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People walk past flags flying at half staff at the Washington Monument in memory of 500,000 deaths due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Washington, U.S., February 24, 2021.    - Sputnik International

Live Updates: Global COVID Death Toll Exceeds 2.5 Million, Johns Hopkins University Says

The global death toll from the coronavirus infection has topped 2.491 million; over 112.3 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 United States has the highest death toll and overall coronavirus tally, with 28.3 million infected and 505,000 fatalities. It is followed by India (11.03 million cases, 156,000 deaths) and Brazil (10.3 million cases and a death toll of over 249,000), while Mexico has the third-highest death toll with over 182,000 fatalities and over 2 million infected.

The Group of 20 countries (G20) must avoid a dangerous divergence in their ranks and step up  to supply the coronavirus vaccine across the world to shield vulnerable economies from untold risks, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said.

Follow Sputnik’s feed to find out more.     

Table of contents
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02:49 GMT 26.02.2021

BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) – The first batch of China’s Sinopharm vaccine against the coronavirus has arrived in Argentina, the broadcast posted on the Twitter page of the presidential office said.

The Latin American nation has received 904,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine.

The mass vaccination campaign started in Argentina in late December after the country had authorized the emergency use of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus.

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11. To date, more than 112.95 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 2.5 million fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Argentina has confirmed more than 2 million COVID-19 cases so far, with over 51,000 fatalities.

02:44 GMT 26.02.2021

CAIRO (Sputnik) – The first two cases of the UK strain of the coronavirus have been detected in Algeria, the Health Ministry's Pasteur Institute said.

“On February 19, two cases of the UK strain of the coronavirus were detected via PCR tests,” the institute said on Thursday in a statement, obtained by Sputnik.

One of the patients has arrived from France to visit the funeral of his father while the other one has been hospitalized in the northern Algerian city of Cheraga.

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11. To date, more than 112.86 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 2.5 million fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Algeria has confirmed more than 112,000 COVID-19 cases so far, with about 3,000 fatalities.

02:39 GMT 26.02.2021

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Yemeni Ministry of Health has authorized the emergency use of the AstraZenecа vaccine against COVID-19, the national commission on fighting the coronavirus said.

“The Ministry of Health has agreed to authorize the emergency use of the UK vaccine against the coronavirus, AstraZenecа, and is preparing for receiving the first batch of the vaccine,” the commission said in a statement on late Thursday.

AstraZenecа’s drug is the first vaccine against COVID-19 allowed for the emergency use in Yemen.

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11. To date, more than 112.86 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 2.5 million fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Yemen has confirmed more than 2,200 COVID-19 cases so far, with over 600 fatalities.

02:33 GMT 26.02.2021

CAIRO (Sputnik) – More than 3 million people have already been vaccinated against the coronavirus in Morocco, the national Ministry of Health said.

“The number of vaccinated people stands at 3,160,479,” the ministry said in a daily bulletin on late Thursday.

Morocco has already authorized the use of two vaccines against the coronavirus: developed by AstraZeneca and Sinopharm. The vaccination campaign was launched on January 28, with King Mohammed VI being one of the first who got a dose of the vaccine.

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11. To date, more than 112.86 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 2.5 million fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Morocco has confirmed more than 482,000 COVID-19 cases so far, with over 8,500 fatalities.

22:10 GMT 25.02.2021

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that his administration is "weeks ahead of schedule" in administering half of the planned 100 million vaccine doses in the first 100 days in office.

"Today, I am here to report, we are half way there… in just 37 days since I become President. That is weeks ahead of schedule," Biden said at an event commemorating 50 million administered vaccine shots.

The United States will be the first country that will provide 100 million shots, he added.

US President has reassured that there are no plans to vaccinate every American. He also urged people to continue maintaining protective measures, such as wearing masks, washing hands and keeping social distance.

Biden warned that the number of hospitalizations could increase again as new variants of the novel coronavirus disease emerge.

"This is not the time to relax," he said.

22:09 GMT 25.02.2021

ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkey is working on establishing joint production of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Thursday.

Previously, the Russian Direct Investment Fund told Sputnik about an agreement with a Turkish manufacturer on producing Sputnik V. Earlier in the month, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Aleksei Erkhov, said that a possibility of joint manufacturing is being worked out.

"Preparations are underway in Turkey for manufacturing the Sputnik V vaccine. However, first, we need to finish the toxicology studies that have already begun," Koca told journalists.

21:28 GMT 25.02.2021

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The number of people, who have died of COVID-19 in Brazil, has increased by 1,541 to 251,498 within the past 24 hours, the national Health Ministry said on late Thursday.

The number of confirmed cases in the country has risen by 65,998 to 10,390,461 within the same period of time.

20:41 GMT 25.02.2021
20:28 GMT 25.02.2021

ROME (Sputnik) - San Marino has begun vaccinating its medicals staff with Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the country's high council for healthcare said on Thursday.

The first person to receive the Russian vaccine was a 26-year-old ambulance worker, who was among 25 people selected for a symbolic event at a state hospital. A full-fledged vaccination campaign will start on Monday with medical workers being the first to receive the vaccine.

"We are very glad that we can finally begin vaccinating medical personnel and then the rest of the population," the council said in a statement.

The first batch of the Russian vaccine arrived in the southern European microstate, which is completely enclosed by Italy, on Tuesday. According to the authorities, the vaccine will allow vaccinating 15 percent of the republic's citizenry.

20:16 GMT 25.02.2021
18:37 GMT 25.02.2021

The Nigerian Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) rolled out a nationwide training program on Thursday for health care workers who will be involved in the COVID-19 vaccination at the national and state levels, according to a statement seen by Sputnik.

"The training program is aimed at updating the skills of the health care workers in the effective handling, storage and administration of COVID-19 vaccines ahead of their arrival," the statement read.

The NPHCDA said that over 13,000 health care workers have already been trained, and the plan is to raise the number to 100,000 by March 1.

The Nigerian government maintains that with the support of the World Health Organization it continues to respond to the pandemic under a multi-sectoral national action plan coordinated through the presidential COVID-19 task force. The country said it has scaled up surveillance and diagnostic capacity and established additional case management facilities to mitigate excess mortality.

WHO Representative to Nigeria Walter Kazadi Mulombo told Sputnik that no vaccines have arrived in the country so far. He said the first batch of AstraZeneca's vaccine is expected into the country in early March via the COVAX international distribution initiative.

"In Nigeria, COVID-19 cases started surging in early December, similar to what was being observed in many other countries. Many factors may be responsible for this second wave of the pandemic. The increased mobility over the December holiday period in combination with mass gatherings and relative relaxation in adherence to public health and social measures such as wearing of masks, physical distancing and hand hygiene could have contributed to the surge in cases," Kazadi Mulombo said.

The World Health Organization said key efforts in flattening the curve include institutions and enforcement of measures to reduce the transmission, such as the enforcement of community mitigation strategies.

As of Thursday, Nigeria's COVID-19 toll is 153,842 cases, including 1,885 deaths and 130,818 recoveries.

17:58 GMT 25.02.2021

UNICEF and the British-Swedish AstraZeneca pharmaceutical corporation have signed an agreement to provide COVID-19 vaccines to 85 nations, the agency announced in a press release on Thursday.

"UNICEF and AstraZeneca this week signed a long-term agreement for the supply of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca on behalf of the COVAX Facility," the release said.

Through the agreement, UNICEF and its procurement partners including the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), will have access to up to 170 million doses of vaccines for around 85 countries, the UN agency said.

"The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine received WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) on 15 February. Deliveries of the vaccine are planned to begin in the first quarter of 2021," the release said.

On 11 February, UNICEF announced the signing of an agreement with Pfizer for the supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine through 2021, following an agreement with the Serum Institute of India to access two vaccines through technology transfer from AstraZeneca which has been granted, the UN agency noted.

17:26 GMT 25.02.2021

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has delayed a shipment of coronavirus vaccines to Estonia for a week, Estonian Minister of Health and Labour Tanel Kiik said on Thursday.

"This week AstraZeneca should have delivered 25,000 doses of vaccine to our country, then the amount was reduced to 16,000, and now, according to the latest update, there will be no shipment of vaccines at all this week, it will arrive next week," Kiik told the press.

There are currently no vaccine manufacturers who can keep up with delivery schedules, the minister said.

In total, Estonia so far received 97,110 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, 10,800 doses from Moderna, and 33,600 from AstraZeneca.

The vaccine rollout in Estonia started on December 27. As of February 25, the Estonian Health Ministry reported that 68,629 people had the first shot, 28,351 out of them are fully vaccinated.

16:49 GMT 25.02.2021

The first shipment of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine arrived in Montenegro on Thursday, the country's government said.

On Tuesday, Montenegrin Health Minister Jelena Borovinic received a shot of the Russian vaccine provided by Serbia.

"A 5,000-dose shipment of the Sputnik V vaccine has arrived in Montenegro from Russia," the government announced on Twitter, specifying that this is only the first batch of the vaccine delivery.

The delivery was received on arrival at the airport by Borovinic.

The government also expects a shipment of 30,000 doses of China's Sinopharm vaccine in the coming days.

On 20 February, Montenegro started inoculating the population with Sputnik V, after Serbian Prime Minister Brnabic personally handed over 2,000 doses. The Montenegrin Health Ministry told Sputnik it was engaged in negotiations with the Russian government and the Gamaleya research institute on direct supplies from Russia.

15:34 GMT 25.02.2021

UK Chief Medical Officers decided that it was possible to downgrade the COVID-19 threat level one step to Level 4, the government said Thursday in a statement.

"Following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in the light of the most recent data, the 4 UK Chief Medical Officers and NHS England National Medical Director agree that the UK alert level should move from level 5 to level 4 in all 4 nations," the statement read.

According to the statement, medical centres in the country are still "under significant pressure," but the NHS and other health service providers have a much lower risk of being "overwhelmed within 21 days."

14:37 GMT 25.02.2021
A vial containing Russian vaccine Sputnik V is shown by a nurse at the South Pest Central Hospital in Budapest, Hungary, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, as the vaccination with Sputnik V against the new coronavirus begins in the country. - Sputnik International, 1920
UK Welcomes Russia's Candid Release of Sputnik V Results in The Lancet, Ambassador Says
14:27 GMT 25.02.2021

Italy has averaged around 100,000 vaccinations daily this week but new variants of the coronavirus continue to drive up transmission numbers in several regions, media reported Thursday.

"Since Monday, February 22, over 100,000 administrations [of the jab] have been carried out on average per day and yesterday. Wednesday, February 24, the peak of 102,433 doses was reached," COVID-19 emergency commissioner Domenico Arcuri said, as quoted by the Ansa news agency.

The official described the rate as "reassuring," noting that the number of those who have received the first shot is approaching 4 million.

Daily cases have meanwhile resurged in Italy amid the spread of new COVID-19 variants, such as the UK strain, the news outlet reported, citing health foundation GIMBE.

According to GIMBE, daily cases have risen by nearly 10 percent over the past week. In 41 out of Italy’s 107 provinces, the rise has exceeded 20 percent.

The health foundation calls for "rigorous" and targeted restrictions in areas with sudden rises in infections.

14:19 GMT 25.02.2021
14:04 GMT 25.02.2021

China's National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) announced on Thursday granting conditional approval to COVID-19 vaccines developed by Tianjin-based pharmaceutical company CanSino Biologics and the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products.

Both producers applied for authorization on Sunday.

The Ad5-nCoV vaccine by CanSino Biologics was developed jointly with the military, according to the NMPA. Built on an adenoviral vector platform, the vaccine showed an efficacy rate just above 65 percent during Phase 3 trials, which are still underway. This vaccine requires only one shot.

The Wuhan vaccine, built on the inactivated virus platform, requires two doses. Its interim efficacy rate during Phase 3 trials was established at 72.5 percent. The Wuhan Institute of Biological Products is administered by Chinese state company Sinopharm, which already had a COVID-19 vaccine developed by another one of its subsidiaries.

The number of Chinese homegrown vaccines with an NMPA use authorization has thus grown to four. Two others include the vaccines by Sinopharm's Beijing Institute of Biological Products and by Beijing-based company Sinovac Biotech.

13:58 GMT 25.02.2021

"I have only bad news...We are facing the hardest two weeks since the start of the pandemic. The number of infections is rising sharply and will continue to rise due to the new mutations," Orban said in a video on Facebook.

13:44 GMT 25.02.2021

India's domestically-produced COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin is largely unpopular within the Indian health care sector as only 11 percent of vaccinated workers were inoculated with it, Hindustan Times reported on Thursday.

There are currently two vaccines with authorization for emergency use in India — Covaxin and Covishield, an Indian-manufactured analogue of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine. Both have still not completed Phase 3 clinical trials.

According to the report, citing Co-Win, which is the Indian government's online platform for tracking the progress of the vaccination campaign, more than 10.5 million Indian medical workers were vaccinated to date, and only 1.2 million of them — or around 11 percent — took Covaxin. The other 9.4 million medical workers used Covishield.

"It's all because of the initial discussion about how (COVAXIN) was only an experimental vaccine, how it had not completed the Phase-3 trial. These things created doubts in the minds of people, resulting in lesser acceptance," Subhash Salunkhe, a medical adviser to the government of India's Maharashtra state, told the newspaper.

Covaxin was developed by Indian pharmaceutical company Bharat Biotech and granted an emergency use approval in India on January 3. The vaccine is built on the inactivated virus platform. Its dosing regimen is two shots per patient 28 days apart.

India launched its COVID-19 vaccination campaign on January 16. The lack of confidence in the homegrown vaccine risks preventing the country from meeting its target of vaccinating 300 million people by August, the newspaper fears. India's population is over 1.36 billion people.

Behind only the United States, India has the second-highest toll of coronavirus cases, as of Thursday. According to the latest reported data from the Indian Ministry of Health, the cumulative toll is over 11 million cases, including more than 156,000 deaths and some 10.7 million recoveries.

13:03 GMT 25.02.2021
A shipment of doses of the Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)  - Sputnik International, 1920
Guatemala Becomes Third Central American Country to Approve Russia's Sputnik V COVID Vaccine
12:52 GMT 25.02.2021

The African Union has authorized the AstraZeneca/Oxford coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, the chief of the bloc’s health agency announced on Thursday.

"The Africa CDC [Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention] regulatory task force has now approved the emergency listing of two versions of AstraZeneca vaccines: the Oxford vaccine, that is the one produced in South Korea, and the second in India," Africa CDC Director Dr. John Nkengasong said.

The work is now underway to ensure safe vaccination across the region.

"We continue to work with countries to support them on safe vaccination administration. Very important training on COVID-19 vaccination by Africa CDC will be starting very, very soon," Nkengasong added.

Earlier in February, the Africa CDC recommended against using the AstraZeneca vaccine in those member states that have reported coronavirus cases of the South African variant, after the shot showed its limited efficacy against the strain.

12:25 GMT 25.02.2021

Austria will be in charge of the donation efforts in the Balkan countries that have been facing challenges in accessing the vaccine, WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Henri Kluge told reporters on Thursday.

"The teams are 24/7 on this particular issue, not only for Bosnia and Herzegovina … The COVAX [Facility] is now starting up, it may take a little time to be fully operational, but we're also working closely for example with the European Commission at all levels on the issue of donations, in this case to the Balkans, with Austria being the coordinator for those donations and also assisting the countries to make the bridge to that one," Kluge said.

Apart from Serbia and Croatia, most Western Balkan countries rely on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines almost exclusively through the COVAX mechanism. According to media reports, Montenegro expects 248,800 doses, North Macedonia 800,000, Kosovo 360,000, but the shipments are yet to arrive. African Ghana became the first country to receive the vaccine from the program earlier on Wednesday.

"There are production issues … and there we're also trying to assist to identify production sites which could help to beef [vaccine production] up," the WHO regional director noted.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is the most affected country by the vaccine shortage in the West Balkans. As Bosnia has still not met vaccine storage requirements, the country is unlikely to receive any vaccines through COVAX even in March. So far, only the Bosnian Serb entity, Republika Srpska, got 2,000 doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine intended for healthcare workers. Bosnian Serbs reportedly cross the border to Serbia to receive shots.

Serbia is currently one of the European leaders in the vaccination efforts. Over 1.2 million people have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, more than 428,000 have been fully inoculated.

12:22 GMT 25.02.2021
12:18 GMT 25.02.2021
12:16 GMT 25.02.2021

The Syrian Health Ministry will start providing medical workers in several provinces with COVID-19 vaccines beginning next week, state-run SANA news agency reported on Thursday, citing Health Minister Hassan Ghobash.

During a press conference, Ghobash said that the ministry obtained a shipment of vaccines from an unnamed "friendly country," according to SANA. The minister noted that the vaccine will be first given to those specialists working in quarantine centres, with priority given to the older age group.

The vaccine has been approved by the relevant health bodies and used in a number of countries, the news outlet said. It will be administrated in two doses with an interval of 21 days between the first and the second shots.

In early February, the Chinese embassy in Damascus said that it would send 150,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine to the Middle Eastern nation as aid. This week, Syrian Ambassador to Moscow, Riad Haddad, told Sputnik that his country authorized Russia’s Sputnik V and was prepared to import the coronavirus vaccine.

Before that, there were reports that Syria allegedly received deliveries of Sputnik V from the Israeli authorities, which agreed to finance them in exchange for the release of an Israeli woman held captive in Damascus.

As of Thursday, the country’s health authorities have recorded 15,343 cases of COVID-19, including 1,008 fatalities.

12:15 GMT 25.02.2021
12:15 GMT 25.02.2021

The expert committee of the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is set to review Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in the coming days and make a statement regarding its use on the continent, Africa CDC Director John Nkengasong said at a briefing on Thursday.

"Yes, we did reach out to these countries. The Russian Gamaleya group that produces Sputnik V vaccine has submitted its full dossiers. I’m pleased to state that in the coming days, hopefully, next week, the panel will come together and start discussing," Nkengasong said.

Last week, the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), which was set up by the African Union with the aim to immunize 60 percent of the continental population, said that Russia had offered 300 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine to the African Union.

According to the health officials, AVATT will hold a meeting with the Sputnik V manufacturer to discuss all the details after which the expert committee will review the dossiers and make a pronouncement on them.

"The vaccines, the 300 million does that have been agreed on, will be made available on the platform. Making them available doesn’t mean that we have purchased them. It means that countries can go through the platform and place their orders once we have given endorsement to that product," Nkengasong said.

AVATT earlier secured over 270 million doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson&Johnson vaccines.

11:25 GMT 25.02.2021
11:20 GMT 25.02.2021

Paris will supply 100,000 doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at the request of the Czech government by mid-March, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis told reporters on Thursday.

"Due to the tough coronavirus situation, we are trying to get additional vaccines from different sources. We managed to get them in Israel, which granted us with 5 thousand Moderna vaccine [doses]. Now France has promised to provide us with 100 thousand Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine [doses] by March 15," Babis said.

The country began its vaccination campaign in late December 2020 and joined other European nations in dismay over cuts in shipments of the EU-approved vaccines declared by manufacturers due to production issues. However, the Czech leadership said that it would consider the use of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine only if it is authorized by the European medicines regulator.

Since October 5, 2020, the national government introduced an emergency regime over the pandemic, which entails closures of public facilities except for essential stores and pharmacies. Besides, the Czech Cabinet is set to convince the country's Parliament to allow the extension of the emergency regime until April, a measure requested by the regional authorities.

Additionally, due to the surge in infections of UK coronavirus variant in the country, the health authorities have obliged citizens to use respirators, nanomasks, or two medical masks at once in public places starting Thursday.

Later today, the government will discuss the options to toughen coronavirus measures in light of the current epidemiological situation.

11:17 GMT 25.02.2021

All countries in the World Health Organization's (WHO) European Region are "sovereign" to decide which coronavirus vaccines they choose to approve, Siddhartha Datta, WHO Europe's program manager for vaccine-preventable disease and immunization, said on Thursday.

During a regional press conference, Datta responded to a journalist's question regarding Hungary's decision to begin rolling out COVID-19 vaccines produced in Russia and China, in spite of the European Medicines Agency's lack of approval.

"Every member state in the WHO European Region, or globally, is sovereign to decide on the use of a vaccine, and I think we need to start acknowledging that vaccines, irrespective of their origin or the country, need to adhere to the principles of safety, efficacy, and quality," Datta said.

Hungary on Wednesday became the first European Union member state to begin using a COVID-19 vaccine produced by China's Sinopharm, after it gained regulatory approval in the country on January 29.

The EU nation received a shipment of 100,000 doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine on Wednesday, and Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in late January that discussions were ongoing over the purchase of two million doses.


10:44 GMT 25.02.2021

Europe may lift social distancing regulations by the beginning of the next year although the coronavirus will still likely be spreading, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Europe Hans Henri Kluge said on Thursday.

"No one can predict the course of the pandemic … At the beginning of 2022, we may be done with the pandemic with a lot of disruptive interventions but the virus will still not be at bay," the WHO official said at a press conference.

10:29 GMT 25.02.2021

Europe is registering less than 1 million new COVID-19 cases for a second week in a row, but the transmission rate is still high, WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Henri Kluge said Thursday.

"For the second consecutive week, less than 1 million new cases were reported as transmission continues to slow across the region. The decrease in new cases in the past month is driven by countries that have implemented new measures to slow transmission," Kluge said at a regional WHO press conference.

Kluge remarked, however, that the rate of transmission remained high and two strains were of particular note as they continued to "displace other variants."

"New reported cases have declined by almost a half since the end of 2020. However, to put that into perspective, the number of new cases in the region now is 10 times higher than in May last year," Kluge said.

According to the weekly report by WHO, Europe registered 939,271 new cases in seven days as of 23 February.

08:03 GMT 25.02.2021

Russia's coronavirus incidence keeps falling, as the single-day increase slashed to the lowest level since October 7 with 11,198 new cases confirmed (down from 11,749 the day before), the coronavirus response centre said on Thursday.

On 7 October, Russia confirmed 11,115 coronavirus cases.

"Over the past day, 11,198 coronavirus cases were confirmed across 85 regions, including 1,211 cases (10.8 percent) that were detected actively, with people showing no clinical symptoms," the centre said, adding that the cumulative case count has now reached 4,212,100, with the rate of increase at 0.27 percent.

Moscow confirmed 1,406 new coronavirus cases over the given period, down from 1,417 the day before. The Russian capital was followed by St. Petersburg with 911 new cases, up from 909 the day before, and the Moscow Region with 495 new cases, down from 695 on Wednesday.

The response centre reported 446 COVID-19 fatalities, up from 383 the day before, raising the country's death toll to 84,876.

Total recoveries increased by 16,102 over the given period, up from 12,218 the day before, and reached 3,767,664.

According to the national consumer health watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, over 110 million tests to detect COVID-19 have been conducted in Russia since the beginning of the pandemic, and 579,962 suspected carriers remain under medical monitoring.

07:10 GMT 25.02.2021
Female doctor - Sputnik International, 1920
Finland Goes Into Second State of Emergency Amid Warnings of New COVID Wave
05:52 GMT 25.02.2021
  Russia Coronavirus Vaccine - Sputnik International, 1920
Russia Ambassador Visits Sputnik V Vaccination Centre in Argentina's Buenos Aires Province
05:33 GMT 25.02.2021

India has confirmed 16,738 new cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, with the total number of those infected having reached 11,046,914, the country's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Thursday.

The death toll from the disease has reached 156,705 people, with 138 new fatalities being recorded over the past day. More than 10.73 million people have recovered in India since the start of the outbreak.

India comes second in terms of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, following the United States, with more than 28.33 million COVID-19 patients.

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