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Philippines says China to donate half a million Covid-19 vaccines

Manila - Beijing's top diplomat pledged Saturday to donate half a million coronavirus vaccine shots to the Philippines, Manila officials said -- despite growing resistance there to Chinese-made jabs over concerns about their efficacy.

Belgian cafe owner holds sleep-in to protest virus shutdown

Belgique - A fed-up cafe owner in Belgium is sleeping in her premises with little food, in protest at the months-long shutdown of her sector to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

'Friend' China to donate one million vaccine doses to Cambodia: PM

Phnom Penh - China will donate one million doses of its Sinovac coronavirus vaccine to Cambodia, the kingdom's strongman premier Hun Sen has said, thanking "friend" Beijing for its generosity.

Disarray as two test positive for virus on Australian Open plane

Melbourne - A host of tennis players were barred from practising for a fortnight Saturday in a major setback to their Australian Open preparations after two people on a charter flight that brought them to Melbourne tested positive to Covid-19.

Emirates stops flights to three major Australian cities

Sydney - Emirates has suspended flights to Australia's three largest cities as the country further restricts international arrivals over fears of new virus strains.

India's jumbo-sized vaccine rollout in numbers

New Delhi - India began one of the world's biggest coronavirus vaccination programmes on Saturday, hoping to end a pandemic that has killed 150,000 people in the country and torpedoed the economy.

Gene-mapping champion Iceland leads the way in Covid sequencing

Reykjav - Iceland has genetically sequenced all its positive Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, an increasingly vital practice as worrying new strains emerge from Britain and South Africa.

Flowers, hope and consent forms for India's huge vaccine rollout

New Delhi - Hospitals were decked out with flowers and one politician planted a tree as India began Saturday its colossal coronavirus vaccine drive, desperately hoping to end a pandemic that has killed 150,000 of its people.

UN head warns of 'vaccinationalism' as virus deaths top two million

New York - UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday deplored the "heart-wrenching milestone" of the global death toll from Covid-19 topping two million, and lamented the fact that "solidarity is failing" in the world's response to the virus.

No more beds: Brazil's Amazonas state transfers Covid patients

Manaus - Facing the imminent collapse of its health system, Amazonas state in northern Brazil started transferring coronavirus patients to other regions Friday as hospitals run out of beds and oxygen.

'Miracle' drug ivermectin unproven against Covid, scientists warn

Paris - Scientists have warned against taking an anti-parasite drug as a treatment for Covid-19 despite headlines that have touted it as a cure.

India starts huge vaccine drive as global virus deaths top 2 million

New Delhi - India kicked off one of the world's largest coronavirus vaccination drives Saturday as the pandemic spread at a record pace and global Covid-19 deaths surged past two million.

China puts 20,000 villagers in central quarantine over virus risk

Beijing - China has sent over 20,000 rural residents living in the epicentre of the country's latest virus outbreak to state-run quarantine facilities, as Beijing on Friday reported the worst nationwide figures since March.

Haute cuisine: Thai hospital rolls out cannabis-laced menu

Prachin - From spicy "happy" salads to soups sprinkled with cannabis shoots and deep-fried marijuana leaves -- a Thai hospital restaurant has rolled out a weed-inspired menu which has curious customers flocking to sample its euphoria-inducing offerings.

Hiroshima plans Japan's first mass virus tests

Apo - Japan's Hiroshima prefecture is to conduct the country's first mass coronavirus tests as it battles a surge of infections, an official said Friday.

Germany hits 2 million infections as WHO tackles new strains

Frankfurt Am Main - Germany on Friday passed two million coronavirus cases as a World Health Organization emergency committee readied to issue advice on stemming the spread of new, more contagious strains of the disease.

Concerns as India to roll out home-grown vaccine

Bhopal - A homegrown coronavirus vaccine will be rolled out in India from Saturday even though clinical trials haven't been completed. But the government insists it will be safe and effective.

German virus cases top 2 million as Merkel urges tougher shutdown

Frankfurt Am Main - Germany's total coronavirus cases topped two million on Friday, as Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed for a "significant" tightening of restrictions to slow the infection rate.

'Anything can happen' with Tokyo Olympics: Japan minister

Apo - A Japanese cabinet minister admitted Friday that "anything can happen" with the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo Olympics, becoming the first senior official to concede uncertainty about the Games as Japan and other countries battle a surge in cases.

Northern Brazilian state declares curfew over virus

S - Amazonas state in northern Brazil on Thursday announced a 10-day curfew to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus, as cases soar and hospitals run out of beds and oxygen.Authorities warned of a dire situation across the vast state.

Solace in prayer as pandemic toll nears two million

Paris - The onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic, which has left nearly two million people dead, has seen Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh worshippers seek solace in prayer.

Mexico hit by deadliest week of pandemic yet

Mexico - Mexico reeled Thursday from its worst week of the pandemic yet, with deaths averaging nearly 1,000 a day and a health system that was close to reaching a breaking point.

France imposes 6 pm nationwide virus curfew

Paris - The French government will impose a daily nationwide curfew at 6 pm starting Saturday to combat a worrying increase in Covid-19 cases, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday.

WHO tackles new virus strains, fresh restrictions imposed

Geneva - Global health experts gathered on Thursday to tackle new coronavirus strains blamed for a fresh surge in infections as countries including Britain and France tightened restrictions to head off a further worsening of the pandemic.

WHO tackles new virus strains, fresh restrictions imposed

Geneva - Global health experts gathered on Thursday to tackle new coronavirus strains blamed for a fresh surge in infections as countries including Britain and France tightened restrictions to head off a further worsening of the pandemic.

WHO tackles new virus strains, fresh restrictions imposed

Geneva - Global health experts gathered on Thursday to tackle new coronavirus strains blamed for a fresh surge in infections as countries including Britain and France tightened restrictions to head off a further worsening of the pandemic.

Stacks of coffins: German crematorium struggles in pandemic

Mei - Some coffins are marked "infection risk", others have "corona" scrawled in chalk, many have the box for "no memorial service" ticked, though the hall for such ceremonies has been turned into a temporary mortuary anyway.

China logs first virus death in 8 months as WHO huddles on new strains

Wuhan - China recorded its first Covid-19 death in eight months on Thursday, as experts huddled to discuss worrying new strains of the coronavirus that are spreading rapidly around the globe.

China logs first virus death in 8 months as WHO huddles on new strains

Wuhan - China recorded its first Covid-19 death in eight months on Thursday, as experts huddled to discuss worrying new strains of the coronavirus that are spreading rapidly around the globe.

China logs first virus death in 8 months as WHO huddles on new strains

Wuhan - China recorded its first Covid-19 death in eight months on Thursday, as experts huddled to discuss worrying new strains of the coronavirus that are spreading rapidly around the globe.
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