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Covid-19 News: Reside Updates – The New York Instances – NewsEverything NewYork

A worker in September at a factory producing Sinovac’s coronavirus vaccine in Beijing.
Credit score…Wang Zhao/Agence France-Presse — Getty Pictures

Brazilian officers stated Thursday {that a} coronavirus vaccine made by a Chinese language firm was efficient, bolstering the probabilities of approval for a second Chinese language inoculation that may very well be rolled out in a lot of the growing world.

Officers within the state of São Paulo, the place a distinguished medical analysis institute carried out a big examine of the vaccine made by the Beijing-based Sinovac, stated the inoculation had an efficacy price of 78 %.

The vaccine prevented all individuals from growing severe and gentle issues from the virus, officers stated, calling it a extremely efficient preventive instrument.

In anticipation of approval, the vaccine, referred to as CoronaVac, has already been shipped all over the world as nations put together for mass inoculation campaigns. Sinovac has offered greater than 300 million doses, principally to low- and middle-income nations, accounting for about half of the overall doses that China says vaccine makers had been able to producing in 2020, primarily based on an evaluation of firm statements and media stories.

China has set its sights on supplying the growing world with a Covid-19 vaccine, in a push to place itself as a frontrunner in well being diplomacy after its failures within the early days of the outbreak. It additionally desires to burnish its credentials in science by turning into a serious participant within the international vaccine enterprise.

Even with out the regulatory greenlight, China has launched into an aggressive vaccination drive at residence, with the purpose of inoculating 50 million folks by the center of subsequent month. Beijing has additionally developed an abroad distribution plan for exports, directing airways to fill up on fridges and dry ice.

China is filling a void in poorer nations left by Western rivals. America is principally centered on working by means of the chaos of distributing its vaccines at residence. The European Union and different wealthy nations have purchased lots of the doses provided by the American drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna.

The Chinese language have been wanting to get out in entrance, conscious of the hole and the hoarding and pre-purchase of so many billions of doses by the Western governments that’s leaving so many nations excessive and dry,” stated J. Stephen Morrison, director of the worldwide well being coverage middle on the Middle for Strategic and Worldwide Research.

“It is going to grow to be a instrument of their diplomatic alliances, and it’ll give them some measure of status and standing with nations that select to utilize them,” he added.


United States › United StatesOn Jan. 6 14-day change
New instances 255,728 +8%
New deaths 3,964 Flat

World › WorldOn Jan. 6 14-day change
New cases 785,681 +1%
New deaths 14,266 –5%

Where cases per capita are
highest

A Covid-19 patient in Apple Valley, Calif., on Wednesday. In just two weeks in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, more than 240,000 coronavirus cases have been identified.
Credit…Mario Tama/Getty Images

As Americans were transfixed by the spectacle of the Capitol under siege, the coronavirus continued to sweep across the United States.

Officials reported at least 3,964 new coronavirus deaths in the United States on Wednesday, a new single-day record, though delayed recording because of the holidays might have played a role. The daily death toll in New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania also set records.

Some states also reported single-day case records, while Illinois became one of five states that have now recorded their millionth case since the pandemic began.

In Arizona, which is beginning the new year with a higher rate of new cases than any other state, hospitalizations and deaths set records in the past few days. Over the past week, the state has averaged more than 8,000 cases a day, more than double the summer peak.

Yet, some Arizona health care leaders lamented, they are still not seeing the kind of public vigilance that might bring the outbreak under control.

“Most Americans don’t want to know, don’t want to acknowledge, don’t really want to recognize, and certainly — even as it’s descending upon us — do not appear to understand the dire circumstances that we are facing,” said Dr. Marjorie Bessel, the chief clinical officer at Banner Health, a major hospital network in Arizona.

The outlook is especially alarming in Southern California. In just two weeks, more than 240,000 cases have been identified in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. That is more cases than at least 19 entire states have identified over the entire pandemic.

As the unexpectedly slow vaccine drive began to pick up pace, the federal government moved to start a program to inoculate members of high-risk groups at pharmacies, among them older people and frontline workers.

Some health officials urged flexibility in distributing the vaccines.

Dr. Jerome Adams, the surgeon general, said states need not adhere too rigidly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines about whom to vaccinate first. If fewer health care workers agree to be vaccinated, he said, states should “move quickly to other priority groups.”

But even as the work continued to get more shots in arms, health officials were racing against a fast-moving variant of the coronavirus that has the potential to change the disease-fighting landscape in the United States, as it has in Britain. And with no good system in place to identify genetic variations of the virus, experts warn, the government will be hard pressed to track the variant, leaving health officials in the dark.

06virus brief stimulus fraud articleLarge
Credit…Eric Gay/Associated Press

State and federal officials are warning consumers about potential fraud involving the coronavirus stimulus payments that are now being distributed by check and direct deposit.

The Better Business Bureau said Wednesday that people receiving the payments should beware of calls or text messages seeking personal information that could leave their accounts vulnerable.

Callers might imply they are government employees, and text messages might direct consumers to click on a link leading to requests for personal information.

While many Americans have already received the second round of aid, many others are still waiting for their money.

The bureau said it had heard from numerous consumers complaining they had been contacted by potential fraudsters.

This is not the first time officials have warned of fraud linked to the pandemic. In April, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a warning about scammers looking to sell false coronavirus tests, cures, treatments and vaccines.

Similar alerts were issued in June, including the F.B.I.’s warning of scammers’ using advertisements for fraudulent Covid-19 antibody tests as a way to obtain information they could use for identity theft or medical insurance fraud. The Federal Trade Commission also alerted consumers about scammers pretending to be contact tracers, as did the Internal Revenue Service about frauds involving government stimulus payments.

Attorneys general in several states, including West Virginia and Florida, added their warnings to the chorus on Tuesday.

“As we have seen throughout the pandemic, bad actors are looking for ways to exploit the crisis to steal money, government benefits and people’s identities,” Ashley Moody, attorney general of Florida, said in a statement.

Here’s how authorities advise that consumers respond when they suspect fraud:

  • They should not trust calls claiming to be from government agencies and should use caution when receiving other unsolicited phone calls, text messages and emails.

  • They should avoid responding to text messages, emails or advertisements directing them to click on links, nor should they provide any personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited message.

  • Consumers should be wary of requests that they pay a fee to receive their checks.

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Facing a rapid rise in coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures.CreditCredit…Pool photo by Kiyoshi Ota

TOKYO — Japan declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures on Thursday, after days of record coronavirus counts and a rapidly rising death toll. It was Japan’s first emergency declaration because of the pandemic since April.

The announcement came five days after governors from the affected prefectures had pleaded with the central government to act. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, reluctant to hurt the economy, had hesitated to invoke the emergency measure, but he eventually bowed to the pressure.

Deaths from the virus in Japan have doubled in less than two months, passing 3,700, and Tokyo’s governor has warned that the medical system is under stress. Polls have shown widespread dissatisfaction with Mr. Suga’s four-month-old administration and its handling of the pandemic.

The emergency declaration, which will last one month, relies mostly on voluntary compliance, and health experts warned that it might not be enough to turn the tide.

The government is asking restaurants to close by 8 p.m., employers to encourage staff members to work from home, and residents to refrain from going out for all but the most essential tasks — also after 8 p.m. Schools, museums, cinemas, gyms and shops will stay open.

Japan has reported a total of 258,393 cases, far fewer than many Western countries. After it emerged in May from its previous, brief state of emergency, it held up what it called the “Japan model”: an intense focus on contact tracing and cluster busting, widespread mask wearing and as few restrictions on the economy as possible.

But as Japan has experienced several record-setting days for new infections since late last month — Tokyo reported over 2,000 cases on Thursday, and the country a record 5,953 — its coronavirus-fighting model has come under strain. Japan is not expected to start inoculating the public until at least the end of February, a process that will take months.

“We are having too many cases to trace right now, and the state of emergency is coming too late,” said Fumie Sakamoto, an infection control manager at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo. She said the hospital’s intensive care beds and general wards were full.

Socially distanced seating for jurors in a Manhattan courtroom for a trial that was set to start in October.
Credit…Jefferson Siegel for The New York Times

With coronavirus cases shattering records in much of the country, court officials in areas where jury trials had resumed are suspending them again. And experts say the suspensions could last months, swelling a backlog of untried cases.

In Florida, officials in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties said Tuesday that they were halting jury trials. In California, Riverside County extended its suspension until the end of January. And in Arkansas, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District has announced that it will not hold jury trials until March 23 at the soonest.

“Even with screening, distancing, masking, rearranged spaces, extra cleaning, and increased ventilation, the risk associated with extended gatherings this size remains substantial,” the chief judge of the court in Arkansas, D. Price Marshall Jr., wrote in an administrative order.

California, Florida and most other states have no statewide public health orders in place barring jury trials, leaving the issue to be determined locally based on local conditions, according to the National Center for State Courts.

Arkansas, New Mexico and Idaho have suspended state jury trials through January, according to the center; Tennessee and four other states have suspended them through February or March; and the District of Columbia and eight states have suspended them indefinitely, including Idaho, where the Supreme Court called them off in mid-December.

Paula Hannaford-Agor, the director of the Center for Jury Studies at the N.C.S.C., said there seemed little prospect of suspensions ending soon.

“The way things are looking right now, which are frankly awful,” Ms. Hannaford-Agor said, “my anticipation is that there will be few to no jury trials probably for another two months.”

Much depends on the speed and effectiveness of vaccination programs, she said.

The new chief justice of North Carolina, Paul Newby, said Wednesday that he had asked Gov. Roy Cooper to speed up vaccination of court personnel. “Access to justice through the courts is not a luxury — it’s a mandate,” Justice Newby said.

The inability to conduct jury trials has wreaked havoc with the dockets of many courts, including those of New York City, where only nine criminal jury trials were completed between March and the end of November.

“What is this going to look like when things start back up and there’s a huge backlog?” Ms. Hannaford-Agor said. “It’s going to be a mess.”

Mark Peterson, a firefighter in Salt Lake City, receiving the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday.
Credit…Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Firefighters across the United States, especially those who also serve as emergency medical responders, have begun receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, as states continue to extend their vaccination efforts beyond hospital workers and nursing home residents.

In Philadelphia, where the fire department’s ambulance service is among the busiest in the country, about 100 emergency medical service workers have been vaccinated so far, the city’s fire commissioner, Adam Thiel, said on Wednesday.

Mr. Thiel said the department lost one firefighter to Covid-19 over the summer, and has faced constant staffing shortages as workers have fallen ill or had to quarantine. “We’ve been pretty severely affected,” he said. “It has real world impacts on all of our members and their families.”

Some members of the Philadelphia department are classified in Group 1A, the highest priority for vaccination, and some are in 1B, the next highest. The city does not have nearly enough doses yet to vaccinate everyone in the department, Mr. Thiel said, so for now, only the E.M.S. crews are receiving shots.

At the Des Moines, Iowa, Fire Department, Capt. Brian Davis received his first dose of the vaccine on Tuesday. He said he was eager to be vaccinated because some of his colleagues had been infected with the virus. Firefighters in Des Moines have worn masks and other protective equipment on the job for the past 10 months, he said, and the vaccine is one more step toward protecting their community.

“We see several people a day,” he said. “If we’re not able to keep those precautions, we could possibly infect other people. So it gives you a good feeling that you’re doing everything you can.”

The Des Moines firefighters are all classified as Group 1A. Fire Chief John TeKippe said that roughly 70 percent of the department’s employees have opted to receive the vaccine.

“We’re excited for the additional protection for our employees, but also for the peace of mind for them and their families,” Mr. TeKippe said. “It’s been a long road, and we have a ways to go.”

Tel Aviv on Thursday. The prospect that Israel would have the virus under control by spring, once promising, now seems uncertain
Credit…Abir Sultan/EPA, via Shutterstock

JERUSALEM — Israel faces a tightened lockdown this week as officials fear that the more transmissible British variant of the virus is spreading rapidly and its vaccine supplies are running low.

Israel, which was once seen as a model coronavirus country, is outpacing the rest of the world in vaccinating its citizens. But the prospect that Israel would have the virus under control by spring, once promising, now seems uncertain. Health officials say that in the short term, at least, the vaccine campaign cannot compete with the soaring infection rates of more than 8,000 new cases a day.

And the Palestinian Authority, which runs its own health care system in the occupied West Bank, has asked Israel for vaccines, prompting a debate over Israel’s responsibility to the Palestinians at a time when Israel’s vaccine supplies are dwindling.

“We are at the height of a global pandemic that is spreading at record speed with the British mutation,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video statement late Tuesday, justifying the federal government’s resolution to impose a full nationwide lockdown that can shutter most colleges and all nonessential workplaces for not less than two weeks.

“Each hour we delay, the faster the virus is spreading, and it’ll actual a really heavy worth,” he added.

The lockdown resolution got here after Prof. Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, offered the federal government with the dire projection that with out such motion, Israel’s an infection price may rise to 46,000 new instances per day by February, a staggering quantity in a rustic with a inhabitants of about 9 million.

Authorities officers cited the variant found in Britain as one of many most important causes for imposing the tighter restrictions. Mr. Netanyahu stated the variant was “leaping ahead,” although not on the identical tempo because it has unfold in Britain. Not less than 30 instances of the variant have been recognized in Israel by particular sampling.

GLOBAL ROUNDUP

Bangkok on Thursday. Thailand, which had one of the best records in containing the virus, saw a daily spike of 745 new cases on Monday.
Credit score…Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters

The Thai police issued arrest warrants on Thursday for a husband and spouse who helped smuggle and harbor 19 unlawful immigrants from Myanmar, together with seven who examined optimistic for the coronavirus.

The 19 immigrants, all Rohingya Muslims, had been arrested on Monday at a crowded home close to Don Mueang Worldwide Airport, which serves Bangkok, the place that they had been staying. All of them had traveled with out work permits and a few with out passports, the authorities stated. Three extra unlawful employees had been arrested in the identical space on Wednesday.

The police stated that the spouse, who’s Thai, and the husband, who’s Burmese, had been needed for smuggling the employees into the nation in three teams. They resist 5 years in jail.

Hostility towards folks from Myanmar has been hovering in Thailand after a surge in coronavirus instances that apparently began with an outbreak amongst migrant employees from Myanmar at a seafood market in Samut Sakhon Province, close to Bangkok.

Elements of the nation, together with the Thai capital, at the moment are underneath extreme restrictions. Faculties, leisure venues and sports activities facilities are closed and residents have been suggested to work at home, if doable. Officers have stopped in need of calling it a lockdown, nevertheless, and malls, eating places and cinemas stay open, with restrictions.

Thailand, which had among the best data in containing the virus, noticed a every day spike of 745 new instances on Monday, probably the most because the pandemic started. Each day case numbers have declined since then, with 305 new infections reported on Thursday.

Well being officers have reported 9,636 instances in whole and 67 deaths. Greater than 1,500 of Thailand’s instances have been detected in quarantine, which is necessary for vacationers arriving from overseas.

In different developments internationally:

  • South Africa stated it had agreed to buy 1.5 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India to cowl its well being employees. One million of the doses are anticipated to reach this month and the opposite half 1,000,000 in February. The news comes as South Africa experiences a extreme second surge of coronavirus infections and deaths, fueled by a brand new variant that seems to be extra simply transmitted. The South African authorities, which had come underneath fierce criticism in current days for failing to safe vaccine doses, had beforehand introduced that it had reserved sufficient photographs for 10 % of its inhabitants of about 60 million by means of a worldwide mechanism generally known as Covax. However these doses will not be anticipated to start arriving till the second quarter of the 12 months.

  • China stated it was imposing a strict lockdown on Shijiazhuang, a metropolis of 11 million within the northern province of Hebei, a part of a “wartime” marketing campaign geared toward stamping out a current rise in coronavirus instances. The choice was made after a small flare-up prompted metropolis officers to start a mass testing drive that uncovered practically 130 new instances in two days. Officers stated all 11 million residents within the metropolis could be examined, whereas flights, trains and automobiles have been barred from leaving or getting into the town.

  • The Chinese language authorities are additionally persevering with to take a draconian strategy to the unfold of details about the virus. On Wednesday, the police in Baoding, a metropolis to the northeast of Shijiazhuang in Hebei Province, detained a person for posting a message in a social media chat group saying that greater than 200 folks had died from the virus in Shijiazhuang. Based on a police assertion, the person was given six days in detention and a effective of about $15 for spreading rumors.

Miguel Sola, 43, donated hyperimmune plasma at the Regional Transfusion Center in Madrid, Spain, in November 2020.
Credit score…J J Guillen/EPA, through Shutterstock

Blood plasma from recovered Covid-19 sufferers may help older adults keep away from getting significantly sick with the coronavirus — if the remedy is run inside days of the onset of the sickness, a small however rigorous medical trial in Argentina discovered.

The outcomes, printed Wednesday within the New England Journal of Drugs, are among the first to conclusively level towards the oft-discussed remedy’s helpful results. They arrive practically 5 months after the Meals and Drug Administration, underneath stress from President Trump, gave the remedy an emergency inexperienced mild to be used in folks hospitalized with Covid-19.

Hundreds of sufferers have obtained infusions of plasma within the months since, whereas researchers waited for the information. The brand new examine is likely one of the first well-designed medical trials to indicate that the remedy has some profit. “That’s type of what we now have been in search of, by way of actually having proof,” stated Dr. Boghuma Kabisen Titanji, an infectious illness doctor at Emory College who was not concerned within the analysis.

Convalescent plasma, the pale yellow liquid left over after blood is stripped of its crimson and white cells, teems with disease-fighting molecules referred to as antibodies.

The brand new examine, led by Dr. Fernando Polack, a pediatric infectious illness specialist and the scientific director of the INFANT Basis in Argentina, seems to make clear the circumstances underneath which plasma performs greatest.

In 80 folks, an infusion of plasma decreased the danger of growing a extreme case of Covid by 48 %, in contrast with one other group of 80 who obtained a saline answer as a substitute, the examine discovered.

The examine’s parameters had been strict: Everybody enrolled within the trial was not less than 65 years outdated — a bunch recognized to be at increased threat of falling significantly sick. About half of the individuals additionally had well being situations that made them extra weak to the virus. And the plasma remedy, which was screened to make sure it contained excessive ranges of antibodies, was at all times given inside three days of the sufferers’ first signs.

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