COVID-19 SUMMARY: Queen Elizabeth and Philip vaccinated, 63 cases of British variant identified in U.S. France to complete 100,000 vaccinations by weekend


10th January 2021 – (Hong Kong)  Total worldwide COVID-19 cases have reached 89,671,649with 1,927,452 deaths as of 12.30am today.


Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and her husband Philip, both in their nineties, have received vaccinations against COVID-19, Buckingham Palace said on Saturday. “The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have today received COVID-19 vaccinations,” the palace said in a statement. The Queen is 94 years old and Philip is 99, putting them in the priority category in Britain’s coronavirus vaccine rollout. A royal source said the vaccines were administered by a household doctor at the queen’s Windsor Castle residence, adding that she made the news public to counter any speculation.

All staff working for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK will be offered a coronavirus vaccine from mid-January to protect against rising cases of the virus nationwide, a press statement from NHS England said on Friday.

A stricter evening curfew will be imposed on the major southern French city of Marseille as part of government measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, BFM TV and France 3 Provence TV reported, citing the local government body. Marseille will join other French cities such as Strasbourg and Dijon in having its curfew moved forward to 6pm from 8pm previously, and running through to 6am the following morning. The stricter Marseille curfew will start on Sunday evening.

France will have given 100,000 people jabs against COVID-19 by the end of the weekend, Health Minister Olivier Veran said Saturday in televised remarks to reporters at a vaccination center in Tarbes, southwest France.

The wife of French President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for COVID-19 towards the end of December but resumed normal activities after a second test proved negative, French radios Europe 1 and France Info reported on Saturday (9th January).  Europe 1 said Brigitte Macron tested positive for COVID-19 on 24th Dec. 

Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in France on Monday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said, as the country steps up its vaccination drive following a sluggish start.

Health officials in Ireland, where a more infectious variant of the coronavirus first discovered in England has been surging, said on Saturday they believe three cases of another new variant found in South Africa had been contained.

Austrian schools will receive 5 million coronavirus testing kits from 18th January, the government said on Saturday, as part of efforts to curb the spread of the virus when pupils eventually return to the classroom.

Portugal on Saturday reported 9,478 new confirmed coronavirus cases in a day, less than the record 10,176 announced on Friday, taking the total to 476,187. 

Germany’s death toll from the coronavirus exceeded 1,000 for a fourth-straight day, making the past week the country’s deadliest stint of the pandemic.

U.S. and Canada

The U.S. added another 287,771 new infections on Friday, the second-highest number on record, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.

At least 63 cases of a variant first identified in the UK have been identified in eight US states, according to data posted Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This includes at least 32 cases in California, 22 cases in Florida, three cases in Colorado, two cases in Connecticut, and one case each in Georgia, New York, Texas and Pennsylvania.

Arizona surpassed 10,000 fatalities amid a resurgence of the virus worse than the spike there last summer. Another 98 deaths were reported Saturday, two days after a record 297 fatalities. 

Central and Latin America

The “active” components of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in 10 days after Mexico’s regulator approved it for emergency use on Monday, Foreign Relations official Efrain Guadarrama said on Twitter.

China and Hong Kong

China has administered more than 9 million anti-coronavirus vaccine doses as the country braces for a possible increase in infections during the winter.

All public transport will be suspended in the Chinese city of Shijiazhuang, in Hebei province, which is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases not seen in the country for months. China locked down the city of 11 million on Friday after detecting 117 cases, including 67 asymptomatic cases. As of Friday, Hebei province had identified a total of 334 locally transmitted cases since January 2, when the outbreak began.

Elsewhere in the world

Russia recorded 23,309 Covid cases over the past day, including 4,900 in Moscow and 3,006 in St. Petersburg. The country recorded 470 deaths, bringing the total Covid death toll to 61,381.

Communist-run Cuba said late on Friday it had signed an accord with Iran to transfer the technology for its most advanced coronavirus vaccine candidate and carry out last-stage clinical trials in humans of the shot in the Islamic Republic.

UAE announced 2,998 new COVID-19 cases, with 2,264 recoveries, and five deaths in last 24 hours. Saudi Arabia recorded 110 new cases and 4 fatalities, meanwhile.

Japan aims to revise its bill on infectious diseases to allow imposing penalties on people infected with COVID-19 who do not respond to requests for hospitalization or treatment, the Yomiuri newspaper reported, citing the government.

India will start its COVID-19 vaccination drive from 16th January with priority given to about 30 million healthcare and frontline workers, a government statement said on Saturday.

South Korea reported 641 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. Of these cases, 596 were locally transmitted.

South African scientists are testing whether vaccines will be less effective against a variant of the coronavirus identified in the country and should have results within two weeks, Reuters said, citing Penny Moore, a professor at the country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

Singapore reported 29 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Indonesia tightened domestic travel restrictions to control soaring coronavirus infections in Southeast Asia’s biggest hotspot, the country’s COVID-19 taskforce said in a statement.

Information compiled from REUTERS, CNN, CNA and Bloomberg.