January 7 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Zamira Rahim and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:05 a.m. ET, January 8, 2021
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12:01 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Japan reports nearly 6,000 Covid-19 cases in new daily record

From CNN's Junko Ogura in Tokyo

A nurse collects a nasal swab sample at a Covid-19 testing center at Fujimino Emergency Hospital in Miyoshi-machi, Japan on January 5.
A nurse collects a nasal swab sample at a Covid-19 testing center at Fujimino Emergency Hospital in Miyoshi-machi, Japan on January 5. Nicolas Datiche/SIPA/Shutterstock

Japan's health authority identified 5,953 Covid-19 infections Wednesday, a single-day record for new cases in the country.

Another 72 virus-related deaths were also reported Wednesday, authorities said.

The government is preparing to declare a state of emergency in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures -- Saitama, Chiba and Kangawa -- where cases are spiking. Tokyo set its own record for number of infections identified in a day on Wednesday, with 1,591 new cases.

Health Ministry data shows that as of Wednesday, the number of patients in serious condition across Japan rose to 784, while 41,054 patients are being treated in hospital.

At least 259,105 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in Japan, killing 3,904 people.

8:05 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

US hits record number of Covid-19 hospitalizations

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

The United States reported 132,476 current Covid-19 hospitalizations on Wednesday, setting a new record high since the pandemic began, according to the Covid Tracking Project (CTP).

This is the 36th consecutive day the US has remained above 100,000 current hospitalizations.

The highest hospitalization numbers according to CTP data are:

  1. Jan 6: 132,476
  2. Jan 5: 131,215
  3. Jan 4: 128,206
  4. Jan 3: 125,562
  5. Dec 31: 125,379
12:17 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

CDC's ensemble forecast projects up to 438,000 US deaths from Covid-19 by Jan. 30

From CNN's Ben Tinker

Reggie Elliott, funeral transporter, writes on the side of a box before depositing the remains of a Covid-19 victim at Maryland Cremation Services in Millersville, Maryland on December 24, 2020.
Reggie Elliott, funeral transporter, writes on the side of a box before depositing the remains of a Covid-19 victim at Maryland Cremation Services in Millersville, Maryland on December 24, 2020. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

An ensemble forecast published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) projects there will be between 405,000 and 438,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by January 30.

Unlike some individual models, the CDC’s ensemble forecast only offers projections a few weeks into the future. The previous ensemble forecast, published December 30, projected up to 424,000 coronavirus deaths by January 23.

As of 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, at least 360,693 people have already died from Covid-19 in the US, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

9:00 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

The US CDC has found more than 50 US cases of coronavirus variant first identified in UK

From CNN's Michael Nedelman

At least 52 cases of a coronavirus variant first identified in the United Kingdom have been found in the United States, according to data posted Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This includes at least 26 cases in California, 22 cases in Florida, two cases in Colorado, and one case each in Georgia and New York.

CDC says this does not represent the total number of cases circulating in the US, but rather just those that have been found by analyzing positive samples. The agency cautions that its numbers, which are expected to update Tuesdays and Thursdays, may not immediately match those of state and local health department.

While the variant appears to spread more easily, there's no evidence that it's any more deadly or causes more severe disease, according to CDC.

Experts suspect there could be many more cases in the country and have criticized the US for not doing more genetic sequencing of virus samples to surveil for mutations.

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12:02 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

EU authorizes Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine, paving the way for its rollout next week

From CNN's Kara Fox, James Frater and Stephanie Halasz

A nurse unpacks a box of Moderna Covid-19 vaccines at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 24, 2020.
A nurse unpacks a box of Moderna Covid-19 vaccines at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 24, 2020. Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images

The European Union has authorized Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine, the second coronavirus vaccine to be approved for use in the EU.

The move finalizes the recommendation of the European Union drugs regulator, which earlier on Wednesday recommended granting the drug a conditional marketing authorization.

Emer Cooke, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) executive director, said on Wednesday that "this vaccine provides us with another tool to overcome the current emergency."

"It is a testament to the efforts and commitment of all involved that we have this second positive vaccine recommendation just short of a year since the pandemic was declared by WHO," she said.

The EU has secured the purchase of up to 160 million doses of the Moderna vaccine -- enough to vaccinate 80 million people of its 448 million citizens -- as part of a joint vaccine strategy aimed to ensure equitable access across the bloc.

Under that contract, the US biotech firm has promised to deliver all their doses between now and September 2021, the European Commission said.

Moderna said in a statement that the first deliveries of their vaccine "from Moderna's dedicated non-US supply chain are expected to begin next week."

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