November 9 coronavirus news

By Emma Reynolds, Zamira Rahim, Jenni Marsh, Joshua Berlinger and Stephanie Halasz, CNN

Updated 1:41 a.m. ET, November 10, 2020
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9:14 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Vaccine will be "greatest medical advance in the last 100 years," says Pfizer CEO

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard, Nadia Kounang and Luke McGee

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has called his company's Covid-19 vaccine candidate "the greatest medical advance in the last 100 years.” 

Pfizer announced earlier on Monday that the vaccine is more than 90% effective according to early data.

"Emotions are very high," Bourla told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

You can imagine how I felt when I heard the results yesterday at 2 p.m. I think that likely, based on impact, this will be the greatest medical advance in the last 100 years. It is extraordinary, but it's coming at a time that the world needs it the most."

The drugmaker has no safety concerns so far, Bourla added.

"What we know right now -- it is with very, very high level of confidence these are very highly effective vaccines. What we know so far, it means that we don't have any safety concerns, but we need to wait until the results are there," he said.

He added that the vaccine will be available free to all American citizens.

The CEO said Pfizer planned to have more than 1 billion doses available globally next year.

Around 10 million doses of the vaccine are to be manufactured and made available to the United Kingdom by the end of 2020 if approved by regulators, a Downing Street spokesperson said Monday.

According to the spokesperson, the UK has procured 40 million doses of the Pfizer candidate vaccine in total.

Bourla did tell CNN that it was unclear how long protection from the vaccine could last.

How long this protection lasts is something we don't know," he said Monday.

When asked if the timing of the announcement was related to the US election, Bourla said: "The science brought it exactly at this time. We announced it the moment we learned about it, and I said multiple times the election for us is an artificial timeline."

US President-elect Joe Biden congratulated the scientists behind the vaccine in a statement Monday and thanked "the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope."

US President Donald Trump also reacted on Twitter, writing: "STOCK MARKET UP BIG, VACCINE COMING SOON. REPORT 90% EFFECTIVE. SUCH GREAT NEWS!"

8:33 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Shanghai reports one new locally transmitted case

Medical workers participate in a public health emergency drill at a hospital in Shanghai, on October 24.
Medical workers participate in a public health emergency drill at a hospital in Shanghai, on October 24. Yin Liqin/China News Service/Getty Images

Shanghai health authorities have detected a new locally transmitted Covid-19 case in the city's Pudong district, officials said Monday.

A 50-year-old man who worked as a Pudong airport porter cycled to a local hospital on Sunday and reported symptoms. 

On Monday, the man's positive result was confirmed and he was transferred to the city's Public Health Clinical Center for isolation and treatment, health officials said. 

The man had no contact with anybody infected with the virus and had not visited any "medium- and high-risk areas" in China in the last 14 days.

Twenty-six of the man's close contacts have been tested, and 23 tests have returned as negative, health officials said.

Shanghai's Zhuqiao County is now marked as a medium-risk area and residents are advised not to leave the city. Those who need to leave will be required to submit a negative nucleic acid test certificate received in the last seven days. 

The risk levels of other areas in Shanghai remain unchanged.

One hundred and eighty people related to close contacts are being transferred or are already in isolation facilities.

Shanghai has recorded 1,254 cases in total, according to Johns Hopkins University.

8:25 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Pfizer says early analysis shows its Covid-19 vaccine is 90% effective 

From CNN's Nadia Kounang

A health care worker holds an injection syringe of the phase 3 vaccine trial, developed against the novel coronavirus pandemic by the American drugmaker, Pfizer, and German company BioNTech, at the Ankara University Ibni Sina Hospital in Ankara, Turkey on October 27.
A health care worker holds an injection syringe of the phase 3 vaccine trial, developed against the novel coronavirus pandemic by the American drugmaker, Pfizer, and German company BioNTech, at the Ankara University Ibni Sina Hospital in Ankara, Turkey on October 27. Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Drugmaker Pfizer has said its coronavirus vaccine is more than 90% effective according to an early look at data -- a much better than expected efficacy if the trend continues.

A so-called interim analysis from the company examined the first 94 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among the more than 43,000 volunteers who received either two doses of the vaccine or a placebo.

 "With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.
“We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks.”

The analysis found fewer than 10% of infections were in participants who had been given the vaccine. More than 90% of the cases were in people who had been given a placebo. 

Pfizer said that the vaccine provided protection seven days after the second vaccine dose and 28 days after the initial dose.

The company's final goal is to reach 164 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection.

In a press release, the pharmaceutical giant said it plans to seek emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) soon after volunteers have been monitored for two months after getting their second dose of vaccine, as requested by the FDA. 

Pfizer said it anticipated reaching that point by the third week of November. Its vaccine trial is conducted in partnership with German company BioNTech.

The Phase 3 vaccine trial has enrolled 43,538 participants since July 27. As of Sunday, 38,955 of the volunteers have received a second dose of the vaccine. The company says 42% of international trial sites and 30% of US trial sites involve volunteers of racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. 

 Pfizer's study will also evaluate whether the vaccine protects people against severe Covid-19 disease and whether the vaccine can provide long-term protection against Covid-19 disease, even in patients who have been infected before.

The US FDA has said it would expect at least 50% efficacy from any coronavirus vaccine.

BioNTech's shares rose sharply after the news.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen reports:

7:05 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

European countries opt for stricter lockdown measures to halt rising cases

A Hungarian soldier disinfects a classroom at an elementary school in Szolnok, Hungary, on October 26.
A Hungarian soldier disinfects a classroom at an elementary school in Szolnok, Hungary, on October 26. Janos Meszaros/MTI/AP

European countries are rolling out increasingly strict coronavirus restrictions as the continent's second wave continues.

In Hungary, the government has proposed a series of tougher lockdown measures, in an effort to curb the spread of cases.

“If coronavirus infections rise at the current pace, our doctors, nurses and hospitals will not be able to cope with the burden,” Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced Monday on Facebook.

The new measures -- which will come into force as of midnight on Tuesday, pending parliamentary approval -- will include the closure of restaurants, universities and leisure facilities.

A curfew will also be imposed on all citizens from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time, unless they are considered exempt for work. 

While Orban has said that all gatherings will be prohibited under the proposals, up to ten people will be permitted to participate in family gatherings, while a limit of 50 people will be placed on funerals.

In Italy, where a nationwide curfew is already in place, the association of doctors has called for a national lockdown.

"Drastic measures are needed, such as a total lockdown," association president Filippo Anelli said Sunday, warning that Italy risks having 10,000 more deaths in a month's time.
Demonstrators from various economic sectors gather to protest against the closing of non-essential businesses in Toulouse, France on November 6.
Demonstrators from various economic sectors gather to protest against the closing of non-essential businesses in Toulouse, France on November 6. Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

Meanwhile in France, a second nationwide lockdown has resulted in the country’s economic activity being 12% lower than normal in November, the governor of the Banque de France said Monday.

“This second lockdown has had a negative impact. We estimate that it is 12% (of GDP) lower than normal. But that's almost three times less than the first lockdown,” Banque de France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on RTL radio Monday. 

The governor added that he expects economic activity will be down between 9% and 10% in 2020. 

Under the second national lockdown non-essential businesses in France such as bars and restaurants are closed.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel struck a more positive note Monday, when she congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden.

“The United States of America and Germany, as part of the European Union, must stand together to master the major challenges of our time,” Merkel said on Monday in Berlin, vowing to work with the US to fight the pandemic.
“Side by side in the difficult trials of the Coronavirus pandemic, side by side in the battle against climate change and its global ramifications and in the battle against terrorism, side by side for an open global economy and free trade, because those are the foundations of our welfare on both sides of the Atlantic," she said.

And in Russia, the coronavirus response center said Monday that 21,798 new cases of coronavirus had been reported in 24 hours. That total is Russia's highest daily tally since the pandemic began.

6:47 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Another record day of Covid-19 cases in Iran

From CNN's Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran and Kareem Khadder in Jerusalem

Medical workers tend to coronavirus patients at Rasoul Akram Hospital in Tehran, Iran on October 20.
Medical workers tend to coronavirus patients at Rasoul Akram Hospital in Tehran, Iran on October 20. Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Iran has once again marked a record high day of Covid-19 cases, reporting 10,463 infections on Monday according to the country's Health Ministry.

Iran recorded 458 deaths on Monday, bringing the total death toll to 38,749, according to governmental statistics. 

On Sunday, the country recorded 459 deaths, the highest tally since the outbreak began in February.

Iran is the worst hit country in the Middle East with a total number of 692,949 cases.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last month that the country was suffering through a third wave of the pandemic.

6:44 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

At least 237,500 people have died from Covid-19 in the US

From CNN's Alta Spells

At least 237,570 people have died in the US from coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University (JHU.)

The US is nearing a landmark tally of 10 million reported cases.

At least 9,968,155 cases have been reported so far -- the highest tally worldwide according to JHU.

On Saturday, the country marked yet another record high of infections -- 128,412​ cases (the highest day total since the pandemic began).

Sunday also marked the fifth consecutive day of new coronavirus cases totaling more than 100,000.

CNN is tracking the spread of Covid-19 across the US here:

5:57 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Biden gets ready to face "apex" of pandemic

From CNN's Stephen Collinson

AP
AP

Even with President Donald Trump still refusing to concede the election, President-elect Joe Biden is launching an aggressive plan today to control the pandemic that is escalating at an alarming rate and will define his administration as soon as he takes office.

Biden's announcement of a coronavirus task force is an acknowledgment of record new infection numbers in recent days that mean that the Covid-19 crisis will be far worse by the time he reaches the Oval Office in January. The initiative is a forceful statement of intent and makes clear that Biden will use an active transition period to mobilise against the staggering health and economic challenges he will face. And it indicates that he is already moving ahead with the business of assuming power after celebrating the achievement of his three-decades long quest for the presidency on Saturday.

Biden's steps to set the tone of his administration come despite the unprecedented spectacle of a President who has lost the election declining to accept reality. Sources tell CNN that Trump campaign aides are considering their own aggressive strategy  -- not to finally tackle the virus that has killed more than 237,000 Americans -- but for the US President to possibly hold rallies to bolster his false claims that his second term has been stolen.

Read more:

5:30 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Biden team unveils Covid-19 advisory board

From CNN's Sarah Mucha

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have unveiled the group of public health experts that will make up their coronavirus advisory board.

The team is chaired by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who served in the Obama administration and also includes Rick Bright, a whistleblower from the Trump administration who alleged that his early warnings about the pandemic were ignored.

Bright was the former director of the office involved in developing a coronavirus vaccine. He said his early warnings about critical supplies shortages were met with skepticism from Trump administration officials.

The inclusion of Bright on the board signals Biden's attempt to take the US' Covid-19 strategy in a different direction to President Trump who has regularly downplayed the impact of the virus.

"The task ahead of the Biden-Harris administration is unlike any other in our history," the Bien-Harris transition team tweeted on Sunday.
"Our transition will be led by experts, by science, and with character—ensuring that we will be ready to lead on Day One."

Both Biden and Harris will receive a briefing from the advisory board on Monday afternoon.

The announcement comes as the US nears 10 million reported coronavirus cases.

5:40 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Italian doctors call for national lockdown amid surge of cases

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in Pisa

Doctors and nurses treat a patient inside the intensive care unit of a hospital in Rome, Italy on November 6.
Doctors and nurses treat a patient inside the intensive care unit of a hospital in Rome, Italy on November 6. Matteo Trevisan/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The Italian association of doctors and surgeons has called for a national lockdown as the country grapples with an increase in Covid-19 cases, hospital admissions and intensive care unit (ICU) patients.

If the trend continues, Italy will record another 10,000 more deaths in a month’s time, the association’s president Filippo Anelli said on Sunday, warning that last week's data "does not make us foresee anything good". 

"On average last week we have recorded 1,000 hospitalized patients per day, 110 in intensive care, 25,000 in home isolation and over 300 deaths per day," Anelli said.
He added: “In a month’s time, if this trend were to remain unchanged, we will have another 10,000 more deaths and we will exceed the threshold of 5,000 beds in intensive care."
"The scenario that lies ahead is dramatic, not only for the treatment of Covid patients but above all for the treatment of all patients who have other diseases."

Italy is already under a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. nationwide curfew, with bars and restaurants closing at 6 p.m., while certain areas face harsher restrictions.

Residents in "red zone" regions -- Lombardy, Piedmont, Valle d'Aosta and Calabria -- may only leave home for necessities, health or work. Those in "orange zones" are banned from leaving their towns except for work or health reasons.

Anelli said further "drastic measures are needed, such as a total lockdown," to avoid having hospitals being overwhelmed at the end of December, the beginning of January, with Covid-19 patients and those with flu.

Italy registered 32,616 new daily Covid-19 cases and 331 related deaths on Sunday, according to data from the country's Health Ministry.