December 28 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Melissa Macaya and Melissa Mahtani, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, December 29, 2020
5 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
10:32 p.m. ET, December 27, 2020

US reports more than 118,000 coronavirus hospitalizations 

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

The United States reported 118,720 current Covid-19 hospitalizations on Sunday, the fourth highest number reported since the pandemic began, according to the Covid Tracking Project (CTP). 

This is the 26th consecutive day that the US has remained above 100,000 current hospitalizations.

The highest hospitalization numbers according to CTP data are:

  1. Dec. 24: 120,151 people hospitalized
  2. Dec. 23: 119,463 people hospitalized
  3. Dec. 25: 118,948 people hospitalized
  4. Dec. 27: 118,720 people hospitalized
  5. Dec. 22: 117,777 people hospitalized
10:27 p.m. ET, December 27, 2020

Singapore will begin Covid-19 vaccinations from Dec. 30

From CNN's Eric Cheung

A shipment of the Covid-19 vaccine is unloaded from a Singapore Airlines Boeing 747 cargo plane at the Changi Airport in Singapore, on December 21.
A shipment of the Covid-19 vaccine is unloaded from a Singapore Airlines Boeing 747 cargo plane at the Changi Airport in Singapore, on December 21. Kua Chee Siong/The Straits Times/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Singapore will begin Covid-19 vaccinations on December 30, the Ministry of Health said in a statement Sunday.

Healthcare workers will be the first to receive vaccinations, while those aged 70 or above will be vaccinated starting in February next year, the ministry said.

All Singaporeans and long-term residents are expected to be vaccinated by the end of 2021, and the vaccination program will be free to ensure accessibility, it added. 

"Comprehensive vaccination coverage in the population will ensure that our population is protected from Covid-19," the statement read. "In the longer term, this will enable us to re-open further both as a society and economy, and expedite our recovery from the pandemic."

On December 14, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the country approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for public use. The first shipment of the vaccine arrived in the country on December 21.

10:24 p.m. ET, December 27, 2020

South Africa tops 1 million Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Sharif Paget and Jennifer Hauser

A Dis-Chem Pharmacy health professional speaks to a woman before conducting a coronavirus test at a drive-through testing site at a mall in Centurion, South Africa, on December 16.
A Dis-Chem Pharmacy health professional speaks to a woman before conducting a coronavirus test at a drive-through testing site at a mall in Centurion, South Africa, on December 16. Phill Magakoe/AFP/Getty Images

South Africa registered 9,502 new cases of Covid-19 Saturday, pushing the total number of cases to 1,004,413 according to data from the country's health ministry.

There were also 214 more fatalities reported, leaving the total death toll at 26,735.

South Africa has the highest total number of reported cases in Africa, according to data from Africa CDC. More than 2.6 million cases have been reported across the continent. 

Earlier this week a new coronavirus variant was reported in South Africa, which is different than the strain causing so much concern in the United Kingdom, the World Health Organization’s technical lead for Covid-19, Maria van Kerkhove, said Monday.

CNN is tracking worldwide cases:

11:42 p.m. ET, December 27, 2020

Trump signs coronavirus relief and government funding bill into law after lengthy delay

From CNN's Kate Bennett, Kevin Liptak and Phil Mattingly

President Donald Trump signed the massive $2.3 trillion dollar coronavirus relief and government funding bill into law Sunday night, averting a government shutdown that was set to begin on Tuesday, and extending billions of dollars in coronavirus aid to millions.

Trump's signature of the $900 billion Covid relief package extends unemployment benefits for millions of jobless gig-workers and independent contractors, as well as the long-term unemployed.

The estimated 12 million people in two key pandemic unemployment programs, who were facing their last payment this weekend, will now receive benefits for another 11 weeks. Plus, all those collecting jobless payments will receive a $300 weekly federal boost through mid-March.

Read the full story here.

10:35 p.m. ET, December 27, 2020

Europe launches mass vaccination program as countries race to contain new variant

From CNN's Zamira Rahim and Arnaud Siad

A medical worker fills a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Robert Bosch hospital in Stuttgart, Germany, on December 27.
A medical worker fills a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Robert Bosch hospital in Stuttgart, Germany, on December 27. Thomas Kienzle/AFP/Getty Images

The European Union (EU) officially kicked off its Covid-19 vaccination campaign on Sunday, days after approving the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on December 21.

"The ... vaccine has been delivered to all EU countries," European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter on Saturday.

The Commission has declared December 27, 28 and 29 "EU vaccination days," which von der Leyen said were "a touching moment of unity." She added that: "Vaccination is the lasting way out of the pandemic."

The first people to receive doses of the vaccine were largely elderly or frontline medical workers.

In France a 78-year-old woman named Mauricette was the first to be given the vaccine, according to a tweet by Aurélien Rousseau, the director-general of the Ile-de-France region's health agency. Mauricette, a former housekeeper, received the vaccine at a public hospital in the greater Paris area.

Italy -- once the European epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic -- also administered its first doses of the vaccine on Sunday.

Early start: While the EU officially launched its vaccination program on Sunday, some countries had made a start on vaccinating people a day earlier -- doses were administered on Saturday in both Germany and Slovakia.

Read the full story: