More U.S. States Find Variant; Hebei Cases Jump: Virus Update

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Connecticut, Texas and Pennsylvania reported their first cases of the virus variant that helped trigger a U.K. lockdown amid concern that Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. are likely to maintain a near-record pace at least through January. China reported 33 new cases in Hebei, site of anoutbreak near Beijing.

British medics will be able to give Covid-19 shots to hundreds of thousands of people every day by Jan. 15, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnsonsaid. Brazil surpassed 200,000 virus deaths, second only to the U.S., on a day when it reported the most infections of the pandemic.

The vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. was shown to be 78% effective against Covid-19 in late-stage Brazil trials, newspaper Folha de Sao Pauloreported, citing data presented to the country’s health regulator.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases pass 87.9 million; deaths approach 1.9 million
  • U.S. Covid deaths tomaintain a near-record pace for the month
  • Vaccine Tracker: More than 15.9 million shots given worldwide
  • U.S. vaccine rollouthindered by faulty coordination, messaging
  • China health expert defends delay in confirming Covid-19 threat
  • Airlines try ultra-cheap fares to get the world flying again
  • What to know about allergic reactions to the vaccine:QuickTake
  • Suga’s Bet onSofter Tokyo Emergency Risks Worse Economic Pain

Subscribe to adaily update on the virus fromBloomberg’s Prognosis teamhere. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.

253,145 in U.S.Most new cases today 17,​501,​563 Vaccine doses administered in 38 countries

+14% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-0.​6395 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

Spain Surpasses 2 Million Cases (1:49 p.m. NY)

Spain’s total cases rose by 6,498 to surpass 2 million, according to the Health Ministry on Thursday. The total number of fatalities reached 51,675. The country will start receiving 600,000 doses of Moderna Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine in the coming days, Health Minister Salvador Illa said.

Illinois Surpasses 1 Million Infections (1:45 p.m. NY)

Illinois passed another “tragic” milestone by logging more than 1 million coronavirus cases, Governor J.B. Pritzker said in a statement.

On Thursday, the state reported 8,757 cases and 177 deaths. That pushed the total to 1,008,045 confirmed and probable cases, and 17,272 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Texas, Pennsylvania Report New Virus Variant (1:29 p.m. NY)

Texas and Pennsylvania became the latest states to report cases of the more-transmissible variant of the coronavirus.

In Texas, the variant was detected in an adult man from Harris County, home to the country’s fourth largest city of Houston, who has no history of travel, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

“The fact that this person had no travel history suggests this variant is already circulating in Texas,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt, DSHS commissioner.

In Pennsylvania, a person in Dauphin County tested positive after “known international exposure,” Secretary of Health Rachel Levinesaid. The person had mild symptoms that were resolved while isolated at home.

At least five other U.S. states have reported cases of the variant.

U.K. Aims to Vaccinate at Least 200,000 People a Day (12:39 p.m. NY)

British medics will be able to give Covid-19 shots to hundreds of thousands of people everyday by Jan. 15, Prime Minister Boris Johnsonsaid.

“We are in a race against time, but we are doing everything we can to vaccinate as many people as possible across the U.K.,” Johnson said at a televised press conference.

Italy Cases, Deaths Slow (11:35 a.m. NY)

Italy registered 18,020 new virus cases on Thursday, from 20,331 the day before. Daily deaths declined too, with 414 fatalities reported, compared with 548 on Wednesday, while the positivity rate rose to 14.9% as fewer tests were carried out.

Italy has extended through mid-January some curbs imposed during the holiday season, including a limit of two guests per household.

Arthritis Drugs Reduced Covid-19 Deaths, ICU Time in Study (11:06 a.m. NY)

A pair of arthritis medicines, including Roche Holding AG’s Actemra,reduced mortality and shortened recovery times in intensive care for Covid-19 patients in a study, opening the possibility for another treatment option for the severely ill.

Some 27% of critically ill patients who got the arthritis drugs in the study died in the hospital, compared with about 36% of those who didn’t get the drugs, an Imperial College London research team said.

Sinovac Covid Shot 78% Effective in Brazil Trial (9:19 a.m. NY)

The vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. was shown to be 78% effective against Covid-19 in late-stage Brazil trials, newspaper Folha de Sao Pauloreported, citing data presented to the country’s health regulator.

Conflicting and incomplete information from Sinovac’s trials last month created confusion over how effective the shot is. Researchers in Brazil delayed releasing complete data on the so-called CoronaVac shot in late December, saying only that it was found to be more than 50% effective.

The release of more definitive data was delayed because the company needed to reconcile results from different trials using varying protocols, according to a person familiar with the matter.

S. Africa Virus Strain More Transmissible (9:18 a.m. NY)

The new coronavirus strain identified in South Africa appears to bemore transmissible than earlier variants and has accelerated the onset of a second wave of infections, according to a scientist advising the country’s health minister.

Yet there’s no evidence that it causes a more severe or different form of the disease, and hospitalization and mortality rates as a proportion of the number of infections are lower than during the first wave in July and August, said Ian Sanne, an infectious diseases doctor and head of Right to Care, a non-profit that provides treatment to people with HIV and associated diseases.

— With assistance by Ian Fisher, Joe Carroll, David Scanlan, Stacie Sherman, Henry Goldman, Flynn McRoberts, Shruti Singh, Flavia Rotondi, Joao Lima, Thomas Mulier, Naomi Kresge, Dara Doyle, Rudy Ruitenberg, Neil Callanan, Catarina Saraiva, Chris Reiter, Alan Katz, Elizabeth Rembert, Greg Chang, Julia Leite, Caroline Aragaki, Ed Johnson, and Keshia Clukey

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