Russia on Sunday reported a record daily death toll from COVID-19, the fifth time in a week that deaths there have hit a new high.
The country’s national coronavirus task force said 890 deaths were recorded over the past day, exceeding the 887 reported on Friday. The task force also said the number of new infections in the past day was the second-highest of the year at 25,769.
Overall, Russia, a nation of 146 million, has Europe’s highest death toll from the pandemic — nearly 210,000 people.
Yet despite the country’s persistent rise in daily deaths and new cases, Russian officials say there are no plans to impose a lockdown. Mask-wearing regulations are in place but are loosely enforced.
Moscow briefly tried during the summer to require proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test for indoor customers at restaurants and bars, but abandoned the program after business owners complained of reduced revenues.
Even though Russia boasted of creating the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, only 32.5 per cent of its people have gotten at least one vaccine shot and only 28 per cent are fully vaccinated. Critics have principally blamed a botched vaccine rollout and mixed messages the authorities have been sending about the outbreak.
In addition, coronavirus antibody tests are popular in Russia and some observers suggest this contributes to the low vaccination numbers.
Western health experts say the antibody tests are unreliable either for diagnosing COVID-19 or assessing immunity to it. The antibodies that these tests look for can only serve as evidence of a past infection. Scientists say it’s still unclear what level of antibodies indicates that a person has protection from the virus and for how long.
President Vladimir Putin has observed periods of self-isolation since mid-September after dozens of people in the Kremlin were found to be infected. Putin met with Turkey’s leader last week after coming out of his latest isolation period.
What’s happening across Canada
What’s happening around the world
As of Sunday, more than 234.6 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus-tracking tool. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.7 million.
In the Asia-Pacific, Australia’s New South Wales state has recorded 10 new deaths and 667 locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, as its outbreak continues to ease.
In Africa, repeated and sudden power failures in Uganda is adding to the logistical challenges facing efforts to ramp up vaccination across the country.
In the Americas, Cuba is speeding up its vaccination program as it aims to fully inoculate 90 per cent of its population against the coronavirus by December, an ambitious goal that has yet to be reached by even wealthier nations.
Former U.S. President Clinton leaves hospital, will return to New York
Clinton, 75, will return to New York and remain on antibiotics, Dr. Alpesh Amin, who had been overseeing his care at the hospital, said in a statement released by Clinton’s spokesman. His fever and white blood cell count have normalized, Amin added.
The former president had been in California for an event for his foundation and was treated at the University of California Irvine Medical Center’s intensive care unit after suffering from fatigue and being admitted on Tuesday.
He left the medical center accompanied by his wife, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The two-term president, who has had previous heart problems, held the White House from 1993 to 2001.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey, Editing by Nick Zieminski)
China condemns U.S., Canada for sending warships through Taiwan Strait
The Chinese military on Sunday condemned the United States and Canada for each sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait last week, saying they were threatening peace and stability in the region.
China claims democratically-ruled Taiwan as its own territory, and has mounted repeated air force missions into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ) over the past year, provoking anger in Taipei.
China sent around 150 aircraft into the zone over a four-day period beginning on Oct. 1 in a further heightening of tension between Beijing and Taipei that has sparked concern internationally.
The U.S. military said the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Dewey sailed through the narrow waterway that separates Taiwan from its giant neighbour China along with the Canadian frigate HMCS Winnipeg on Thursday and Friday.
“Dewey’s and Winnipeg’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” it added.
China’s People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre Command said its forces monitored the ships and “stood guard” throughout their passage.
“The United States and Canada colluded to provoke and stir up trouble… seriously jeopardising peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait,” it said.
“Taiwan is part of Chinese territory. Theatre forces always maintain a high level of alert and resolutely counter all threats and provocations.”
U.S. Navy Ships have been transiting the strait roughly monthly, to the anger of Beijing, which has accused Washington of stoking regional tensions. U.S. allies occasionally also send ships through the strait, including Britain https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/british-frigate-sails-through-taiwan-strait-2021-09-27last month.
While tensions across the Taiwan Strait have risen, there has been no shooting and Chinese aircraft have not entered Taiwanese air space, concentrating their activity in the southwestern part of the ADIZ.
While including Taiwanese territorial air space, the ADIZ encompasses a broader area that Taiwan monitors and patrols that acts to give it more time to respond to any threats.
Taiwan’s defence ministry said on Sunday that three Chinese aircraft – two J-16 fighters and an anti-submarine aircraft – flew into the ADIZ again.
(Reporting by Ryan Woo in Beijing, Ben Blanchard in Taipei and Idrees Ali in Washington; Editing by Pravin Char and John
No end in sight to volcanic eruption on Spain’s La Palma – Canaries president
There’s no immediate end in sight to the volcanic eruption that has caused chaos on the Spanish isle of La Palma since it began about a month ago, the president of the Canary Islands said on Sunday.
There were 42 seismic movements on the island on Sunday, the largest of which measured 4.3, according to the Spanish National Geographical Institute.
“There are no signs that an end of the eruption is imminent even though this is the greatest desire of everyone,” President Angel Víctor Torres said at a Socialist party conference in Valencia, citing the view of scientists.
Streams of lava have laid waste to more than 742 hectares (1833 acres) of land and destroyed almost 2,000 buildings on La Palma since the volcano started erupting on Sept. 19.
About 7,000 people have been evacuated from their homes on the island, which has about 83,000 inhabitants and forms part of the Canary Islands archipelago off northwestern Africa.
Airline Binter said it had cancelled all its flights to La Palma on Sunday because of ash from the volcano.
“Due to the current situation of the ash cloud, operations with La Palma will continue to be paralyzed throughout today. We continue to evaluate the situation,” the airline tweeted.
Almost half – 22 out of 38 – of all flights to the island on Sunday have been cancelled, state airport operator Aena said, but the airport there remains open.
(Reporting by Graham Keeley; Editing by Pravin Char)
UN envoy says has agreement on drafting new Syrian constitution
Former U.S. President Clinton leaves hospital, will return to New York
UAE’s daily COVID-19 cases fall below 100
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
News16 hours ago
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday – CBC.ca
Health19 hours ago
U.S. administers 407.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines -CDC
News19 hours ago
Pope pledges to continue being a ‘pest’ in defence of the poor
News19 hours ago
France’s Macron calls 1961 massacre of Algerians an ‘unforgivable crime’
Business19 hours ago
Elon Musk dials into Volkswagen executive conference
News15 hours ago
Mexico finds nearly 2,000 irregular migrants in one day
Health23 hours ago
Are you planning to get a flu shot this year? – Castanet.net
Business18 hours ago
Iranian supertanker departing from Venezuela to transport heavy oil