November 9 coronavirus news

By Emma Reynolds, Zamira Rahim, Jenni Marsh, Joshua Berlinger and Stephanie Halasz, CNN

Updated 1:41 a.m. ET, November 10, 2020
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10:45 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Fauci welcomes vaccine news, as Dow and oil soar

From CNN's Maggie Fox

A patient enrolled in Pfizer's Covid-19 program participates in a vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore on May 4.
A patient enrolled in Pfizer's Covid-19 program participates in a vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore on May 4. University of Maryland School of Medicine/AP

Dr. Anthony Fauci has said the news that Pfizer's candidate vaccine is more than 90% effective bodes well for other Covid-19 vaccines in development.

Pfizer's candidate uses a never-before-approved technology called messenger RNA, or mRNA, to produce an immune response in people who are vaccinated.

“This shows that the mRNA platform actually does work. And there’s another vaccine candidate, Moderna, that’s using the same platform,” Fauci told CNN in a telephone interview.

The US federal government has invested $1.95 billion in Pfizer and partner BioNTech’s vaccine but is not directly working to help its development. 

Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is working with Moderna and other companies to test their experimental vaccines. Four coronavirus vaccines are in advanced, Phase 3 trials in the US now.

Fauci told CNN that Pfizer was able to get results so quickly due to the pandemic being so bad.

“An answer depends on the size of the trial and how many infections there are in the community,” he said Monday.
“This was a trial that was geared to 44,000 people and we are in the middle of a major surge right now. Those two things together make it much more likely that you’ll get an answer quickly, which is what happened. We got an answer quickly.”

US stocks surged at the opening bell in New York on Monday in reaction to the news. The Dow opened up 1,600 points.

Oil prices also skyrocketed, with US crude spiking 11% to $41.22 a barrel.

But some voiced caution over the interim results.

The nonprofit group Public Citizen released a statement on Monday calling for more data.

"The release of preliminary and incomplete clinical trial data by press release to the public is bad science," Michael Carome, director of the group, said in the statement.

10:23 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

China's Tianjin city reports two infections related to frozen food facility

From CNN's Beijing bureau

The Chinese city of Tianjin has reported two Covid-19 cases related to a frozen food storage facility, health officials said at a Monday press conference.

The two infections involve one symptomatic and one asymptomatic case, authorities said, adding that both were "highly related" to cold storage facilities.

According to state-run news agencies, authorities have closed the cold storage facility at Hailian Frozen Food Co. Ltd and are conducting nucleic acid tests on nearby residents.

On Monday, China's National Health Commission issued new guidelines on handling imported cold-chain foods.

It said that all items must undergo "preventive, thorough disinfection" before Chinese officials contact the goods.

9:56 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Europe keeps close eye on mink outbreak

From CNN's Nada Bashir

Live mink are pictured at farmer Stig Sørensen's estate in Bording, Denmark, where all minks will be culled, due to a government order, on November 7.
Live mink are pictured at farmer Stig Sørensen's estate in Bording, Denmark, where all minks will be culled, due to a government order, on November 7. Ole Jensen/Getty Images

European countries are monitoring a coronavirus outbreak on mink farms in Denmark as the continent continues to record significant Covid-19 case numbers.

Denmark

The Scandinavian nation will cull its entire mink population after it discovered evidence that the novel coronavirus had mutated in the animal before being passed on to humans. As of Friday there are 214 confirmed human infections.

The Danish government also announced restrictions for the seven municipalities where the new strain was detected.

There are between 15 million and 17 million mink in Denmark, whereas its human population stands at around 5.5 million. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was tracking the situation in Denmark.

Belgium

Belgium has seen its number of daily coronavirus infections fall by more than 16,000 in the last two weeks, with 6,047 new cases registered on Friday.

The country is also monitoring and testing its mink population weekly following news of Denmark's outbreak.

England

England has banned visitors from Denmark over the mink outbreak. British nationals returning home from the country will be forced to quarantine for two weeks.

The country is currently under a second national lockdown until December 2.

Finland

While parts of Europe are struggling with second wave outbreaks, Finland has gone three weeks without a Covid-19 related death, according to the latest data from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. 

The country last reported a single death on Friday October 16, and it has recorded 356 fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.

EU celebrates cross-border success

The European Union has hailed the success of its cross-border Covid-19 contact tracing system.

In a tweet on Sunday, the European Commission highlighted the work of Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, and Spain in using the system to ensure that “their contact and warning apps work across borders.” 

9:29 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Welsh "firebreak" lockdown ends, but its success won't be known for weeks

From Amy Cassidy

Shoppers line up outside a store in Cardiff, Wales, on November 9.
Shoppers line up outside a store in Cardiff, Wales, on November 9. Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Wales’ 17-day “firebreak” lockdown has come to an end as scheduled, with schools, gyms, bars and restaurants allowed to reopen from Monday.

National measures have now come into force instead of the lockdown and people will need a “reasonable excuse” to travel in or out of Wales, including to neighboring England, which entered a month-long nationwide lockdown on November 5.

Mass testing, like the scheme piloted in the English city of Liverpool, is also being considered for Wales. 

After being told to stay at home, people in Wales can now visit one other household and meet in groups of four in bars, pubs and restaurants, which can serve alcohol until 10pm. Small businesses can also reopen and supermarkets can once again sell non-essential items.  

Speaking at a Monday press briefing, First Minister Mark Drakeford admitted it will be “weeks” before we know if the “firebreak” was effective in suppressing the virus, but said there were “tentative positive signs” of success, with the rate of infection falling from 250 cases per 100,000 people to just under 220.
However, hospitalizations continue to rise, he added, with more than 1,400 patients currently being treated for Covid-19. The Merthyr Tydfil area had one of the highest infection rates in the UK last week. Its rate has now fallen from 700 cases per 100,000 to 520, which Drakeford said was still “far too high.” 

Asked whether the Welsh Government should extend the lockdown, Dr. Giri Shankar, from Public Health Wales, told Sky News on Monday: "We have always recognized that it's a balancing act of trying to control the Covid harm versus the non-Covid harms."

"Clearly coronavirus hasn't gone away and once we come out of restrictions it isn't going to be as normal as before, so people still have the duty to comply with the new guidance”, he added.

Wales has reported 59,981 Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began with 2,033 deaths, according to Public Health Wales. 

9:14 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Vaccine will be "greatest medical advance in the last 100 years," says Pfizer CEO

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard, Nadia Kounang and Luke McGee

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has called his company's Covid-19 vaccine candidate "the greatest medical advance in the last 100 years.” 

Pfizer announced earlier on Monday that the vaccine is more than 90% effective according to early data.

"Emotions are very high," Bourla told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

You can imagine how I felt when I heard the results yesterday at 2 p.m. I think that likely, based on impact, this will be the greatest medical advance in the last 100 years. It is extraordinary, but it's coming at a time that the world needs it the most."

The drugmaker has no safety concerns so far, Bourla added.

"What we know right now -- it is with very, very high level of confidence these are very highly effective vaccines. What we know so far, it means that we don't have any safety concerns, but we need to wait until the results are there," he said.

He added that the vaccine will be available free to all American citizens.

The CEO said Pfizer planned to have more than 1 billion doses available globally next year.

Around 10 million doses of the vaccine are to be manufactured and made available to the United Kingdom by the end of 2020 if approved by regulators, a Downing Street spokesperson said Monday.

According to the spokesperson, the UK has procured 40 million doses of the Pfizer candidate vaccine in total.

Bourla did tell CNN that it was unclear how long protection from the vaccine could last.

How long this protection lasts is something we don't know," he said Monday.

When asked if the timing of the announcement was related to the US election, Bourla said: "The science brought it exactly at this time. We announced it the moment we learned about it, and I said multiple times the election for us is an artificial timeline."

US President-elect Joe Biden congratulated the scientists behind the vaccine in a statement Monday and thanked "the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope."

US President Donald Trump also reacted on Twitter, writing: "STOCK MARKET UP BIG, VACCINE COMING SOON. REPORT 90% EFFECTIVE. SUCH GREAT NEWS!"

8:33 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Shanghai reports one new locally transmitted case

Medical workers participate in a public health emergency drill at a hospital in Shanghai, on October 24.
Medical workers participate in a public health emergency drill at a hospital in Shanghai, on October 24. Yin Liqin/China News Service/Getty Images

Shanghai health authorities have detected a new locally transmitted Covid-19 case in the city's Pudong district, officials said Monday.

A 50-year-old man who worked as a Pudong airport porter cycled to a local hospital on Sunday and reported symptoms. 

On Monday, the man's positive result was confirmed and he was transferred to the city's Public Health Clinical Center for isolation and treatment, health officials said. 

The man had no contact with anybody infected with the virus and had not visited any "medium- and high-risk areas" in China in the last 14 days.

Twenty-six of the man's close contacts have been tested, and 23 tests have returned as negative, health officials said.

Shanghai's Zhuqiao County is now marked as a medium-risk area and residents are advised not to leave the city. Those who need to leave will be required to submit a negative nucleic acid test certificate received in the last seven days. 

The risk levels of other areas in Shanghai remain unchanged.

One hundred and eighty people related to close contacts are being transferred or are already in isolation facilities.

Shanghai has recorded 1,254 cases in total, according to Johns Hopkins University.

8:25 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Pfizer says early analysis shows its Covid-19 vaccine is 90% effective 

From CNN's Nadia Kounang

A health care worker holds an injection syringe of the phase 3 vaccine trial, developed against the novel coronavirus pandemic by the American drugmaker, Pfizer, and German company BioNTech, at the Ankara University Ibni Sina Hospital in Ankara, Turkey on October 27.
A health care worker holds an injection syringe of the phase 3 vaccine trial, developed against the novel coronavirus pandemic by the American drugmaker, Pfizer, and German company BioNTech, at the Ankara University Ibni Sina Hospital in Ankara, Turkey on October 27. Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Drugmaker Pfizer has said its coronavirus vaccine is more than 90% effective according to an early look at data -- a much better than expected efficacy if the trend continues.

A so-called interim analysis from the company examined the first 94 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among the more than 43,000 volunteers who received either two doses of the vaccine or a placebo.

 "With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.
“We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks.”

The analysis found fewer than 10% of infections were in participants who had been given the vaccine. More than 90% of the cases were in people who had been given a placebo. 

Pfizer said that the vaccine provided protection seven days after the second vaccine dose and 28 days after the initial dose.

The company's final goal is to reach 164 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection.

In a press release, the pharmaceutical giant said it plans to seek emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) soon after volunteers have been monitored for two months after getting their second dose of vaccine, as requested by the FDA. 

Pfizer said it anticipated reaching that point by the third week of November. Its vaccine trial is conducted in partnership with German company BioNTech.

The Phase 3 vaccine trial has enrolled 43,538 participants since July 27. As of Sunday, 38,955 of the volunteers have received a second dose of the vaccine. The company says 42% of international trial sites and 30% of US trial sites involve volunteers of racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. 

 Pfizer's study will also evaluate whether the vaccine protects people against severe Covid-19 disease and whether the vaccine can provide long-term protection against Covid-19 disease, even in patients who have been infected before.

The US FDA has said it would expect at least 50% efficacy from any coronavirus vaccine.

BioNTech's shares rose sharply after the news.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen reports:

7:05 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

European countries opt for stricter lockdown measures to halt rising cases

A Hungarian soldier disinfects a classroom at an elementary school in Szolnok, Hungary, on October 26.
A Hungarian soldier disinfects a classroom at an elementary school in Szolnok, Hungary, on October 26. Janos Meszaros/MTI/AP

European countries are rolling out increasingly strict coronavirus restrictions as the continent's second wave continues.

In Hungary, the government has proposed a series of tougher lockdown measures, in an effort to curb the spread of cases.

“If coronavirus infections rise at the current pace, our doctors, nurses and hospitals will not be able to cope with the burden,” Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced Monday on Facebook.

The new measures -- which will come into force as of midnight on Tuesday, pending parliamentary approval -- will include the closure of restaurants, universities and leisure facilities.

A curfew will also be imposed on all citizens from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time, unless they are considered exempt for work. 

While Orban has said that all gatherings will be prohibited under the proposals, up to ten people will be permitted to participate in family gatherings, while a limit of 50 people will be placed on funerals.

In Italy, where a nationwide curfew is already in place, the association of doctors has called for a national lockdown.

"Drastic measures are needed, such as a total lockdown," association president Filippo Anelli said Sunday, warning that Italy risks having 10,000 more deaths in a month's time.
Demonstrators from various economic sectors gather to protest against the closing of non-essential businesses in Toulouse, France on November 6.
Demonstrators from various economic sectors gather to protest against the closing of non-essential businesses in Toulouse, France on November 6. Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

Meanwhile in France, a second nationwide lockdown has resulted in the country’s economic activity being 12% lower than normal in November, the governor of the Banque de France said Monday.

“This second lockdown has had a negative impact. We estimate that it is 12% (of GDP) lower than normal. But that's almost three times less than the first lockdown,” Banque de France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on RTL radio Monday. 

The governor added that he expects economic activity will be down between 9% and 10% in 2020. 

Under the second national lockdown non-essential businesses in France such as bars and restaurants are closed.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel struck a more positive note Monday, when she congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden.

“The United States of America and Germany, as part of the European Union, must stand together to master the major challenges of our time,” Merkel said on Monday in Berlin, vowing to work with the US to fight the pandemic.
“Side by side in the difficult trials of the Coronavirus pandemic, side by side in the battle against climate change and its global ramifications and in the battle against terrorism, side by side for an open global economy and free trade, because those are the foundations of our welfare on both sides of the Atlantic," she said.

And in Russia, the coronavirus response center said Monday that 21,798 new cases of coronavirus had been reported in 24 hours. That total is Russia's highest daily tally since the pandemic began.

6:47 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Another record day of Covid-19 cases in Iran

From CNN's Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran and Kareem Khadder in Jerusalem

Medical workers tend to coronavirus patients at Rasoul Akram Hospital in Tehran, Iran on October 20.
Medical workers tend to coronavirus patients at Rasoul Akram Hospital in Tehran, Iran on October 20. Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Iran has once again marked a record high day of Covid-19 cases, reporting 10,463 infections on Monday according to the country's Health Ministry.

Iran recorded 458 deaths on Monday, bringing the total death toll to 38,749, according to governmental statistics. 

On Sunday, the country recorded 459 deaths, the highest tally since the outbreak began in February.

Iran is the worst hit country in the Middle East with a total number of 692,949 cases.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last month that the country was suffering through a third wave of the pandemic.