Coronavirus Updates on January 18, 2021

Coronavirus Updates on January 18, 2021

Corona Briefer continues to provide a daily snapshot of global coronavirus statistics as entire humanity asks: "when will coronavirus end?"

  • Experts against China and WHO: "They should have reacted earlier."
  • Australia may not reopen its borders to foreigners in 2021.
  • Brazil approves two vaccines.
  • China, over 100 infections a day for six days

Experts Criticizes Beijing and WHO

The WHO and Beijing could have reacted more quickly at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, concluded the second report of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR) as reported by the Economic Times. Experts charged with evaluating the global response to coronavirus stated that "chronology of the early phase of the outbreak suggests that there was potential for early signs to have been acted on more rapidly." The expert group said that public health measures could have been applied more vigorously by Chinese local and national authorities in January. The experts also stress the WHO's slowness to convene its emergency committee at the start of the pandemic and its reluctance to declare an international health emergency. Since the start of the health crisis in late 2019, WHO has been heavily criticized for its response, including the delay in recommending the widespread use of face masks. The organization has been accused by the United States of being overly complacent with China, where the coronavirus emerged, and being late in declaring a global health emergency.

How Many Cases of Coronavirus in US

In the United States, the number of new cases is still skyrocketing. Infections detected in the last 24 hours stand at 162,002. The total number of cases and deaths reached 24,493,439 and 407,346, respectively. The number of deaths is 1,824 deaths in 24 hours. After the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, Moderna's vaccine is also authorized in the United States. The United States requires a negative test for all travelers arriving by air. 12,222,415 people received a first injection of the vaccine against covid-19.

China: 100 cases per day for six consecutive days

In China, more than one hundred coronavirus infections have been recorded per day for the sixth consecutive day, with 109 cases confirmed in the last 24 hours. This was reported by the Chinese health authorities who are accusing ice cream. In particular, the Beijing government believes it has detected the coronavirus on an ice cream produced in eastern China and then withdrawn. The Daqiaodao Food Company, which is located in Tianjin near Beijing, was then sealed off and its employees tested for coronavirus, the government explains. Meanwhile, the National Health Commission reported that, of the 109 cases confirmed in the last 24 hours, 93 were reported locally. Of the latter, 54 were confirmed in Hebei province, around Beijing.

Switzerland, British variant in St. Moritz: two hotels and ski schools closed

Health authorities quarantined two hotels and closed ski schools in St Moritz on Monday to curb the British variant's outbreak. The canton of Grisons, in eastern Switzerland, has ordered everyone to wear masks in the city of 5,200 inhabitants. Mass testing on residents will take place on Tuesday. Schools and kindergartens are closed. "There are currently about a dozen cases in two hotels known. To protect the health of the population and guests, the health department has quarantined the two hotels and ordered tests for employees and guests," reads a statement from the authorities.

Australia Open, tennis players in solitary confinement

Three weeks before the Australian Open start, 25 other players have joined the 47 already persons in strict isolation for traveling with infected people. They were on a charter from Doha, where it turned out that there was a positive person, not part of their group only on arrival. The 72 athletes are forced to stay closed in the hotel rooms for 14 days without training. There are complaints on social media about the treatment and the nebulousness of preventive information. However, few who have tried to poke their nose out of the room to talk to a colleague or a trainer have been threatened with very high fines or transfer to a hotel with police officers on every floor to monitor them.

Brazil: two vaccines approved

Brazilian health authorities have approved the use of two vaccines against Covid-19: Oxford/AstraZeneca and Coronavac, produced by the Chinese company Sinovac. According to CNN Brasil, the first person to be vaccinated will be the nurse Monica Calazans, winner of the Notaveis award in 2020 for her commitment to fighting against the coronavirus.

The Guardian points out that the decision is a defeat for President Jair Bolsonaro, who has not yet managed to buy AstraZeneca vaccines. Vaccination will, therefore, begin with the Chinese Sinovac vaccine. It will be initiated by Sao Paulo, whose governor, Joao Doria, is one of Bolsonaro's main political opponents and a supporter of the Chinese vaccine.

Australia risks closed borders also in 2021

Australia may not reopen its borders to foreign travelers in 2021, despite vaccination campaigns launched around the world. In an interview with ABC, Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy said, "I think that we'll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions, even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated."

As a result of the restrictions, tens of thousands of Australians have been stranded abroad. Those who want to return must pay approximately 3,000 Australian dollars (1,900 euros) to stay in the special hotels set up to spend the 14 days of quarantine. Australia has reached agreements to obtain doses of the anti-Covid vaccine developed by the British group AstraZeneca with the University of Oxford and Pfizer / BioNTech. However, the government is still waiting for the green light from the regulator. Vaccinations are not expected to start before the end of February.