Russia’s coronavirus case tally passes 900,000

  • Russia’s confirmed coronavirus case tally, the fourth largest in the world, rose to 902,701 after officials reported 5,102 new infections.

  • The WHO has not received enough information on the Russian COVID-19 vaccine to evaluate it, according to Jarbas Barbosa, assistant director of its Americas branch, the PAHO.

  • President Vladimir Putin says Russia has developed the first vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against the coronavirus.

  • Worldwide coronavirus cases have surpassed 20 million, with Brazil and Mexico reporting a combined 27,000 infections in just one day. More than 12.4 million have recovered, and almost 738,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    Wednesday, August 12

    09:35 GMT – France to ramp up police checks to ensure masks are worn

    France will gradually ramp up police checks to ensure people wear face masks where it is mandatory and respect social distancing amidst a new surge of COVID-19 infections, the government’s spokesman said.

    “We’re at a tipping point (…) We’re going to mobilize polices forces to make checks,” BFM TV showed Gabriel Attal telling journalists while visiting the Mediterranean island of Corsica.

    “But it’s not the police people should be afraid of (…) they should fear the virus, that lurks and contaminates,” he said.

    09:18 GMT – Hong Kong reports 62 new coronavirus cases

    Hong Kong reported 62 new coronavirus cases, as authorities cautioned that the global financial hub still faced a critical period to contain further transmissions of the virus and warned residents to stay vigilant at social distancing.

    Authorities said 61 of the 62 cases were locally transmitted.

    Since late January, around 4200 people have been infected in Hong Kong, 63 of whom have died. 

    09:01 GMT – Indonesia reports 1,942 new coronavirus cases, 79 deaths

    Indonesia reported 1,942 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the country to 130,718, data from the government’s health ministry website showed.

    The Southeast Asian country also added 79 new deaths, taking the total number to 5,903, the highest COVID-19 death toll in Southeast Asia.

    08:46 GMT – Brussels makes face masks compulsory in all public spaces as COVID-19 cases spike

    Wearing a face mask became compulsory in all public places in Brussels as the number of COVID-19 infections rose to a government alert level that puts the city among the worst affected in Europe.

    The Belgian capital, which hosts the headquarters of the European Union and NATO, recorded on average 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants daily over the last week.

    Everybody in the city, which has a population of 1.2 million, now has to wear a face mask when in parks, on streets or in any other public sites, as well as in private space accessible to the public, the regional government said.

    08:10 GMT – Russia says allegations COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe are groundless

    Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said allegations that Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine was unsafe were groundless and driven by competition, the Interfax news agency reported.

    Moscow’s decision to grant it approval has raised concerns among some experts. Only about 10 percent of clinical trials are successful and some scientists fear Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety.

    07:56 GMT – Last-minute change to English exam grading after COVID controversy

    England sought to defuse a looming row over the awarding of school qualifications during the pandemic by allowing students to use the results of earlier tests, in a last-minute change following an outcry in Scotland.

    The coronavirus pandemic has meant that almost no examinations took place in Britain. Pupils in England are set to receive marks for their A levels on Thursday, exams that are taken generally by 18-year-olds to gain a place at university.

    Results were due to be based on the judgement of a student’s school and then moderated by exam boards.

    But education minister Gavin Williamson said that students would now have the option of choosing between using their calculated grade, or deciding to go with their mock result, or sit a new exam in the autumn.

    07:44 GMT – Russia’s coronavirus case tally passes 900,000

    Russia’s confirmed coronavirus case tally, the fourth largest in the world, rose to 902,701 after officials reported 5,102 new infections.

    Authorities said 129 people had died in the last 24 hours, pushing the official death toll to 15,260.

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