Novel coronavirus has infected over 82 million people globally and has claimed nearly 1.8 million lives.
Mexico reports 12,099 new coronavirus cases, 990 more deaths
Mexico has registered 12,099 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 990 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 1,401,529 cases and 123,845 deaths.
The government says the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.
Brazil sees 1,111 new deaths
Brazil has recorded 58,718 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, along with 1,111 deaths from Covid-19, the Health Ministry said.
It was the worst daily death toll reported by the ministry since September 15, adding to concerns of a growing second wave of infections in Latin America’s largest country.
Brazil has registered nearly 7.6 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 192,681, according to ministry data.
First reported US case of Covid-19 variant found in Colorado
The first reported US case of the Covid-19 variant that’s been seen in the United Kingdom has been discovered in Colorado, Governor Jared Polis has announced, adding urgency to efforts to vaccinate Americans.
The variant was found in a man in his 20s who is in isolation southeast of Denver in Elbert County and has no travel history, state health officials said.
Elbert County is a mainly rural area of rolling plains at the far edge of the Denver metro area that includes a portion of Interstate 70, the state’s main east-west highway.
Colorado Politics reported there is a second suspected case of the variant in the state according to Dwayne Smith, director of public health for Elbert County. Both of the people were working in the Elbert County community of Simla.
Jobless to get weekly aid despite Trump’s last-minute approval
Jobless Americans who risked not receiving unemployment aid this week due to President Donald Trump’s delay in signing off on it will indeed receive the money, the Labor Department has said.
Congress in March expanded the US unemployment safety net as the coronavirus pandemic struck, creating the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for freelancers and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) for the long-term unemployed but only funding them until the end of the year.
After months of stuttering negotiations, Congress agreed to reauthorise those programmes in a $900 billion spending package passed only days before their December 26 expiration, but Trump objected to its contents before eventually signing it on Sunday – one day after those programs lapsed.
Sydney tightens Covid-19 curbs ahead of New Year’s Eve
Australian authorities have restricted movement and tightened curbs on gatherings in Sydney, hoping to avoid a coronavirus “super spreader” event during the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations, after detecting a new cluster of cases.
Household gatherings were limited to just five people while the maximum number of people allowed to gather in public was capped at 30. Residential care facilities were closed to visitors.
“We don’t want New Year’s Eve to be the cause of a super-spreader,” New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said as she announced the restrictions would take effect from midnight on Wednesday “until further notice”.
Berejiklian reported 18 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, the biggest daily increase in a week, with just half part of an outbreak in the city’s northern beaches that has grown to more than 100 people over the past week.
Regeneron says antibody therapy showed promise in hospitalised patients
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc said initial data from an ongoing study of its experimental antibody cocktail for use in some hospitalised Covid-19 patients show the therapy was sufficiently effective to warrant continuing the trial.
The company is testing the therapy, a combination of two antibodies casirivimab and imdevimab, in hospitalised patients requiring low-flow oxygen.
The drugmaker said in September the cocktail reduced viral levels and improved symptoms in non-hospitalised Covid-19 patients.
Study participants included those who produced an effective immune response on their own (seropositive), and those whose immune response was not yet adequate (seronegative).