February 10 coronavirus news

By James Griffiths, Adam Renton, Kara Fox, Christopher Johnson and Rob Picheta, CNN

Updated 6:34 a.m. ET, February 15, 2021
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10:19 a.m. ET, February 10, 2021

Bahrain becomes latest country to approve Russian vaccine

From CNN's Kareem Khadder, Zahra Ullah and Mostafa Salem

A vial containing the Gam-COVID-Vak Covid-19 vaccine, also known as Sputnik V, is pictured at a clinic in Moscow in December 2020.
A vial containing the Gam-COVID-Vak Covid-19 vaccine, also known as Sputnik V, is pictured at a clinic in Moscow in December 2020. Vladimir Gerdo/TASS/Getty Images

Bahrain has approved the emergency use of the Russian produced vaccine, Sputnik V, state media and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said.

Bahrain has become the 24th country to use the Russian made vaccine, the RDIF said in a press release Wednesday. 

The country's Ministry of Health said that 759 new related Covid-19 infection cases were reported in a 24-hour period, which brings the total number of infections to 108,420 since the start of the pandemic. 

Four new deaths were reported in a 24-hour period bringing the total number of Covid-related deaths in Bahrain to 387.

The Sputnik V Vaccine is the fourth drug approved for emergency use in Bahrain; Sinopharm, Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca are already available for use in the Persian Gulf country, reported Bahrain’s State News Agency.

9:36 a.m. ET, February 10, 2021

Illinois health official lost both her parents within two weeks to Covid-19

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Dr. Rachel Rubin on February 10.
Dr. Rachel Rubin on February 10. CNN

Dr. Rachel Rubin, a Cook County, Illinois health official, has been working to fight the Covid-19 crisis for more than a year. The battle became more personal for her after both of her parents contracted the virus and died within two weeks of each other.

Speaking in an interview on CNN's "New Day," Rubin said:

“It was very difficult for me to watch the news and hear the statistics about how many people have died. And you know, I had to almost turn the TV off. And every day, I'm reading the statistics and looking at the trends in my own jurisdiction and it was very hard to see -- especially if I looked at the community where my parents were living -- and seeing how many people were getting infected and dying. It really made it much, much more personal."

Rubin's parents were infected in early December. Her father passed away first, and her and her family were not able to be with him in the hospital. She said it was very difficult to have to tell her mother that he had passed away, given that she didn't have a clear idea of what was happening -- as she was so sick.

“She didn't have a huge emotional response, because I think she just didn't have the physical and emotional energy, because she was so sick herself to respond,” Rubin said about her mother.

Rubin, a senior medical officer and co-lead of the Cook County Department of Public Health, also said when she went to go clean out her parents’ apartment a few days ago, she found a newspaper opened to a page with her photo when she was interviewed about the coronavirus pandemic. 

Watch the interview here:

9:20 a.m. ET, February 10, 2021

CDC’s strategy to reopen schools in the US expected to include 5 key strategies

From CNN Health’s Ben Tinker

Chairs are stacked inside an empty classroom at Collins Elementary School in Pinole, California, in December 2020.
Chairs are stacked inside an empty classroom at Collins Elementary School in Pinole, California, in December 2020. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will not mandate the reopening of schools when it issues updated guidance this week, an administration official told CNN.

The agency will say schools should reopen when it is safe to do so.

The CDC’s five key strategies to reopening schools include hand washing, masking, social distancing, cleaning and ventilation, as well as contact tracing, isolation and quarantine.
The guidance will not require staffers to be vaccinated, instead describing vaccination as another strategy to “layer,” since many schools were able to safely reopen before vaccines were available, the official noted.

The guidelines will also note that screening -- testing people to catch asymptomatic cases or people who are infected but have not yet become ill -- can improve detection of cases.

The official said the new guidance is expected Friday, but could come sooner.

8:45 a.m. ET, February 10, 2021

Japan to discard 1 in 6 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine because of its lack of specialist syringes

From Chie Kobayashi in Tokyo

Japan will have to discard one in six doses of the Covid-19 Pfizer/BionTech vaccine because it does not have enough specialist syringes, according to a senior Japanese politician.

In a press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday, Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato explained that Japan’s standard syringes will be able to extract 5 doses of the vaccine, but that special syringes would be needed to collect the sixth dose from each vial provided by the manufacturer. 

"The medical solution which was not used will be basically discarded," Kato added. 

Japan has ordered 144 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

8:45 a.m. ET, February 10, 2021

UK PM faces criticism from opposition over new Covid-19 border policy

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in London on February 10.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in London on February 10. Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced criticism over the robustness of England’s new border policy in Parliament on Wednesday.

Opposition leader Keir Starmer told politicians during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons that despite Johnson's assertions that the UK has "one of the toughest regimes in the world," research from Oxford University indicated that at least 33 countries have tougher restrictions than the UK.

Johnson countered that "some countries in Europe do not even have a hotel quarantine scheme, such as the one we're putting in on Monday," adding that on a normal day at this time of year "you can expect about 250,000 people to be arriving in this country -- we've got it down to about 20,000."

The Prime Minister was responding to the announcement of several changes to the country's border policy on Tuesday.

The new system states that:

  • UK and Irish residents -- who've been in one of the government’s 33 "red list" countries in the last 10 days -- will need to quarantine in a designated hotel.
  • Those travelers will only be able to arrive into a small number of ports and will have to book a quarantine package -- at a cost of £1,750 (approximately US $2,411) for the hotel, transport and testing – before departing for the UK.
  • Every passenger arriving into the UK must demonstrate a negative test result 72 hours before they travel.
  • Passengers who lie about the destination they have returned from on their passenger locator form may face a jail sentence of up to ten years. 

Johnson called the policy "measured" and "proportional," adding that it is "getting tougher" from next Monday.

It is currently illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes in the UK.

The opposition also pointed out that it has taken the government 50 days since the discovery of the South African variant to impose tighter border controls.

On the threat posed by new variants, Johnson was clear that the UK is going to "have to get used to the idea of vaccinating and then re-vaccinating in the autumn, as we as we come to face these new variants."

9:08 a.m. ET, February 10, 2021

Walmart will begin Covid-19 vaccinations as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program

From CNN Health’s Samira Said

More than 1,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies in the US will begin administering Covid-19 vaccines on Friday, as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, according to Walmart.

“Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies in 22 states are receiving federal vaccine allocations this week,” Walmart said in a news release Tuesday. It is unclear how many doses will be available. 

The company said it worked with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify pharmacy locations according to factors such as population density and infection rates. It said it also looked at locations in medically underserved areas.

Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies are already vaccinating in 11 states under state allocations, according to the news release.

The Biden administration announced last week that the federal government will begin direct shipments of coronavirus vaccines to retail pharmacies starting on Thursday, with a total of 1 million doses going to about 6,500 stores before eventually expanding.

CVS and Walgreens have said they will get around 420,000 doses of the 1 million doses available.

8:26 a.m. ET, February 10, 2021

Salesforce plans to allow remote work permanently after the pandemic

From CNN’s Brian Fung

People walk by the Salesforce Tower in New York in September 2020.
People walk by the Salesforce Tower in New York in September 2020. Noam Galai/Getty Images

Salesforce said Tuesday that after the pandemic, most of its workers will have the option to work remotely part- or full-time, in a move to integrate flexibility more permanently into the company’s operations. 

Only “the smallest population of our workforce” will be working from an office 4 to 5 days a week, the cloud computing company said in a blog post

The announcement is another sign of how the tech industry is leading changes in the future of work.

The shift will be reflected in office layouts, too, Salesforce said.

"To start, we’ll be redesigning our workspaces over time as community hubs to accommodate a more hybrid workstyle,” Brent Hyder, Salesforce’s chief people officer said in the post.
"Gone are the days of a sea of desks — we’ll create more collaboration and breakout spaces to foster the human connection that can’t be replicated remotely," he added. 

Much of the permanent shift to remote work is also driven by other trends, Salesforce said, including the ability to hire talent globally rather than in specific geographic regions and employee satisfaction. 

In internal surveys, roughly half of Salesforce employees said they want to be in an office only a few times a month, Hyder said. 

"It’s our responsibility as employers to empower our people to get the job done during the schedule that works best for them and their teams, and provide flexible options to help make them even more productive," he added.

8:00 a.m. ET, February 10, 2021

Another UEFA Champions League tie has moved locations due to Covid-19 travel bans

From CNN’s Aleks Klosok

The first leg of Atlético Madrid’s UEFA Champions League last-16 tie against Chelsea will be played at the Arena Naţională in Bucharest, Romania, UEFA announced on Wednesday.

The game has been moved to Romania’s capital as a result of current travel restrictions in place in Spain aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19 variants.

Arrivals from the UK, Brazil and South Africa are barred from entering the country, with the exception of those passengers who are residents or citizens of Spain or Andorra.

On Tuesday, Spain’s government extended the ban until March 2.

It’s the third UEFA Champions League tie to be moved to a neutral venue as a result of Covid-19 enforced travel bans currently in place in several European countries.

Three UEFA Europa League last-32 ties have also been moved to neutral venues, UEFA confirmed on Tuesday.

Manchester United's first leg game away to Real Sociedad has been moved from San Sebastian to Turin, Arsenal’s first leg game away to Benfica has been moved from Lisbon to Rome, and the first leg of Norwegian side Molde’s game against Hoffenheim has moved from Molde to Villareal in Spain.

The dates and times for all the above fixtures will remain as originally scheduled. 

7:54 a.m. ET, February 10, 2021

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, get first vaccine dose

From CNN's Royal Correspondent Max Foster and Lauren Said-Moorhouse

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, leave Westminster Abbey in London after attending an Armistice Day service and the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior in November 2020.
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, leave Westminster Abbey in London after attending an Armistice Day service and the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior in November 2020. Aaron Chown/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, has received his first Covid-19 vaccination shot, along with his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, a Clarence House spokesman said Wednesday.

Clarence House did not say where Charles, 72, and Camilla, 73, were vaccinated, or which vaccine they had received.

Charles tested positive for coronavirus after experiencing mild symptoms last March. He later added that he'd "got away with it quite lightly."

More than 12.6 million people in the UK have now received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the government’s dashboard. The National Health Service (NHS) is now asking people aged 70 and over in England who haven’t been vaccinated to book an appointment.

Last month, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh received their first Covid-19 vaccinations, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said.

The inoculations were administered by a household doctor at Windsor Castle, a royal source said.