09:01 GMT25 July 2021
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    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (341)
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    The global death toll from the coronavirus has topped 3.8 million; over 176 million cases of infection have been detected, according to Baltimore, Maryland's Johns Hopkins University, which tracks and compiles data from national and local authorities, the media and other sources.

    The US is still the most-affected nation amid the pandemic - over 33.4 million have been infected in the country, and the death toll there exceeds 600,000. Next is India, with over 29.6 million confirmed cases and more than 379,000 deaths, followed by Brazil, with 17.6 million confirmed cases and over 493,000 fatalities.

    The US government has ordered 200 million additional doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, bringing the total quantity of doses purchased from this American manufacturer to 500 million.

    France will lift its coronavirus curfew this Sunday, instead of June 30 as initially planned, Prime Minister Jean Castex said. The mandatory wearing of protective masks outdoors will also be lifted.

    Follow Sputnik’s feed to find out more.

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    • 18:51

      Treasury: US Issues License to Allow COVID-Related Transactions With Iran, Venezuela, Syria Despite Sanctions

    • 18:19

      US Lawmakers Seek Probe of Stolen COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits

      Reports that up to half of COVID-19 pandemic-related unemployment benefits had been stolen, much of the funds by foreign criminal syndicates, prompted a fresh appeal for a congressional investigation by Republicans on the US House Oversight Committee in a letter to Democratic Chair Carolyn Maloney on Thursday.

      "This week we learned that "[c]riminals may have stolen as much as half of the unemployment benefits the US has been pumping out over the past year. This amount may be more than $400 billion," the letter said. "To make matters worse, the bulk of the money likely ended in the hands of foreign crime syndicates - making this not just theft, but a matter of national security."

      The letter from Oversight Committee Ranking Republican James Comer and committee members Darrell Issa and Gary Palmer noted that Maloney had rejected a similar request for hearing on unemployment fraud in February. It also accused the Biden administration of failing to take the threat seriously.

      Despite the earlier rejection, the lawmakers’ fresh appeal for Maloney to hold hearings said the committee still has the power to find out what happened to the money and prevent additional fraud in the future.

    • 18:19

      Paraguay to Buy 1Mln Vaccine Doses From US Company Vaxxinity

      Paraguay signed a contract for the supply of 1 million doses of vaccine from the US company Vaxxinity, the country's foreign ministry announced on Thursday.

      "The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs inform about the signing of the contract for the supply of 1 million doses of UB-612 vaccine with Vaxxinity Inc. This is a US company created by the Taiwanese company United Biomedical Inc., which has been innovating in the field of vaccines for more than 30 years," the ministry said in a statement.

      The vaccine is based on a synthetic peptide method.

      The drug is expected to be approved for use in Paraguay in July. The Latin American country will be the first in the world to receive the vaccine.

    • 18:18

      Some 70% of EU Citizens Already Vaccinated Against COVID or Plan to Get Shot Soon, Poll Shows

      About 70% of citizens of EU countries have already been vaccinated against coronavirus or want to get the shot in the near future, according to the public opinion poll published by Eurobarometer on Thursday.

      The survey took place from May 21 to May 26 in all 27 EU states, covering a total of 26,106 people aged 15 and over.

      "69% are either already vaccinated, or eager to be vaccinated as soon as possible. 79% intend to get vaccinated sometime this year," the official statement said.

      Out of those interviewed, 37% of respondents said they had already been vaccinated, 32% want to do so in the near future, and another 10% want to get vaccinated this year. Only 9% of participants replied that they do not want to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at all.

      At the same time, the survey found that the attitudes towards vaccination varied significantly between countries and different age groups. In general, those under 45 were more hesitant to receive the shot than people above that age.

      An absolute majority of the EU population — 75% — agree that vaccination is the only way to end the pandemic. Only 21% somewhat or fully did not agree with this statement.

      The vaccine rollout in EU began December 2020. The European Commission has set the goal to vaccinate 70% of the adult EU population by the end of summer.

    • 13:40

      UAE Delivers 60,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses to Yemen

    • 13:33

      Zambia Reports 3,394 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 13:04

      Paris Disneyland Reopens After 8 Months of Closure Due to Pandemic

      The amusement park Disneyland in the French capital of Paris announced on Thursday its reopening after being closed for more than eight months.

      "Today's the big day... Welcome back to the magic!," the park administration tweeted.

      According to the Disneyland website, the first venues for reopening are Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios, Disney's Newport Bay Club, and Disney Village. They will be under enhanced coronavirus measures.

      For its part, Disney's Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel will reopen on 21 June.

      The amusement park has been closed and reopened several times during the pandemic. Most recently, it reopened in July 2020, but was closed roughly four months later on the eve of a second COVID-19 nationwide lockdown in France in October.

    • 12:42

      Estonia to Donate Surplus AstraZeneca Doses, Prime Minister Says

      Estonia will donate excess doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX shot-sharing scheme and directly to countries that need them, the prime minister said Thursday.

      "We have decided to donate 900,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus to countries outside the EU. We have reserved more doses than the Estonian population needs," Kaja Kallas told reporters.

      The Estonian health ministry estimates that slightly over 40% of the Baltic nation’s population have been vaccinated against COVID-19 at least once.

      Estonia suspended the use of the UK-Swedish vaccine for people under 60 in April after the EU drug regulator admitted that it could have a causal link to rare blood clots in the brain. The agency argues that the vaccine is beneficial for all age groups, especially people over 60.

    • 12:20

      Vietnam Detects Record 515 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 11:58

      Malaysia Registers 5,738 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 11:53

      Russia's Peskov Backs Mandatory Vaccinations for Employees of Certain Facilities, Students

      Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Thursday gave his backing to obligatory vaccination of certain categories of workers in some Russian regions, as well as the admission of only vaccinated students to in-person studies.

      "Taking into account the [coronavirus] situation, it is an absolutely right decision. This is my personal point of view," Peskov told the Russian Ekho Moskvy broadcaster when asked whether the compulsory vaccination was a move in the right direction.

      Peskov also spoke in support of recommendations made by the Council of Rectors of Moscow and the Moscow Region to allow only vaccinated students to attend in-person studies from 1 September. He added that even though he backed the principle of voluntary vaccination, the immunization campaign in the country was going "weakly."

      "Therefore, such extraordinary measures, I believe, are absolutely necessary and justified," he said.

      Peskov said though all conditions for the successful and rapid vaccination campaign were in place in Russia, the country fails to pursue it with needed vigor.

      On Wednesday, Moscow authorities ordered retail, public services, catering, transport, healthcare, housing, education and culture organization to ensure that 60% of their employees are fully vaccinated by 15 August. The authorities of Russia's regions of Sakhalin and Kuzbas issued the similar order.

      Several Russian regions, including the capital of Moscow and the city of St. Petersburg have seen a surge in the COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks and imposed a set of preventive measures to curb it, including restrictions of activities of entertainment and food facilities, as well as strolling in city parks.

    • 11:48

      Curfew to be Cancelled in Austria From 1 July

    • 11:45

      Taiwan Detects 175 COVID-19 Cases

    • 11:29

      Post-Registration Trials of Second Russian COVID-19 Vaccine to Finish in Late July, Developer Says

      Packaging of injectable preparations for the syringe-dose of the EpiVacCorona vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19, produced at the Vector-BiAlgam enterprise in Novosibirsk.

      Post-Registration Trials of Second Russian COVID-19 Vaccine to Finish in Late July, Developer Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The post-registration clinical trials of Russia's EpiVacCorona vaccine against COVID-19, developed by the Vector State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology, will be completed by the end of July, Vector chief Rinat Maksyutov said on Thursday.
      Read more
    • 11:19

      Georgia Reports 741 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 11:14

      One Player and One Staff Member Tested Positive for COVID-19 at Euro 2020, Slovakia Coach Says

      "They subsequently tested the entire logistics team and the people who take care of us, and they found more positive people, including our bus driver," coach Stefan Tarkovic said.

      "I'm terribly sorry that a player won't be able to take part in the games to come because of Covid-19," he added.

    • 10:58

      Iran Registers 10,291 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 10:08

      Nepal to Buy 4 Mln Chinese COVID-19 Vaccine, Reports Say

    • 09:50

      Denmark Will Administer COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Aged 12-15

      "An expansion of the target group to the 12-15-year-olds is necessary to ensure even greater immunity in the population, and thus ensure control of the epidemic in Denmark," the head of the Danish Health Authority, Soren Brostrom, said.

    • 09:44

      Germany's CureVac Vaccine Shows Interim 47% Efficacy in Clinical Trials

      German biotech firm CureVac said its experimental vaccine against COVID-19 was 47% effective in the late stage of clinical trials.

      "CVnCoV demonstrated an interim vaccine efficacy of 47% against COVID-19 disease of any severity and did not meet prespecified statistical success criteria," a statement read.

      Phase 2b/3 study was conducted in around 40,000 people. The company said that at least 13 variants of the virus circulated within the study population during the interim analysis.

      "As we are continuing toward the final analysis with a minimum of 80 additional cases, the overall vaccine efficacy may change," CureVac chief executive Franz-Werner Haas said.

      Haas said it was important to keep working on next-generation vaccines as new viral mutations continued to emerge. CureVac is developing several second-generation vaccines together with UK pharma giant GSK.

    • 09:36

      Indonesia Reports 12,624 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 09:15

      Philippines Detects 6,637 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 09:10

      Russian Experts Arrive in Turkey to Assess COVID-19 Developments

      A delegation of Russian experts arrived in Turkey to assess the epidemiological situation at tourist facilities, a knowledgeable source said on Thursday.

      The experts are set to assess coronavirus developments in Turkey and decide if it is possible to resume the air travel. They will assess both the dynamics of the spreading of the coronavirus and the measures that are implemented to protect tourists.

      "The experts have arrived in Turkey. The delegation is headed by a representative of [Russian consumer rights protection watchdog] Rospotrebnadzor, it also includes a representative of Rostourism [the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism]," the source said.

    • 08:36

      Gender Gap in Vaccines Worse Than India's Male-Heavy Sex Ratio, Data Reveals

      India started its COVID-19 vaccination drive on 16 January, and as of 17 June, more than 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the country. This includes both the first and second doses.

      However, a look at the numbers shows that most Indian states are vaccinating more men than women.

      Data reveals that for every 1,000 men being vaccinated, only 867 women were vaccinated. This ratio is lower than India’s already skewed sex ratio.

    • 08:25

      Japanese Prime Minister Lifts COVID-Linked State of Emergency in Tokyo, 8 Other Regions

      Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced on Thursday during a government meeting the lifting of the coronavirus-related state of emergency in nine prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka, on 20 June, as broadcast by NHK.

      There are currently 10 prefectures under a state of emergency, which expires on Sunday. Only in Okinawa, where the infections are still on the rise, the emergency will be extended until 11 July.

      In seven out of these nine prefectures — Tokyo, Hokkaido, Aichi, Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, and Fukuoka — the emergency will be replaced with intensive anti-virus measures.

      Additionally, the government prolonged intensive anti-virus measures in three more prefectures bordering Tokyo until 11 July.

    • 08:08

      South Korea Registers 540 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 06:19

      Pakistan Reports 1,119 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 06:13

      We're Looking at All Options on Travel for Those Vaccinated, UK's Junior Finmin Norman Says

      "We are trying to move cautiously and progressively in the right direction so I wouldn't write anything off at this point," Norman said.

      "But then, you know, we are in a situation where the... virus is not something we control and we have seen this new Delta variant and therefore, it would be imprudent to make any carte blanche or, as it were, firm statement now," he added.

    • 06:13

      Japan Plans to Introduce COVID-19 Certificates System in Mid-July

      The Japanese government intends to introduce coronavirus vaccination passports in the second half of July, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said on Thursday.

      "We would like to speed up the preparation to be able to issue such certificates with an eye to the second half of July," Kato said at a press conference.

      Digital certificates serve as proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, recovered from the disease, or tested negative for it. Such system will officially begin to function in the European Union on 1 July, the certificates will be valid for 12 months.

      Japan began to consider the introduction of the COVID-19 certificates system last month. Initially, the government plans to issue the document on paper, and later switch to the digital version.

    • 06:08

      Hong Hong Adds Sputnik V to List of Recognized COVID-19 Vaccines

      The Hong Kong government has added Russia's Sputnik V to the list of COVID-19 vaccines recognized in the special autonomous region for special purposes, the Russian Consulate General said on Thursday.

      "The Hong Kong government has included Sputnik V in the list of COVID-19 vaccines recognized in Hong Kong," the diplomatic mission wrote on Facebook.

      This means that for those who received both shots of Sputnik V, provided that 14 days have passed after the second injection, the mandatory quarantine upon arrival will be reduced, the consulate explained.

      Sputnik V has been approved in 67 countries since the drug's registration last August. 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.

    • 05:50

      India's Central Bank Pegs Loss From COVID-19 Second Wave At $20 Billion

      The Reserve Bank of India has pegged the output loss incurred due to the second wave of COVID-19 during the current fiscal year at $20 billion.

      Although the loss of output may not affect the GDP of the country, it will have an impact on the struggling economy.

      The central bank, in its latest monthly bulletin, has assessed that the second wave has hit domestic demand hard.

    • 05:11

      Uzbekistan Detects 371 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 05:08

      Australia Limits Use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine to People Over 60

    • 04:31

      India Registers 67,208 New COVID-19 Cases in 24 Hours

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    Global COVID-19 Cases Spike to Highest Level Post-Lockdown (341)
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