Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Home Covid-19 New Strain Spreads in U.S.; Japan Braces for Spike: Virus Update

New Strain Spreads in U.S.; Japan Braces for Spike: Virus Update


#Global deaths from #Covid-19 passed 1.8 million. #Tokyo recorded a record number of new infections, and #Japan warned it could consider a state of emergency if the new outbreak can’t be contained.

#Cities that had gone weeks without new infections, including #Beijing and #Melbourne, are now reporting clusters, and the new, highly transmissible virus strain was found in #Singapore and #California.

#Countries around the world tightened border controls. The EU said it would bar travelers from the U.K. after #Britain’s official exit on #Jan. 1. #Travel between #Sydney and #Melbourne will be blocked as of #Jan. 2; both cities are seeing a resurgence in cases. #Chinese authorities are urging people to stay home during the #Lunar #New #Year holidays, which begin #Feb. 11.

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#China approved a domestically produced vaccine for general use. #In the U.S., vaccination efforts are falling short of initial goals, with doses reaching an average of 200,000 people a day, and many states have used just a small percentage of shipments received this month.

#Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from #Bloomberg’s #Prognosis team here. #Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.

#Japan #Mulls #State of #Emergency #Amid #Tokyo #Record (6 p.m. HK)

#Tokyo reported a record 1,337 new coronavirus cases #Thursday, as infections fueled by the onset of cold weather showed no signs of abating even after the #Japanese capital stepped up its containment efforts.

The spike comes after economy minister #Yasutoshi #Nishimura said #Japan could consider a state of emergency if infections continue at the current rate. #On #Thursday, a handful of prefectures reported record daily cases, and it’s likely the total confirmed infections for the day will be a new national record topping 4,000, according to domestic media reports.

#Ireland’s #Warning (5:30 p.m. HK)

#Ireland’s chief medical officer #Tony #Holohan said the latest virus wave appears to involve much earlier transmission into older-age groups than previously, spurring a significant increase in hospitalizations. The government on #Wednesday announced a third national lockdown, to avoid what health authorities described as an “almost unimaginable” outbreak.

Tokyo Sets New Case Record; New Strain Spreads: Virus Update
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#Bulgaria, #Turkey #Vaccine #Progress (5:00 p.m. HK)

#Bulgaria may complete the first stage of vaccination with 9,750 #Pfizer shots by the end of #Thursday, the government said. The next delivery of 25,000 shots is expected next week, and the vaccination of all front-line medics may be completed by the end of #January.

#Meanwhile, #Turkey will start administering #Covid-19 vaccines manufactured by #Sinovac #Biotech #Ltd. following an emergency certification, #Health #Minister #Fahrettin #Koca said.

#Japan #May #Consider #Emergency as #Infections #Spike (2:44 p.m. HK)

#Tokyo is likely to report a record 1,300 daily coronavirus cases, #Governor #Yuriko #Koike said in a briefing. The spike, which would be the first time daily cases topped 1,000, comes a day after economy minister #Yasutoshi #Nishimura said #Japan could consider a state of emergency if coronavirus infections continue at the current rate. #In a video message posted on #Twitter #Wednesday evening, he again urged residents to avoid year-end gatherings and to be cautious if they must visit older relatives.

#Areas across #Japan are also seeing unprecedented levels of new infections. #Osaka — the second largest metropolitan area south of #Tokyo — also raised its #Covid-19 alert to the highest level earlier this month, as nearly 70% of hospital beds designated for serious coronavirus patients were occupied.

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#German #Cases #Jump by #Most #Since #Outbreak #Began (2 p.m. HK)

#Germany recorded the most new coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic as #Angela #Merkel called on citizens to remain disciplined in the fight against the disease.

#Infections rose by 49,044 in the 24 hours through #Thursday morning, according to data from #Johns #Hopkins #University, passing the previous high set #Dec. 17. The sombre milestone passed a day after the country recorded more than 1,000 single-day fatalities for the first time #Wednesday.

#In her final #New #Year’s address as chancellor, #Merkel said a harsh winter would require perseverance while a vaccination campaign rolls out.

Tokyo Sets New Case Record; New Strain Spreads: Virus Update

#China #Approves #Vaccine for #General #Public (12:54 p.m. HK)

#China’s #National #Medical #Products #Administration authorized a #Covid-19 vaccine developed by state-owned #China #National #Biotec #Group #Co. for distribution to the general public, officials told reporters in #Beijing #Thursday.

The vaccine has been approved for emergency use in #China since mid-year along with other frontrunner shots. #In the broader roll-out, #China will prioritize higher-risk groups including the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, #Zeng #Yixin, vice minister of the country’s #National #Health #Commission, said at the briefing.

The country has already administered more than 4.5 million doses of #Covid-19 vaccine, with 3 million alone given since mid-December, #Zeng said. The ratio of adverse reactions, including allergies, is about two in every 1 million, #Zeng said #Thursday.

#Beijing #Cases #Worry #Chinese #Authorities #Ahead of #Holiday #Travel (9:47 a.m. HK)

#China reported nine locally-transmitted cases in #Beijing #Thursday, bringing the total to 20 after months without local transmission. #Authorities vowed to step up efforts to prevent and control the epidemic ahead of the #Chinese #New #Year festivities.

#China is #Stonewalling #Efforts to #Trace the #Virus’s #Origin (9:28 a.m. HK)

#It’s been a year since the first cases of a mysterious pneumonia emerged out of a seafood market in the central #Chinese city of #Wuhan, and scientists are still struggling to discover the origins of the virus that’s killed 1.8 million and brought the world to a standstill.

#Prior to its emergence at the market — which some media reported sold wild animals and their meat — very little is known about the pathogen. #If it’s related to a similar virus found in the horseshoe bats of #China’s #Yunnan province and parts of #Southeast #Asia, how did it travel more than 1,000 miles to the bustling industrial metropolis of #Wuhan? #Scientists hypothesize some kind of intermediary animal, like a weasel or mink, may have brought it to people.

#Finding out with any certainty is typically painstaking work, and #China’s made it even more difficult. #Experts from the #World #Health #Organization haven’t been allowed into #Wuhan this year — they say they hope to get there next month — and state-controlled media has been reporting that the virus came into #China via frozen food or packaging. #Meanwhile, #China’s success at quashing its outbreak has led to victory narrative that slides past the origins of the virus, a posturing that prevents the kind of investigation that could help prevent future pandemics.

#Covid #Clusters in #Sydney and #Melbourne #Rattle #Australian #Authorities (8:38 a.m. HK)

#Authorities are battling to contain #Covid-19 clusters in #Australia’s two largest cities, urging people to avoid large #New #Year’s #Eve gatherings to prevent wider outbreaks.

#Ten new cases were reported overnight in #Sydney, with a cluster on the #Northern #Beaches growing to 144, and a second group of infections in the city’s inner west rising to nine, #New #South #Wales state #Premier #Gladys #Berejiklian told reporters #Thursday.

#Neighboring #Victoria state, which had gone 61 days without recording community transmission of the virus, said six cases had been detected. The outbreaks in the two states are likely connected, with a returned traveler from #New #South #Wales attending a #Thai restaurant in #Melbourne that’s linked to other new infections in the city. #Victoria limited household gatherings to 15 people and said mask-wearing at indoor venues would be mandatory from 5 p.m.

#California #Finds a #Case of the #New #Strain (5:45 a.m. HK)

#California #Governor #Gavin #Newsom announced #Wednesday that the new highly transmissible variant of #Covid-19 has been detected in a patient in #Southern #California.

#Newsom made the announcement during a virtual conversation with #Anthony #Fauci, the director of the #National #Institute of #Allergy and #Infectious #Diseases. #Health officials in #Colorado are investigating a second possible case of the new strain in that state. “I’m not surprised that you have a case,” #Fauci told #Newsom. “We likely will be seeing reports from other states too.”

Tokyo Sets New Case Record; New Strain Spreads: Virus Update

#New #York’s #Cuomo #Sees #Need to #Reopen (5:30 a.m. HK)

#New #York #Governor #Andrew #Cuomo reported a new daily high of 13,422 cases of #Covid-19 as he stressed the need to reopen the economy long before the majority of the population is vaccinated.

#Of the nearly 155,000 tests conducted statewide on #Tuesday, 8.66% were positive, including hot-spot areas. The state conducted fewer tests than it has in recent weeks, #Cuomo said #Wednesday.

#About 203,000 #New #Yorkers have received the first dose of the vaccine. #Of those, about 20% were administered in #New #York #City, where hospitals are admitting more than 200 people a day for #Covid-like illness, based on a seven-day average. #About 60% are testing positive. The number of people typically admitted to city hospitals during this time of year with such symptoms is about 100.

#It may take a year to reach critical mass for vaccinations, #Cuomo said, adding that the state can’t keep the economy closed for that long. #Officials are testing a program that would allow businesses to stay open with rapid testing.

Tokyo Sets New Case Record; New Strain Spreads: Virus Update

#Temperature #Snag #Delays #Vaccine #Cargo (12:29 a.m. HK)

#At least three shipments of #Moderna #Inc.’s #Covid-19 vaccine arrived in #Texas last week with signs the shots had strayed from their required temperature range, prompting a delay in other deliveries, according to the state hospital association. #It was unclear how many doses were affected.

#Some #Moderna vaccine shipments that were set for delivery last week were held back over the temperature issue, said #Carrie #Kroll, vice president of advocacy, quality and public health at the #Texas #Hospital #Association. The U.S. replaced the shipments and held back other deliveries because of a potential problem with the temperature sensors, #Kroll said.

EU to #Bar U.K. #Travelers #After #Brexit (9:23 p.m. HK)

The U.K. is set to join the U.S., #Canada and most other countries whose residents are unwelcome visitors to the #European #Union because they haven’t sufficiently contained the coronavirus outbreak.

#While EU states set their own entry requirements, the 27-member group has sought a coordinated approach to limit external access while keeping internal borders open. The U.K., which left the EU on #Jan. 31, has effectively been treated as a member during the #Brexit transition period.





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##Strain ##Spreads ##Japan ##Braces ##Spike ##Virus ##Update

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