Wed, 21 Apr 2021

BEIJING, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- The following are the updates on the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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BOGOTA -- Colombian President Ivan Duque announced a decision Thursday night to extend a declared national health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic by three more months, as the vaccination drive entered its eighth day.

"On Feb. 28, the health emergency in our country will expire. Today I want to inform you, with (Health and Social Protection) Minister Fernando Ruiz and the team of experts, we have decided to extend the concept of the health emergency until May 31," Duque said.

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NEW DELHI -- India's COVID-19 tally rose to 11,063,491 on Friday as 16,577 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours, said the latest data from the federal health ministry.

According to the official data, the death toll mounted to 156,825 as 120 COVID-19 patients died since Thursday morning.

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SEOUL -- South Korea's quarantine authorities said Friday that it will extend the country's five-tier social-distancing rules at the third-highest level in the Seoul metropolitan area for two weeks.

The Level 2 social-distancing guidelines will be kept in place for two more weeks till March 14 in the greater Seoul area, according to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters.

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QUITO -- Ecuador will receive 2 million doses of the CoronaVac vaccine from the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac for mass vaccination against COVID-19, after negotiations were finalized on Thursday, Ecuadoran Health Minister Juan Carlos Zevallos said.

"Sinovac is being incorporated ... Just this morning we received the approval with all the seals and legal approvals from the Chinese government and the company," Zevallos told a press conference.

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ADDIS ABABA -- The Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health on Thursday reported 878 new COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, taking the national count to 156,112.

The ministry added that the COVID-19 death toll stood at 2,321, including five new fatalities recorded over the same period.

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BRUSSELS -- Leaders of the European Union (EU) called for an accelerated production and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines late on Thursday as the bloc is struggling with supply shortfalls.

"Our top priority now is speeding up the production and delivery of vaccines, and vaccinations, across the EU," European Council President Charles Michel told reporters after the first day of the virtual summit.

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