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
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4:00 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

As the world begins its vaccination push, delayed rollouts draw criticism and concern

From CNN's Eliza Mackintosh

A nurse prepares a Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at St. John's Well Child & Family Center in Los Angeles, on January 7.
A nurse prepares a Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at St. John's Well Child & Family Center in Los Angeles, on January 7. Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

Political leaders are promising that mass vaccination campaigns will see life return to normal, as a more contagious variant of the coronavirus spreads across dozens of countries, adding urgency to the race to end the pandemic.

But vaccination efforts are rolling out slower than promised, raising doubts about an imminent way out of the crisis.

In nations where vaccines have been authorized, criticism is mounting over shortages and delays to getting shots into people's arms. And solutions devised to stretch supplies -- from administering half doses to spreading out the time between two doses -- have raised concerns from some experts.

Some governments are pointing the finger at manufacturers for bottlenecks, while vaccine developers say it's an issue of supply. Others cite complications with distribution plans and a lack of trained staff to administer shots. But most public health experts say the slow pace is the inevitable consequence of creating a new vaccine rollout in real time.

Read the full story:

3:03 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

North Korean data reveals no Covid-19 cases, WHO says

From CNN’s Yoonjung Seo in Seoul, South Korea

North Korea claims to have tested 13,257 people and found no positive cases of Covid-19, according to a report issued on January 8 by the World Health Organization.

The report is based on data from 15 laboratories in North Korea, which the country's Ministry of Public Health provided to WHO.

The report also said that travel restrictions in North Korea have been imposed and all points of entry are closed for an undefined period of time. 

The North Korean government has maintained that there have not been any positive cases of Covid-19 detected in the country, a claim widely questioned by experts.

2:54 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

The UK is set to announce its Covid-19 vaccine delivery plan

From CNN’s Sarah Dean in London

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock leaves 10 Downing Street in London, on January 6.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock leaves 10 Downing Street in London, on January 6. Wiktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The UK government will publish its Covid-19 UK Vaccines Delivery Plan on Monday, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock scheduled to hold a news conference at Downing Street in the afternoon to provide details on the program.

“Since the historic day the first vaccine was approved, the NHS (National Health Service) has made fantastic strides in offering the vaccine to as many at risk people as possible and at record pace,” Hancock said.

The plan will lay out the strategies behind the development, manufacturing and deployment of the vaccines, according to a government statement.

The Health Secretary will visit one of the seven new regional vaccination centers to see an element of the plan in action.

More than 1,000 vaccination sites have already been established across the United Kingdom, helping those who are most at risk from Covid-19 to access vaccines for free, regardless of where they live.

2:06 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Mexico detects first case of UK Covid-19 variant 

From CNNE's Marlon Sorto and CNN's Philip Wang

Mexico on Sunday reported its first case of the Covid-19 variant first identified in the United Kingdom, a Mexican Health Ministry official said.

Mexico's Director General of Epidemiology José Luis Alomía said the patient is a 56-year-old British citizen who traveled from Amsterdam to Mexico City on December 28, and then to the northeast city of Matamoros.

On Sunday, the patient was intubated in hospital. 

It's the first confirmed case of the UK variant in Mexico. Health officials have tested more than 500 suspected cases of the variant but this is the first verified case. 

Mexican health authorities are tracking cases from people who traveled on the same plane as the patient from Mexico City to Matamoros. On Sunday, two people who showed symptoms tested negative to Covid-19. Another 31 are asymptomatic and there are still 12 people who haven't been found, Alomía said.

According to the Health Ministry, at least 1,534,039 total Covid-19 cases have been recorded in Mexico, including 133,706 deaths.

1:36 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

US reports more than 213,000 Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Alta Spells in Atlanta

The United States reported 213,905 new Covid-19 cases and 1,814 additional virus-related deaths on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The latest figures bring the nationwide total to 22,406,747 cases with at least 374,322 people dying from the virus in the US.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

Vaccine rollout: So far, 22,137,350 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been distributed, with at least 6,688,231 shots administered, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Track the US cases: 

1:29 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

China's Hebei province finishes mass testing of 17 million people

From Eric Cheung in Hong Kong and CNN's Beijing bureau

A medical worker collects a swab sample from a resident at a community Covid-19 testing site in Shijiazhuang, China, on January 7.
A medical worker collects a swab sample from a resident at a community Covid-19 testing site in Shijiazhuang, China, on January 7. Yang Shiyao/Xinhua/Getty Images

China's northern Hebei province Sunday completed a mass testing program in an effort to contain the country's worst coronavirus flare-up in months, according to the provincial deputy mayor, Xu Jianpei.

About 17 million people were tested in the drive -- more than 10.2 million of them in the provincial capital Shijiazhuang and 6.7 million in Xingtai city, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

The mass testing began last Wednesday as both cities reported the biggest local outbreak in mainland China for months.

On Sunday, Hebei province reported 82 locally transmitted Covid-19 cases, according to the country's National Health Commission. Among the new local cases, 77 were reported in Shijiazhuang, while five were confirmed in Xingtai.

Last week, China put Shijiazhuang into lockdown, imposing some of the strictest measures since the country largely contained the spread of the coronavirus in March.

Residents were barred from leaving the city and are required to self-quarantine at home for seven days after taking the compulsory Covid-19 test. All public transport has been suspended, major highways were blocked, and train and bus stations closed and flights canceled.

1:16 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Much of US data to catch newest coronavirus variants is several months old

From CNN's Elizabeth Cohen

Dr. Peter Hotez, a virologist at Baylor College of Medicine, speaks during a House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing in Washington, DC, on March 5, 2020.
Dr. Peter Hotez, a virologist at Baylor College of Medicine, speaks during a House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing in Washington, DC, on March 5, 2020. Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg/Getty Images

As part of the hunt for new coronavirus variants, an international database shows the United States ranks 61st in how quickly virus samples are collected from patients, analyzed and then posted online.

Countries with far fewer resources, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Suriname, process samples more quickly than the US does.

"It's pathetic," said Dr. Peter Hotez, a virologist at Baylor College of Medicine.

The median number of days from the time a sample is collected from a patient's nose until the time its genetic sequence is posted on GISAID, an independent data sharing initiative, is 85 days, according an analysis of GISAID data by the Broad Institute of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"By the time you wait (85) days, a sequence can go from being a rare variant to being half of the circulating virus in a population," Hotez said.

Read the full story:

1:16 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

WHO team investigating origins of the pandemic will arrive in China Thursday, Chinese officials say

From CNN's Beijing Bureau

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference at WHO headquarters in Geneva, on July 3, 2020.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference at WHO headquarters in Geneva, on July 3, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization team investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic will arrive in China later this week, China's National Health Commission announced on Monday.

"WHO expert group will visit China on January 14 to conduct joint scientific research with Chinese scientists on virus tracing," a statement from the NHC said.

Last week, WHO said that China blocked the arrival of the team of global experts as the necessary permissions to enter the country had not been approved.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was "very disappointed," in a rare rebuke of China from the UN agency.

For months, WHO officials had been negotiating with Beijing to allow a team of global scientists access to key sites to investigate the origin of the virus -- first detected in Wuhan in December 2019 -- and its likely jump from an unidentified host species to humans.

In May, WHO agreed to hold an inquiry into the global response to the pandemic after more than 100 countries signed a resolution calling for an independent probe.

CNN has reached out to WHO for comment. 

12:08 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

What to know about California's Covid crisis

California has recorded more than 2.6 million Covid-19 cases and at least 29,701 Californians have died from the virus.

The state continues to see a surge that’s not slowing down.

Here's what's happening in the Golden State:

  • California set two new records Saturday -- the most deaths reported in one day -- 695 -- and the most Covid-19 patients in intensive care units -- 4,939. On Sunday, the state reported nearly 50,000 new cases and 468 deaths.
  • In Los Angeles County, the worst-hit part of California, there were 14,482 new cases and 166 new deaths Sunday. 
  • Some 7,964 patients with Covid-19 are being treated in Los Angeles hospitals, and 22% of those are in the ICU.
  • Statewide, there are 22,513 patients in the hospital being treated for Covid-19 as of Sunday.
  • Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer called for a pause on non-essential activities to stop the spread. "The speed with which we are reaching grim milestones of Covid-19 deaths and cases is a devastating reflection of the immense spread that is occurring across the county," she said.
  • The state health department is changing who is eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine, a move officials say will make it easier to distribute the almost 1.5 million doses they’ve received but have not yet administered. Starting Monday, anyone that falls under phase 1A of the state's vaccine distribution will be able to receive a shot. This includes health care workers, nursing home residents and staff, and those living in congregate settings such as assisted living or shelters. 
  • The vaccine rollout may also ramp up this week as CVS and Walgreens are expected to start giving shots, in addition to those happening at medical centers.
  • So far, only about a third of the doses received have made it into the arms of residents. As of Sunday, California has received 2,180,725 doses and has administered just 734,405 of them, the CDPH website shows. That equates to just 33.6%.