- US reports record daily deaths
- California tops 3MM cases
- UK sees record COVID deaths
- China locks down parts 1.7MM in Beijing as mutant strain discovered
- US cases, deaths continue to slow from holiday peaks
- Dutch gov't proposes first national lockdown since WW2
- Japan reports 5,532 new COVID-19 cases
- Turkey administers 1MM doses
- Israel's vaccination effort is currently the most advanced in the world in terms
- Moderna CEO says company on track to produce 100MM doses by end-March
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Update (1912ET): While new cases and hospitalizations continue to decline in the US at the national level (while new cases are declining across all four regions), daily deaths, which have remained elevated since Thanksgiving, notched a new record high.
Our daily update is published. States reported 1.8M tests, 186k cases, 122,700 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19, and a record 4,409 deaths. pic.twitter.com/5WYUdLQoFw— The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) January 21, 2021
It offered a morbid contrast to the pomp and circumstance of Biden's inauguration and first day in the Oval. The deaths were recorded over the past 24 hours, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
The new deaths bring the US death tally to 405K.
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Update (1520ET): In the latest example of corporate America (and Big Tech in particular) sucking up to Joe Biden, Amazon’s Consumer CEO has reportedly sent the new president a letter offering to help with the vaccine rollout any way that Amazon can.
We can't help but wonder: was this offer on the table when Trump was in office?
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Update (1430ET): California just became the first state in the US to top 3MM COVID-19 cases, as the country's largest state has seen its pandemic numbers deescalate from the extremely dire situation reported mostly in the southern part of the state a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile, the UK recorded 1,820 COVID deaths over the past 24 hours, the highest daily death toll yet, as the UK's battle with the "mutated" strain was first detected by health-care authorities in the country.
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While Joe Biden is inaugurated, the US is reeling from passing the 400K mark in COVID deaths, which it did officially Tuesday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins' count, as we reported yesterday.
But in China, CCP authorities are racing to stop a resurgence of the virus in the area surrounding the Chinese capital before it takes hold i Beijing, as an outbreak in Hebei Province, which surrounds Beijing in China's northeast., has continued to intensify.
After locking down some 30MM people already in recent weeks in Hebei, mostly in the capital city of Shijiazhuang, authorities are again ordering lockdowns within Beijing itself, as they did late last year, and over the summer and spring as well.
Bloomberg reports that 1.7MM people in part of the Chinese capital are now on lockdown amid reports that the mutated virus strain first identified in the UK may have finally arrived there. 2 of the most recent batch of COVID cases reported in Beijing’s Daxing district on Jan. 17 are believed to be due to the COVID "variant" first identified in the UK, according to Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even though CCP officials insist that the cases aren't locally linked (citing food packaging, a favorite Beijing boogeyman, as an excuse), they are locking down Daxing district in southern Beijing, where the new airport is located, has been sealed off from the rest of the country after six infections were found there. The total number of cases in Beijing now stands at 15, while over a thousand infections have been found nationwide since early January, mostly in China’s vast rural northern provinces.
As lockdowns continue to intensify in Europe, The Dutch government on Wednesday proposed the first nationwide curfew since World War Two and a ban on flights from South Africa and Britain, part of what Reuters described as "its toughest moves yet" to combat the virus. However, Dutch PM Mark Rutte said the curfew must be approved by parliament, which is set to debate the new measures on Thursday.
In the US, COVID cases and deaths continued to decline on Tuesday, with hospitalizations taking a slight dip.
The number of total hospitalizations in January has fallen on more days than it has risen.
Here's some more COVID news from Wednesday morning and overnight:
- Japan reports 5,532 new COVID-19 cases as of 8 p.m., a slight increase from the previous day's tally (Source: Nikkei).
- India begins export of COVID-19 vaccines to "neighboring and key partner countries" by dispatching the first consignments to Bhutan and the Maldives.
- Turkey's online vaccination tracker shows the country has surpassed 1MM doses of China's Sinovac vaccine, putting it among the world's fastest inoculation programs.
- Encouraging new lab results show the Pfizer vaccine likely works on the more infectious coronavirus variant first found in the U.K., Reuters reports, backing up promising findings from last week (Source: Nikkei).
- India begins export of COVID-19 vaccines to "neighboring and key partner countries" by dispatching the first consignments to Bhutan and the Maldives (Source: Nikkei).
- Moderna leader said the drugmaker is on track to produce 100MM vaccine doses in the first 100 days after Joe Biden takes office on Wednesday, which would be enough to help the administration reach its goal of vaccinations for the first 100 days (Source: WSJ)
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Israel's vaccination effort is currently the most advanced in the world in terms of percentage vaccinated (more than 30%), followed by the UK, which is the leader in the West. And as one might expect, Israel is already finding that the Pfizer vaccine doses aren't nearly as effective as the 90%+ efficacy numbers reported in the trial data.