The latest on the coronavirus pandemic and Supreme Court ruling

By Rhea Mogul, Adam Renton, Jack Guy, Aditi Sangal, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani and Adrienne Vogt, CNN

Updated 0052 GMT (0852 HKT) January 14, 2022
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6:35 a.m. ET, January 13, 2022

Over 100 South Koreans test positive for Covid-19 in relation to US tech event

From CNN's Gawon Bae in Seoul

Attendees walk around the entrance of CES 2022 in Las Vegas on January 6.
Attendees walk around the entrance of CES 2022 in Las Vegas on January 6. (Steve Marcus/Reuters)

The number of South Koreans who have tested positive for Covid-19 in relation to the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in the US jumped to 119 on Thursday.

Ko Jae-young, spokesman for the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), said some of those who tested positive carried the Omicron variant, without giving specific numbers.

In a press release, South Korea's health ministry urged attendees who were exempted from quarantine to work from home for 10 days to prevent spreading the virus.

On Thursday, South Korea reported 391 imported Covid-19 cases, a daily record, according to KDCA.

In response, South Korea will mandate that international arrivals take a PCR test within 48 hours of departure -- shortened from 72 hours -- starting from January 20, Ko said.

Health authorities estimate that the Omicron variant may become the dominant variant in the country by late January, Ko said.

Starting from Friday, South Korea will also begin administering Pfizer’s oral treatment pill Paxlovid to patients with a high chance of getting critically ill, those aged 65 or above, and those with reduced immunity, KDCA said in a press release.

The country reported 4,167 new cases from Wednesday, bringing the total confirmed cases to 679,030, KDCA said. The death toll rose by 44 to 6,210.

5:38 a.m. ET, January 13, 2022

UK PM cancels visit to vaccination center after family member tests positive 

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London  

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for PMQs at the House of Commons on January 12 in London.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for PMQs at the House of Commons on January 12 in London. (Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing/Getty Images)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson canceled a visit to a vaccination center Thursday after a member of his family tested positive for Covid-19, his office told CNN.

“The Prime Minister will no longer be visiting Lancashire today due to a family member testing positive for coronavirus," a Downing Street spokesperson said in a statement sent to CNN. "He will follow the guidance for vaccinated close contacts, including daily testing and limiting contact with others."

Johnson received his Covid-19 booster shot on December 2. He is therefore not legally required to self-isolate, according to the guidance established by his government.

The news comes as Johnson faces strong criticism after he apologized on Wednesday for attending a "bring your own booze" party in the Downing Street garden on May 20, 2020, while the country was in lockdown.

4:23 a.m. ET, January 13, 2022

Singapore breaks down Covid-19 deaths among vaccinated by vaccine type 

From CNN's Lizzy Yee

A woman wearing protective mask uses her mobile phone while waiting for a bus on January 13 in Singapore.
A woman wearing protective mask uses her mobile phone while waiting for a bus on January 13 in Singapore. (Suhaimi Abdullah/NurPhoto/Shutterstock)

Singapore's health minister Ong Ye Kung on Monday gave the country's Parliament a breakdown of Covid-19 deaths among vaccinated patients last year.

In 2021, Singapore recorded 802 Covid-19 deaths; some 247 of those who died were fully vaccinated, while 555 were not fully vaccinated, Ong said.

Here is the breakdown of vaccinated fatalities:

  • 11 deaths per 100,000 people vaccinated with Sinovac
  • 7.8 deaths per 100,000 people vaccinated with Sinopharm
  • 6.2 deaths per 100,000 people vaccinated with Pfizer/BioNTech
  • 1 death per 100,000 people vaccinated with Moderna

Ong stressed the data is only reflective of a small sample size and does not account for other factors such as age or the timing of vaccination.

As of Monday, 87% of Singapore's total population have been fully vaccinated, and 48% have received booster shots. 

3:01 a.m. ET, January 13, 2022

2 hospitals in locked down Chinese city ordered to close temporarily after reports of treatment delays

From CNN's Beijing Bureau

Residents queue to for  Covid-19 testing in Xi'an on January 12.
Residents queue to for Covid-19 testing in Xi'an on January 12. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

Two hospitals in the locked down Chinese city of Xi'an have been ordered to close for three months after reports of delays in treatment for critical patients, municipal authorities said Thursday. 

Xi'an Gaoxin Hospital and Xi'an International Medical Center Hospital "failed to implement the principle of 'people and lives come first'," and "failed the duties to rescue patients in critical conditions," according to a statement from the Xi'an Municipal Health Commission.

The CEO and related directors of Xi'an Gaoxin Hospital have been fired, along with the president, vice president, and head nurse of the outpatient department at Xi'an International Medical Center Hospital, the statement said.

The announcement comes after reports of people being denied emergency care during Xi'an's lockdown — highlighting the immense human cost of China's zero-Covid policy.

In one case, a woman had a miscarriage after she was denied entry to Xi'an Gaoxin Hospital by health workers because she didn't have a valid Covid-19 test. In another incident, a woman posted on Chinese social media that her father, who was having a heart attack, had died after Xi'an International Medical Center Hospital refused to accept him because they live in a "risk area."

Last week, China's vice premier told hospitals not to turn patients away. The Xi’an municipal government also issued a notice, saying Covid-19 tests should not be used to deny patients immediate medical care. 

In its statement Thursday, the Xi'an Municipal Health Commission said the delays "caused wide social criticism" and were a "bad influence" on society.

Xi'an's lockdown: The city of 13 million has been under strict lockdown since December 23, as it grapples with the country's worst coronavirus outbreak since Wuhan, the original epicenter of the pandemic.

Its residents cannot leave their homes, unless permitted for mass testing. Local authorities have faced a public outcry over perceived incompetence, and disproportionately harsh measures that critics say harm the lives of those they are supposed to protect.

2:53 a.m. ET, January 13, 2022

Japan must coexist with Covid-19 while growing economy, minister says

From CNN's Emiko Jozuka in Tokyo

Japan's Minister for Economic Revitalization Daishiro Yamagiwa speaks during a press conference at the National Press Club on Wednesday in Tokyo.
Japan's Minister for Economic Revitalization Daishiro Yamagiwa speaks during a press conference at the National Press Club on Wednesday in Tokyo. (Eugene Hoshiko/AP)

Japan must coexist with Covid-19 while achieving economic growth, a government official said Wednesday, as infections surge in the country. 

"We know infectious diseases aren't going away ever. Our job is to revitalize the economy and move toward growth while coexisting with them," Japan's minister for economic revitalization, Daishiro Yamagiwa, said at a news conference in Tokyo.

Yamagiwa’s comments came as the world's third-largest economy reported more than 13,000 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, surpassing 10,000 daily infections for the first time since September 9 last year, according to a tally by public broadcaster NHK.

Japan had managed to curb the spread of the virus last fall, with nationwide cases plummeting to under 1,000 a day in October, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. 

Japan has already entered its sixth wave as cases surge, the president of the country's Medical Association, Toshio Nakagawa, said last week. Nakagawa warned cases will continue to rise in the coming weeks. 

Japan has fully vaccinated about 80% of its population, but has only administered booster shots to about 1% as of Monday, according to government data.

2:48 a.m. ET, January 13, 2022

India reports nearly 250,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Swati Gupta in New Delhi

People line up to get vaccinated outside the Government Covid vaccination center in Ghaziabad, India, on January 12.
People line up to get vaccinated outside the Government Covid vaccination center in Ghaziabad, India, on January 12. (Pradeep Gaur/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)

India reported more than 247,000 Covid-19 cases on Thursday, a sharp increase from the day before, as cases in the country surge.

Thursday's 247,417 cases is 27% higher than the 194,720 cases registered on Wednesday, the country's Health Ministry reported. 

The last time the country recorded similar numbers was on May 22, 2021 — during the throes of India's crippling second wave that saw millions infected and hospitals pushed to the brink of collapse.

As India braces for a third wave, major cities including the capital, Delhi, and financial center Mumbai continue to report high daily cases.

On Wednesday, the state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, recorded 46,723 new cases. Delhi reported 27,561 new cases Wednesday —  its highest since India's surge began late December. It also reported 40 deaths.

More vaccines: India has ramped up its vaccination program in the past week, making booster shots available to a limited group of people, including frontline workers and those above the age of 60 with pre-existing health conditions. Vaccinations have also started for children ages 15-18.

India on Wednesday administered more than 7 million vaccine shots, raising the total number of doses to 1.54 billion, according to the Health Ministry.

The country has recorded 36.3 million Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, with 485,035 related deaths.