January 11 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Tara John, Florence Davey-Attlee and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, January 12, 2021
6 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:01 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Japan says travelers from Brazil carried mutations similar to Covid-19 variants seen in UK and South Africa 

From CNN’s Junko Ogura, Flora Charner and Philip Wang

Japan’s Health Ministry says passengers who traveled from Brazil, quarantined, and tested positive for Covid-19 in early January were later found to have been infected with virus-carrying mutations that appear similar to variants of the coronavirus first seen in Britain and South Africa.

The travelers had been in the Brazilian state of Amazonas and landed at Tokyo’s Haneda airport on January 2, the ministry said in a statement Sunday. They tested positive at the airport quarantine. 

The Brazilian Health Ministry said it was notified by its Japanese counterpart Saturday.

Health authorities have been concerned about new variants of the virus, like those first identified in the UK and South Africa, because they appear to be more easily transmitted.

There's no evidence that new variants of the virus are any more dangerous or can affect the efficacy of the vaccines. 

Japan’s Health Ministry is not yet able to say whether the variant found in passengers from Brazil is more transmissible.

9:03 p.m. ET, January 10, 2021

Mexico's presidential spokesperson tests positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Karen Smith

The spokesperson for Mexico’s President announced on Sunday that he has tested positive for Covid-19.

In a Twitter post on Sunday, Jesús Ramírez Cuevas wrote, "Informing that I tested positive for Covid-19. I'm in good health and will be working from home following all sanitary protocols."

Mexico has reported more than 1.5 million Covid-19 cases, including at least 133,204 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

9:01 p.m. ET, January 10, 2021

US reports more than 100,000 daily Covid-19 hospitalizations for 40th straight day

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

The United States reported 129,229 current Covid-19 hospitalizations on Sunday, according to the Covid Tracking Project (CTP).

This is the sixth highest number reported and the 40th consecutive day that the US has remained above 100,000 current hospitalizations.

 The highest hospitalization numbers according to CTP data are:

  1. Jan. 6, 2021: 132,464
  2. Jan. 7, 2021: 132,370
  3. Jan. 8, 2021: 131,889
  4. Jan. 5, 2021: 131,215
  5. Jan. 9, 2021: 130,777
  6. Jan. 10, 2021: 129,229
8:57 p.m. ET, January 10, 2021

Hospitals thought they'd see Covid-19 vaccine shortages. Sometimes, they have to throw away doses

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard and Jamie Gumbrecht

In some hospitals, health centers and pharmacies in the United States, there are vials of Covid-19 vaccines that aren't making it into arms.

Out of the more than 22 million doses of vaccine that have been distributed to hospitals and pharmacies so far in the US, only about 6.7 million people have received their first dose, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There's no one reason for the slow rollout or doses going unused; experts say it was never going to be easy to begin a mass vaccination campaign during a pandemic. It takes time to vaccinate and monitor large numbers of people, and some facilities are staggering staff vaccinations to avoid having too many health care workers out at once.

The supply and demand don't always line up. Some in the highest priority groups -- health care workers and and long-term care facility residents -- don't want the vaccine, or at least, not yet. At the same time, the American Medical Association on Friday said it was "concerned" that some health care workers not employed by hospitals or health care systems face difficulties accessing the vaccine.

To speed up the process, the federal government is urging states to offer the vaccine to people who are older or in higher-risk groups, but some areas are still focusing on the earliest priority groups -- even if that means doses brought out of cold storage go unused.

"We all thought that the real problem was going to be a shortage -- we would be having lines out the door -- and what we're finding is that, from what we hear nationally right now, there's still a lot of vaccine," Dr. Neil Calman, president and CEO of the Institute for Family Health, a nonprofit health organization that includes the Family Health Center of Harlem, told CNN on Friday.
"Every dose that's in somebody's arm is somebody that's not going to get sick with Covid," he said. "It's not doing any good trying to ration it out like this, week by week, because any dose that's sitting in a refrigerator is a life that's not being potentially saved."

Read the full story:

1:15 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Germany surpasses 40,000 coronavirus deaths

From CNN's Martin Goillandeau

"Covid" is written on a casket containing a deceased person who died from the coronavirus. The coffins stand in the crematorium's worship room before cremation in Saxony, Meissen, Germany, on January 8.
"Covid" is written on a casket containing a deceased person who died from the coronavirus. The coffins stand in the crematorium's worship room before cremation in Saxony, Meissen, Germany, on January 8. Robert Michael/picture alliance/Getty Images

More than 40,000 people have died from symptoms related to the novel coronavirus in Germany, according to data from the country's center for disease control.

The daily tally from the Robert Koch Institute showed an additional 465 deaths in a span of 24 hours, bringing the country's total death toll to 40,343.

The country also recorded 16,946 new infections in the same time frame, bringing total cases to 1,908,527.

Germany, which was praised for its handling of the first wave of the pandemic, reported its largest 24-hour increase in Covid-19 fatalities on Friday. With this, the country’s death toll increased by 1,188 in 24 hours.

Lockdown extended as cases surge: Earlier in the week, the government extended the country's national lockdown -- originally scheduled until January 10 -- until the end of the month, while tightening restrictions on movement and contact to curb the spread of the virus.

Germany pushes ahead with vaccine drive: On Saturday, Health Minister Jens Spahn announced that half a million people across the country had been vaccinated against Covid-19.

12:34 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

India announces national Covid-19 vaccination drive from Jan. 16

From Rishabh Madhavendra Pratap in New Delhi

India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced Saturday that the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive would start from January 16, 2021.

The country of 1.35 billion people is embarking on one of the world's most ambitious mass immunization programs ever undertaken, with plans to inoculate 300 million frontline workers, and elderly and vulnerable people by August. Preparations have been months in the making.

On Saturday, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review the status of Covid-19 in the country along with the preparedness for the vaccination rollout, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health. 

  • Phase 1 aims to vaccinate around 30 million healthcare workers and frontline workers.
  • Phase 2 will prioritize 270 million people 50 years of age and older, or those aged under 50 with co-morbidities.

The country conducted its third nationwide dry-run on Friday across 615 districts covering 4,895 session sites in 33 states and Union Territories.

More than 61,000 program managers, 200,000 vaccinators, and 370,000 other vaccination team members have been trained so far. 

Read more about India's vaccine drive: