.
      Read more
    • 19:07

      Canada to Receive 4.5Mln Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Next Week, Procurement Minister Says

      TORONTO (Sputnik) – Canada is set to receive 4.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines the week of May 16, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand said on Friday.

      “Canada will be receiving 4.5 million vaccine doses, in total, next week,” Anand told reporters.

      Canada will receive a shipment of 2 million doses early in the week, followed by the arrival of 1.4 million doses on May 20, the minister said. The Pfizer deliveries will be augmented by an anticipated shipment of 1.1 million Moderna doses.

    • 19:01

      Canadian Officials Say Ottawa's COVID-19 Approach on Vaccines, Reopening Different to US

      Canadian officials on Friday said Ottawa is doing things differently when it comes to vaccinating citizens against the coronavirus disease and making plans for a post-pandemic reopening compared to the United States.

      Canadian health officials have drawn considerable criticism for delaying the time between vaccinations for up to four months, in spite of the manufacturers’ recommended timelines between shots - 21 days for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 28 for the Moderna vaccine.

      “The science is finding that that delay is actually helping people mount an even stronger immune response, this was the underpinning of [the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations’] NACI’s recommendation,” Health Minister Patty Hajdu said during a press briefing. “I want to say thank you to the Canadians, who have come along with us on this approach, that, yes, does differ from our American cousins.”

      In contrast, the United States has adhered to the manufacturers’ recommended timelines between shots and in March, Cole Pinnow, the president of Pfizer Canada, told a parliamentary committee that Pfizer was not consulted before the decision to delay the time between doses was made and that the company sticks by its directions label.

      Canada’s chief medical officer said that Ottawa is also taking its time with its post-pandemic reopening plans.

      “We are taking a bit of a different approach to the United States and maybe a little more similar to that of the United Kingdom,” Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said during a press briefing, noting that further guidance and decisions on public health measures would be governed by ongoing modeling and projections at Canada’s health authorities.

      Canada’s Public Health Agency released its guidance for lifting restrictions in the short-term, the summer and the fall on Friday. According to the agency, if Canadians hit the government’s target of having 75 percent of Canadians vaccinated with the first dose and 25 percent vaccinated fully by the summer, then citizens would be able to enjoy outdoor recreational activities including, camping, hiking and picnics.

      Notably, comparisons show that the guidelines for this summer are not significantly different from those in place last summer, despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's vow that Canadians will be able to enjoy a “one dose summer” while the United Kingdom is well on its way along the government’s roadmap out of the COVID-19 lockdown.

      By contrast, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its COVID-19 guidance for fully vaccinated people on Thursday, allowing indoor and outdoor activities of any size without wearing a face mask.

    • 18:44

      Russia Resumes Air Traffic With Iceland, Malta, Mexico, Portugal, Saudi Arabia From 25 May

    • 16:50

      Johnson Says ‘No Evidence’ UK’s COVID Vaccines Less Effective Against Indian Variant

      UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that there is no evidence that the country’s COVID-19 vaccines are less effective against severe illnesses from the Indian coronavirus variant.

      Johnson mentioned that the UK has detected clusters of the Indian variant in various places across the country, " especially in Bolton, in Blackburn with Darwin."

      "The good news is that so far we have no evidence to suggest that our vaccines will be less effective in protecting people against severe illness and hospitalization," Johnson said at a press briefing.

    • 16:44

      Johnson Urges Brits to 'Think Carefully' About Risk to Loved Ones if They Haven't Had Second Vaccine Dose

    • 16:25

      Erdogan: Turkey to Significantly Relax COVID-19 Rules in June

      Turkey will considerably loosen coronavirus restrictions in June, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

      Due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, Turkey has been on a full lockdown from April 29 to May 17.

      ""Our intention is to act relatively cautiously until the end of May. We plan to ease the measures to a great extent as of June in a way to further relieve the daily life. I want my nation to rest assured that the sole purpose of the measures, the restrictions in particular, which we have introduced since March 2020, when the pandemic first spread to our country, is to protect the health, life and future of each and every one of our 84 million citizens," Erdogan said at a virtual meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party.

      The Turkish leader also confirmed that the country will start a "controlled" exit from the lockdown on Monday, as scheduled.

      He added that details about the lifting of restrictions would be shared with the nation after a cabinet meeting.

    • 16:18

      Slovakia to Lift COVID-19 Emergency on Saturday, Prime Minister Says

      Slovakia will lift the state of emergency brought on by the coronavirus pandemic - which has been in effect since last fall - at midnight on Saturday, Prime Minister Eduard Heger said.

      "I can tell you some good news. Due to the improvement of the epidemiological situation in the republic, from Saturday midnight [22:00 GMT on Friday), the emergency mode, which was in effect from October 1, 2020, will be canceled. I thank all my fellow citizens who, with their understanding and compliance with the necessary measures to combat the coronavirus, contributed to the return of normal living conditions," Heger told reporters, as broadcast on TV.

      However, the prime minister called on the population to continue following the recommendations of the Health Ministry and actively participate in the vaccination campaign, which began in late December and currently uses vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

      The country has suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine over risks of side effects. The drug is now available only to those who had received the first shot and are waiting for the second.

      Slovakia is expected to begin the rollout of the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V in the coming days, two months after the first batch of doses arrived in the country but were not used while the vaccine's efficacy was under review in Hungary, as Slovakia has no certified laboratories to conduct related checks.

      To date, Slovakia has confirmed over 380,000 COVID-19 cases, with the death toll at more than 12,000.

    • 14:35

      WHO Head Says COVID-19 Situation in India Hugely Concerning

    • 14:20

      Japan Extends COVID-19 State of Emergency From Six Areas to Nine

    • 14:12

      WHO Praises 'Two-Way Conversation' With US on Supply of COVID-19 Vaccines, Senior Adviser Says

    • 13:50

      Japan Secures Additional 50Mln Doses of Pfizer Vaccine, Reports Say

      Japan has signed a contract with US pharmaceutical company Pfizer to purchase additional 50 million doses its COVID-19 vaccine by September, media reported on Friday, citing Health Minister Norisha Tamura.

      According to Kyodo news agency, the deal was reached during a phone conversation of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is currently on a visit in Washington, with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.

      Japan has previously inked deals with Pfizer to receive 144 million doses of the vaccine. With the new shipment secured, the country with a 96-million population will have enough to inoculate 97 million people.

      Japan has also signed vaccine supply deals with Moderna and AstraZeneca, however these vaccines are expected to be approved in the country only after 20 May.

      Japan's vaccination campaign started in February. The first phase of the vaccination campaign covered 4.7 million health workers. On 12 April, the authorities started vaccinating people over 65 began. A total of 36 million elderly people will be vaccinated at this stage. The mass vaccination campaign is expected to begin in May.

    • 13:29

      Slovakia Ends COVID-19 State of Emergency

    • 13:01

      Second Year of COVID-19 Pandemic on Track to be 'Far More Deadly', WHO Chief Warns

      World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expects the second year of the coronavirus pandemic to be "far more deadly" than the first one.

      "COVID-19 has already cost more than 3.3 million lives and we're on track for the second year of this pandemic to be far more deadly than the first," Tedros said at a briefing.

    • 12:51

      Lithuania to Donate 200,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses to Eastern Partnership Countries

      Lithuania will donate 200,000 doses of AstraZeneca's Vaxzevria coronavirus vaccine to Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries, Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis announced on Friday, urging other EU nations to follow suit.

      "As good as our word: Lithuanian govt just confirmed 200.000 vaccines to EaP countries. Starting with Ukraine - 100k vaccines, Georgia - 15k and Moldova - 11k. Small step by LTU, hopefully our partners in Europe will join in solidarity with many more!" Landsbergis posted on Twitter.

      The decision was praised by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who stressed the importance of joint efforts in combating the pandemic.

      "I welcome the Lithuanian government's decision to donate 200 000 vaccine doses to #EasternPartnership countries. Thank you! The #EU stands by its friends and partners in the Eastern Partnership. Together we will overcome the pandemic!" she tweeted.

      According to the country's prime minister, Ingrida Simonyte, the doses will be delivered by October this year.

    • 12:47

      Vietnam Detects 76 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 12:32

      Kuwait Registers 1,059 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 12:23

      Japan to Send $18.5Mln Worth of Extra COVID-19 Aid to India

      Japan will deliver to India a further 500 oxygen concentrators and 500 lung ventilators as part of additional assistance in fighting COVID-19, the foreign ministry said on Friday.

      In late April, the country announced the decision to send 300 oxygen concentrators and 300 ventilators to India.

      "Today, 14 May, the Government of Japan decided to extend Emergency Grant Aid of approximately 18.5 million US dollars to India in response to the current surge of COVID-19 infections in India," the statement said, adding that it is the first portion of the $50 million extra aid announced by Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on 5 May.

      As part of the aid, India will receive 500 ventilators and 500 oxygen concentrators, along with the 300 ventilators pledged on 30 April.

      Indian hospitals have been suffering from an acute shortage of oxygen, prompting several countries to rush to help the embattled nation with medical equipment, medicines and oxygen generators.

      The country has the second-highest COVID-19 toll in the world after the US, having so far registered over 24 million cases and more than 260,000 deaths.

    • 12:08

      Malaysia Reports 4,113 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 11:53

      UAE Detects 1,452 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 11:53

      Japanese Prime Minister Suga Says He's Considering Deporting Foreign Reporters Who Break Virus Rules During Olympics

    • 11:22

      Georgia Registers 1,390 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 11:19

      Lockdown Lifting Should Be Delayed if Indian COVID-19 Variant Spreads Out of Control, NHS Confederation Chief Executive Says

    • 11:06

      Thailand Detects 2,256 New COVID-19 Infections

    • 11:05

      Australia Resumes Repatriation Flight to India For Stranded Nationals

    • 10:10

      Japan Expands COVID-19 State of Emergency to 3 More Prefectures

    • 09:12

      Kyrgyzstan Confirms 200 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 09:01

      Estonia Detects 279 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 08:54

      Philippines Registers 6,784 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 08:50

      First Dose of Russia's Sputnik V Vaccine Administered in Hyderabad, India

      A health worker administers the COVISHIELD vaccine for COVID-19 at a Government Fever Hospital in Hyderabad, India, Thursday, April 1, 2021

      First Dose of Russia's Sputnik V Vaccine Administered in Hyderabad, India

      NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - Indian drug manufacturer Dr. Reddy's announced that the first dose of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus was being administered in the southern city of Hyderabad on Friday.
      Read more
    • 08:02

      Russia Records 9,462 COVID-19 Cases in Past 24 Hours

      Russia registered 9,462 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, up from 8,380 the day before, taking the overall tally to 4,922,901, the coronavirus response centre said on Friday.

      "Over the past day, 9,462 coronavirus cases were confirmed across 84 Russian regions, including 1,604 cases (17 percent) without clinical symptoms," the centre said, adding that the rate of increase grew to 0.19 percent.

      Moscow confirmed 3,818 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, up from 2,787 the day before. This is the highest single-day increase since January 17, when 4,012 new cases were recorded. The Russian capital was followed by St. Petersburg with 739 new cases, down from 741 the day before, and the Moscow Region with 648 cases, up from 643 the day before.

      No new cases were recorded in the Nenets Autonomous Region.

      The response centre reported 393 new COVID-19 fatalities, up from 392 the day before, raising the country's death toll to 115,116.

      Total recoveries increased by 9,756 over the given period, up from 9,349 the previous day, and reached 4,537,634.

    • 07:26

      Armenia Detects 230 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 07:25

      Singapore Tightens COVID-19 Measures

    • 07:16

      Kazakhstan Sends COVID-19 Aid to India

      Kazakhstan delivered oxygen ventilators and personal protection equipment, including medical masks, respirators, and protective suits, to India, which is currently struggling with an unprecedented COVID-19 spike, the Kazakh foreign ministry said on Friday.

      “The first of the two Kazakh aircrafts with its cargo landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi in the morning on 14 May 2021, with the second one expected to arrive several hours later,” the statement said.

      Indian hospitals have been suffering from an acute shortage of oxygen, prompting several countries to rush to help the embattled nation with medical equipment, medicines and oxygen generators.

      The country has the second-highest COVID-19 toll in the world after the US, having so far registered nearly 23.7 million cases and over 258,000 deaths.

    • 06:27

      England to Reopen and Monitor Indian Coronavirus Strain, Vaccines Minister Says

      The UK COVID-19 vaccination campaign could be sped up to immunize people over 18 years old in regions of England where a spike of the coronavirus variant first identified in India has been recently reported, Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Friday.

      “The clinicians will look at all of this to see how we can flex the vaccination programme to make it as effective as possible to deal with this surge in this variant, the B1617.2,” Zahawi told the Sky News broadcaster.

      According to the minister, once the decision is made, the UK health system is ready to vaccinate “younger cohorts” and all multigenerational households or bring forward the second dose of vaccines.

      “We’d look at all of that and be guided by the clinicians as to what we do on that,” he added.

      According to latest figure released by Public Health England, cases of the so-called Indian variant spiked from 520 that had been confirmed up to 5 May to 1,313 this week.

      The minister played down mounting concern about the surge of the variant in several areas of the country eventually delaying the easing of the COVID-19 lockdown in England.

      “At the moment we have no evidence that it escapes the vaccines or is more severe in its impact on people,” Zahawi said.

      Step three of the government's roadmap out of lockdown is expected to come into effect on 17 May, when bars and restaurants would be allowed to serve clients indoors, cinemas and theaters would reopen and up to six people from different households could meet indoors. The fourth and last step is planned for 21 June, when all limits on social distancing would be lifted.

    • 06:07

      Germany Detects 11,336 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 06:06

      Ukraine Registers 7,562 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 04:54

      Number of COVID-19 Cases in India Rises by 343,144 Over Past 24 Hours

      India has confirmed 343,144 new cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, with the total number of those infected having reached 24,046,809, the country's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday.

      The death toll from the disease has reached 262,317 people, with 4,000 new fatalities being recorded over the past day.

      More than 20,07 million people have recovered in India since the start of the outbreak.

      A day earlier, the country confirmed 362,727 new coronavirus cases, with 4,120 fatalities.

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    Live Updates: India Reports Over 343,000 New COVID-19 Cases
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    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (340)
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