August 11 coronavirus news

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11:25 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Mexico reports nearly 1,000 new Covid-19 deaths

From journalist Karol Suarez in Mexico City

Mexico identified 926 new deaths from the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, taking the total number of fatalities to 53,929, the country's Health Ministry reported.

The country holds the third-highest coronavirus death toll in the world, after the United States and Brazil, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally. 

Mexico's Health Ministry also recorded 6,686 new infections Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to 492,522.

11:28 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

New Zealand closes off all retirement homes after new coronavirus cases emerge 

From CNN's Isaac Yee

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during a news conference at Parliament on August 12, in Wellington, New Zealand. 
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during a news conference at Parliament on August 12, in Wellington, New Zealand.  Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

All retirement homes in New Zealand will be closed off in a bid to protect “vulnerable ” communities from the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced at a news conference Wednesday.

Ardern said all aged care facilities would be closed to everyone but staff and essential deliveries from noon local time Wednesday. 

“I realize how incredibly difficult this will be for those who have loved ones living in these facilities but it is the strongest way that we can protect and look after them,” Ardern said.

The announcement comes after New Zealand confirmed four new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases Tuesday, breaking the 102-day streak the country had gone without recording a local infection.

All four of the cases were found within one household in South Auckland, and none of them had recently traveled outside of New Zealand, according to New Zealand's Director-General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield.

Elections in doubt: Ardern also announced Wednesday that New Zealand would defer the dissolution of Parliament "by at least a few days," which would allow it to reconvene if needed.  

The dissolution of Parliament was scheduled to take place on Wednesday in a key step toward holding a national election on September 19. 

Ardern said that “no decision yet as you can imagine” has been taken regarding the postponement of the election. 

Mass testing: Speaking at the same news conference, Bloomfield said health officials have prepared “to test tens of thousands of people in the coming days, so we can see if there are anymore cases of Covid-19 in the community.” 

He added that New Zealand has over 270,000 coronavirus tests in stock, with the ability to process 12,000 tests per day. 

Back into lockdown: Auckland, the most populous city in New Zealand, was placed under level 3 restrictions following the confirmation of the new cases Tuesday. All non-essential businesses, including restaurants and bars, are closed, and residents are only allowed to leave home for essential activities such as grocery shopping. Schools in Auckland will also be closed for three days.

The rest of New Zealand went into level 2 restrictions, where businesses can remain open as long as they follow public health guidelines.

10:55 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Argentina has surpassed 5,000

From journalist Stefano Pozzebon in Bogota, Colombia

A health care worker wearing PPE stands by an ambulance in the Villa Urquiza neighborhood on June 24, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
A health care worker wearing PPE stands by an ambulance in the Villa Urquiza neighborhood on June 24, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Rodrigo Valle/Getty Images

Another 240 Covid-19 fatalities were reported in Argentina on Tuesday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 5,004 since the pandemic began, according to the country's Health Ministry.

Tuesday marked a single-day high for the number of deaths reported in the country.

More than 7,000 cases were also reported in Argentina Tuesday. A total of 260,911 cases have been identified since the pandemic began.

Argentina’s biggest hotspot remains the metropolitan area of Buenos Areas, where 207 out of 240 new deaths were reported on Tuesday. 

9:59 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

"I've taken it myself": Russian CEO says he has administered Covid-19 vaccine to his family

From CNN's Leinz Vales

Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) with CNN's Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. 
Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) with CNN's Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  CNN

Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is funding the coronavirus vaccine research approved in Russia said Tuesday the rollout of the drug "will be very gradual."

"We're not going to give it to 10 million people tomorrow," Dmitriev told CNN's Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. "It's going to be a very gradual, careful rollout going forward."

Developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute, the vaccine has been named Sputnik-V, a reference to the surprise 1957 launch of the world's first satellite by the Soviet Union. It has yet to go through crucial Phase 3 trials where it would be administered to thousands of people.

"We can say that it works," Dmitirev told Gupta. "I've taken it myself. I've given it to my parents, to my wife."

The announcement of the Russian coronavirus vaccine has been met with worldwide skepticism. 

The World Health Organization said in a statement about the Russian vaccine that "accelerating vaccine research should be done following established processes through every step of development to ensure that any vaccines that eventually go into production are both safe and effective."

Cooper asked Dmitriev, "To those who are saying that this vaccine was rushed. You said it was proven. How has it been proven effective?"

"It's been proven through phase one, phase two trial," Dmitriev said. "We will have phase three trials in many other countries, in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Philippines."
"According to Russian law, when you have a pandemic, when you have epidemia like this, you can do phase three concurrently with launching to high-risk groups, which we are doing. We believe that's exactly the right approach, and this approach makes sense. And the rest of the world knowing some of the science behind our vaccine really likes what they see. We received 1 billion doses preorder already for the vaccine. I think time will tell the success of the Russian approach.

Russia has released no scientific data on its testing and CNN is unable to verify the vaccine's claimed safety or effectiveness. 

9:52 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Fauci says he seriously doubts Russia has proven new vaccine is safe and effective

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 31.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 31. Kevin Dietsch/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

After Russia said it had approved a coronavirus vaccine for use Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said he seriously doubts Russia has proven its vaccine is safe and effective.

“I hope that the Russians have actually, definitively proven that the vaccine is safe and effective. I seriously doubt that they've done that,” Fauci told Deborah Roberts of ABC News for a National Geographic event to broadcast Thursday. A portion of the interview was posted by National Geographic on Tuesday.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that having a vaccine and proving that a vaccine is safe and effective are two different things.

“We have half a dozen or more vaccines,” Fauci said. “So if we wanted to take the chance of hurting a lot of people or giving them something that doesn't work, we could start doing this, you know, next week if we wanted to. But that's not the way it works.” 

Fauci said that if and when Americans hear announcements from countries like Russia or China about vaccine development, they have to remember that the United States has certain safety and efficacy standards in place. Makers of the Russian vaccine have not yet released any data from human trials.

The US Food and Drug Administration has said that it will only approve a vaccine if it meets a 50% efficacy requirement.

In a statement emailed Tuesday, the World Health Organization said it is in touch with Russian scientists and authorities and looks forward to reviewing details of the trials. According to WHO, there are 28 vaccines in human trials around the world.

8:57 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

There are more than 5.1 million coronavirus cases in the US

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

There are at least 5,139,920 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 164,502 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

So far on Tuesday, Johns Hopkins has recorded 45,520 new cases and 1,039 reported deaths. 

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

7:43 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

At least 103,000 people have died from coronavirus in Brazil

From Marcia Reverdosa in São Paulo

Brazil has reported 1,274 people have died from coronavirus in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 103,026, according to the health ministry. 

The country's health ministry also reported 52,160 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to 3,109,630.  

Brazil continues to trail only the United States in terms of the world’s highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths. 

7:39 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Colombia's coronavirus cases surpass 400,000

From Stefano Pozzebon in Bogota

Healthcare workers transfer a coronavirus patient to a hospital in Medellín, Colombia, on August 3.
Healthcare workers transfer a coronavirus patient to a hospital in Medellín, Colombia, on August 3. Joaquin Sarmiento/AFP/Getty Images

Colombia reported 12,830 new cases Tuesday in what is a single-day record for the country, bringing the total number of cases to 410,453, according to the country's health ministry.  

Another 321 new fatalities were also reported, bringing the total death toll to 13,475.

Colombia's capital Bogota remains the biggest hotspot with 141,994 cases in the country. 

6:49 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

North Georgia State Fair canceled due to Covid-19 concerns

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch 

The North Georgia State Fair has been canceled, according to fair organizers in a statement. 

“With utmost regret, the decision has been made to cancel the Superior Plumbing Presents North Georgia State Fair this year,” the statement said.

“Every effort has been made to find a viable solution for bringing the fair to fruition this year. However, between Cobb and Douglas Public Health notifying us of continued use of Jim R. Miller Park for Covid-19 testing through the end of the year, the extension of Governor Kemp’s Public Health State of Emergency, and an abundance of caution for the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic, the difficult and heartbreaking decision has been made to cancel,” the statement said. 

The fair was scheduled for Sept. 23 to Oct. 3.

The organizers are planning to hold a “Taste of the Fair” drive-thru experience giving people a chance to taste their favorite fair foods.

This is the first time the fair has been canceled since World War II.