03:01 GMT24 July 2021
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    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (341)

    The global COVID-19 death toll has topped 3.8 million, with over 176 million cumulative cases logged worldwide, according to Baltimore, Maryland's Johns Hopkins University, which tracks and compiles data from national and local authorities, the media and other sources.

    Currently, among the most affected nations are the US (33.4 million infected, 599,000 deaths), India (29.5 million cases, 374,000 fatalities), and Brazil (17.4 million cases, and a death toll of over 488,000).

    The EU Council on Monday approved the lifting of travel restrictions within the bloc for people with EU COVID-19 vaccination certificates.

    The World Health Organisation said it was assessing reports of a higher-than-expected number of young people developing heart inflammation after a second shot of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.

    Follow Sputnik’s feed to find out more.  

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    • 18:32

      Canada to Return J&J COVID-19 Vaccines as Federal Gov't, Provinces Mull Campaign's Future

      Canada will return a shipment of coronavirus vaccine doses produced by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals to the company after it was deemed inadmissible by public health officials, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said on Tuesday.

      On Friday, Canadian health officials determined that the vaccine doses from the East Baltimore facility, which had previously produced a faulty batch earmarked for the US vaccination regime, did not meet the country’s regulatory requirements and decided not to authorize the doses for use in the country.

      “It will be given back to the company,” Tam told reporters when asked what would happen to the inadmissible shipment, adding that the decision concerning the subsequent use of the doses would be made by the company.

      Canadian officials stress that J&J will have to compensate Ottawa for the faulty batch.

      However, according to Tam, it is now unclear how the J&J vaccine fits into Canada’s vaccination regime. Canada, where over 75 percent of residents have received their first dose, is running low on individuals who are expected to receive their first dose, Tam said, noting that the country has an abundant supply of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. Canada’s chief medical officer added that the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is engaged in talks with the provinces concerning their interest in accepting J&J vaccine doses.

      Canada received its first shipment of 300,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses - manufactured at the same East Baltimore Emergent BioSolutions facility currently under investigation - at the end of April.

    • 18:31

      Only 16% of Pregnant Women Vaccinated in US by Early May, Health Dept. Study Shows

      Just over 16 percent of pregnant women had received at least one vaccine dose in the United States as of early May, a US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study revealed on Tuesday.

      "During December 14, 2020–May 8, 2021, a total of 135,968 pregnant women were identified, 22,197 (16.3%) of whom had received ≥1 dose of a vaccine during pregnancy. Among these 135,968 women, 7,154 (5.3%) had initiated and 15,043 (11.1%) had completed vaccination during pregnancy," the report said.

      Receipt of at least one jab was highest among women aged 35–49 years (22.7%) and lowest among those aged 18–24 years (5.5%).

      Asian (24.7%) and White (19.7%) women were at much higher rates than Hispanic (11.9%) and Black women (6.0%), the report showed.

      The CDC characterized the report as the first in the United States to assess COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, while cautioning that the data came from nine health care organizations in seven US states. As a result, the findings might not be generalizable to all pregnant women in the United States, according to the report.

      Low coverage among pregnant women likely results in part from limited data on vaccine safety during pregnancy and a need for increased vaccine confidence among healthcare providers and expectant mothers, the report said.

    • 17:51

      Will Delaying Final Easing of Lockdown Hit UK Leisure Sector Hard?

      'Freedom Day' Delay: A Bucket of Cold Water for England's Entertainment Industry

      LONDON (Sputnik) - UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed in a televised briefing on Monday that "Freedom Day" in England would not go ahead as planned on June 21, and though to many it was no surprise given the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, the news hit the already struggling entertainment and events industries like a bucket of cold water.
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    • 16:55

      New York Lifts COVID Restrictions as Vaccination Covers 70% of Adults

      New York State has dropped all COVID-19-related restrictions and reopened its economy fully after the number of vaccinated adult residents against the coronavirus reached 70 percent, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday.


      As of June 14, New York authorities reported 470 new cases, down 46 percent over a 14-day period. Hospitalizations were at 1,173 with 12 COVID-19-related deaths.

      At the peak of the coronavirus outbreak in April of 2020, there were about 18,000 hospitalized residents and 800 deaths per day from virus-related complications.

    • 16:41

      Scotland Likely to Delay Lockdown Easing Beyond 28 June, Sturgeon Says

      Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Tuesday that coronavirus curbs would stay in place until June 28 and would likely go beyond that date to allow as many people as possible to be vaccinated.

      "It is more likely that we will opt to maintain restrictions for a further three weeks from 28 June and use that time to vaccinate with both doses as many more people as possible," she told a news briefing.

      Sturgeon said there was evidence that the vaccination campaign was working but the country needed to buy itself more time to immunize everyone.

      Scotland was expected to move to the lowest level of restrictions from June 28. The mutation-driven rise in cases across the United Kingdom prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to delay lifting restrictions in England from June 21 to July 19.

    • 16:15

      Spain Detains 11 on Suspicion of Corruption Over COVID-19 Supplies

      The Spanish Civil Guard has detained 11 people on suspicion of corruption in granting contracts for medial supplies during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

      The inquiry into the link between a certain Barcelona businessman and a gang in Catalonia, engaged in drug trafficking, kicked off last year.

      "The investigation mainly centers on a contract struck by the Almeria Council at the height of the COVID-19 crisis for supply of medical items with a company of the aforementioned entrepreneur, which he received in exchange for a commission to a high-ranking official," the Civil Guard said in a statement.

      According to La Vanguardia newspaper, deputy president of the Almeria Provincial Council, Oscar Liria, is among those detained.

      The operation to detain the suspects, involving Europol’s anti-corruption department, was conducted in Murcia, Barcelona, Almeria, Girona, and Palma de Mallorca.

    • 15:34

      No More Masks Indoors, Israeli Health Ministry Says

      A woman walks past an open shoe store in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv on February 7, 2021, following the lifting of a nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Israel Cancels Mandatory Indoor Masks

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Israeli Health Ministry on Tuesday said that it is cancelling the requirement to wear masks indoors as a preventative measure against the coronavirus.
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    • 15:17

      AstraZeneca's Antibody Treatment Fails to Protect Against COVID-19

      AstraZeneca announced on Tuesday that the clinical trial of its long-acting antibody cocktail has not provided evidence of effectiveness in protecting people exposed to the coronavirus.

      The trial involved 1,121 adult participants who had been exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19 within eight days. The placebo group had 17 cases, while a group where participants were administered with AZD7442 - a combination of two different monoclonal antibodies - had 23. The company noted that the antibody cocktail lowered the risk of developing a symptomatic infection by 33%, which is not a statistically significant result.

      "The trial did not meet the primary endpoint of post-exposure prevention of symptomatic COVID-19 with AZD7442 compared to placebo," AstraZeneca said in a statement.

      The company promised to publish the results from the trial in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

      AZD7442 is produced from two long-acting monoclonal antibodies acquired from plasma of convalescent COVID-19 patients.

    • 15:04

      Iran to Emerge as One of the Largest Producers of COVID Vaccines in the World, Health Minister Says

      COVIran Barakat VACCINE

      Iran Vows to Become Major Covid Vax Producer After Creating Middle East’s First Homegrown Jab

      Crushing US sanctions have restricted Iran’s ability to import medical supplies, including foreign-made vaccines against the coronavirus. This spring, President Rouhani blasted the US for “blocking” the implementation of an international vaccine agreement which would have provided Tehran with millions of vaccine doses.
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    • 14:38

      AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine 92% Effective Against Hospitalizations, Study Shows

      An analysis of real-world data by Public Health England has showed that the UK-Swedish COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca was 92% effective in preventing hospitalizations due to the Indian strain after two shots were administered.

      "The data show that the vaccine will continue to have a significant impact around the world given that it continues to account for the overwhelming majority of supplies to India and the COVAX facility," Mene Pangalos, AstraZeneca’s executive vice president of biopharmaceuticals research and development, said.

      The health authority published a preprint on Monday, which was not certified for peer review. It looked at 14,019 symptomatic cases of the so-called Delta variant, 166 of whom were hospitalized.

      The vaccine also showed an 86% reduction in hospitalizations of people with the UK variant that emerged in Kent in December. Its effectiveness against symptomatic disease was 74% against the Alpha variant and 64% against the Delta variant.

    • 14:37

      Thai Prime Minister Doubts Reliability of Media Reports on Vaccination Suspension

      Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expressed doubts on Tuesday about the reliability of media reports of the temporary suspension of vaccination in several medical facilities in the country, due to delays of COVID-19 vaccine deliveries.

      Earlier this week, several media reported that twenty hospitals in Bangkok postponed coronavirus jab appointments due to shortages of vaccines.

      "I'm not blaming anyone. Others may not have the same understanding of the issue because the information is being passed through too many channels," the prime minister was quoted as saying at a morning briefing at the parliament by the Bangkok Post newspaper.

      He also noted that he instructed the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), which he leads, to distribute the batches of COVID-19 shots at its disposal to the country’s regions in line with demand and urgency.

      "We may have the capacity to administer 100,000 doses in a single day. But where are the vaccines for appointments on other days?" he said, adding that from now on the appointments for vaccination would be based on the number of vaccines in each arriving batch.

      According to Chan-o-cha, the government secured 100 million coronavirus vaccines to cover up to 50 million people, or 70% of the Thai population over 2021.

      At the CCSA briefing, a spokesperson for the authority said that during the vaccination of workers on the "front line" of the fight against the pandemic, held from February 28-early June, and the countrywide immunization, which kicked off on June 7, more than 6.5 million doses were administered. From June 7 to June 14, more than 2.4 million doses were used, and 323,000 shots were done on Monday.

      In some provinces vaccination is progressing faster, including on the island of Phuket, where over 61% of the population has been vaccinated so far and aims to vaccinate 70% of the population by late June to reopen the area for vaccinated tourists without a mandatory two-week quarantine, according to the spokesperson.

    • 14:33

      Russian Scientists Conducting Research on Sputnik V in Rome

      A group of Russian scientists has been conducting research on the effectiveness of the Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 strains at the Spallanzani Institute in Rome since late May, the institute’s director, Francesco Vaia, told Sputnik.

      In mid-April, Spallanzani and Russia's Gamaleya National Center signed a cooperation agreement that will allow Sputnik V vaccine trials to start in Rome

      "Russian colleagues have been here for about 15 days already, they are conducting research with Italian colleagues on the strains of the virus, we are figuring out whether Sputnik can protect against the varieties of coronavirus that we are so worried about. While we are at the stage of laboratory research, when the results appear, we will publish them. There should be no rush in this," Vaia said, adding that three Russian scientists have been working at Spallanzani’s lab since late May.

    • 14:03

      Sputnik V Developers Say Vaccine More Effective Against Delta Variant Than Other Vaccines

      Russia's coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V has proved to be more effective against the Delta variant of the virus, which was first identified in India, than other vaccines with released trial results for this strain, the vaccine's Twitter account said on Tuesday.

      The Delta variant of the coronavirus was included in a list of so-called variants of concern issued by the World Health Organization last month.

      Sputnik V has already been approved in 67 countries. According to the latest analysis of data on the post-vaccination infection percentage among 3.8 million vaccinated Russians, the vaccine shows 97.6% efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 cases.

    • 13:15

      EU, US Agree on Joint Vaccine Task Force, European Council President Says

      The European Union and the United States have agreed to establish a joint vaccine task force to aid the goal of vaccinating at least two-thirds of the global population by the end of next year, European Council President Charles Michel said on Tuesday.

      "Our goal is clear. We want to vaccinate at least two thirds of the world's population by the end of 2022. The joint EU-US COVID manufacturing and supply chain task force will help achieve this goal by boosting global vaccine production and keeping supply chains open," Michel said at a press conference.

    • 13:09

      Vietnam Reports 402 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 12:05

      Indonesia Registers 8,161 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 11:22

      Thailand's COVID-19 Cases Surpass 200,000

    • 08:20

      COVID-19 Restrictions Flouted in Indian Prime Minister’s Home State

    • 08:10

      Russia Records 14,185 COVID-19 Cases in Past 24 Hours

      Russia registered 14,185 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, up from 13,721 the day before, which brought the cumulative total to 5,236,593, the federal response centre said on Tuesday.

      "Over the past day, 14,185 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across 84 Russian regions, including 2,223 cases (16.2 percent) without clinical symptoms," the centre said, adding that the rate of increase grew to 0.27 percent.

      Moscow confirmed 6,805 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, up from 6,590 the day before. The Russian capital was followed by the Moscow Region with 1,135 cases, up from 1,043 the day before, and St. Petersburg with 902 new cases, up from 865 the day before.

      No new cases were reported in the Chukotka autonomous region.

      The response centre reported 379 new fatalities linked to the coronavirus, up from 371 the day before, raising the country's death toll to 127,180.

      In the same 24 hours, 8,597 people were discharged from hospitals as recovered across the country, up from 8,312 the previous day, bringing the total to 4,818,244.

    • 07:05

      Indian Government Confirms First Death After COVID Vaccination

      A 68-year-old man died due to anaphylaxis (allergic reaction) after taking a coronavirus vaccine shot on 8 March 2021.

    • 06:03

      Taiwan Detects 132 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 05:50

      Malaysia Health Ministry Approves Pfizer-Biontech COVID-19 Vaccine For Recipients Aged 12 and Above

    • 05:00

      Japan to Ship 1 Mln COVID-19 Vaccines to Vietnam

    • 04:40

      India Reports 60,471 COVID-19 Cases in 24 Hours

    Live Updates: New York Lifts COVID Restrictions as Vaccination Covers 70% of Adults
    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (341)
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