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Shoppers walk past social distancing signs at the Covent Garden shopping and dining district, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, August 2, 2020 - Sputnik International

COVID-19 Live Updates: WHO Warns Increase in Cases Back to Spring Level in Some Countries

The global death toll from the coronavirus infection has topped 934,000, while almost 29.5 million cases have been reported and more than 20 million who contracted the disease have recovered, according to Baltimore, Maryland's Johns Hopkins University, which tracks and compiles data from national and local authorities, the media and other sources.

The United States still has the highest case count in the world, with 6,585,763, including 195,275 fatalities and 2,477,942 recoveries.

Hispanics, Blacks and Native Americans have suffered nearly 80 percent of the COVID-19-related deaths among victims who were under 21-years-old, which totalled 121 from 12 February - 31 July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Tuesday.

Minorities represent 78 percent of the deaths, although they comprise 41 percent of the under-21 population, according to the report.

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02:50 GMT 17.09.2020

MOSCOW, September 17 (Sputnik) – Kia Motors Corp., one of the biggest South Korean carmakers, said on Thursday that its two plants the country had been halted as at least eight workers had tested positive for the coronavirus, South Korean media reported.

The suspended plants are located in the city of Gwangmyeong south of Seoul, with some 6,000 employees remaining at home, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing a Kia spokesperson.

The company will make a further decision on the plants’ operation in line with the instructions of health authorities.

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11. To date, more than 29.7 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 939,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

South Korea has confirmed more than 22,000 cases so far, with over 370 fatalities.

01:18 GMT 17.09.2020

MOSCOW, September 17 (Sputnik) – It is too early to speak about specific dates of opening EU borders for Russian citizens because the coronavirus threat is still in place, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“Concerning opening popular European tourist destinations for Russian citizens, it is too early to speak about specific dates now. At the moment, it is clear to everybody that the global threat of the coronavirus spread has not been overcome yet,” the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Foreign Ministry stressed that it was necessary to keep caution and vigilance to maintain the emerging positive trends in the pandemic.

“That is why the decision on resuming the regular air traffic must be thoroughly developed and made with respect to the current epidemiological situation both in our country and the whole world,” the statement added.

On March 27, Russia suspended air traffic with other countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The same moves were made by other countries, including EU nations. Starting from August 1, Russia has been resuming the air traffic with some countries where the epidemiological situation is normalizing.

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11. To date, more than 29.7 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 938,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

21:59 GMT 16.09.2020
21:24 GMT 16.09.2020
20:33 GMT 16.09.2020

TEL AVIV, September 16 (Sputnik) - Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday apologized to citizens for the re-imposed coronavirus-related lockdown in the country during a televised address.

"I know that we, the authorities, have not done enough to be worthy of your attention. You trusted us, and we let you down. Today I would like to say that I understand the feeling of confusion and uncertainty, the anxiety that many people have. I understand and above all, I want to apologize for this," Rivlin said.

The president also apologized for his own behavior during the previous lockdown, when he celebrated the Jewish Passover holiday together with his family and close friends in his Jerusalem residence.

In addition, Rivlin called on the government to work on regaining the trust of the citizens.

"This is a second chance, and we must take it, because I am afraid we will not have a third one," the president added.

Rivlin also urged Israeli citizens to comply with all the coronavirus restrictions during the lockdown that will last three weeks.

Earlier in the month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the introduction of the full lockdown starting from September 18 for three weeks coinciding with a period of Jewish holidays, as a count of COVID-19 cases in Israel continues to soar. All education facilities, gyms, swimming pools, cafes and restaurants will be closed during the lockdown.

Israel has so far confirmed over 169,000 coronavirus cases, more than 123,000 recoveries and over 1,100 related deaths.

20:29 GMT 16.09.2020
18:02 GMT 16.09.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - It is impossible for the coronavirus and influenza to merge into a single virus but one could get infected with both, WHO expert on epidemiology Maria Van Kerkhove said Wednesday.

"No, in terms of the genetic makeup of the viruses themselves, no ... It's possible for people to be infected with both," Van Kerkhove said when asked during a Q&A session with her colleague Mike Ryan.

The World Health Organization has confirmed a total of more than 29 million cases, including 931,321 confirmed deaths.

17:47 GMT 16.09.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Hundreds of ongoing serology studies and available results indicate that less than 10 percent of the global population has been infected with the coronavirus so far, meaning that the pandemic is far from over, Maria Van Kerkhove, the head of the emerging diseases unit of the World Health Organization, said on Wednesday.

"And the serology tests tell us, and I am overgeneralizing, but of the hundreds of studies that are being done and of the results we have that less than 10 percent of the population globally, you know, has been infected so far, that means that a virus has a long way to go," Van Kerkhove said during a Q&A session with her colleague Mike Ryan.

The expert said that the world was “nowhere near the level of herd immunity.”

15:48 GMT 16.09.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The World Health Organisation is seeing the increase in the coronavirus cases in some countries going back to spring levels, WHO expert on epidemiology Maria Van Kerkhove said Wednesday.

"We're starting to see some worrying trends in some countries where we are seeing case numbers increase. And the case numbers are increasing to the levels we saw in the spring," van Kerkhove said at an Q & A session.

The expert said the increase in hospitalizations and ICU, which could be seen across the Northern hemisphere, was a worrying sign. In addition, the flu season, which has not started yet, may put additional stress on the medical systems, van Kerkhove said.

"We haven't seen flu circulate yet. And so, we can't distinguish between flu and COVID initially, you need a test to do so. So testing systems are really stressed right now even though they've improved. But they're going to be even further stressed," the expert said

15:24 GMT 16.09.2020
15:22 GMT 16.09.2020
15:06 GMT 16.09.2020
14:35 GMT 16.09.2020
14:20 GMT 16.09.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Netherlands' coronavirus testing system is close to collapse, Bram Diederen, the head of the Microvida testing laboratory, told the Dutch de Volkskrant newspaper on Wednesday, adding that rapid tests, as well as priority testing need to be introduced.

"We are already reaching the limits ... People are waiting for a test result for three, four or five days. It is way too long, they want to know the result within a day. And we are still in September. The weather is fine, the hospitals are fine, but I am sure that with the onset of October, the system will be completely blocked. It will be a disaster," Diederen said.

The specialist also called on the government to promote priority testing of specific groups of people, such as hospital staff and teachers, as well as representatives of other professions who cannot work full time from home.

According to Diederen, it is necessary to introduce rapid tests as soon as possible, while Dutch COVID-19 tests can be analyzed in laboratories in countries with greater capacity, such as Germany.

The Netherlands has so far confirmed more than 84,500 cases of the coronavirus infection, including 6,258 fatalities. On Tuesday, a record daily increment of 1,379 infections was registered in the country.

13:35 GMT 16.09.2020

Al-Aqsa Mosque, located in the Old City of Jerusalem, will be closed for all visits and prayers for three weeks as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Palestinian media reported on Wednesday, citing religious officials.

According to the Wafa news agency, the suspension of entry to the mosque will go into effect after Friday’s prayer.

On Wednesday, Palestine recorded 963 COVID-19 cases and 15 fatalities, while the total number of those infected in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza, has reached 42,379.

11:15 GMT 16.09.2020
11:11 GMT 16.09.2020

Curfews may be imposed in London to prevent a second wave of COVID-19, Kevin Fenton, the London director of Public Health England agency, said in an interview with the Evening Standard daily newspaper, published on Wednesday.

"In some areas which have seen resurgence there have been limits placed on the amount of time you can spend socialising. In some it might be local curfews so you’re not out drinking until the wee hours of the morning," Fenton said.

Fenton mentioned other measures, such as encouraging people to wear masks, issuing stronger public health warnings and focusing more on COVID-19 safety at workplaces. He also warned that some of the new restrictions could be potentially implemented across the entire city.

"We will work with our London partners to identify what’s the best approach, and some of that might be intensifying activity at borough and sub-regional levels, and for a few things it may require a pan-London approach, just because of how feasible it is to implement some of those interventions," the director added.

The United Kingdom has confirmed a total of 374,228 cases, including 43,685 in London, as well as 41,664 fatalities nationwide.

10:13 GMT 16.09.2020
09:51 GMT 16.09.2020
09:22 GMT 16.09.2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) does not register a surge in COVID-19 daily growth in Russia, while the situation is different in Europe, WHO Representative to Russia Melita Vujnovic said on Wednesday.

"We currently see growth in many countries across the European region, but we do not see this in Russia," Vujnovic said at an online press conference.

The WHO has drawn this conclusion from the data that the national sanitary regulations institute submits to the organization daily, Vujnovic added.

08:38 GMT 16.09.2020
08:22 GMT 16.09.2020
08:13 GMT 16.09.2020

The Roscongress Foundation, a major national event organizer, will help distribute the Russian COVID-19 vaccine among interested countries once all the trials are completed, CEO Alexander Stuglev said, noting that several African nations have already expressed intentions to purchase the drug.

"As soon as the Russian vaccine against coronavirus goes through all the necessary trials and is approved by the relevant authorities, Roscongress will provide all the assistance necessary for its distribution among the interested partners. Such interest has been already indicated by some of our colleagues in Africa," Stuglev, who also heads the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum’s Coordinating Council, said.

According to Stuglev, Roscongress has already joined efforts to promote Avifavir, the first Russian drug against COVID-19, in international markets.

"Obviously, the first task in the current situation is the safety of people’s health and lives. Many countries are now actively working on the creation of vaccines and other drugs that will lead to the lift of movement restrictions and gradual economic recovery," he explained.

The issue, he went on, is "especially pertinent" for a range of African states that are not fully ready to tackle the pandemic.

"Russia has the necessary experience and expertise to produce high-quality and effective medicine. We can mention successful cooperation between Russia and the African states regarding the production and shipping of the Russian vaccine against Ebola," the Roscongress CEO added.

08:06 GMT 16.09.2020
08:00 GMT 16.09.2020
07:30 GMT 16.09.2020

Russia has registered 5,670 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours (5,529 yesterday), which brings the cumulative total to 1,079,519, the country's coronavirus response centre said on Wednesday.

"Over the past 24 hours, Russia has confirmed 5,670 COVID-19 cases in 84 regions, of which 1,309 (23.1 percent) have been detected actively, with people showing no clinical symptoms," the response centre said in a statement, adding that the total tally has reached 1,079,519.

Moscow recorded 750 cases, St. Petersburg registered 207 cases, and the Moscow region confirmed 173 new cases. No new cases were recorded in the Chukotka Autonomous Region.

In the past 24 hours, Russia recorded 132 COVID-19 fatalities, bringing the death toll to 18,917, and 5,809 recoveries, taking the total to 890,114.

According to the public health watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, over 41.4 million tests to detect COVID-19 have been conducted in Russia since the beginning of the pandemic, and 223,000 suspected carriers remain under medical monitoring.

07:03 GMT 16.09.2020
06:15 GMT 16.09.2020

As many as 360 Russian nationals have left the United States on another repatriation flight that Moscow has organized amid the coronavirus pandemic, Russian Ambassador in Washington Anatoly Antonov said.

"A few minutes ago, a plane took off for Moscow from the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Today [on Wednesday], 360 people, who were stuck in the United States at this difficult time, are returning to their homeland Among them, there are eight babies," Antonov told reporters, as quoted by the Russian embassy on Facebook.

The diplomat added that it was the 24th repatriation flight since the outbreak of the coronavirus that included 47 passengers.

Russia suspended air travel amid the spread of the coronavirus infection in late March but has been organizing repatriation flights for its citizens.

05:56 GMT 16.09.2020
05:29 GMT 16.09.2020

The number of COVID-19 cases in India has surpassed 5 million, according to Health Ministry data.

The country's coronavirus death toll exceeds 82,000 and the number of recoveries tops 3.94 million.

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