Covid-19 News: Live Updates - The New York Times
Jan 18, 2021 8 mins, 44 secs
Over the weekend, Los Angeles County became the nation’s first to surpass one million recorded coronavirus infections.

surpasses 24 million cases, Los Angeles now confronts a more contagious variant.

coronavirus cases surpassed 24 million on Monday, Los Angeles County, one of the hardest-hit areas, may face even more dire weeks ahead.

The county records a coronavirus-related death roughly every seven minutes, and last week was its highest recorded ever for Covid-19 fatalities.

It took nearly 10 months for the county, America’s most populous, to hit 400,000 cases, but little more than a month to add another 400,000, from Nov.

On Saturday, the county became the nation’s first to surpass one million recorded coronavirus infections, a number only four states other than California have exceeded: Illinois, New York, Florida and Texas.

(California on Sunday became the first state to have recorded more than three million cases.).

And the true scale of infections may be much higher than reported: One in three Los Angeles residents is believed to have been infected with the virus since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Los Angeles Department of Health.

The state is among many dealing with the arrival of a more contagious viral variant, first discovered in Britain; the first confirmed case in Los Angeles was reported on Saturday.

Officials said they thought the variant, which has caused infections to soar in London and southeast England, has been spreading through Los Angeles for some time.

On Sunday night, the California Department of Public Health reported another variant that had grown more common across the state since December.

In December, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, sequenced genomes of coronavirus gathered around the state and found that the variant was present in just 3.8 percent of their samples.

“But there are worrisome signs that this variant may be highly transmissible,” he said.

Chiu and his colleagues are now looking more carefully for this variant across the state and are trying to understand how its mutations have altered it.

George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, said the state and Los Angeles seemed to be “in the process of sort of gradually turning a corner here.”.

For nearly the entire pandemic, political polarization and a rejection of science have stymied the United States’ ability to control the coronavirus.

But governors and local officials who were left in charge of the crisis squandered the little momentum the country had as they sidelined health experts, ignored warnings from their own advisers and, in some cases, stocked their advisory committees with more business representatives than doctors.

Nearly one year since the first known coronavirus case in the United States was announced north of Seattle on Jan.

The situation has turned dire just as the Trump administration, in its final days, begins to see the fruits of perhaps its biggest coronavirus success, the Operation Warp Speed vaccine program.

Interviews by The Times with more than 100 health, political and community leaders around the country and a review of emails and other state government records offer a fuller picture of all that went wrong.

A close analysis of the video by doctors in Egypt and the United States confirmed that the chaotic scene indicated an interruption in the oxygen supply.

Masks were offered on arrival, but there was little mask wearing over hours of dining and drinking, at a moment when a long-predicted surge in coronavirus infections was gripping the state.

With the help of twin registries in the United States, Australia, Europe and elsewhere, researchers are confirming that genetics can influence which symptoms Covid-19 patients experience.

On Sunday, Brazil’s health regulator, Anvisa, authorized the vaccine from Sinovac, a private Chinese company that developed it in partnership with the Butantan Institute in São Paulo.

It approved the vaccine produced by the University of Oxford in partnership with AstraZeneca, the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company.

Mônica Calazans, 54, a nurse in the state of São Paulo, was given the first shot of Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine on Sunday.

Federal officials said vaccinations were expected to begin in all Brazilian states on Wednesday.

Brazil has had one of the worst outbreaks in the world, with the third-highest number of cases after the United States and India and the second-highest number of deaths after the United States, according to a New York Times database.

New questions about the efficacy of the Chinese vaccine emerged last week after officials at the Butantan Institute downgraded its efficacy to just over 50 percent, far below the 78 percent level announced earlier but still above the benchmark that the World Health Organization has said would make a vaccine effective for general use.

“All 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia are involved in this operation,” Major Murphy said.

Ashish Jha, the dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, said that systematic testing should be a priority for a group of that size, including for asymptomatic cases.

Portugal’s hospitals are on the brink of becoming overwhelmed with coronavirus cases, with fears the country’s hospital system could buckle in the face of steadily rising infections.

Portugal has one of smallest intensive care unit capacities of any country in Europe, with just 672 beds available, and by Sunday, 647 intensive care patients were being treated for the coronavirus, according to the health ministry.

Marta Temido, Portugal’s health minister, said the country was “very close to the limit” after visiting a hospital in Almada on Sunday and called on citizens to follow the latest lockdown rules in order to help reduce the “very high” pressure on hospitals.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece, where travel restrictions have hit the tourism industry hard, said in a letter to the president of the bloc’s executive arm that it was “urgent” for member states “adopt a common understanding” on vaccination certificates, according to Reuters.

Australia’s health secretary said the country was unlikely to fully reopen its borders in 2021, despite vaccination efforts and pressures from the tourism industry.

Speaking to ABC News on Monday morning, the minister, Brendan Murphy, said that restarting international travel remained “a big question.”.

Germany’s health ministry has announced plans to systematically sequence coronavirus samples in order to detect and track variants of the virus that have the potential to spread more swiftly.

“We want to be able to understand even better where known mutations are spreading and whether new mutations are occurring,” Jens Spahn, the health minister, said on Monday.

Spahn said that while the variant that spread rapidly in England had been found in Germany, it was mostly linked to patients who had traveled from Britain.

In Japan, the health ministry reported three new cases on Monday of the variant that spread in Britain, the first to be discovered among residents with no travel history.

Japan has reported a total of 45 cases of three different coronavirus variants, all but these latest three among people who had recently traveled or were close contacts of travelers from Britain, South Africa or Brazil.

Public schools in Los Angeles, which are already administering a huge coronavirus testing and tracing program for students, teachers and families in the nation’s second-largest district, have asked the state and county health authorities for permission to begin providing Covid-19 vaccinations, the superintendent said on Monday.

Austin Beutner, the superintendent, said the Los Angeles Unified School District was “uniquely situated — and uniquely qualified — to help in the vaccination effort,” with a dozen licensed clinics, 42 testing locations, more than 450 registered school nurses and partnerships with insurers that would allow them to begin administering inoculations immediately.

The district is also in a county with soaring rates of coronavirus infection: One Los Angeles County resident in three is now estimated to have contracted the virus.

The City of Los Angeles opened a site at Dodger Stadium, and Los Angeles County has said it will open five more such sites on Tuesday.

India’s coronavirus vaccine rollout, one of the largest in the world, has been hobbled by technical glitches in a mobile phone application, leaving the country far short of its vaccination goals in the first few days of the campaign.

Ajoy Kumar Chakraborty, director of health services in the state of West Bengal, said Monday that the software had become overwhelmed and didn’t work at many vaccination sites, and that vaccinations were curtailed as a result.

Manohar Agnani, a senior official in the federal Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said on Sunday that feedback was being collected from states to “identify bottlenecks and plan corrective action.”.

Officials have said that vaccine recipients will not get to choose between the two.

India has the second-highest number of cases after the United States, and the third-highest number of deaths after the United States and Brazil, according to a New York Times database.

The head of the World Health Organization has warned that the world is on the brink of a “moral failure” in ensuring coronavirus vaccines are distributed among the world’s poorest populations, and that the promise of equitable access to the vaccines “is at serious risk.”.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the World Health Organization, speaking at the opening session of a meeting of its executive board, said the world had the opportunity to “write a different story” than those of past pandemics in which rich countries benefited from widespread access to vaccines while the world’s poor were neglected.

In recent months, rich nations like the United States and Britain have cut deals with drug manufacturers and secured enough vaccine doses to ensure their citizens could be vaccinated, often multiple times over, and programs have already begun in most.

“Its right that all governments want to prioritize vaccinating health workers and older people first,” he said.

A coronavirus variant first reported in Britain, named Variant of Concern 202012/01 by Public Health England, is part of the B.1.1.7 lineage of coronaviruses, and is believed to be potentially 50 percent more transmissible than the initial version of the virus

The B.1.1.7 lineage has now been detected in over 50 countries, including the United States

Federal health officials warn that it may become the dominant variant in the United States by March

B.1.1.7 has been detected in at least 14 states, but the United States has no national surveillance program for determining the full extent of its spread

“One of the problems is that we were talking across each other,” he said on another television show, “Good Morning Britain,” on Monday, adding that he and Ms

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