13:44 GMT24 June 2021
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    According to Johns Hopkins University, the global death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has surpassed 3.353 million and over 161.5 million cases have been detected.

    World Health Organisation (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expects the second year of the coronavirus pandemic to be "far more deadly" than the first one. He has urged rich countries to donate coronavirus jabs to the COVAX vaccine distribution mechanism instead of inoculating children and teenagers.

    The United States still has the highest case count in the world, followed by India and Brazil, while the largest number of coronavirus-related deaths has been observed in the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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    • 03:46

      India Receives Second Delivery of Russia’s Sputnik V Coronavirus Vaccine, Ambassador Says

      NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - The second batch of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 has arrived in India’s southern city of Hyderabad, Russian Ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev, said.

      "Considering the recent launch of the Russian vaccine within the Indian vaccination campaign, this second delivery is very timely. The effectiveness of Sputnik V is well-known around the world," Kudashev said, recalling that the Russian vaccine has been used since the second half of 2020 and is effective against new strains of COVID-19.

      According to the Russian ambassador, India is expected to start producing up to 850 million doses of Sputnik V per year.

      "As you know, in the near future India also plans to introduce the single-shot ‘Sputnik Light’ vaccine. Only through joint efforts and taking into account the vital needs of our people can we successfully fight COVID-19," Kudashev said.

    • 02:38

      Colombia Reports Record Daily Increase in Coronavirus-Related Deaths

      MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - A record 530 coronavirus-related deaths were confirmed in Colombia in the past 24 hours, which is the highest daily increase in COVID-19 fatalities recorded in the country since the start of the pandemic, according to the National Institute of Health (INS).

      INS said on Twitter on Saturday that Colombia’s COVID-19 death toll had gone up to 80,780. A total of 530 new deaths were confirmed on Saturday, 461 of them correspond to previous days, INS specified.

      Colombia recorded 18,873 new coronavirus cases on Saturday. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country stands at over 3.1 million. More than 2.9 million have recovered (13,656 recoveries were confirmed on Saturday).

    • 02:36

      CDC Recommends Mask Wearing by School Students Amid Easing COVID-19 Restrictions

      Justin Bishop, 13, watches as Registered Nurse Jennifer Reyes inoculates him with the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Mount Sinai South Nassau Vaxmobile parked at the De La Salle School, Friday, May 14, 2021, in Freeport, N.Y.

      CDC Keeps Mandatory Mask Wearing by School Students Amid Easing COVID-19 Restrictions

      Since late April, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local authorities have begun lifting the restrictions imposed due to the raging novel coronavirus pandemic, including allowing fully vaccinated people to be outdoors, and also in some cases indoors, without masks.
      Read more
    • 15:32

      Ecuador Approves Russia's Sputnik V Coronavirus Vaccine

      Ecuador gave Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine emergency use authorisation, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said Saturday.

      "The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) announces the approval of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus in the Republic of Ecuador. Sputnik V was granted an emergency use authorization," the RDIF said.

    • 14:37

      No Burial in Ganges Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

      A man wearing a protective suit touches the body of his relative, who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), before his cremation on the banks of the river Ganges at Garhmukteshwar in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, May 6, 2021.

      India Reportedly Deploys Police Units, CCTV to Prevent Water Burials in Ganges

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - India's northeastern Uttar Pradesh state began deploying police units and CCTV cameras to stop water burials in the Ganges amid growing safety concerns after dozens of floating bodies of suspected COVID-19 victims had been found in the river, media reported on Saturday.
      Read more
    • 13:26

      Malaysia Detects 4,140 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 13:15

      Venezuela Approves Russia's Single-Dose Sputnik Light Vaccine, RDIF Says

      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.

      Venezuela Approves Russia's Single-Dose Sputnik Light Vaccine, RDIF Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Venezuelan Health Ministry approved Russia's single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine against the coronavirus for use in the country, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said Saturday.
      Read more
    • 13:05

      Latvia Reports 544 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 11:43

      UK Vaccine Official Says Shots May Be Less Effective Against Mild Indian Variant Cases

      A nurse prepares to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy's Hospital in London, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020

      UK Vaccine Official Says Shots May Be Less Effective Against Mild Indian Variant Cases

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Deputy Chair of the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), Anthony Harnden, said on Saturday that COVID-19 vaccines may be less effective against mild cases of the Indian variant but not against severe cases.
      Read more
    • 11:09

      France on Track to Have 20Mln People Vaccinated With At Least 1 Dose

      France is likely to reach its goal to have 20 million people receive at least 1 dose of vaccine by 15 May, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said Saturday.

      "I am reasonably optimistic that we will achieve tonight the general goal, which we set ourselves, that is, 20 million of first-time vaccinated by 15 May," Castex said in a video streamed by the French government on YouTube.

      The next objective is to have 30 million people vaccinated with at least one dose by mid-June, Castex continued.

      Another goal is to left no vaccine dose unused, the prime minister said, adding that this was already being implemented and would have to continue the same way. Furthermore, at-risk groups — older people and people with certain medical conditions that might make them more likely to experience the severe form of the coronavirus — should be the priority for vaccination, Castex said.

      Since mid-April, the incidence of coronavirus cases has been declining — from 117,000 daily increase in new infections reported on 11 April to 7,043 cases reported on 14 May.

    • 10:32

      Malaysia Registers 4,140 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 10:12

      Australia Greets 1st Repatriation Flight From India

       The first repatriation flight carrying Australians back home from India had landed in the Northern Territory city of Darwin on Saturday morning, Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said.

      "These government-facilitated flights will be focused on returning Australian citizens, residents and families who have registered with our High Commission and consular offices within India and will prioritise the most vulnerable people," Payne said, as quoted by Australian broadcaster 9News.

      The arriving passengers are required to spend two weeks in quarantine at the Howard Springs facility, according to the report.

      Nearly half of the passengers who were scheduled to depart on the flight could reportedly not make it due to having tested positive for COVID-19. A total of 72 passengers were banned from flying back home, out of whom 48 had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and 24 had been in close contact with an infected person.

      "We're in the middle of a COVID crisis here in India and it takes 24 hours at least to get the results of a COVID test, so the likelihood of people quickly taking places on the plane is harder than it seems," High Commissioner to India Barry O'Farrell said, as quoted by 9News, adding that the situation is a "tragedy" for many people who were unable to catch the flight and their families back home.

      Testing positive for COVID-19 means Australians will have to stay in India until they are fully recovered before being able to catch a different flight to come back home.

      Additionally, the 48-hour pre-flight testing policy provided difficulties in attempts to fill out the flight before it had departed to Australia, according to the report.

      Repatriation flights scheduled for India have also carried supplies such as ventilators and oxygen concentrators on them, vital for the country's battle with the COVID-19 pandemic.

      "Pleased to see a government facilitated Qantas flight leaving Sydney today to return Australians from India. The flight is carrying 1056 ventilators & 60 oxygen concentrators to support India's COVID-19 response. We will continue to support our friends during this challenging time," Payne said on Twitter.

      The next repatriation flight is scheduled to arrive in Darwin on 23  May.

    • 09:23

      Vaccinated or Not, People Should Continue to Follow COVID-Appropriate Behaviour, India's Chief Scientific Advisor Says

    • 08:33

      Armenia Detects 282 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 08:04

      Russia Records 8,790 COVID-19 Cases in 24 Hours

      Russia recorded 8,790 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, which brings the cumulative total to 4,931,691, the federal response centre said Saturday.

      Moscow had the highest count of new infections, with 3,073 cases registered. St. Petersburg had the second highest number with 749.

      The past 24 hours saw 9,866 people discharged from hospitals due to recovery from the coronavirus. In the same period, 364 deaths linked to the coronavirus were confirmed across the country.

    • 07:56

      Thailand Reports 3,095 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 07:51

      India's West Bengal State Declares Full Lockdown Until 30 May Amid COVID-19 Surge, Source Says

      Indian state of West Bengal decided to impose a complete lockdown starting 16 May due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, including closing down of trains, subway and all other means of public transport, government sources told Sputnik on Saturday.

      Only essential services will continue to operate, the sources said. The lockdown will be in place from 16  May to 30 May.

      The state's population is estimated at over 90 million people. According to the State Health Department, West Bengal has been reporting around 20,000 new cases of COVID-10 over the past few weeks, with the capital, Kolkata, registering a daily increase of about 4,000. The total number of infections in the state stands at over 1.3 million since the outbreak.

    • 05:24

      Ukraine Registers 6,796 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 04:52

      Egypt Detects 1,197 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 04:32

      Number of COVID-19 Cases in India Rises by 326,098 Over Past 24 Hours

      India has confirmed 326,098 new cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, with the total number of those infected having reached 24,372,907, the country's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday.

      The death toll from the disease has reached 266,207 people, with 3,890 new fatalities being recorded over the past day.

      More than 20,43 million people have recovered in India since the start of the outbreak.

      A day earlier, the country confirmed 343,144 new coronavirus cases, with 4,000 fatalities.

    • 04:32

      Germany Reports 7,894 New COVID-19 Cases

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