05:26 GMT03 August 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 177 million cases of the 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 remains the worst-hit nation, with well over 33 million coronavirus cases, while at least 600,000 Americans have died during the pandemic. Next is India, with over 29 million cases and over 381,000 deaths.

    Meanwhile, Brazil has the third-highest number of COVID-19 infections (almost 17 million cases) and the second-highest reported number of deaths (496,000).

    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 a public opinion poll published by Eurobarometer.

    Follow Sputnik’s feed to find out more.

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    • 00:10

      Italy's Draghi Praises Citizens For Willingness to Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19

      ROME (Sputnik) - Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has praised his compatriots for their strong desire to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease, despite several hiccups during the vaccination drive.

      "Despite all the chaos, it is remarkable that the people do not show the intention to scale back the vaccination or not get vaccinated at all. Compared to other countries, this behavior is admirable," Draghi said at a press conference, expressing confidence that the vaccination will not slow down.

      Meanwhile, Health Minister Roberto Speranza confirmed that vaccination will still be solely on a voluntary basis.

      Italy launched its vaccination drive on December 27 and aspires to have 80 percent of the population immune by late September. So far, the country has fully vaccinated over 15 million people or more than 28 percent of the population over 12.

    • 22:28

      Argentinian Pharmaceutical Company Says Produced Almost 450,000 Doses of Sputnik V

      BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - Argentinian pharmaceutical company Laboratorios Richmond has announced producing almost 450,000 doses of the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V.

      Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Argentine counterpart, Alberto Fernandez, launched the production of Sputnik V in the Latin American country on June 4 via a video link.

      "We have finished production of the first 448,625 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine," the company said in a statement.

      The company is currently waiting for approval from the National Administration of Drugs, Foods and Medical Devices of Argentina (ANMAT) and Russia's Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

      Argentina became the first Latin American country both to authorize the use of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and to proceed to local production. In April, it announced its plans to produce 4-5 million doses of Russia's drug monthly and expects to bring yearly production to 500 million doses.

    • 21:31

      Alberta First Canadian Province to Lift All COVID-19 Restrictions By July 1

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Alberta will lift all COVID-19 restrictions by Canada’s national holiday on July 1, becoming first province to fully reopen, Premier Jason Kenney announced.

      “On July 1, on Canada Day, Alberta’s public health measures will be lifted, and our lives will get back to normal,” Kenney said during a press briefing on Friday.

      The announcement comes a day after the province met its target of partially vaccinating 70 percent of residents; nearly a quarter of Albertans age 12 and older are now fully vaccinated.

      Alberta first declared a state of emergency in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic on March 17, 2020.

    • 21:30

      Palestine Refuses Israeli Vaccine Donation Due to Nearing Expiration Date

      GAZA (Sputnik) - The Palestinian Authority (PA) has declined a batch of 90,000 Pfizer coronavirus vaccines supplied by Israel due to the closing expiration date, Health Minister Mai al-Kaila said on Friday.

      "After the Health Ministry checked the first batch of vaccines, the government decided to turn down the deal with the Israeli side and return the first batch of 90,000 doses of vaccines that we received today. The Prime Minister refused to receive vaccines that are about to expire," the minister explained.

      Government spokesman Ibrahim Milhim confirmed at a press conference that the PA expects vaccine shipments directly from Pfizer according to the agreement.

      Earlier in the day, Israeli authorities announced that they will donate some 1.4 million doses of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to Palestine. In the official statement, the government mentioned that it will transfer vaccine that is about to expire. In exchange for Israel sending vaccines to the PA, Pfizer will redirect the shipment scheduled to be delivered to Palestine in the first quarter of 2022 to Israel this fall, the statement added.

    • 19:54

      US Achieves 300Mln Vaccines Administered in 150 Days

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US has managed to administer 300 million COVID-19 vaccines in a 150-day time period, President Joe Biden announced on Friday.

      “I am pleased to announce that today we will have reached the mark of 300 million shots in arms in just 150 days,” Biden told reporters at the White House.

      According to a White House fact sheet, roughly 5 percent of adult Americans were vaccinated when Biden took office in January, at which time the US was vaccinating at a rate that would have taken the country 336 days to administer 300 million doses.

      Biden referred to the US vaccination effort as part of a successful “war-time response” against COVID-19, thanks to which the country achieved the 300 million milestone today. Biden noted that the achievement is months ahead of what many believed to be possible when the pandemic started.

    • 19:27

      Canada's Federal Court Upholds Trudeau's Controversial Hotel Quarantine Mandate

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The Federal Court of Canada on Friday upheld the requirement introduced by the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau which forces air arrivals into the country to quarantine at state-designated hotels.

      Canadian civil liberties groups, who launched the legal battle, argued in court that the mandate was unconstitutional, contravening Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

      “I have… concluded that the impugned measures were within the authority of the [Administrator in Council] AIC and were within the jurisdiction of the federal government. Finally, the impugned measures do not contravene section 1(a) of the Bill of Rights. Accordingly, these Applications will be dismissed,” Chief Justice Paul Crampton wrote in the ruling.

      “The rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Charter are not absolute,” Crampton noted.

      The justice did, however, side with one of the plaintiffs, Nicole Mathis, whose quarantine location was not disclosed to her spouse, saying that the violation of her rights “cannot be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.” Crampton explained the government has since remedied this violation, allowing passengers to book their intended place of quarantine in advance.

      Canada’s hotel quarantine condition – introduced in February – has been the source of intense criticism, with some women reporting being sexually assaulted, while others have likened the requirement to internment camps.

      The requirement also flies in the face of a hand-picked expert panel, which called on the federal government to drop the mandate, in favor of stronger adherence to the quarantine mandate in place.

      Although the Canadian government is constitutionally prohibited from barring citizens from leaving the country, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has used the enhanced border security measures to discourage international travel amid the pandemic.

      Apart from the hotel quarantine requirement, all entrants into Canada must also complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine. As of March 25, 2020, Quarantine Act violators may be subject to a fine of up to $537,000 and/or imprisonment for six months.

    • 18:58

      Belgian Court Orders AstraZeneca to Deliver 50Mln Vaccine Doses to EU by September

      The Court of First Instance of Brussels ruled on Friday to grant interim measures in the EU case against AstraZeneca over failed vaccine deliveries.

      The judge ruled that AstraZeneca was in serious breach of its contractual obligations with the EU and should have deployed all possible measures to deliver vaccines within agreed timetable by including its British production sites.

      "The court orders AstraZeneca to urgently deliver 50 million doses of vaccine by 27 September 2021 - according to a binding schedule," the official statement said.

      According to the schedule, the vaccine manufacturer will have to supply 15 million doses by July 26, another 20 million doses by August 23, and the remaining 15 million doses by September 27.

      The ruling was welcomed by the European Commission.

      "This decision confirms the position of the Commission: AstraZeneca did not live up to the commitments it made in the contract. It is good to see that an independent judge confirms this," Ursula von der Leyen, the EC chief, said.

      In case of failure to meet the deadlines, AstraZeneca will have to pay a penalty of 10 euros ($11.8) per dose not delivered.

    • 18:34

      Greek Bioethics Committee Not Ruling Out Compulsory Vaccination for Health Workers

      The Greek National Commission for Bioethics and Technoethics issued a recommendation on Friday, saying mandatory vaccination of certain groups of specialists working in the health sector is possible in emergencies.

      "Following a relevant request by the Prime Minister, the National Commission for Bioethics and Technoethics issued a Recommendation on mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 in physicians, nurses and all staff in healthcare structures (public and private) or healthcare structures for vulnerable groups (elderly, patients with chronic diseases or the disabled)," the commission said in a statement.

      According to the commission, 70% of medical personnel in public and private health structures have been vaccinated in Greece. The vaccination rate for medical, administrative and support personnel in care facilities for vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, people with chronic diseases or people with disabilities, is 54%.

      The commission proposed a three-phased "scalable initiative" approach for the government, which would include targeted vaccination campaigns for each professional group, incentive and deterrent measures, such as flexible working hours and easing of sanitary restrictions, and the mandatory vaccination in extreme cases.

      The mandatory vaccination clause is a last resort and should have a certain time period and be applicable only when preceding measures failed. Additionally, the implementation of this measure should be determined on the basis of labor or public law, and should take into account possible consequences for the staff to avoid workforce shortages.

    • 18:22

      Trudeau: Canada to Have Short-Term Solution on Vaccine Verification at Border Soon

      The Canadian government is on track to have a short-term coronavirus vaccine verification solution at the international border soon, while a more lasting solution will be unveiled in the fall, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday.

      “In the initial phase we will be working with the country’s quarantine adherence monitoring system] ArriveCan app,” Trudeau told reporters, explaining that those arrivals to Canada will have to upload their proof of full vaccination to be eligible for the loosened travel restrictions.

      This short-term solution will be rolled out in the “coming weeks,” Trudeau said.

      Earlier in the day, Canada extended the border restrictions that limit so-called non-essential travel to and from the United States through July 21, however, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair noted that the government will announce relaxed entry rules for fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents on Monday.

      A more lasting solution will be unveiled in the fall, the prime minister said, mentioning that the federal government is already working with the provinces, who retain Canadians’ health records, on a national vaccination verification program.

      Trudeau underscored the government’s target of having 75 percent of Canadians vaccinated partially vaccinated and 20 percent fully vaccinated remains a prerequisite for reopening the Canada-US border, suggesting that the country is weeks away from hitting this target.

      The prime minister also reassured Canadians who received at least one shot of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that they will not be disadvantaged by varying vaccine authorizations around the world, saying he hopes to resolve the issue in the ensuing weeks.

      On a related topic of arrivals to Canada who have not been vaccinated with a Health Canada approved vaccine, Trudeau said the country’s medical experts working to gather information about such vaccines and that Ottawa hopes to have a process regarding such individuals in place before the border is reopened to international travelers.

    • 16:37

      Visit of Russian Health Experts to Turkey Ended, Deputy Prime Minister Says

      The visit of the Russian health experts to Turkey has ended, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said on Friday.

      "I'll start with the completed visit of our inspection team to Turkey. As we agreed with the representatives of the Turkish side, such an inspection visit took place," Golikova said during a briefing.

      According to Golikova, Turkish colleagues have developed a guide for working in the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

      "A decision was made on the feasibility of restoring aviation communication with Turkey from June 22 this year," Golikova added.

    • 16:19

      Russia to Resume Flights With Number of Countries From June 28

      Russia has decided to resume flights with a number of countries starting from June 28, including the United States, Italy, Belgium and Cyprus, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said on Friday.

      "I would like to draw your attention to the fact that during the discussion at the meeting of the response centre, a number of decisions were made to open-air traffic with some countries from June 28, 2021 … A decision was made to resume air traffic on a regular basis with restrictions on the number of flights with the United States (Moscow - Washington and Moscow - New York), the Kingdom of Belgium on the Moscow - Brussels route,” Golikova said during a briefing.

      The deputy prime minister also said that Russia is resuming flights to and from Bulgaria, Italy, Cyprus, North Macedonia, Ireland and Jordan.

      Moreover, the response centre made a decision to include citizens of China and Liechtenstein in the list of those who can enter Russia.

      "The response center made a decision that will be proposed to the head of the government for approval on the inclusion of citizens of China and Liechtenstein, since there is no air communication with him, in the list of foreign states whose citizens and persons holding a residence permit or other document confirming permanent residence in these countries, may enter Russia," Golikova said.

    • 14:28

      People Cured of COVID Have Immunity to Disease for 9 Months, Russian Health Minister Says

      People who have had COVID-19 are immune to the disease for nine months, Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko said on Friday.

      "In general, we see that those who went through [the coronavirus] up to nine months ago have today good immunity [to the disease]," Murashko said while visiting a coronavirus hospital in southwest Moscow.

      The minister added that those vaccinated with Sputnik V do not need to check the presence of antibodies during the first six months.

      "I have received the vaccine. Today I have a good antibody titer. However, in principle, it is guaranteed that there is no need to recheck [the presence of antibodies] during six months. That is, a vaccinated person has good protective immunity," Murashko said, as quoted by the channel.

      Russia's vaccine portfolio consists of four home-made drugs — Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona, CoviVac and Sputnik Light.

    • 14:19

      Minks Transfer COVID Immunity to Offspring After Carnivac Shot Vaccination, Watchdog Says

      Minks that received the Russian vaccines in January have transferred the immunity to COVID-19 to their kits, a Russian agricultural watchdog, Rosselkhoznadzor, said Friday.

      Rosselkhoznadzor reported, citing an official from the Federal Centre For Animal Health, that "minks which were vaccinated with the first Carnivac-Covvaccine, gave their COVID-19 immunity to their newborn offspring."

      The official, Tatiana Galkina, told an agricultural exhibition in Moscow that this transferred immunity was discovered in the mink kits vaccinated in January 2021.

      Russia's Carnivac-Cov vaccine was registered on March 31 and is the only vaccine against coronavirus for animals.

      Minks have suffered particularly harsh consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. In 2020, Denmark announced mass culling of all minks in the country — up to 17 million — because a COVID-19 strain was detected in some species. At the time, there were concerns about humans catching the coronavirus from minks.

    • 14:07

      Canada Extends Restrictions on Non-Essential Travel at US Land Border Through 21 July

      Canada is extending the border restrictions that limit so-called non-essential travel from the United States through July 21 amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said on Friday.

      "In coordination with the US, we are extending restrictions on non-essential international travel and with the United States until July 21, 2021," Blair said in a statement via Twitter.

    • 14:03

      Spain to Drop Mandatory Mask Wearing Outdoors From 26 June

      Spaniards will no longer be required to wear face masks while outdoors starting from June 26, as COVID-19 infection rates continue to decline, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Friday.

      "We will hold an extraordinary meeting of Council of Ministers on Thursday [June 24], where we plan to put forward a proposal to the Spanish society that the mask is no longer obligatory in the open air from Saturday, June 26," Sanchez said during his address in Barcelona.

      This weekend will be the last when people wear masks while outdoors, the prime minister added.

      Since last month, Spain has been gradually easing coronavirus-related restrictions across the country amid the improving epidemiological situation. Earlier in June, the authorities opened borders to tourists immunized with coronavirus vaccines approved by either the European Medicines Agency or the World Health Organization, giving a start to the summer tourist season.

    • 13:27

      COVID-19 Delta Variant to Become Dominant Globally, WHO Chief Scientist Warns

    • 13:27

      Austria to Deliver 1Mln COVID Vaccine Doses to Western Balkans

       Austria will supply one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Western Balkan countries, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Friday.

      "The European Union will deliver over 600,000 vaccine doses. Besides, we, as the Republic of Austria, want to make our contribution; therefore, the federal government decided to supply one million doses to Western Balkan countries," Kurz said following the negotiations between the leaders of Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Serbia.

      EU Special Representative for Western Balkan issues, Miroslav Lajcak, and Albania’s representative in Vienna were also in attendance.

      Austria will start to deliver the vaccines in August, the chancellor specified.

      During the negotiations, the parties also discussed citizens of Balkan countries traveling to the EU, including by use of "green" passports introduced by the European Union.

    • 12:47

      Alarm Bells Ring as COVID-19 Found in River and Lakes in India's Gujarat State

      Indian women hold each other as they cross the River Heran after collecting drinking water near Sajanpura village in Chhota Udepur district of Gujarat state, India, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014

      Alarm Bells Ring as COVID-19 Found in River and Lakes in India's Gujarat State

      Concerns have been mounting in India over the contamination of rivers after more than a 100 dead bodies, presumed to be of COVID-19 victims, were found floating in the Ganges in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
      Read more
    • 12:18

      Italy Imposes Quarantine on UK Visitors

    • 12:17

      Germany Removes France, Greece, Parts of Spain From COVID-19 Risk List

    • 11:09

      Norway Eases COVID-19 Restrictions

    • 11:08

      Afghanistan Reports 1,677 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 11:06

      Norway PM Says Will No Longer Have National COVID-19 Restrictions on Bars, Restaurants Opening Hours

    • 10:26

      Delhi High Court Warns Of Early 3rd COVID Wave After Crowds Erupt in Streets of 'Unlocked' Capital

      Any breach of Covid protocol will only hasten the third wave, the Delhi High Court warned today, taking note of the violations in markets in the nation's capital following the massive easing of restrictions this week.

      The high court issued notices to the national government and the Delhi government, seeking a status report.

      It also asked authorities to take strict measures against violators and sensitize shopkeepers.

    • 09:59

      PM Modi Launches Covid-19 Crash Course For 100,000 Frontline Workers

      Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched the ‘Customized Crash Course programme for Covid 19 Frontline workers’.

    • 09:43

      Israel to Provide 1.4Mln COVID-19 Vaccine Doses to Palestinians

      Israel will transfer about 1.4 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer to the Palestinian Authority (PA), the government said on Friday.

      Earlier in the day, national media reported about Israel's plans to send 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to Palestine in the coming days.

      "In accordance with the recommendation of the relevant authorities ... it was decided that Israel would transfer some 1.4 million doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine that is about to expire to the Palestinian Authority," the government said in a statement.

      In exchange for Israel sending vaccines to the PA, Pfizer will redirect the shipment scheduled to be delivered to Palestine in the first quarter of 2022 to Israel this fall, the statement added.

      The decision was made since the stock of vaccines available in Israel "fully meets the current needs of the population," the government noted.

    • 09:26

      Notting Hill Carnival Cancelled for Second Year Running Due to COVID-19

    • 08:49

      Philippines Reports 6,833 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 08:46

      UK Detects 33,630 New Cases of Delta Coronavirus Variant in Past Week

    • 08:30

      Russia Records Over 17,000 New COVID-19 Cases, Highest Single-Day Increase Since 1 February

      Russia's single-day coronavirus increase surged to the highest level since February 1, as 17,262 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours, up from 14,057 the day before, which brought the cumulative total to 5,281,309, the federal response centre said on Friday.

      Russia confirmed 17,648 COVID-19 cases on 1 February.

      "Over the past day, 17,262 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 2,464 cases (14.3 percent) without clinical symptoms," the centre said, adding that the rate of increase grew to 0.33 percent.

      Moscow confirmed a new record of 9,056 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, up from 6,195 the day before. The Russian capital was followed by the Moscow Region with 1,254 cases, up from 1,208 the day before, and St. Petersburg with 970 new cases, up from 946 the day before.

      The response centre reported 453 new fatalities linked to the coronavirus, up from 416 the day before, raising the country's death toll to 128,445.

      In the same 24 hours, 10,954 people were discharged from hospitals as recovered across the country, down from 11,205 the day before, bringing the total to 4,850,659.

    • 08:16

      COVID-19 Delta Variant Makes Up About 6% of Infection Cases in Germany, German Public Health Official Wieler Says

    • 07:29

      Tokyo Olympics Organizers Cut Number of Officials Accompanying Overseas Athletes to 41,000

      The organizing committee of the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo has decided to further limit the number of officials from overseas accompanying athletes, to 41,000, which is a third of the initial figure, chief of the Games' main operation center Hidemasa Nakamura said on Friday.

      In May, the organizing committee said that 59,000 overseas-based officials and staff would be permitted to attend the sporting event instead of the initially planned 141,000.

      "As for those accompanying ... we recalculated and came to the figure of 41,000. Thus, this is a third of the original plans," Nakamura said at a press conference.

      At the same time, the number of athletes will remain the same, 19,000, the official noted.

      The Summer Olympics in Tokyo, initially scheduled for 2020, were postponed by a year over the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The Games are currently due to take place from 23 July to 8 August. The event will be held without spectators from overseas, while the decision on domestic spectators is expected later in June.

    • 07:28

      Spain Records 74,227 More Deaths in 2020 Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

    • 07:27

      Zimbabwe Hesitates Accepting J&J Vaccine Supplies Over Effectiveness Concerns

      The Zimbabwean government rejected a consignment of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines as there is no proof that the vaccine is more effective than Russia’s Sputnik V or China’s Sinopharm, which have already been authorized for use in the African country, Mike Nicholas Sango, Zimbabwe's ambassador in Moscow, said.

      "Our government rejected the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because its efficacy has not been conclusively proved, and our government is saying that we need to bring in vaccines that won't create problems for our population. That is the logic," Sango said in an interview.

      According to the results of a global phase 3 trial, Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine was 66% effective in preventing COVID-19.

      The most recent Russia-based study showed that Sputnik V was 97.6% effective once individuals had received both shots, and China's Sinopharm vaccine, according to the World Health Organization, is estimated to be 79% effective.

      "Until such time that it has been universally approved that its efficacy is very high like Sputnik V and the Chinese vaccine, then maybe they will consider," the ambassador added.

      The Zimbabwean government has issued emergency use authorization to four vaccines: Russia's Sputnik V, China's Sinopharm and Sinovac, and India's Covaxin.

      Earlier in June, the Zimbabwean government said that it had turned down a shipment of Johnson & Johnson vaccines citing the lack of cold chain management infrastructure needed to store the doses, as well as concerns over potential blood clot side effects.

    • 07:17

      Mongolia Detects 2,746 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 07:14

      Moscow Mayor Says Experiment on COVID-Free Zones in Restaurants Starts on Saturday

      Moscow will begin the experiment on introducing COVID-free zones in restaurants starting Saturday amid a surge in new coronavirus cases, between 15 and 20 restaurants will take part in it at the first stage, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced.

      "At the meeting, restaurant keepers proposed arranging COVID-free zones. We will launch the experiment tomorrow, in 15-20 restaurants to begin with," Sobyanin said in a statement on Friday.

      The Moscow restaurant industry started discussing the creation of coronavirus-free zones for vaccinated visitors earlier this week.

    • 07:04

      Moscow Mayor Says Maximum of 1,000 Spectators Allowed at Public Events Amid Surge in New Cases

      Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced on Friday new restrictions in light of the surge in the COVID-19 cases: a maximum of 1,000 people will be allowed to be present at entertainment events.

      "Our visitors and employees often say that we should not annoy them with restrictions and vaccinations. Especially after what they see on TV: events, sports, entertainment, walking, etc. We warned everyone: please, be careful and observe the requirements at stadiums and in large concert halls. But there are crowds of jubilant people on dance floors. I did not want to do this, but I have to. Starting today, we will limit presence at entertainment events to a maximum of 1,000 people," Sobyanin said in a statement.

    • 06:58

      COVID-19 Outbreaks Grow in 90% of Areas in England

      Public Health England data released today show infections are rising in all age groups, ethnic communities and regions — particularly the North West, where the mutant strain is rife. Health chiefs have called for people to abide by social distancing measures ahead of England's Euro 2020 clash with Scotland tomorrow night.

    • 06:14

      Taiwan Detects 187 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 05:35

      Ukraine Reports 967 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 05:34

      Pakistan Detects 1,043 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 05:33

      Russian Defence Ministry Developing COVID-19 Medication in Form of Chewing Gum, Source Says

      Bubble gum

      Russian Defence Ministry Developing COVID-19 Medication in Form of Chewing Gum, Source Says

      MOSCOW(Sputnik) - The Russian Defence Ministry started developing a new antiviral drug against COVID-19 in the form of chewing gum, a source close to the ministry said on Friday.
      Read more
    • 05:14

      Bank of Japan Extends COVID-19 Relief Program for Business for Another 6 Months

      The Bank of Japan on Friday announced extending its financial aid program for the country's companies that are affected by the coronavirus pandemic for another six months.

      "The Bank decided by an 8-0 majority vote, with 1 abstention, to extend the duration of the Special Program to Support Financing in Response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) by 6 months until the end of March 2022 with a view to continuing to support financing, mainly of firms, given that such financing is likely to remain under stress due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), although it has improved compared with a while ago," the bank said in a statement.

      In 2020, the country's central bank set up the program with a budget of 75 trillion yen ($682.5 billion) to help companies that struggle amid the pandemic.

    • 05:09

      South Korea Reports 507 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 04:47

      Ethiopia Registers 174 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 04:24

      Japanese Health Experts Advise Holding Tokyo Olympics Without Spectators

      Japan's expert panel on the coronavirus pandemic on Friday said that it would be better to hold the Summer Olympics in Tokyo without a live audience.

      "Holding the games without spectators brings the risk of infection at stadiums down to a minimum and is the desirable way to hold [the games]," the experts said in a report presented to the organizing committee, as quoted by Kyodo.

      This opinion, however, runs contra to the wishes of the government, which is currently mulling setting the number of spectators at the sporting event to 10,000 people, or no more than 50% of the occupancy of a facility.

      The Summer Olympics in Tokyo were initially scheduled for 2020 but were postponed in the spring of last year amid the coronavirus pandemic. The games are to take place this summer, from 23 July until 8 August. It is supposed to feature the largest number of athletic disciplines, 33, as well as categories, 339.

    • 04:24

      India's COVID-19 Death Toll Reaches 383,490

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