January 16 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Brett McKeehan and Amy Woodyatt, CNN

Updated 0158 GMT (0958 HKT) January 18, 2021
19 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:19 p.m. ET, January 16, 2021

It took 6 weeks for roughly 500,000 Covid-19 deaths to be recorded around the world

From CNN's Virginia Langmaid

Cemetery workers in Manaus, Brazil, carry the coffin of a person said to have died of Covid-19, on January 15.
Cemetery workers in Manaus, Brazil, carry the coffin of a person said to have died of Covid-19, on January 15.  Lucas Silva/dpa/picture alliance/Getty Images

It took just six weeks for the world to report the most recent 500,000 deaths from Covid-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

According to the same data, it took the world more than six months to report the first 500,000 Covid-19 deaths.

As of Saturday morning, the United States has reported 392,351 Covid-19 deaths – the most of any country in the world.

Brazil has reported more than 200,000 deaths from Covid-19, and India and Mexico have both reported more than 100,000 Covid-19 deaths to date.

Death rates began to rise sharply in November 2020 in both Europe and North America. The average number of daily new deaths has remained at a pandemic-era high in both regions for over a month, according to university data.

 

 

2:00 p.m. ET, January 16, 2021

Pakistan grants emergency use authorization for Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

From Adeel Raja

Pakistan's Drug Regulatory Authority on Saturday granted emergency use authorization of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, the Ministry of National Health Services confirmed.

This is the first vaccine Pakistan has granted for use to combat the pandemic.

According to Johns Hopkins University, Pakistan has reported 516,770 cases of Covid-19 and its death toll has reached 10,908.

 

11:23 a.m. ET, January 16, 2021

Argentina confirms first known case of Covid-19 variant found in UK

From CNN’s Claudia Dominguez and Philip Wang

Argentina identified its first known case of the Covid-19 variant on Saturday that was first reported in the United Kingdom, Argentina's minister of Science, Technology and Innovation said.

According to Minister Roberto Salvarezza, the patient is an Argentine citizen living in the UK with a traveling history to Austria and Germany. The patient arrived in Argentina from Frankfurt in late December without any symptoms and is now under quarantine.

On Dec. 20, Argentina suspended all direct flights to and from the UK to try to prevent the spread of the variant found in the UK. Nearly a month later, the UK also banned flights from multiple Latin American countries, including Argentina, after a new Covid-19 variant was found in Brazil.

10:21 a.m. ET, January 16, 2021

Covid-19 vaccines accompanied by organ music at England's Salisbury Cathedral

From CNN’s Sarah Dean

Louis Godwin, a former Royal Air Force flight sergeant, receives an injection of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Salisbury Cathedral in England on January 16.
Louis Godwin, a former Royal Air Force flight sergeant, receives an injection of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Salisbury Cathedral in England on January 16. Steve Parsons/PA/Getty Images

England’s historic Salisbury Cathedral was transformed into a Covid-19 vaccination center on Saturday, with patients vaccinated while organ music was played.

Local general practitioners invited patients that are in the over 80s priority group to visit the cathedral to receive their first vaccine dose.

Former Royal Air Force flight sergeant and Lancaster tail gunner Louis Godwin, 95, was among the first people to receive a dose at the more than 800-year-old cathedral, according to its official Twitter account.

"It has been absolutely marvelous to come into this wonderful building and have this jab," Godwin said in an interview with PA Media. "I've had many jabs in my time, especially in the RAF. After the war, I was sent to Egypt and I had a couple of jabs which knocked me over for a week."

"This one, the doctor said to me 'Well that's done' and I thought he hadn't started. So it's no trouble at all and no pain," he added.

The cathedral’s organist John Challenger said in a tweet he “would be playing Handel’s Largo and much more great organ music” as the cathedral became a vaccination center. 

9:56 a.m. ET, January 16, 2021

More than 100,000 vaccinated on India's first day of Covid-19 vaccination drive, health ministry says

From Rishabh Pratap

A nurse draws from a vial of the Covishield vaccine — developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India — at a hospital in Mumbai, India, on January 16.
A nurse draws from a vial of the Covishield vaccine — developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India — at a hospital in Mumbai, India, on January 16. Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg/Getty Images

India started its nation-wide vaccination drive for Covid-19 on Saturday.

According to the country’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, a total of 165,714 health care workers were vaccinated as of 5:30 p.m. local time Saturday.

A total of 16,755 trained vaccinators were involved at 3,351 sessions nationwide, the ministry added.

Two vaccines: The Indian government issued emergency approval for two vaccines earlier this month, one from Oxford/AstraZeneca and the other from Covaxin, which was developed locally by Indian biotech company Bharat Biotech and a government-run institute.

India has reported the second-most coronavirus cases in the world after the United States, with more than 10.5 million confirmed cases and more than 152,000 related deaths.

9:50 a.m. ET, January 16, 2021

47 Australian Open players in quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19

From CNN’s Dan Kamal

The Australian Open logo is pictured at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2020.
The Australian Open logo is pictured at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2020. Fred Lee/Getty Images

A total of 47 tennis players are required to quarantine for 14 days after others tested positive for Covid-19 on two separate charter flights into Melbourne for the Australian Open.

Twenty-four players on a charter flight from the United States to Melbourne are required to quarantine for two weeks after a member of the flight crew and a passenger — not a player — returned positive Covid-19 tests. Both had tested negative within 72 hours of boarding the flight, which carried a total of 79 people.

Another 23 players are required to quarantine following a charter flight carrying 64 people from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne. One person — not a player — tested positive after the flight, despite presenting documentation of a negative Covid-19 test prior to takeoff.

All 47 players affected will not be able to leave their hotel rooms for the 14-day period and until they are medically cleared. They will not be eligible to practice.

7:48 a.m. ET, January 16, 2021

Britain's "major crisis" is good and bad news for travelers

From CNN's Julia Buckley

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a media briefing in London on January 15.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a media briefing in London on January 15. Dominic Lipinski/WPA Pool/Getty Images

When the UK Prime Minister addressed the nation on December 20, the news was bad enough: Christmas was canceled.

Boris Johnson plunged the country into harsh new restrictions, blaming a new variant of the disease that had been spreading in London and the southeast of England since September.

But suddenly, things got even worse. Country after country closed their borders to flights from the UK, in a bid to keep the new variant confined to "plague island," as the New York Times dubbed it.

With ferry routes across the Channel blocked, lorries carrying goods to the continent backed up for miles along the motorways. Eventually, a local airport in Kent was turned into a parking lot for 4,000 lorries. Nothing could get into the UK, either. It was, said the wags, a taster of what a no-deal Brexit would be like.

That no-deal was averted -- the government signed an agreement with the EU on December 24. But the crisis is far from over.

UK travelers are still banned from much of the world -- including EU countries -- because of the homegrown variant.

And although the UK was the first country in the world to start a vaccine rollout, its good news was marred by the report on January 13 that the death tally from Covid-19 had passed 100,000. Two days later, the government announced that it was axing their last remaining "travel corridors."

Inbound travel is a lucrative business for the UK -- pre-Covid, Visit Britain forecast that 2020 would see 32.3 million visitors pumping £24.7 billion ($33.6 billion) into the economy.

In the end, 2020 saw a 76% decline in visitors and an 80% drop. The tourist board is forecasting 16.9 million visits and £9 billion ($12.2 billion) spending for 2021: a mere 41% and 32% of the 2019 figures respectively. But that is, of course, if people come. After all, who'd want to vacation on "plague island"?

Read the full story:

6:57 a.m. ET, January 16, 2021

Turkey vaccinates more than 650,000 people with China’s Sinovac

From CNN's Gul Tuysuz

A medical worker receives a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine Sinovac at the Sabiha Uzun Maternal Child Health Center in Ankara, Turkey on January 15, 2021.
A medical worker receives a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine Sinovac at the Sabiha Uzun Maternal Child Health Center in Ankara, Turkey on January 15, 2021. Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images

Turkey has inoculated more than 650,000 people since it started its mass rollout of China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine on Thursday, according to the Turkish health ministry's online vaccine counter.  

Each dose of the vaccine in Turkey is given by appointment with a barcode matched to the patient’s identifying information and scanned into a centralized database.

Vaccination campaign underway: Turkey began its vaccination effort across all 81 provinces on Thursday starting with frontline workers.

Turkey received 3 million doses of Sinovac in December and approved the vaccine for use on Wednesday evening. 

Phase 3 trial results for the Sinovac vaccine have still not been published.

The Turkish drug and medical device administration did not release details about the data used to determine the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. Advanced Phase 3 trials are ongoing in Turkey, but the vaccine is also being tested in other countries, including Brazil.

Medics call for transparency: Turkey’s main medical union called on the government for more transparency to ensure public trust in vaccines.

“We stand by all vaccines that are scientifically proven to be effective and safe…when we evaluate a vaccine the data we are not looking at its origin, which country it was produced in, or which production technique was used but rather phase 3 trial reports and scientifically published data," the Turkish Medical Association said in a statement. 

In order to achieve herd immunity and combat vaccine hesitancy we call for more transparency in all areas,” it added.

The union also called for Turkey to immediately start the process to obtain other vaccines.

Ankara has previously said the deal with Sinovac Biotech is for 50 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. 

6:16 a.m. ET, January 16, 2021

States look for more Covid-19 vaccine doses as US death toll nears 400,000

From CNN's Travis Caldwell

Registered nurses transfer the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine from a bottle into a syringe ready for vaccination at the Corona High School gymnasium in Corona, California on January 15
Registered nurses transfer the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine from a bottle into a syringe ready for vaccination at the Corona High School gymnasium in Corona, California on January 15 Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

States are racing to get Covid-19 vaccine supplies and distribution in order as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned Friday of more contagious variants of coronavirus potentially exacerbating the spread.

CDC officials implored Americans to continue with preventative measures against the coronavirus, while highlighting the variant first identified in Britain known as B.1.1.7.

The B.1.1.7 variant appears to more readily infect human cells and one CDC simulation of its transmissibility raised concerns that it could become the most dominant form of coronavirus in March.

The CDC called for continued and aggressive vaccine distribution to try and stem the tide. "Higher vaccination coverage might need to be achieved to protect the public," CDC researchers warned.

Deaths approach 400,000: On Friday, 3,258 people died of Covid-19 in the US, as the total number of deaths from the pandemic edged closer to 400,000. The nation also recorded its 11th consecutive day of more than 200,000 infections, per Johns Hopkins University data.

Some states were upset by news from Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who said there is no "reserve stockpile" of vaccines available to release.

"We now have enough confidence that our ongoing production will be quality and available to provide the second dose for people, so we're not sitting on a reserve anymore," Azar told NBC News' Lester Holt in an interview. "We've made that available to the states to order."

Read the full story: