Saudi Arabia to lift the travel ban, resume all international flights from March 31

Saudi Arabia has announced it will lift the temporary travel ban and resume all international flights, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday citing a statement from the Ministry of Interior. The move, which will come into force on March 31, 2021, includes the following measures: 1. Citizens will be allowed to travel outside the Kingdom and come back. 2. The temporary ban on international flights will be lifted. 3. All air, sea, and land borders will reopen.

USA -YouTube, Twitter and Facebook clamped down on one of President Donald Trump’s posts Wednesday after he called for rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol to “go home” but repeated the baseless allegations of a rigged election that drew scores of his supporters to Washington. Trump posted a 62-second video on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook Wednesday afternoon, in which repeated his baseless claims that the presidential election had been “stolen.” YouTube removed the video in line with its policy barring claims challenging election results. Twitter said Trump’s messages were violations of the platform’s rules on civic integrity and that any future violations “will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.” The messaging platform said Trump...

Sinovac’s coronavirus vaccine candidate approved for emergency use in China

BEIJING (Reuters) – Sinovac Biotech Ltd’s coronavirus vaccine candidate CoronaVac was approved for emergency use as part of a programme in China to vaccinate high-risk groups such as medical staff, a person familiar with the matter said. China National Biotec Group (CNBG), a unit of state-owned pharmaceutical giant China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), also said it had obtained emergency use approval for a coronavirus vaccine candidate in social media platform WeChat last Sunday. CNBG, which has two vaccine candidates in phase 3 clinical trials, did not say which of its vaccines had been cleared for emergency use

WHO: Kids aged 5 and under should not wear face masks

WHO clarifies mask guidance for children, citing psycho-social and developmental reasons

World’s tallest Ferris wheel ‘Ain Dubai’ gets first passenger pod

The world’s tallest observation wheel that is nearing completion has got its first passenger pod. A spokesperson for Ain Dubai said the attraction is “shaping up well” and the first capsule was installed on to it last weekend. “Over the coming period, the remaining 47 capsules are scheduled for gradual installation,” the spokesperson added. The Ferris wheel towers 250 metres over the Bluewaters island, giving 360-degree views of Dubai’s famed skyline. In January, the Government of Dubai Media Office had said that the attraction would be completed later this year. The structure will be over 200 per cent taller than the first ever Ferris wheel. It will eclipse the 167-metre High Roller in Las Vegas and the 190-metre New York Wheel planned for Staten Island...

UK officially in recession for first time in 11 years

The UK economy suffered its biggest slump on record between April and June as coronavirus lockdown measures pushed the country officially into recession. The economy shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year. Household spending plunged as shops were ordered to close, while factory and construction output also fell. This pushed the UK into its first technical recession – defined as two straight quarters of economic decline – since 2009. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the economy bounced back in June as government restrictions on movement started to ease. It said the hospitality sector was the hardest hit. Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics, said: “The economy began to bounce back in June with shops reopen...

Facebook Removed Seven Million Posts in Second Quarter for False Coronavirus Information

Facebook said on Tuesday it removed 7 million posts in the second quarter for sharing false information about the novel coronavirus, including content that promoted fake preventative measures and exaggerated cures. It released the data as part of its sixth Community Standards Enforcement Report, which it introduced in 2018 along with more stringent decorum rules in response to a backlash over its lax approach to policing content on its platforms. The world’s biggest social network said it would invite proposals from experts this week to audit the metrics used in the report, beginning in 2021. It committed to the audit during a July ad boycott over hate speech practices. The company removed about 22.5 million posts with hate speech on its flagship app in the second quarter, a dramatic...

Russia becomes first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, says Putin

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of its scientific prowess. The development paves the way for the mass inoculation of the Russian population, even as the final stage of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy continue. The speed at which Russia is moving to roll out its vaccine highlights its determination to win the global race for an effective product, but has stirred concerns that it may be putting national prestige before sound science and safety. Speaking at a government meeting on state television, Putin said the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, w...

Bahrain, UAE among first countries to test 50% of population for COVID-19

Bahrain and UAE have become the world’s first countries with populations over one million to hit a 50 per cent testing rate for COVID-19. UAE has achieved coverage of 52.7 per cent and Bahrain 50.3 per cent of testing for their respective populations. Both UAE and Bahrain lead much of the world in testing for coronavirus and are currently ranked fifth and seventh, respectively, globally for tests per million population. The milestone figures mean that scientists in the two Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations can more accurately analyse the spread of the pandemic with access to a greater level of infection data per capita than anywhere else in the world. This comes after research suggested that the COVID-19 recovery rate in GCC countries was significantly higher than the global average. ...

COVID-19 treatment: Seaweed extract could be more effective than remdesivir, study suggests

Over a hundred potential vaccines and drugs are being researched for the prevention and treatment of the novel coronavirus. Remdesivir, the first drug known to be effective against SARS-CoV-2, brought a lot of hope to everyone when it received approval for treatment. However, the scientific community is still working on finding more effective ways to deal with the disease. Various studies are being conducted all over the globe to find out more easily-available and cheaper medications for the infection. In this process, heparin (an anticoagulant) was also found to be effective in controlling blood clotting and arrhythmias in COVID-19 patients. The drug is being tested in the UK ACCORD trials for its effectiveness against the coronavirus infection. Now, a study published in the journal Cell ...

Lebanese clear blast rubble from roads around cratered port; 135 dead so far, over 5,000 injured

The blast, which appeared to have been caused by an accidental fire that ignited a stockpile of ammonium nitrate, rippled across Beirut causing widespread destruction

US Election 2020: Joe Biden won’t travel to Milwaukee to accept Democratic nomination because of coronavirus

Joe Biden will not travel to Milwaukee to accept the Democratic presidential nomination because of concerns over the coronavirus, party officials said Wednesday, signaling a move to a convention that essentially has become entirely virtual. It is the latest example of the pandemic’s sweeping effects on the 2020 presidential election and the latest blow to traditional party nominating conventions that historically have marked the start of fall general election campaign. “From the very beginning of this pandemic, we put the health and safety of the American people first,” said Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez. “We followed the science, listened to doctors and public health experts, and we continued making adjustments to our plans in order to protect lives. That’s the kind of ste...

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