November 27 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Melissa Macaya and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 2:08 a.m. ET, November 28, 2020
6 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
1:05 a.m. ET, November 27, 2020

Germany tops 1 million coronavirus cases

From CNN's Maija Ehlinger

Chancellor Angela Merkel makes a speech at the German federal parliament in Berlin on Nov. 26.
Chancellor Angela Merkel makes a speech at the German federal parliament in Berlin on Nov. 26. Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Germany recorded 22,806 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours to bring its total number of cases past 1 million, according to the Robert Koch Institute, the country's disease control and prevention agency.

The country also recorded 426 new deaths, the RKI reported on Friday. That marks the highest single-day jump in Covid deaths since the pandemic began.

That brings Germany's total to 1,006,394 cases and 15,586 virus-related deaths.

This comes one day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that coronavirus restrictions and a partial national lockdown will last until Dec. 20, but could be extended into 2021. 

12:27 a.m. ET, November 27, 2020

South Korea reports more than 500 new Covid-19 cases for second day in a row

From CNN's Gawon Bae in Seoul

A medical worker takes a swab sample for a Covid-19 test from a visitor at a testing station in Seoul, South Korea, on Nov. 27.
A medical worker takes a swab sample for a Covid-19 test from a visitor at a testing station in Seoul, South Korea, on Nov. 27. Jung Yeon-je/AFP/Getty Images

South Korea reported 569 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, the second consecutive day that more than 500 additional infections have been registered since March. 

The nationwide total of cases now stands at 32,887, according to the Korea Disease Control Prevention Agency (KDCA.)

Of the new cases, 337 were identified in the Seoul metropolitan area.  

Health Ministry spokesperson Son Young-rae said the ministry is discussing ways to toughen social distancing measures and will make a decision with the government "as soon as possible."

As of Friday, 77 patients are in critical condition and 100 intensive care beds are available, but Son said if cases continue to rise for more than two weeks, there could be an issue with intensive care bed availability.

Son urged citizens to cancel all meetings as people can get infected anywhere and at any time.

Some context: On Thursday, South Korea reported 583 new cases from the previous day, its highest daily case count since March 1 during the country's first major outbreak.

8:37 p.m. ET, November 26, 2020

Covid-19 hospitalizations hit another record as experts warn Thanksgiving gatherings could worsen the pandemic

From CNN's Jason Hanna and Christina Maxouris

The US enters Thanksgiving with coronavirus cases and deaths soaring and hospitalizations at record levels. And on a holiday weekend that lends itself to big gatherings, public health experts still were begging people to avoid them, fearing the pandemic is about to become much worse.

The number of Covid-19 patients in US hospitals hit a record for the 17th straight day Thursday, with at least 90,481, according to the COVID Tracking Project, as many medical centers warn they're running out of capacity.

Public health officials have generally urged Americans to celebrate Thanksgiving only with members of the same household, or at least gather outdoors, to keep asymptomatic carriers from further spreading the virus.

Dr. Chris Pernell, a New Jersey physician who lost her father to Covid-19, told CNN on Thursday that she was on the phone with friends the previous night, asking them to reverse their travel plans.

"I pleaded with them: Please, stay home. Be safe so you can enjoy your loved ones in the future," Pernell said.

The pandemic is worsening in the US: Recorded cases are rising to unprecedented levels. The average number of new daily cases across a week in the US was 175,809 on Wednesday -- the highest on record, and more than two and a half times greater than the previous peak in late July.

And Covid-19 deaths in the US are spiking. More than 2,100 deaths were reported on Tuesday and Wednesday each, the first time that level was crossed on consecutive days since late April.

The average number of daily deaths across a week -- 1,658 on Wednesday -- is the highest it's been since mid-May.

Holiday journeys: The CDC recommended last week that Americans should not travel for Thanksgiving. Many changed their plans, a new poll showed. But millions didn't.

More than 1.07 million people passed through US airport security checkpoints on Wednesday alone -- the most in one day since March 16, around the time when coronavirus restrictions started nationwide, the Transportation Security Administration said Thursday.

Read the full story:

11:52 p.m. ET, November 26, 2020

Turkey reports highest Covid-19 death numbers for fourth straight day

From CNN's Gul Tuysuz in Istanbul

Turkey reported its highest number of new Covid-19 fatalities for a fourth consecutive day, with 174 deaths in the past 24 hours, according to the Turkish Health Ministry on Thursday.

The ministry also announced a record 29,132 new cases with 6,876 of them showing symptoms. Since Wednesday, Turkey has started to release case numbers as well as "patient" numbers. Patients are those who have positive PCR tests and show symptoms.

Turkey has 4,711 critical cases, ICU capacity in the country is currently at 71.3%, and the pneumonia rate is 3.4%, the ministry said.

A total of 13,014 people have died from Covid-19 in Turkey since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the ministry.

8:07 p.m. ET, November 26, 2020

Experts fear a lack of transparency has clouded AstraZeneca's positive vaccine news

From CNN's Kara Fox

When the British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca announced on Monday that its experimental coronavirus vaccine is 70% effective on average, the world exhaled a collective sigh of relief and stocks rallied. Another vaccine with promising results had arrived.

But a lack of clarity surrounding several aspects of the data from the AstraZeneca vaccine trials have raised some eyebrows in the scientific community, potentially setting back the timing for the vaccine to be authorized in Europe and the United States.

What happened with the trials: AstraZeneca said on Monday that study participants in the UK had been given two different courses of the vaccine.

The drugmaker, which developed the vaccine with the University of Oxford, did not however, at the time, explain why they used two different dosing regimens or why the size of one group was significantly smaller than the other.

In one group, 2,741 participants received a half-dose of the vaccine and then a full dose at least a month later. This group was 90% protected against Covid-19.

In the second group, 8,895 participants received a full dose followed by another full dose at least a month later. This group was only 62% protected.

That's why AstraZeneca says their vaccine is 70% effective, on average.

Those results raised eyebrows: Some scientists are questioning why the company would report on a pooled result of two different trials, as it deviates from standard reporting on clinical trials.

And in the days following that announcement, another point of confusion has emerged.

On Tuesday, Mene Pangalos, AstraZeneca's Executive Vice President who heads up non-oncology research and development, first explained to Reuters that a lab error was the reason why some volunteers had received a smaller dose -- the dose that proved to be 90% effective. "The reason we had the half dose is serendipity," Pangalos said, adding that researchers had "underpredicted the dose of the vaccine by half."

Read the full story:

8:43 p.m. ET, November 26, 2020

Most Americans are still susceptible to Covid-19 infection, study suggests

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

It remains unclear exactly how many people in the United States have had Covid-19, but a new study suggests that most do not appear to have antibodies and are likely susceptible to infection.

Across the country, the prevalence of Covid-19 antibodies appears to range from fewer than 1% to 23%, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Internal Medicine on Tuesday. When someone recovers from Covid-19, their blood plasma can contain antibodies that helped fight the coronavirus that caused their illness -- and therefore antibodies serve as clues to a past infection. 

The new study included data from blood serum samples taken from 178,000 people across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Samples were obtained for routine screening or clinical care during four collection periods: July 27 to Aug. 13; Aug. 10 to Aug. 27; Aug. 24 to Sept. 10; and Sept. 7 to Sept. 24.

The researchers -- from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Quest Diagnostics, BioReference Laborites and the company ICF Inc. -- found that the prevalence of antibodies among those samples ranged from 0% in South Dakota in collection period 2 to 23.3% in New York in collection period 1.

“In nearly all jurisdictions, fewer than 10% of people in the US had evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the researchers wrote in the study. SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
“Seroprevalence varied across regions and between metropolitan/nonmetropolitan areas, with estimates as high as 23% in the Northeast and 13% in the South, while estimates in the Midwest and West were less than 10%,” the researchers wrote. 
“Seroprevalence was often lowest in older age groups,” they wrote. “Our results reinforce the need for continued public health preventive measures, including the use of face masks and social distancing, to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the US.” 

Regional differences: For certain states -- such as Iowa, Pennsylvania and Tennessee --  more people living in metropolitan counties had antibodies. In other states -- such as Alabama and Mississippi -- people living outside metropolitan areas were more likely to have been infected, according to the study. Changes over time, from collection period 1 to 4, also varied across states. The researchers found that the largest drop in prevalence occurred in New York and North Dakota, while large increases occurred in Georgia and Minnesota.

The study was not designed to produce a nationwide estimate of prevalence. More research is needed to determine whether similar findings would emerge among a larger group of people representative of the general public.