January 27 coronavirus news

By Zahid Mahmood, Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton and Hannah Strange, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, January 28, 2021
21 Posts
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5:05 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

January has been the deadliest month for Covid-19 deaths in the US

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe

January has already become the worst month for US Covid-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

As of Tuesday, there have been more than 79,000 coronavirus fatalities this month, topping the previous record set in December by more than a thousand, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The grim milestone underpins the growing demand from state officials for more vaccines so that Americans can be inoculated more quickly.       

President Joe Biden has pushed for 100 million vaccination shots in the first 100 days of his presidency, but with a long road ahead for vaccinations, he also called for 100 days of mask-wearing.

"The brutal truth is it's going to take months before we can get the majority of Americans vaccinated. Months. In the next few months, masks, not vaccines, are the best defense against Covid-19," Biden said while announcing the federal government would buy and distribute more vaccine doses from Moderna and Pfizer.

With those additional doses, Biden said there would be enough to fully vaccinate 300 million Americans -- nearly the entire US population -- by the end of summer or early fall.

Read the full story:

4:45 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

Nearly 300 Covid-19 cases in South Korea linked to unauthorized religious school

From CNN's Gawon Bae in Seoul

At least 297 Covid-19 cases as of Tuesday have been linked to an unauthorized religious school run by a missionary group in South Korea's Daejeon city.

Senior Health Ministry official Yoon Tae-ho said during a briefing that the cases have been reported out of six ​facilities connected to the school.

Authorities are ​inspecting 32 out of 40 operating facilities run by the missionary group, Tae-ho added, and have issued guidelines to help local governments deal with unaccredited religion-based educational facilities.

New cases: South Korea recorded 559 daily new Covid-19 on Tuesday, 516 of which are locally transmitted cases, according to a press release by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) on Wednesday.

The country's tally now stands at 76,429, including 1,378 deaths.

4:38 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

Bill and Melinda Gates: pandemic has unleashed a future of "immunity inequality"

From CNN Health's Andrea Diaz

It’s not too soon to start thinking about how the world should respond to the next pandemic, even as the current one rages on, according to Bill and Melinda Gates.

In the couple's annual letter released Wednesday, they say that the coronavirus pandemic’s disproportionate impact on people of color and women has a domino effect on communities. 

"Bill and I are deeply concerned, though, that in addition to shining a light on so many old injustices, the pandemic will unleash a new one: immunity inequality, a future where the wealthiest people have access to a COVID‐19 vaccine, while the rest of the world doesn’t," Melinda writes.

The Gates Foundation has invested $1.75 billion in the fight against coronavirus, and most of that funding has gone toward producing and procuring medical supplies, including backing researchers who develop new treatments, and working with partners to ensure safe transport of these drugs and vaccines to poorer parts of the world. 

"From the beginning of the pandemic, we have urged wealthy nations to remember that COVID‐19 anywhere is a threat everywhere. Until vaccines reach everyone, new clusters of disease will keep popping up. Those clusters will grow and spread. Schools and offices will shut down again. The cycle of inequality will continue. Everything depends on whether the world comes together to ensure that the lifesaving science developed in 2020 saves as many lives as possible in 2021."

The Gates say their foundation has partnered with historically Black colleges and universities to expand diagnostic testing capacity on their campuses, to help meet the demand for local community testing as inequalities grow, as well as helping partners understand the virus' impact on pregnant women and babies, so they continue to receive essential health services. 

"The unfortunate reality is that COVID‐19 might not be the last pandemic ...To prevent the hardship of this last year from happening again, pandemic preparedness must be taken as seriously as we take the threat of war," Bill writes.
4:10 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

Peru locks down 10 regions due to "extreme" Covid-19 threat

From CNNE's Gerardo Lemnos 

A doctor checks an X-ray of a Covid-19 patient at a home on the eastern outskirts of Lima, Peru on January 22.
A doctor checks an X-ray of a Covid-19 patient at a home on the eastern outskirts of Lima, Peru on January 22. Ernesto Benavides/AFP/Getty Images

Peru will lock down 10 regions, including the capital Lima, from January 31 to February 14, President Francisco Sagasti announced on Tuesday.  

Metropolitan Lima and the Lima region, Callao, Ancash, Pasco, Huánuco, Junín, Huancavelica, Ica and Apurímac will be locked down after being classed under "extreme" Covid-19 risk.

Residents in those regions will be allowed out of their homes for one hour per day under the restrictions. 

Interprovincial land and air transport services have been suspended, according to Sagasti.

"This requires confinement, that is, quarantine," the President explained in a message to the nation.

Another nine regions of the country are at "very high" risk level, and the rest are at "high." 

3:57 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

Analysis: Biden sets bold timeline for a return to normal life

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

President Joe Biden's pledge that there will be sufficient Covid-19 vaccines for 300 million Americans by the end of summer represents a bold and politically risky response to criticism that his pandemic plan lacks ambition.

In effect, the President is putting a date on a return of a semblance of normal life -- with no guarantee that he can deliver.

If the President succeeds, Tuesday may be remembered as a key turning point in a pandemic exacerbated by the former Trump administration's disastrous response. Should he fall short, the credibility of his new presidency will take a serious hit, that would not only prolong the crisis into another fall and winter but would also hamper his ambitious program on other key issues.

In a show of presidential power six days into his term, Biden sought to galvanize the action of federal, state and local governments into the kind of unified, national effort that had up until now been lacking during this once-in-century crisis.

Signs that there is finally a federal government that is not in denial and has a coherent plan could give businesses, from cruise lines to restaurants, the capacity to plan ahead -- a crucial factor in the recovery of the economy from its pandemic stasis.

And Biden's aggressive, daily, actions designed to combat the pandemic since taking office may also inject a sense of urgency on Capitol Hill as Republicans question the need for a rescue package that is vital to speeding up vaccinations.

Read the full analysis:

3:37 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

Myanmar kicks off Covid-19 vaccination rollout 

From CNN's Angus Watson

Health workers wait to receive a vaccine for the Covid-19 coronavirus at a hospital in Naypyidaw, Myanmar on January 27.
Health workers wait to receive a vaccine for the Covid-19 coronavirus at a hospital in Naypyidaw, Myanmar on January 27. Thet Aung/AFP/Getty Images

Myanmar will begin its Covid-19 vaccination rollout to frontline health care workers and volunteers on Wednesday, according to state media outlet Global New Light Myanmar, citing the country's Health Ministry.

Myanmar received 1.5 million doses of the Covishield/AstraZeneca vaccine on January 22. 

The nationwide rollout will start on February 5 for government workers and the general public, Global New Light reported. The program will prioritize higher-risk individuals and those in areas more prone to infection. 

Myanmar has a population of more than 54 million people, according to United Nations data.

3:16 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

Nearly half of Americans eager for coronavirus vaccine, survey finds

From CNN's Maggie Fox

Syringes filled with the Covid-19 vaccine await to be administered at the Kedren Community Health Center in Los Angeles, California on January 25.
Syringes filled with the Covid-19 vaccine await to be administered at the Kedren Community Health Center in Los Angeles, California on January 25. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

Close to half of Americans say they are eager to get a coronavirus vaccine or have already gotten one, according to a January survey published Wednesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The survey of more than 1,500 adults found that 41% want the vaccine and 6% have already gotten at least one dose. 

That’s considerably higher than the 34% reported in December, said KFF, which studies health policy.

In the new survey, 31% said they would like to wait and see how the vaccine works for others before they get one themselves. Some 7% will only get one if “required to do so for work, school or other activities,” while 13% said they would “definitely not” get it.

And of course, politics plays a role. 

“While vaccine enthusiasm increased for both Democrats and independents, it has not shifted among Republicans, who remain the most resistant, with 33% saying they will definitely not get the vaccine or will get it only if required to do so for work, school or other activities,” Kaiser said in a statement.

The survey also looked into what might motivate people to take the vaccine.

Some 57% of those surveyed would be more likely to get vaccinated if told the vaccines are highly effective in preventing illness, and 54% said they would be more likely to get vaccinated if told it was the quickest way for life to return to normal.

Just under half, 46%, were impressed by hearing millions of people have been safely vaccinated, and 45% were motivated by being told we need people to be vaccinated to get the US economy back on track.

3:00 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

Thailand reports more than 800 new Covid-19 cases amid mass testing drive

From CNN's Kocha Olarn in Bangkok

Thailand on Wednesday reported its second highest number of daily Covid-19 cases after a mass testing drive in the kingdom's hardest-hit province.

Thailand’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced 819 total new infections on Wednesday, including 808 local transmissions.

The new cases are from a mass testing program being carried out in Samut Sakhon province -- the origin of Thailand’s most recent wave, the CCSA said.

Wednesday's figures raise the national total to 15,465 cases, including 76 deaths.

2:22 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

China has given more than 22 million doses of coronavirus vaccines

From CNN’s Beijing bureau

People queue to receive vaccines against the coronavirus at a temporary vaccination center in Beijing, China on January 8.
People queue to receive vaccines against the coronavirus at a temporary vaccination center in Beijing, China on January 8. STR/CNS/AFP/Getty Images

China has administered more than 22.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, a health official said on Wednesday ahead of next month’s Lunar New Year holidays.

“At present, we are carrying out vaccination in various places for key groups with a relatively high risk of infection,” said Zeng Yixin, deputy head of the National Health Commission, during a news conference. Those groups include workers in border protection, health care, transport and social services, he said.
“Overall, the work is still progressing in a smooth and orderly manner,” Zeng said. 

China aims to inoculate 50 million people with homegrown Covid-19 vaccines before February’s Lunar New Year celebrations.  

Since July, China has been administering domestically produced vaccines to people considered “high-risk” groups under an emergency use program.