N.Y. Vaccine Shortage Eases; Hong Kong Lockdown: Virus Update
MDS – C19 Staff , January 24 2021
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Governor Andrew Cuomo said more vaccines are on the way for New York, though he said the bigger challenge is getting skeptical Black and Latino residents to take the shot. U.S. governors are stepping up complaints that the federal government is not giving them enough vaccine.
Hong Kong imposed a temporary lockdown on thousands of residents for the first time to carry out mandatory testing of the coronavirus. Indonesia sees risks for economic growth as the government imposed more restrictions to curb a worsening Covid-19 outbreak.
A doctors’ group in the U.K. has urged the government to review the 12 weeks allowed for people to receive a second dose of the vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE. The manufacturer suggests 21 days. Meanwhile, France’s top health authority recommends doubling that three-week gap as a way to stretch supplies and speed inoculations.
New Zealand Investigates Possible Case (10:18 a.m. HK)
New Zealand is investigating a possible case of Covid-19 in the community after a positive test result was returned in a person who had departed a quarantine facility, the Ministry of Health reported.
The ministry said in a statement on Sunday that eight people currently infected with the virus are in managed isolation. The country has 79 active cases and total of 1,927 confirmed infections, according to the ministry.
Indonesia Sees Risks to Economy Due to Virus (8:25 a.m. HK)
Indonesia sees downside risks for economic growth in the first quarter as the government imposed more restrictions to curb a worsening coronavirus outbreak, according to the finance minister.
The first quarter is “very tough,” Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin on Saturday. “We hope in February and March we can still catch up despite the January which is going to be very tough because of Covid and natural disasters.”
Hong Kong Imposes First Lockdown (8:19 a.m. HK)
Hong Kong is locking down thousands of residents for the first time over the weekend in a bid to contain a worsening outbreak. The unprecedented step for the Yau Ma Tei and Jordan areas — known for their night markets — was announced in a government statement early Saturday morning.
The lockdown affects about 10,000 residents, Hong Kong Secretary for Home Affairs Caspar Tsui said at a briefing, adding 162 cases were found in the district since the start of 2021 through Wednesday. More than 3,000 government officers were deployed in the action, Tsui said.
Brazil Reports Deadliest Week Since Summer (5:56 p.m. NY)
Brazil reported 1,202 new fatalities, ending the deadliest week since the surge last summer. Total deaths are now 216,445, the Health Ministry reported. The nation, which has the most cases after the U.S. and India, reported another 62,334 infections. The weekly count declined from the previous week but is still higher than during the summer peak. Total cases are 8.8 million.
Los Angeles County Deaths Exceed 15,000 (5:15 p.m. NY)
Los Angeles County, the epicenter of the latest wave, said the number of Covid-19 deaths reached the “grim milestone” of 15,000. Fatalities climbed more than 5,000 since the end of the year, its public health department said.
The county added 269 new deaths Saturday, bringing the total to 15,162. It also reported 10,537 new cases, for a total of almost 1.1 million. ICU capacity across Southern California remains at zero, it said, citing state data.
Hospitalizations fell below 7,000 for the first time this year at 6,881. Almost one in four of these patients are in ICU.
Pakistan Nears Vaccine Approval (5:03 p.m. NY)
Pakistan is close to granting approval to Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, as world’s fifth most-populous nation looks to start inoculations against the coronavirus.
U.S. Governors Plead for More Vaccine (2:53 p.m. NY)
U.S. governors are stepping up their complaints that the federal government is not giving them enough vaccine — and it could be months before they inoculate those currently eligible.
“I’m not as worried about running out as I am about not getting enough,” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said Friday on CNN. He said he could use as much as four times the 100,000 doses the state now is allotted a week.
On Saturday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said it would take 17 weeks to get through the 7 million New Yorkers eligible to receive the vaccine. Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts said on Friday the general population may have to wait four months before being eligible for a vaccine.
Birx says Inaugural Security Could Prove Superspreader Event (1:59 p.m. NY)
Dr. Deborah Birx, who served as coordinator of the Trump administration’s Coronavirus Task Force, warned in an interview set to air Sunday that events surrounding Wednesday’s inaugural proceedings could prove to be a so-called superspreader event.
“Right now in the District of Columbia, there are National Guard troops here from every state in the union, probably, young individuals who are most likely to have asymptomatic infection if they do get infected,” Birx said in a preview of an exchange with Margaret Brennan on CBS News’ “Face The Nation.” “And they’re congruently living and eating maskless, 25 to 30,000 of them from all over the United States.”
Germany Sees 3 Million Vaccine Doses in Feb. (9:20 a.m. NY)
German Health Minister Jens Spahn said he expects 3 million vaccine doses to be delivered to the country in February, despite production problems by AstraZeneca Plc. “Unfortunately, this will be less than expected”, Spahn told the Sunday edition of the tabloid Bild. He reaffirmed his pledge that all German citizens will be offered a vaccine by the end of summer.
France Mulls Extending Dosage Interval (7:09 a.m. NY)
France’s top health authority is recommending a doubling of the time between the two required Covid-19 vaccine shots as a way to stretch supplies and inoculate as many people as possible. Giving the second injection six weeks after the initial one would allow at least 700,000 more people to be protected during the first month. The French advice follows guidance two days ago by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said follow-up doses could be given up to six weeks later if it’s not feasible to get them in the recommended interval.