US, UK Say First COVID Vaccinations Expected Before Christmas As New Cases Slow: Live Updates
Sun, 11/29/2020 – 11:45
- Surgeon General says COVID vaccination to start in mid-December
- UK officials say vaccinations to start before Christmas
- China detects virus on seafood packaging
- German authority warns virus isn’t slowing fast enough for Christmas
- Colo. Gov tests positive
- Czech Republic plans to ease lockdown
- Poland sees jump in new cases
- Iran sees drop in fatalities
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More US government officials weighed in on the timing for COVID-19 vaccine rollout, which is expected to begin before the end of December, according to Surgeon General Jerome Adams and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist.
Across the US, 153,035 new infections and 1,175 deaths were reported on Saturday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. The US reported just over 150k new cases on Saturday, even as the number of currently hospitalized patients continued to climb.
Over on the West Coast, as LA County enters day 3 of its 3 week lockdown, San Francisco has been moved to the most restrictive tier by California following a jump in coronavirus cases, prompting a slew of new measures across the city. “I don’t know how to be more clear – this is the most dangerous time we’ve faced during this pandemic,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed warned.
The British government said it hopes to begin its vaccination program before Christmas so long as regulators approve all the shots in time, which regulators expect that they will.
In Germany, where Angela Merkel has warned that recent improvements in COVID-19 numbers simply haven’t been enough, the premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, said cases aren’t falling quickly enough to warrant dropping restrictions for the Christmas holiday.
Finally, China is revoking import applications from Chilean seafood producer Pesquera Isla Del Rey for one week after a nucleic acid test on the packaging of a batch of frozen crab turned up positive for COVID, according to the General Administration of Customs, who confirmed that in a statement on its website on Saturday. Of course, this isn’t the first time China has allegedly detected traces of the virus on packaging of imported sea food, part of Beijing’s “conspiracy theory” about the virus originating elsewhere – like, say, India (where a group of Chinese researchers claimed the virus actually originated).
Here’s some more COVID news from overnight and Sunday morning:
Iran’s daily fatalities from Covid-19 fell for a third day to 389, the lowest single-day death toll in four weeks. The number of daily new cases fell to 12,950 overnight from 13,402 yesterday. The country now has 47,875 deaths in 948,749 known infections (Source: Bloomberg).
The Czech Republic will significantly ease its lockdown restrictions on Thursday after the spread of the coronavirus slowed in the past two weeks. The decision, approved at an extraordinary government meeting on Sunday, will allow shops and restaurants to reopen, although limits on the number of customers and opening hours will remain. The cabinet also agreed to scrap the nighttime curfew on Dec. 3 (Source: Bloomberg).
Poland registered 11,483 new infections in the last 24 hours, the least since Oct. 26, taking the total number of cases in the country of 38 million to 985,075, the Health Ministry said on Sunday. It also reported 283 new deaths, with total Covid-19 fatalities exceeding 17,000. The government, which shut all schools and reduced traffic in shops earlier this month, allowed shopping malls and furniture stores to reopen as of Nov. 28 (Source: Bloomberg).
The governor of Colorado, where an estimated one in 41 of the state’s 5.7 million residents carried the Covid-19 virus over the past week, has tested positive and is resting at home. Governor Polis, an early advocate of masks, issued a statement Saturday night saying his partner was also infected. Earlier in the week, the governor of neighboring Wyoming tested positive (Source: Bloomberg).