- US sees record 4K+ new deaths; 266K new cases
- Global cases are 88.2
- UK approves Moderna jab for emergency use
- London mayor warns city in "crisis mode"
- Alabama, Nevada and Arizona see most hospitalizations per person
- Queensland, Australia imposes 3 day lockdown on Greater Brisbane
- EU agrees to buy 300MM more Pfizer jabs
- Greece orders mandatory 1-week lockdown
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For the first time since SARS-CoV-2 escaped Wuhan roughly 13 months ago, the US reported more than 4K COVID-linked deaths in a single day, a new record. Meanwhile, down in Brazil, authorities saw the national death toll eclipse 200K.
All told, the US is closing in on 21.6MM confirmed cases, while the death toll (still the highest in the world, according to the official number) is closing in on 400K. Cases also saw a record-breaking surge of 266K new cases, as the backlog of cases from the holiday has finally disappeared.
Among the four major regions of the US, the South is now struggling with surging hospitalizations led by Texas and Florida, while California (itself led by LA County) drives hospitalizations higher in the West.
On a per capita basis, Alabama, Nevada and Arizona are leading the country in current hospitalizations.
Europe, meanwhile, is seeing cases surge, presumably driven by the "mutated" strains first isolated in Britain and South Africa. Case in point: daily infections per capita in the UK have surged.
Speaking of the "mutant" COVID variants, new early study data shows the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine likely is effective against the new COVID "variants" discovered in the UK and South Africa. On the supply side, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen struck a new deal with Pfizer to buy another 300MM doses of the COVID vaccine it developed with BioNTech. On the other hand, the UK on Friday authorized the jab developed by Moderna for emergency use.
According to Bloomberg, the trial testing the vaccines against the new COVID strain found that research examined the response to the mutant viruses in blood samples taken from 20 people who had gotten the companies’ mRNA vaccine as part of a previous clinical trial. The research didn’t study other mutations in the spike protein. Still, the antibodies in the vaccinated people’s blood did just as good a job at disarming the mutant virus as they did with the non-mutant version.
As the UK leads the world (aside from Israel) in vaccinations, the country has ordered 7MM doses, which are expected to be delivered later in the year. It has previously approved vaccinations from Pfizer and AstraZeneca. The mayor of London, meanwhile, warned that the city is presently caught up in a COVID induced crisis.
Here's some more COVID-19 news from overnight and Friday morning:
- Australia's Queensland state Premier announced a 3-day lockdown in Greater Brisbane due to COVID-19, while Australian PM Morrison said the COVID-19 situation in Brisbane is serious and that they will require pre-flight COVID testing on international flights, as well as reduce caps by half on international arrivals to some states through to February 15th (Source ssooo
- Japan's Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo are reportedly to cooperate and request for the government to declare a state of emergency for them. While Tokyo coronavirus cases increase by more the 2,300 today, according to NHK. (Source: Newswires)
- Greece is introducing a compulsory one-week quarantine for all international air arrivals, including from other European Union countries. Arrivals from the U.K. will additionally face stricter testing under the rules, which run through Jan. 21, the country’s civil aviation authority said Friday (Source: Bloomberg).
- Croatia extended pandemic-fighting restrictions until Jan. 31, Deputy Prime Minister Davor Bozinovic told reporters in Zagreb. The measures, previously due to end Jan. 10, include the closure of bars, restaurants, gyms and most schools (Source: Bloomberg).
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Finally, Spain's coronavirus outbreak has worsened as the number of cases continues to rise in the next few weeks, Health Minister Salvador Illa said at a press conference in Madrid. To dig the country out of this mess, it will be critical for the public to follow new restrictions on travel and movement.