LONDON – Britain is expanding its coronavirus vaccination program that has seen nearly 6 million people get the first of two doses – even as the country’s death toll in the pandemic approaches 100,000.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday that three-quarters of Britain’s population over 80 had received a shot of the vaccine. She said three-quarters of the nursing home residents also had their first injection. Nearly 5.9 million doses of the vaccine had been given as of Saturday.
Health officials aim to vaccinate 15 million people, including all people over 70, by February 15.
The UK vaccination campaign is a rare success in the country with the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe. The UK recorded 97,329 deaths among people who tested positive.
Another 1,348 deaths were reported Saturday, and the UK is set within days to become the fifth country in the world to record 100,000 COVID-19 deaths.
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
– Pandemic stress puts medical workers at high risk depression, anxiety, substance abuse
– A year after virus lockdown, Wuhan dissidents more isolated than before
– British doctor seeking a review of the 12-week gaps between vaccine doses
– All of it University of Michigan the athletics department stopped after several positive tests for the new COVID-19 variant that was transmitted at a higher rate.
Follow all AP pandemic coverage on https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE WHAT ELSE HAPPENED:
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand has reported its first coronavirus case outside a quarantine facility in more than two months, although there is no direct evidence that the virus is spreading in the community.
Health Director General Ashley Bloomfield said the case was a 56-year-old woman who recently returned from Europe. Like other returning travelers, he spent 14 days in quarantine and tested negative twice before returning home on January 13. He later developed symptoms and tested positive.
He said health officials would carry out genome testing but worked on the assumption that the case was a more contagious variant of the virus. He said they were investigating to see if it was possible that he contracted the disease from other travelers who had returned to live in the same quarantine facility.
New Zealand has been eradicating community transmission of the virus, at least for now. Bloomfield said officials are stepping up contact tracing and testing efforts and hope to have more information on the case in the coming days.
BEIJING – A Chinese city has completed 2,600 temporary treatment rooms as the northern state battles a new coronavirus outbreak.
The single-occupancy rooms in Nangong city in Hebei province outside Beijing are each equipped with their own heating, toilet, shower and other facilities, reports the official Xinhua News Agency.
Particular attention has been paid to Hebei as its proximity to the capital and the province has locked up large areas to prevent further spread of the virus. The provincial capital of Shijiazhung and the city of Xingtai, which includes Nangong, have been largely closed. Community isolation and large-scale testing have also been introduced.
The National Health Commission on Sunday reported 19 additional cases in Hebei. Northeastern Heilongjiang province reported another 29 cases, some of which were linked to an outbreak at a meat processing plant. Beijing, where about 2 million residents have been ordered to undergo new tests, reported two new confirmed cases.
China currently has 1,800 people being treated for COVID-19.
SEATTLE – Washington and Oregon now confirm additional cases of the more contagious variant of COVID-19 in the Pacific Northwest.
The Washington Department of Health announced Saturday that variant B.1.1.7, which first appeared in Britain last September, had been confirmed by DNA sequencing in two cases in Snohomish County. It is the first confirmed case in Washington.
The Oregon Health Authority confirmed a second case, in a person from Yamhill County, a week after the first case was detected in Multnomah County.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no conclusive evidence that it is more severe than other strains of the virus.
NEW YORK – New York will send more vaccination preparation kits to elderly housing complexes and churches in a bid to ensure fairness in vaccine distribution, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.
These include syringes, vials, room dividers, privacy curtains, cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment, and other items. They also include instructions on how to set up a vaccination site.
New York deployed the first equipment last week to five New York City Housing Authority senior citizen compounds and eight churches and cultural centers where nearly 4,200 people eligible to receive the vaccine have been vaccinated, Cuomo said.
The kits are now being shipped to four additional senior complexes in New York City and eight other churches across the state, with plans to administer the vaccine to a further 3,000 people at those locations by Tuesday. Locations in Brooklyn, Bronx, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and Buffalo will receive the kit.
The kits are part of efforts to ensure vaccination in Black, Latino and other communities where COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact, the governor said.
Also on Saturday, the governor’s office reported another 144 deaths across the state from the coronavirus. More than 8,800 people were hospitalized, down 44 compared to Friday’s data.
SAN FRANCISCO – The federal appeals court rejected a request by the Southern California church to overturn state coronavirus restrictions that prohibit indoor worship services during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Sacramento Bee said Friday’s decision by the Court of Appeals of the 9th US Circuit left the door open to discussing Governor Gavin Newsom’s administrative limits on church attendance if the California region was under less stringent COVID-19 levels.
A three-judge panel ruled the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista on a public health order restricting religious services held inside while virus case rates and hospitalizations remain high.
Currently in California, indoor worship is banned in all purple-storied countries – which are considered to be at wide risk of transmission of the coronavirus. This level covers most of the states.
SANTA FE, NM – New Mexico on Saturday reported an additional 859 cases of COVID-19 and another 38 deaths.
That raises the state’s total pandemic to 168,579 cases and 3,115 deaths.
Bernalillo County has the most additional cases with 184, followed by 83 in San Juan County, 74 in Dona Ana County and 53 in McKinley County.
Most of the additional deaths involved older New Mexicans, but they also included some in their 20s and 30s. The number of infections is thought to be much higher than reported because many people have not been tested
RIO DE JANEIRO – The governor of the Brazilian state of Amazonas has announced tough new lockdown measures to combat the surge in COVID-19 cases that have flooded local hospitals.
Governor Wilson Lima said Saturday that as of Monday, the state’s 4 million people could only go out for essential activities such as buying food or seeking medical care.
Hospitals in the state capital Manaus have been tense amid reports that the new variant of the novel coronavirus is more contagious, and the state has experienced a shortage of oxygen. The state health secretary said 584 people were on a waiting list for hospital beds, 101 of whom needed intensive therapy.
“People need to understand that we have to take tough action to save as many lives as possible,” Lima said in an announcement posted on social media.
HELSINKI – Norway says its capital, Oslo, and nine municipalities have been placed under strict restrictions to contain the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus that was first detected in Britain.
The Norwegian government said shopping malls and other non-essential shops in the region were closed at midday on Saturday, and would remain closed at least until January 31.
In addition, organized sporting activities were halted, schools were ordered to increasingly rely on distance teaching and households were asked not to invite visitors back to the area.
Norwegian health officials say the Scandinavian country of 5.4 million has so far identified 55 cases of the virus variant that has spread widely in Britain.
Neighboring Sweden, where the coronavirus outbreak is far worse than in Norway, said late Saturday it plans to roll out a temporary entry ban from Norway because of the new variant.
LAS VEGAS – Federal prosecutors have charged a Nevada man with fraudulently obtaining an estimated $ 2 million in federal coronavirus relief intended for small businesses to purchase luxury vehicles and condos in Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the US attorney’s office in Nevada accused Jorge Abramovs of bank fraud after he allegedly submitted funding requests to at least seven banks between April and June 2020.
The complaint said financial analysis determined that Abramovs spent the money on personal luxury items, including a 2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible worth over $ 260,000 and a 2020 Tesla Model 3 for around $ 55,000.
Abramovs was ordered to be detained on Friday during a detention hearing. A defense attorney assigned to represent Abramovs did not immediately respond to an email request from The Associated Press for comment.
CHICAGO – Certain restaurants and bars across Chicago and the suburbs of Cook County have opened their doors to customers for the first time since late October following Saturday’s approval from Illinois health officials.
With cities and counties moving up to Tier I of the state’s coronavirus mitigation plans, food-serving restaurants and bars can put customers indoors at 25% capacity or 25 people per room, whichever is smaller.
Tables will be limited to no more than four people indoors or six people outdoors, and tables must be 6 feet apart. Indoor service will be limited to a maximum of two hours and bars and restaurants must close at 11pm
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden promised in his inaugural address to equalize the American people, and the message from his first three days in office is nothing if not gloomy and gloomy.
He has painted a grim picture of the future of a country dealing with the coronavirus soon, warning Americans that it will take months, not weeks, to change the orientation of the country facing the convergence of a historic crisis.
Terrible language is meant to be a call to action, but it’s also a deliberate attempt to stifle expectations. The US is trying to launch a vaccination program, with slow production and distribution problems.
The US leads the world with 24.8 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 415,000 deaths.