18:12 GMT01 August 2021
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    At the moment, the overall COVID-19 tally stands at 188.8 million cases, while the death toll from the novel coronavirus has surpassed 4.06 million, according to Baltimore, Maryland's Johns Hopkins University, which tracks data on the pandemic.

    The list of the most affected nations includes the United States, India, and Brazil. The US has confirmed almost 34 million cases so far, and a death toll of 608,000.

    Next is India, which is recovering from a major pandemic outbreak in April-May, and has reported almost 31 million cases and around  412,000 deaths. Brazil, meanwhile, has confirmed around 19.2 million cases and the second-highest death toll in the world - around 539,000 fatalities.

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    • 18:15

      Iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris Reopens After 8-Month COVID-19 Hiatus

      This picture taken on July 16, 2021, in Paris shows the Eiffel Tower and its protective wall. - The Eiffel Tower reopened to visitors on July 16, 2021, after nine months of shutdown caused by the Covid pandemic. Up to 13,000 people per day will be allowed to take the elevators to the top and take in the views over the French capital, down from 25,000 in the pre-Covid era.

      Iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris Reopens After 8-Month COVID-19 Hiatus

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Eiffel Tower, the French capital's iconic landmark, reopened on Friday after a 260-day break, the longest closure since World War II, a Sputnik correspondent reported.
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    • 15:58

      South Korean Court Allows Churches to Partially Resume Religious Services Despite COVID-19

      SEOUL (Sputnik) - The Seoul Administrative Court on Friday partially accepted a petition filed by a group of Christian churches to cancel the ban on worship services imposed due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

      Earlier in July, the authorities introduced the fourth and highest level of social distancing in Seoul, Incheon and the province of Gyeonggi. The measure bans meetings of more than two people after 6 p.m., while religious organisations are allowed to conduct strictly online services.

      "The all-out ban on on-site religious events is feared to have the potential to fundamentally infringe upon basic rights because there are religious groups practically unable to provide contactless services due to a lack of material or personnel resources", the court said as quoted by Yonhap News Agency.

      According to the court’s decision, religious communities can hold services with 10% attendance, but fewer than 20 people. All parishioners must wear face masks and keep social distance. However, those religious organisations which previously violated sanitary rules are still banned from conducting services with parishioners.

      South Korea has so far registered over 175,000 COVID-19 cases and 2,051 deaths caused by the disease.

    • 15:57

      Lithuanian Vaccination Centre Disposes of 5,000 Expired Moderna Doses

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A coronavirus vaccination centre in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius threw out 5,000 Moderna doses after its excess stock expired, the centre’s administrator said.

      "Moderna vaccine doses were disposed of in Vilnius in recent weeks after 5,000 doses expired", Kipras Krasauskas told the Delfi news website.

      He said there were more vaccine doses than could be used. The same will probably happen to the Pfizer stock, Krasauskas said, because only the Health Ministry has the exact figures on supply and demand.

      "Some municipalities refuse to take vaccines, as far as I know. They say, we won’t be able to use them and will be criticised for letting them expire", the official said.

      The small Baltic nation reported 82 new COVID-19 cases on Friday. Almost half the population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the Health Ministry’s statistics.

    • 13:26

      UK Registers 51,870 New Cases, 49 New Deaths

    • 11:33

      Australian Prime Minister Pledges to Push for Answers on COVID-19 Origins

    • 10:19

      COVID-19 Origins: Scrapping Lab Leak Theory 'Premature Push', WHO Chief Says

      A man passes by the words China Dream outside the entrance to the Wuhan Institute of Virology during a visit by a World Health Organization team in Wuhan in China's Hubei province on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021

      COVID-19 Origins: Scrapping Lab Leak Theory 'Premature Push', WHO Chief Says

      In March, the World Health Organisation claimed in a report that it is "extremely unlikely" the coronavirus escaped from a Wuhan research lab.
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    • 08:08

      Over 1,200 Danes Sick With COVID-19 After Both Vaccine Shots

      In this file photo dated Sunday, April 4, 2021, a  member of the medical staff prepares a dose of the  Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, at a vaccination site in Sarcelles, outside Paris

      Over 1,200 Danes Sick With COVID-19 After Both Vaccine Shots

      While most of Denmark's inpatients are currently unvaccinated or had only one shot, the vaccines are said not to protect quite as well against the Delta variant, which is currently taking over Europe.
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    • 07:40

      Canada May Allow Entry to Fully Vaccinated Tourists by September, PM Says

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Canada will be able to reopen to fully vaccinated tourists by early September provided a satisfactory progress of the national vaccination campaign, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

      "The Prime Minister noted that, if our current positive path of vaccination rate and public health conditions continue, Canada would be in a position to welcome fully vaccinated travellers from all countries by early September", Trudeau's press service quoted him as saying.

    • 06:23

      Nigerian Olympic Team Member Hospitalised in Tokyo Due to Coronavirus, Reports Suggest

    • 05:55

      Japan's Opposition Demands Extraordinary Parliament Session Amid COVID-19 Spike, Reports Say

      TOKYO (Sputnik) - Four Japanese opposition parties have submitted a request to the lower house to convene an extraordinary session of the parliament to address the rising number of COVID-19 cases amid the forthcoming Olympic Games, national media reported on Friday.

      The latest parliamentary session ended on 16 June. The main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party, along with three others, demanded early last month that the government grant a three-month extension to the session to discuss the country's COVID-19 response, threatening a no-confidence motion if their demand is not met.

    • 05:21

      Ukraine Confirms 737 New COVID-19 Cases

    • 04:46

      Number of Hospitalised Britons May Soon Be 'Quite Scary', Top Medic Warns

      Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty has warned that the UK is "not out of the woods yet", noting that the number of people admitted to hospitals due to coronavirus could reach "quite scary" levels in the coming weeks.

    • 04:46

      Number of COVID-19 Cases in India Rises by 38,949 Over Past 24 Hours

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