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FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine placed on displayed EU flag are seen in this illustration picture - Sputnik International

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The global death toll from the coronavirus infection has topped 3.4 million, while the number of infected is over 165 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The United States tops the list of the most affected nations, with around 33 million cases and a death toll of 588,000.

It is followed by India, which has been suffering from a major spike in COVID-related deaths amid a lack of medical equipment, registering 26 million cases and over 291,000 fatalities. Next comes Brazil, which has confirmed around 15.9 million cases and a death toll of around 444,000.

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02:49 GMT 22.05.2021

LIMA (Sputnik) –  The Peruvian government hopes that in the upcoming weeks, it will sign a deal to purchase more vaccines against COVID-19, including the Russian Sputnik V, interim President Francisco Sagasti said.

"We continue to hold talks with other suppliers, including Johnson & Johnson, the Russian Direct Investment Fund that is managing the vaccine [Sputnik V] developed by the Gamaleya research center, the US company of Moderna, Germany's Curevac and China's Sinovac. We hope that these talks will be successfully completed within the next several weeks," Sagasti said at a press conference on late Friday.

He added that the country had already signed contracts to purchase 60 million doses of vaccines against  COVID-19, which is enough to inoculate all people aged more than 18 years until the end of 2021.

23:55 GMT 21.05.2021

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - President Joe Biden announced that the United States will fully vaccinate 550,000 South Korean soldiers, sailors and airmen who work in close contact with their US forces on a regular basis.

"We will provide full vaccinations for all 550,000 of those Korean forces engaging with American forces on a regular basis both for their sake as well as the sake of the American forces," Biden said during a joint press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

22:19 GMT 21.05.2021

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil has increased by 76,855 to 15,970,949 within the past 24 hours, the national Ministry of Health said on late Friday.

According to the ministry, the death toll has risen by 2,215 to 446,309 people within the same period of time.

More than 14.42 million patients have recovered since the start of the outbreak.

A day earlier, the country confirmed more than 82,000 new coronavirus cases, with 2,403 fatalities.

22:03 GMT 21.05.2021

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States and South Korea agreed to establish a comprehensive cooperation to increase the global supply of coronavirus vaccines, South Korea President Moon Jae-in announced during a joint press conference with US President Joe Biden.

"There will be a comprehensive partnership to be established between our two nations. There has been an agreement between our two sides on that. The US has the ability to develop vaccines and Korean companies have the capacity to produce biomedicines," Moon said on Friday.

Moon also said the two countries will combine those capabilities to "boost vaccines supply, so that we can accelerate the rollout of vaccines to the entire world, especially in the Indo-Pacific region."

21:24 GMT 21.05.2021

Germany's health regulator on Friday ruled to add the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland to a list of regions with surging cases of a worrying coronavirus variant.

The new rules that will come into force on Sunday suppose that passengers who come from the UK will be required to maintain two weeks quarantine after arrival.

"We want to play it safe," a German government source told Reuters. "In this important phase of the vaccination campaign, the entry of problematic mutations must be avoided as far as possible."

17:53 GMT 21.05.2021
17:37 GMT 21.05.2021
Tinder image - Sputnik International, 1920
US Dating Sites to Introduce Features to Encourage Coronavirus Vaccination, White House Says
17:08 GMT 21.05.2021
17:07 GMT 21.05.2021
16:59 GMT 21.05.2021
16:56 GMT 21.05.2021

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Spain will donate 7.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Latin American countries as part of its contribution to the global effort to increase worldwide access to shots through the COVAX facility, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Friday.

Sanchez has followed the lead of French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who promised earlier in the day to distribute 30 million doses each via COVAX.

"Vaccine distribution needs to be accelerated and facilitated. We must strengthen our commitment to the ACT Accelerator and COVAX, increasing financial and non-financial contribution. Spain will play its part, starting with the donation of 7.5 million doses to Latin American partners through COVAX," Sanchez told the Global Health Summit in Rome.

The COVAX facility has been established to even out the playing field by providing access to diagnostics, treatment and vaccines against the disease to low- and middle-income countries. COVAX aims to ship close to 2 billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2021, in an unprecedented global effort to guarantee access to vaccines for all.

16:55 GMT 21.05.2021
A passenger wears a face mask at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport in Vantaa, Finland on July 13, 2020 as Finnish Government eased COVID-19 pandemic in and out travel restrictions with several EU countries. - Sputnik International, 1920
EU Ambassadors Unanimously Back Bloc's Political Agreement on Digital COVID-19 Certificate
13:36 GMT 21.05.2021
12:37 GMT 21.05.2021
12:32 GMT 21.05.2021
11:28 GMT 21.05.2021
11:21 GMT 21.05.2021
11:05 GMT 21.05.2021

A group of 116 former civil servants from the All India and Central Services have written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing displeasure at the seemingly "casual attitude" of the central government to the magnitude of the COVID-19 situation and its implications on the mental and physical health of the citizens of the country.

They have stated that the government was more concerned with the narrative around the COVID-19 crisis than addressing crucial matters.

"Even authentic data on the testing carried out in different states, the number of positive cases, the number of persons hospitalised and mortality figures have not been publicly disseminated", the signatories said in a letter titled "India needs action now".

They added: "This has had serious implications for the adequate provision of necessary medical facilities in different states as well as for devising appropriate measures in different states to control the spread of the pandemic".

10:01 GMT 21.05.2021

"As of July 1, three types of certificates will be available: a certificate of vaccination, a certificate for a negative test and a certificate of recovery. All of them will be free of charge for all EU citizens, and it will be possible to have them in a digital format on a digital device or to have it printed out on paper if you want. Regarding the cost of the required test, the commission will also mobilize an additional 100 million euros [$122 million] to support member states in providing affordable tests", European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders said at a briefing.

09:42 GMT 21.05.2021

According to Norwegian PM Erna Solberg, the authorities will allow larger groups to attend mass events, also allowing the public serving of alcohol until midnight.

09:33 GMT 21.05.2021
09:30 GMT 21.05.2021
08:55 GMT 21.05.2021

"Over the past day, 8,937 coronavirus cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 1,457 cases (16.3 percent) without clinical symptoms", the response centre said, adding that the rate of increase fell to 0.18 percent.

08:41 GMT 21.05.2021

British medics have now detected 3,424 cases of the B1.617.2 strain (first identified in India), Public Health England stated on Thursday. That’s up from 1,313 last week, and 520 a week earlier.

08:30 GMT 21.05.2021
08:28 GMT 21.05.2021
07:22 GMT 21.05.2021
Healthcare workers wait in the Partybus, where people can listen to music while being tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ishoej, Denmark February 23, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920
COVID-19 Infection Gives Immunity for at Least Eight Months, Danish Study Finds
05:56 GMT 21.05.2021

TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japan on Friday authorised two more COVID-19 vaccines — those developed by the pharmaceutical giants AstraZeneca and Moderna — to be added to the nation's vaccine portfolio, the Kyodo news agency reported.

On Thursday, a Health Ministry expert panel pre-approved the vaccines, which applied for authorisation in February and March, respectively. Japan is expected to receive 50 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, 120 million AstraZeneca doses, and 194 million doses of Pfizer.

According to the media outlet, both vaccines were greenlit for people aged 18 or older, with two doses to be taken several weeks apart. The country's vaccine portfolio now has three types of shots available, including Pfizer.

05:53 GMT 21.05.2021
FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: COVID-19 vaccinations in Birmingham - Sputnik International, 1920
Death Rate in England at 20-Year Low as COVID-19 Pandemic Dwindles
05:38 GMT 21.05.2021
04:41 GMT 21.05.2021
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