January 17 coronavirus news

By James Griffiths, Jenni Marsh and Amy Woodyatt, CNN

Updated 12:49 p.m. ET, January 18, 2021
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5:59 a.m. ET, January 17, 2021

Some states are seeing higher numbers of Covid-19 cases as others ease restrictions

From CNN's Travis Caldwell

Inside the hot zone, medical staff monitor and treat sick patients infected with the Covid-19 virus at the UMASS Memorial DCU Center Field Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, on January 13
Inside the hot zone, medical staff monitor and treat sick patients infected with the Covid-19 virus at the UMASS Memorial DCU Center Field Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, on January 13 Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images

While some states are seeing improving outlooks in their battle against Covid-19, other parts of the United States are hitting tragic records.

"Things will get worse before they get better," President-elect Joe Biden said, regarding the winter surge.

Biden spoke about his Covid-19 vaccination plan Friday and promised Americans, "We will manage the hell out of this operation."

He acknowledged that there will be stumbles and that the steps may take time, even many months, before the nation is in the place it needs to be. But as the Biden team and state governments plan and administer their vaccine rollouts, Covid-19 case numbers continue to rise each day.

On Saturday, Johns Hopkins University reported 198,218 new coronavirus cases and 3,286 new deaths in the US. More than 395,000 people have died since the beginning of the pandemic.

There were 126,139 Covid-19 hospitalizations reported in the US on Saturday -- a slight decrease from a record high 10 days ago. There have been more than 100,000 Covid-19 hospitalizations in the US for the last 46 consecutive days.

A recent coronavirus projection from the University of Washington estimates more than 566,000 deaths by May 1 in the US. The university's Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) said the figure could be lowered by thousands with universal mask requirements.

Read the full story:

4:34 a.m. ET, January 17, 2021

The pandemic in numbers

There have been 94.5 million cases of the novel coronavirus recorded worldwide, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. The official global death toll has surpassed more than 2 million people, but experts warn the real death toll is likely higher. Only confirmed Covid-19 deaths are included in the tally, which means that people who die without a firm diagnosis may not be included.

It took eight months for the world to record 1 million Covid-19 deaths, but the second million came in less than four months.

The pandemic has reached every corner of the globe, and only a few tiny, isolated nations have reported no deaths.  

  • The US has recorded by far the highest total death toll in the world, with 395,851 dead, and more than 23.7 million cases.
  • In Brazil, more than 209,296 people have died. There have been more than 8.45 million cases recorded.
  • India has recorded 152,274 deaths, and more than 10.5 million cases.
  • Mexico has recorded 140,241 deaths and 1.63 million cases.
  • The United Kingdom, the worst hit country in Europe, has recorded 88,747 deaths and more than 3.36 million cases

4:33 a.m. ET, January 17, 2021

Australian Open records fourth coronavirus case as player warned for breaking quarantine rules

From CNN’s Sophie Jeong, Dan Kamal and Wayne Sterling

A fourth Covid-19 infection was recorded among passengers on two charter flights carrying players to Melbourne for the Australian Open, Covid-19 Quarantine Victoria Commissioner Emma Cassar announced on Sunday. 

A member of a broadcast team on the flight carrying 24 players from Los Angeles had tested positive, adding to a crew member and a coach on the same plane who tested positive earlier. The other case was a coach on a charter flight carrying 23 players from Abu Dhabi.

All 47 players affected are required to quarantine for two weeks. They will not be able to leave their hotel rooms for the 14-day period and until they are medically cleared.

The quarantine commissioner also said there had been a “small few” people within the tennis competition's quarantine hotels who were “testing our procedures.”

"A player who opened his door to try to have a conversation with his training mate down the hallway,” Cassar said. "The other was another gentleman who shouted some UberEats to some other people on the floor and was praising himself for his great efforts and opened his door to do so."

"It is really low-level but really dangerous acts which we just can't tolerate,” Cassar said. One of the two people mentioned was a player, and they have been warned, she added.

Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley confirmed on Sunday that the year’s first Grand Slam will go ahead.

“The Australian Open is going ahead and we will continue to do the best we possibly can do to ensure those players have what is not a great situation, one that is somewhat acceptable,” Tiley told Australia’s Nine Network on Sunday. “We are reviewing the schedule leading in to see what we can do to assist these players."

2:24 a.m. ET, January 17, 2021

US records 198,218 new cases and 3,286 deaths Saturday

From CNN's Alta Spells and Maggie Fox

A healthcare worker administers a Covid-19 test at a site in Charleston, South Carolina, on January 13.
A healthcare worker administers a Covid-19 test at a site in Charleston, South Carolina, on January 13. Micah Green/Bloomberg/Getty Images

According to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases in the United States, there have been at least 23,754,315 cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 395,785 deaths.

On Saturday, Johns Hopkins reported 198,218 new cases and 3,286 new deaths. 

At least 31,161,075 vaccine doses have been distributed and at least 12,279,180 doses of the vaccine have been administered, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Friday, the CDC said new more contagious variants of the coronavirus will likely accelerate the spread of the virus and that means the US must double down on efforts to protect people.

A variant first identified in Britain known as B.1.1.7 is now being found in the US too, and modeling indicates it could worsen the already terrible spread of the virus across the country, the CDC researchers said.

That means people need to try harder to wear masks, avoid gatherings and stay socially distant from one another.

"It means that it is going to be harder and harder to control it. Any of those measures we are going to have to do to a higher degree, including vaccination," said Dr. Gregory Armstrong, who directs the Office of Advanced Molecular Detection at CDC's respiratory diseases division.
12:55 a.m. ET, January 17, 2021

LA County records more than 1 million coronavirus cases

From CNN's Paul Vercammen, Melissa Alonso and Susannah Cullinane

People wait in vehicles at a Covid-19 vaccination site in the Dodger Stadium parking lot in Los Angeles, on January 15.
People wait in vehicles at a Covid-19 vaccination site in the Dodger Stadium parking lot in Los Angeles, on January 15. Bing Guan/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Los Angeles has become the first US county to report more than 1 million coronavirus cases, according to state officials.

Some 14,669 new cases were added Saturday taking the county's total to 1,003,923 cases and 13,741 confirmed virus-related deaths -- 253 reported on Saturday, Los Angeles County's Department of Public Health said in a news release.

The department also announced its first confirmed case of the UK Covid-19 B.1.1.7 variant Saturday, in a male who had traveled to L.A. County but is now isolating in Oregon.

The health department said it believed the more contagious UK variant was likely already spreading in the community and urged residents to "more diligently" follow safety measures.

"The presence of the UK variant in Los Angeles County is troubling, as our healthcare system is already severely strained with more than 7,500 people currently hospitalized," said health department director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.
"Our community is bearing the brunt of the winter surge, experiencing huge numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, five-times what we experienced over the summer."
12:03 a.m. ET, January 17, 2021

UK has vaccinated around 45% of its over 80s

From CNN’s Sarah Dean in London 

Care home resident Ian Hurley, aged 80, is seen smiling through a viewing screen as his sleeved is rolled up to receive his first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Wimbledon Beaumont Care Home, in London, on January 13.
Care home resident Ian Hurley, aged 80, is seen smiling through a viewing screen as his sleeved is rolled up to receive his first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Wimbledon Beaumont Care Home, in London, on January 13. Matt Dunham/AP

The United Kingdom has vaccinated around 45% of people aged 80 and over, and is urging those who have been offered a vaccine to come forward as soon as possible, the country's Department of Health said Sunday.

The announcement comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Friday that there are now more than 37,000 Covid-19 patients in hospital across the UK. He said over 3.2 million people have been vaccinated.

The UK government is calling on the public to urge their family and friends aged 80 and over to get the Covid-19 vaccine to which they are now entitled.  

“We recognize that so many people want to support our NHS so health and care workers can continue to save lives, and now is your chance to get involved by helping the remaining people aged 80 and over get their jabs," Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a statement.

Hancock also called on people to sign up volunteer in the community and in clinical trials for vaccines and Covid-19 treatments, as the National Health Service – particularly in London – struggles with a surge in hospitalizations. 

The UK government aims to vaccinate the following four groups by February 15: those over the age of 70, care home residents and staff, NHS workers and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals.

12:21 a.m. ET, January 17, 2021

UK to host G7 summit in June focused on building "back better from coronavirus"

From CNN’s Sarah Dean in London

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference at the conclusion of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, on August 24, 2019.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference at the conclusion of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, on August 24, 2019. Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

The United Kingdom will host this year’s G7 summit in Cornwall, in the country's southwest, Downing Street announced on Saturday.  

The annual summit will be held in the seaside village of Carbis Bay from June 11 to 13.

Downing Street said in a statement that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use the UK’s G7 Presidency – the first in-person summit in almost two years – to “unite leading democracies to help the world build back better from coronavirus and create a greener, more prosperous future."

As well as the other G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the USA), leaders from Australia, India and South Korea have been invited to attend as guest countries “to deepen the expertise and experience around the table. Between them the 10 leaders represent over 60% of the people living in democracies around the world,” Downing Street said. 

“Coronavirus is doubtless the most destructive force we have seen for generations and the greatest test of the modern world order we have experienced. It is only right that we approach the challenge of building back better by uniting with a spirit of openness to create a better future,” Johnson said in the statement.  
“Cornwall is the perfect location for such a crucial summit. Two hundred years ago Cornwall’s tin and copper mines were at the heart of the UK’s industrial revolution and this summer Cornwall will again be the nucleus of great global change and advancement. I’m very much looking forward to welcoming world leaders to this great region and country."

During February, the UK will assume the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council, and later this year it will host COP26 in Glasgow. 

11:32 p.m. ET, January 16, 2021

Brazil's health regulator denies emergency use authorization for Russia's Sputnik V vaccine

From CNN's Jonny Hallam in Atlanta and Rodrigo Pedroso in Sao Paulo

A health worker prepares the first dose of 'Gam-COVID-Vac', also known as Sputnik V vaccine, at Luis Lagomaggiore Hospital in Mendoza, Argentina, on December 29, 2020.
A health worker prepares the first dose of 'Gam-COVID-Vac', also known as Sputnik V vaccine, at Luis Lagomaggiore Hospital in Mendoza, Argentina, on December 29, 2020. Alexis Lloret/Getty Images

Brazil's health regulator has denied a request for the emergency use of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, saying it needs to see more data. 

In a statement published late Saturday, the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), said the request for emergency use by the pharmaceutical company Uniao Química was denied because it does not yet have data from Phase lll clinical trials.  

Uniao Química, in partnership with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), filed a request for the emergency use of 10 million doses of the vaccine on Friday. As part of the partnership with União Química, RDIF said it "actively facilitated the transfer of technology to launch the production of Sputnik V in Brazil," according to a statement from RDIF on Friday. The collaboration included providing documents and biomaterials to the Brazilian company and local production of Sputnik V in Brazil began earlier this month. 

Anvisa explained that it is yet to grant authorization for Phase III trials of Sputnik V to Uniao Química, which is to run the trials, because the company had not responded to its requests for the appropriate documentation. 

"The documents (requesting emergency authorization) were sent back to the company after not meeting the minimum criteria, especially due to the lack of authorization for conducting Phase III clinical trials, a standard request, and issues relating to good manufacturing practices," said Anvisa.

Sputnik V has been approved under emergency use authorization procedure in a number of Latin America countries, including Argentina and Bolivia

CNN has reached out to Uniao Química and RDIF for comment. 

Brazil is yet to approve any vaccine for use against Covid-19.