00:25 GMT24 July 2021
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    The global death toll from the coronavirus infection has topped 3,898 million; over 179,9 million cases have been detected, according to 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 (33,5 million infected, 603,000 deaths), India (30 million cases, 391,000 fatalities), and Brazil (18,2 million cases, and a death toll of over 509,000).

    The Delta coronavirus variant, first identified in India, continues to cause concern, and the European Union needs more coordination to regulate entry to the bloc from high-risk regions, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said ahead of an EU summit.

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    • 19:23

      Tunisian Prime Minister Contracts COVID-19

      CAIRO (Sputnik) - Tunisian Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said in a statement on Friday.

      The 47-year-old premier, who was vaccinated against COVID-19 in spring, will continue working remotely from office, the TAP news agency cited the press statement as saying.

      Officials that have been working with Mechichi are being tested for the virus. He chaired an extended meeting of cabinet ministers, scientific and military leaders on Thursday amid a surge in cases.

    • 18:21

      WHO Boss Says World Repeating Mistakes of HIV Crisis in COVID-19 Response

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The World Health Organization is seeing the world make the same mistake of inequitable distribution of treatment in its response to COVID-19 that was seen during the HIV crisis of the 1980s, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Friday.

      The WHO chief has repeatedly criticized higher-income countries for trying to jump to the front of the queue to secure vaccine supplies, while many poorer nations are yet to receive a single dose.

      "As a global community, we are failing. We're repeating the same mistake as HIV/AIDS, which took 10 years [for treatment] to reach the low-income countries after it was already rampant in high-income countries," Tedros told reporters, echoing calls to ensure equitable vaccine distribution.

      More than 180 million people globally have contracted the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 3.9 million died from it, according to figures provided by the Johns Hopkins University. It estimates that over 2.8 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

    • 15:40

      WHO Concerned About Transmissibility of Delta Coronavirus Variant, Tedros Says

    • 14:32

      Study Says Japan May Achieve Herd Immunity to COVID-19 By Mid-October

    • 12:53

      Iceland Possibly First to Lift All COVID-19 Restrictions, Health Minister Says

      "We are restoring the society we are used to living in and which we have longed for," Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir said.

    • 12:35

      Malaysia Reports 5,812 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 12:20

      Uzbekistan Restricts Entry to Capital Amid COVID-19 Case Surge

    • 12:01

      Moscow Companies Required to Transfer 30% of Employees to Work From Home

      Moscow-based companies are required to transfer at least 30% of employees to work from home starting from Monday, according to Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s decree published on Friday.

      "To establish that from 28 June, 2021, the obligation of employers operating in the city of Moscow to transfer workers, performers under civil law contracts to a remote mode of work of at least 30 percent of employees is resuming," the decree read.

      According to the decree, all workers who are over 65 years old or have chronic conditions are required to work from home.

      "Employers operating on the territory of the city of Moscow are subject to liability under the legislation on administrative offenses for violation of the requirements provided for in paragraph 28.1 of this decree," the decree read.

      The employees who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to work from home.

    • 11:39

      Merkel on Delta Variant: EU Needs to Do Everything to Avoid COVID-19 4th Wave

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday called on the European Union to do everything to avoid the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic amid the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant, first identified in India.

      "We must do our best not to be in the fourth wave, which will throw us behind. So the simple things — social distance, wearing masks, testing — remain relatively small constraints compared to what happens if we let the situation get out of hand and we have to take serious action again," Merkel said during a press conference.

      Merkel added that the COVID-19 situation in the EU right now is stable.

    • 11:37

      India’s Serum Institute Begins Production of First Batch of 'Covovax' Vaccine, 'Reached A New Milestone'

    • 11:32

      Tokyo Olympics Committee Pledges to Ensure Safe Games Amid Concerns Over COVID-19

      Seiko Hashimoto, president of the organizing committee of the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, said that the organizers will redouble efforts to ensure safety of the Olympic events, in an effort to allay fears expressed by the Imperial Household over risks of coronavirus infections during the games, Kyodo news agency reported.

      On Thursday, the grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency, Yasuhiko Nishimura, said that Emperor Naruhito was concerned about holding the Olympics in July as the event was likely to cause a spike in COVID-19 infections.

      "We need to make even more efforts to hold safe and peaceful Games," Hashimoto said in comments on the statements made by the Imperial Household.

      The Summer Olympics in Tokyo, initially scheduled for 2020, were postponed for a year due to the coronavirus crisis, and are currently scheduled to take place from 23 July to 8 August. The event will be held without spectators from overseas, while the number of domestic spectators is capped at 10,000 at each venue unless the number exceeds 50% of a venue's capacity.

      The authorities are pushing ahead with the sporting event despite public concerns and dismay linked to the pandemic.

    • 11:22

      I Remain Focused on Working to Get Country Out of Pandemic, UK Health Minister Matt Hancock Says

      "I remain focused on working to get the country out of this pandemic, and would be grateful for privacy for my family on this personal matter," British health minister Matt Hancock said.

    • 11:18

      Number of Russians Who Got 1st Component of COVID-19 Vaccine Tops 21Mln, Health Minister Says

      The number of Russians who were inoculated with the first component of a coronavirus vaccine topped 21 million, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Friday.

      "The number of those vaccinated with the first component topped 21 million today," Murashko said at a session of the coronavirus response center.

    • 11:16

      776 Doctors Died During Second Wave of COVID-19 Pandemic in India, Indian Medical Association Says

    • 11:14

      Danish Health Authority Says It Will Continue to Exclude AstraZeneca's COVID-19 Vaccines From National Roll-Out

    • 11:14

      Von Der Leyen Says Almost 60% of Adults in EU Will Have Received First COVID-19 Vaccine Shot By End of Week

      "We will have by the end of the week almost 60% of adults in the European Union that have received at least one dose, and we will have almost 40% that will be fully vaccinated. This is a big step forward but it is also necessary because we are worried about the Delta variant ... It is rapidly progressing, also speeding up here. The good news is that we see that the vaccine protects. Double vaccination protects very effectively against the Delta variant, and a single shot at the beginning gives at least a reduction of severe illness," von der Leyen said.

    • 10:46

      Indian Police Probe Fake Vaccine Scams

    • 10:37

      Japan May Introduce Another State of Emergency If COVID-19 Continues to Rise, Reports Say

      The Japanese government is ready to impose another state of emergency across the country if there is no let up in the spread of the coronavirus infections, media reported on Friday, citing Health Minister Tamura Norihisa.

      According to the minister, cited by the NHK news outlet, the numbers of people going out at night in Tokyo have been growing ever since the latest emergency state ended on June 20. With slow vaccinations as a contributing factor, the government expects COVID-19 daily incidence rates to rise.

      Japan kicked off the vaccine rollout in February, covering 4.7 million health care workers in the first phase. Starting from April, it began administering shots to over-65s, with some 36 million seniors expected to be vaccinated during this stage.

      Notably, the Japanese government has decided to go forward with the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, scheduled to be held from 23 July until 8 August without foreign spectators, despite the pandemic.

      To date, the country has registered over 790,000 COVID-19 infections and more than 14,000 related fatalities.

    • 10:24

      Spike in COVID-19 Cases Plunges Sydney Into Partial Lockdown

    • 09:57

      Iranian Leader Gets 1st Dose of Domestic COVID Vaccine, Thanks Developers on Twitter

      Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei received the first shot of the homegrown coronavirus vaccine, Barekat, on Friday and thanked the developers for their efforts.

      "Receiving the first dose of the #IranianCovidVaccine that has been developed by young Iranian scientists," Khamenei's official Twitter posted, accompanied by a video of the procedure.

      Khamenei further expressed his gratitude to the researchers and developers who "made scientific & practical efforts to provide the country with such a great, prestigious capability."

      Iran has confirmed more than 3.12 million COVID-19 cases so far, with over 83,000 fatalities.

    • 09:27

      Kyrgyzstan Reports 875 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 08:50

      Public Health England Reports Registering 35,204 New Cases of Delta Variant in Latest Week

    • 08:32

      Russia Records 20,393 COVID-19 Cases in Past 24 Hours

      Russia registered 20,393 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, up from 20,182 the day before, taking the cumulative total to 5,409,088, the federal response centre said on Friday.

      "Over the past day, 20,393 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 3,120 cases (15.3 percent) without clinical symptoms," the centre said, adding that the rate of increase stands at 0.38 percent.

      Moscow confirmed 7,916 daily infections, down from 8,598 the day before. The Russian capital was followed by the Moscow Region with 2,436 cases, up from 2,308 the day before, and St. Petersburg with 1,194 infections, up from 1,143 the day before.

      The response centre reported 601 new fatalities linked to the coronavirus, up from 568 the day before, raising the country's death toll to 132,064.

      In the same 24 hours, 14,024 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals across the country, up from 13,505 the day before, bringing the total to 4,929,639.

    • 08:14

      Delta Coronavirus Variant is Spreading Fast, Mainly Among People Who Are Not Vaccinated, German Public Health Official Wieler Says

      "The Delta variant will have the upper hand over the summer, it's more a matter of weeks than months," Health Minister Jens Spahn said.

    • 08:07

      Syria Still Deeply Needs COVID-19 Vaccines, Available Amount Not Enough, ICRC President Says

      Syria is still facing an acute shortage of COVID-19 vaccines despite supplies from other countries and through the COVAX vaccine-sharing strategy led by the World Health Organization, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer said.

      "Within Syria, we have some vaccines which came to Syria from Russia and also minimally from COVAX, but it is far from covering the need," Maurer said on the sidelines of the 9th Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS).

      Commenting on the overall epidemiological situation in the Middle Eastern country, the humanitarian organization's head said assessment was complicated due to internal issues, including displacement and poor infrastructure.

      "The numbers with regard to COVID-19 are difficult to assess. It is an issue but we do not know exactly what the dimension of the issue is. We are working with the health infrastructures in Syria to have a more accurate image," Maurer said.

      He went on to stress the importance of COVID-19 vaccines coming to Syria, noting that their supply is a major challenge for all such fragile countries.

      "We are still in less than 2% of all vaccines worldwide going to 40 or 50 most fragile countries in the world. And this is a big issue," Maurer added.

      Apart from the years-long civil war ravaging Syria, sanctions imposed by the West on Damascus hinder the country's efforts to combat the deadly pandemic, as they include a ban on medical supplies to Syrian people.

    • 07:10

      Israel Resumes Mask Requirement Indoors Amid Virus Spike

      Israel has reinstated mandatory mask-wearing indoors in a bid to halt a flare-up in Covid19 cases driven by the more infectious Delta variant of virus, the country's health ministry said on Friday.

      The announcement comes less than two weeks after the country's authorities cancelled the requirement to wear masks indoors as a preventative measure against the coronavirus.

      "In connection with the increase in the incidence of COVID-19, from 12.00 today, the obligation to wear masks is introduced everywhere, with the exception of open spaces," the statement from the ministry said.

      Israel embarked on one of the world's most rapid COVID-19 vaccine rollouts in December, with its citizens already getting their second shots in January. On 1 June, the country lifted almost all coronavirus restrictions, except for mandatory mask wearing, after registering a stable downward trend in new infections.

      In recent days, the country has detected isolated COVID-19 cases, with a cumulative total of over 800,000 and a death toll of more than 6,000.

    • 05:42

      Mongolia Detects 2,271 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 05:23

      Ukraine Registers 876 New Coronavirus Cases

    • 04:27

      Number of COVID-19 Cases in India Rises by 51,667 Over Past 24 Hours

      India has confirmed 51,667 new cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, with the total number of those infected having reached 30,134,445, the country's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday.

      The death toll from the disease has reached 393,310 people, with 1,329 new fatalities being recorded over the past day.

      More than 29.12 million people have recovered in India since the start of the outbreak.

      A day earlier, the country confirmed 54,069 new coronavirus cases, with 1,321 fatalities.

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