January 6 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Zamira Rahim, Angela Dewan and Hannah Strange, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021
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8:35 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

These US civil rights icons received the Covid-19 vaccine, and they're encouraging Black America to do the same

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe and Jamiel Lynch

Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron prepares to receive his Covid-19 vaccination on January 5 at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.
Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron prepares to receive his Covid-19 vaccination on January 5 at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. Ron Harris/AP

US civil rights icons have taken part in a coronavirus vaccination event at a historically Black medical school in Georgia.

The event was held to encourage Black Americans to be immunized, Atlanta's Morehouse School of Medicine said in a news release.

Former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, civil rights leader Xernona Clayton, former Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan and baseball legend Hank Aaron all received Covid-19 vaccinations Tuesday.

Campaigns to encourage confidence in the vaccines against coronavirus have had to contend with America's history of racism in medical research and a lack of trust in the federal government.

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9:48 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

European Union drugs regulator recommends authorizing Moderna vaccine

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in Pisa

A vial of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine is pictured during a press conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on December 23.
A vial of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine is pictured during a press conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on December 23. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorization for Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine, paving the way for its approval and distribution across the EU.

The European Commission is expected to now formally approve the vaccine.

"Now we are working at full speed to approve it & make it available in the EU," Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said on Twitter Wednesday.

The EU has already approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for use across its 27 member states.

Earlier on Wednesday German Health Minister Jens Spahn said he hoped the country would receive the Moderna vaccine by early next week.

7:34 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Italy received 100,000 fewer doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine than expected

From CNN's Livia Borghese in Rome

A doctor prepares a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a hospital in Cremona, Italy, on January 6.
A doctor prepares a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a hospital in Cremona, Italy, on January 6. Marco Mantovani/Getty Images

Italy received 100,000 fewer doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine than expected this week, the office in charge of the country's vaccine distribution told CNN Wednesday.

According to the agreement between the EU and vaccine companies, Italy should receive 470,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine every week.

This week it only received 370,000 doses.

According to the country's Health Ministry, Italy has so far administered nearly 250,000 inoculations, which is 54.1% of the doses it received this week.

European Union countries are rolling out their vaccine programs but many have been criticized for slow starts to the drives.

7:21 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

German health minister asks for patience as frustration mounts over speed of vaccine rollout

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

Jens Spahn, German health minister, attends a federal cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin on January 6.
Jens Spahn, German health minister, attends a federal cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin on January 6. Clemens Bilan/Pool/Getty Images

German Health Minister Jens Spahn has asked people in the country to be patient over the speed of the coronavirus vaccine rollout.

Spahn, speaking at a press conference Wednesday, said the first step was to get all those needing care and the oldest in the country vaccinated. 

He said almost 400,000 people in Germany had so far been vaccinated.

Figures from the Robert Koch Institute, the national agency for disease control and prevention, show that 367,331 vaccinations have been administered, with 150,000 in nursing homes and around 176,000 medical staff getting the shot. 

Germany lags behind the UK, which has vaccinated around 1.3 million people as of Tuesday. But it is ahead of France, which has also attracted criticism over a slow start to its vaccination rollout, administering 516 shots by January 1. The country has since significantly ramped up its rollout, with more than 5,000 doses given on January 5, according to its health minister. Italy has so far administered nearly 250,000 inoculations.

Spahn added that these were days of confidence for Germany.

But he also said he understood impatience in the population.

The truth is that the vaccine is a scarce good worldwide,” he said. 

“That is why we have to ask large parts of the population for patience,” Spahn said, explaining that the situation was no different in the wider European Union or beyond.

Spahn said the reason for the rollout speed was due to limited production capacity.

The good news: There will be enough vaccine in Germany," he said.

Spahn said the hope was to be able to offer a vaccine to everyone in the summer. 

“Today we expect a second authorization for the Moderna vaccine,” he said, referring to a pending European Medicines Agency decision on the Moderna vaccine Wednesday.

“We are hoping that the delivery of Moderna vaccines starts early next week."

7:21 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Bavarian leader says vaccination is the only longterm strategy against Covid-19

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz

Markus Soeder, Bavarian prime minister, holds a press conference on January 5 in Berlin.
Markus Soeder, Bavarian prime minister, holds a press conference on January 5 in Berlin. Andreas Gora/Pool/Getty Images

The Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soeder has said that vaccination is the only real long-term strategy to fight against Covid. 

Speaking at a press conference in Munich, the German state leader said that while ordering vaccines was important, encouraging people to take the shots was also vital.

Soeder said it was important to launch a campaign encouraging people to get vaccinated. 

Bavaria was entering a crucial period now, he said, adding that “it has never been this bad.”

Germany's government announced Tuesday that the country's national lockdown -- which had initially been in place until January 10 -- will be extended until the end of the month.

The country recorded its second highest daily death toll from the coronavirus on Wednesday, with 1,019 fatalities recorded.

Soeder added: "Will everything be good on the first of February? Will everything be opened? I am not promising anything.”
7:02 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Over a hundred virus cases detected in China's Hebei province 

From CNN's Beijing Bureau

A cluster of virus cases in China's Hebei province has continued to grow, with over 39 confirmed cases and 78 asymptomatic cases reported on Tuesday, according to an official statement Wednesday.

China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has claimed that the cluster is linked to imported cases.

CDC deputy director-general Feng Zijian said on a CCTV state news program on January 5 that “the virus [in Hebei] is different from those that have been spreading in other parts of China. It is imported from overseas, possibly from Europe.”
Feng added that the cases spreading in Shijiazhuang and Xingtai are “highly related to the same source.”

The majority of cases are linked to the Gaocheng district of Shijiazhuang, the capital city of Hebei province, with another city, Xingtai, 100km away from the capital, reporting two cases. 

The first case was reported on January 2, when a Gaocheng district resident tested positive for the virus a few days after going to a wedding. A few other attendees tested positive later.

Gaocheng has been designated as a "high-risk area," starting Wednesday.

People who wish to travel from Shijiazhuang airport and train station need to present a negative PCR test result from within the last 72 hours. 

The city will start testing all residents from January 6, according to a spokesperson from the Shijiazhuang Municipal People’s Government, who spoke at a press conference on Tuesday. 

5:45 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Denmark bans entry for travelers from South Africa over variant fears

From CNN's Antonia Mortensen in Italy

Denmark has banned travelers from South Africa from entry and is discouraging travel to the African nation, due to a new Covid-19 variant first detected there.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Denmark now advises against all travel, including business travel, to the whole of South Africa, according to a press release published Tuesday night.

The variant has a pattern of mutation which troubles scientists and appears to make the virus more easily transmitted. Another variant first detected in the UK has prompted similar global concern.

5:30 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

US states call in National Guard as country hits daily Covid-19 death toll record

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

Funeral director Steven Correa moves the casket of someone said to have died from Covid-19 in preparation for burial at Continental Funeral Home in East Los Angeles, California, on December 31.
Funeral director Steven Correa moves the casket of someone said to have died from Covid-19 in preparation for burial at Continental Funeral Home in East Los Angeles, California, on December 31. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

The US reported its highest daily Covid-19 death count ever Tuesday -- a grim milestone that comes as state leaders work urgently to combat a slow pace of vaccinations.

More than 3,770 American deaths were reported in one day -- more than two dozen above the country's previous record, set less than a week ago. The country also topped 21 million infections Tuesday and set a hospitalization record, with more than 131,100 Covid-19 hospitalized patients nationwide, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

As numbers climb, US governors are now taking new measures to get the distributed vaccines into arms faster, including mobilizing National Guard members and training more volunteers to administer vaccines.

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5:18 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Beijing negotiating with WHO as expert team tries to enter China to probe origins of Covid-19

From CNN's Beijing Bureau

China says that it remains in close contact with the World Health Organization (WHO) about finalizing arrangements for a visit to Wuhan by an international panel of experts who will investigate the origin of Covid-19.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday that two scientists on the United Nations (UN) team had already left their home countries for Wuhan when they were told that Chinese officials had not approved the necessary permissions to enter the country.

"I am very disappointed with this news," Tedros told a news conference in Geneva on Tuesday, in a rare direct rebuke.

The WHO said on Tuesday that arrangements had been jointly agreed with China in advance of the trip.

WHO officials have long been negotiating with Beijing to allow a team of global scientists access to key sites to investigate the origin of the virus -- first detected in Wuhan in December 2019.

The scientists' visit was agreed between China and the WHO in October, and the experts and their Chinese counterparts had been in touch via zoom.

"Perhaps there is some misunderstanding," Hua Chunying, spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a press briefing Wednesday.

Hua added: “According to my understanding, the two sides are still in close communication about details relating to the specific dates and arrangements for the international expert group to come to China."

"We hope that through the communication between the two sides, we can finalize the arrangements as soon as possible and continue to promote cooperation."

Hua also said that China "has been maintaining good and close communication with WHO." 

The spokesperson added that Beijing was still working on creating "good conditions" for the international expert team to come to China to "carry out cooperation on tracing the origin of the virus."

"In order to ensure that the international expert group that comes to China can work smoothly, it is needed to fulfill the necessary procedures and make relevant specific arrangements. The two sides are still negotiating about this," Hua said.

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