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US infections top 100,000 for seventh day in a row
The Unites States has confirmed more than 100,000 cases per day – a 24 hour total not seen by any other country – every day for the last week, according to Johns Hopkins University figures.
A tenth of the country’s 10m case total were added since the start of November, alone.
US sees record Covid hospitalisations
The Covid-Tracking project reports that the US on Tuesday saw its highest number of people hospitalises with coronavirus of the pandemic so far – a day after braking the record on Monday.
The number of hospitalisations currently stands at 61,964.
In California, the number of hospitalisations has risen by 32% over the past two weeks, and intensive care admissions have spiked by 30% as the pandemic surges across the United States, the state’s Health and Human Services secretary said on Tuesday.
Governments scramble to secure vaccine doses
A potential breakthrough in the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine has left governments scrambling to secure access to the vaccine and meet the logistical challenge of distributing hundreds of millions of doses once it becomes available in coming months, Reuters reports.
The Covid-19 death toll in Europe was set to pass 300,000 and authorities feared that despite hopes for a new vaccine, fatalities and infections would continue to rise.
The European Commission will discuss the adoption of a contract for the supply of the vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.
Spain will get the first of these vaccines in early 2021, while Italy expects to receive an initial 3.4m shots in January.
If Pfizer Inc submits the positive initial data from trial to health regulators as quickly as expected, the US government plans to begin vaccinating Americans in December, Health Secretary Alex Azar said.
In Africa, Botswana signed an agreement with the global vaccine distribution scheme co-led by the World Health Organization, giving it the option to buy coronavirus vaccines for 20% of its population.
The WHO’s chief said it hopes to have a Covid-19 vaccine by year-end and that Pfizer’s experimental remedy is “a very promising one”, with more expected.
Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
My name is Helen Sullivan and I’m typing these words from the Guardian offices in Sydney for the first time in months! This is the first exclamation point I have ever used in this blog.
You can get in touch with me on Twitter here.
Other than this and the vaccine, the news remains bleak.
The US has for the seventh day in a row confirmed more than 100,000 cases, while Europe’s death toll has passed 300,000.
Here are the other key developments from the last few hours:
- Brazil passed 5.7 million Covid-19 cases, as the country reported another 25,012 confirmed infections in the past 24 hours. The country has registered 5,700,044 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll rose by 201 to 162,829, according to health ministry data.
- GP services in England will be scaled back well into 2021 so family doctors can deliver Covid-19 vaccines to millions of people at new seven-day-a-week clinics, NHS England said. Health leaders warned that surgeries will not be able to offer their full range of care for patients from next month as doctors and nurses will be redeployed to administering jabs at more than 1,200 mass vaccination centres across the country.
- Three Californian counties that are home to about 5.5 million people – San Diego, Sacramento and Stanislaus – must reverse their reopening plans and go back to the most restrictive tier of public health regulations aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, the US state’s health and human services secretary, Dr Mark Ghaly, said. More counties will likely be required to roll back reopening in coming weeks, he added.
- More than 300,000 people have died of Covid-19 across Europe, according to a Reuters tally, and authorities fear that fatalities and infections will continue to rise as the region heads into winter despite hopes for a new vaccine. With just 10% of the world’s population, the continent accounts for almost a quarter of the 1.2 million deaths globally, and even its well-equipped hospitals are feeling the strain.
- The UK reported its highest daily death toll since May, as a further 532 deaths of people who died within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test were recorded on Tuesday. The figure is the highest since 614 deaths were reported on 12 May.
- France reported the highest number of daily coronavirus deaths of the second wave, as another 551 fatalities were recorded on Monday evening, according to French public health director Jérôme Salomon.
- The Italian government imposed tighter restrictions on another five regions as it tries to stem escalating new cases of coronavirus, while still resisting a nationwide lockdown. A total of seven out of Italy’s 20 regions are now so-called “orange” zones, signifying medium-high risk, after a new decree signed by the health minister, Roberto Speranza, overnight.
- The European commission will on Wednesday formally authorise for the EU member states the purchase of 300m doses of the potential coronavirus vaccine produced by the German drugs company BioNTech and the US firm Pfizer. Ursula von der Leyen, the commission president, said the drug appeared to be the “most promising so far”.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Coronavirus live news: countries scramble to secure vaccine doses as US sees record hospitalisations | World news