California Deaths Hit Record as U.S. Cases Soar: Virus Update
A pharmacist administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to a resident in New York. (Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg)

California Deaths Hit Record as U.S. Cases Soar: Virus Update

California, where the latest surge in the virus has filled hospitals and morgues, reported its worst day for fatalities so far. Arizona surpassed 10,000 deaths. North Carolina and Virginia reported a record number of new infections. The U.S. recorded its second-highest number of new cases on Friday.

The U.K. became the first country in western Europe to report more than 3 million coronavirus cases, as it grapples with a new strain that’s putting pressure on its health service.

Germany’s death toll exceeded 1,000 for a fourth straight day, as Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to speed up the pace of vaccinations. Queen Elizabeth II was vaccinated, and Pope Francis said he will get one.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases pass 89.3 million; deaths surpass 1.9 million
  • Vaccine Tracker: More than 18.9 million shots given worldwide
  • Connecticut outpaces New York in race to vaccinate residents
  • Automakers are losing production as virus disrupts chip supplies
  • Altering vaccine regimens endangers effectiveness, according to the EU regulator
  • Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.
California Deaths Hit Record as U.S. Cases Soar: Virus Update

Brazil’s Case Trend Rises Further (5:25 p.m. NY)

Brazil’s 14-day rolling average of new cases rose for a fifth consecutive day, approaching record levels reached in August, according to Health Ministry data.

The country with the third-most confirmed infections behind the U.S. and India added 62,290 cases in Saturday’s tally for a total of almost 8.1 million. Deaths rose by 1,171 to more than 202,000. Both trends have ticked up since the start of the year.

President Jair Bolsonaro asked India to expedite a shipment of AstraZeneca Plc’s coronavirus vaccine, the Health Ministry said in a statement Saturday.

Nevada’s Deadliest Week (4:51 p.m. NY)

Nevada ended its deadliest week with more than 300 fatalities, almost 100 more than the previous week. The state reported 56 deaths on Saturday, just below the record 60 on Wednesday. With total deaths at 3,450, the Las Vegas Sun reported that Clark County, the state’s most populous, has begun deploying refrigerated trailers to funeral homes.

California Adds Record New Deaths (3:13 p.m. NY)

California Deaths Hit Record as U.S. Cases Soar: Virus Update

California reported 695 new deaths, its worst day for fatalities so far, bringing the total to 29,233. The state added 52,636 new cases, with a total of 2.6 million. Only six countries have more infections.

The surge in cases is putting a strain on the state’s health-care system, where regions including Southern California have almost no ICU bed capacity.

Hospitalizations hovered near a high since the outbreak, while ICU capacity are at the lowest.

Virginia Hits Record; Maryland Passes 300,000 Cases (2:36 p.m. NY)

Virginia reported a record 5,798 cases on Saturday, as hospitalizations also reached a new high, state data show. Neighboring Maryland reported 3,758 cases, among the highest since the beginning of the pandemic. Total cases for Maryland surpassed 300,000.

France Cases Remain Well Above Goal (2:27 p.m. NY)

France reported 20,177 new cases on Saturday, while the number of deaths increased by 171 to 67,599, according to statistics from the national health agency. While the government has been aiming to bring the number of daily new cases to below 5,000, they’ve been around four times that number most days in January, prompting officials to put more of the nation under an earlier curfew.

The government is accelerating the pace of its vaccination campaign after being criticized for a slow rollout.

Pope to Be Vaccinated (1:30 p.m. NY)

Pope Francis said there is an “ethical” obligation to be vaccinated against Covid-19 -- and that he will get one himself soon.

”I believe that ethically everyone must take the vaccine, it is an ethical option, because you stake your health, your life, but you also play the lives of others,” Pope Francis said in a prerecorded interview with the Italian broadcaster Mediaset. The pope said vaccinations will begin in the Vatican next week. “I have booked, it must be done,” he said.

N.Y. Finds Three More Cases of U.K. Variant, Cuomo Says (12:47 a.m. NY)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reported three additional cases of the more transmissible variant of the coronavirus first found in the U.K. Two are related to the first diagnosed case, a man in his 60s who lives in Saratoga County in upstate New York. The third is in Nassau County on Long Island, the governor said.

California Deaths Hit Record as U.S. Cases Soar: Virus Update

More than 50 cases have been found in half a dozen U.S. states and the number will grow -- “bet on that,” Cuomo told reporters on a conference call on Saturday.

He said vaccine distribution has sped up, with 259,000 people getting the shots so far this week, compared to 148,000 last week.

The state reported 16,943 new cases, a drop after two record-breaking days. Hospitalizations and the rate of positive tests fell. Another 188 people died.

North Carolina Breaks Record Again (12:11 p.m. NY)

North Carolina reported 11,581 new cases on Saturday, breaking a record for the second time this week. Hospitalizations, which have soared as the state has become among the hardest hit in the virus’s recent wave, declined for a second day, state data show. Another 96 people died.

U.K. Total Coronavirus Cases Exceed 3 Million; Deaths Top 80,000 (11:23 a.m. NY)

The U.K. became the first country in western Europe to report more than 3 million coronavirus cases, as it grapples with a new strain that’s putting pressure on its health service.

The country reported an additional 59,937 cases on Saturday, taking the total to 3,017,409. The total is the largest in Europe, and fifth-highest in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The country passed 1 million cases on Oct. 31, which doubled seven weeks later on Dec. 19. It took just three weeks to reach 3 million cases. It has recorded more than 50,000 cases every day since Dec. 29.

Arizona Surpasses 10,000 Deaths (10:49 a.m. NY)

Arizona surpassed 10,000 fatalities amid a resurgence of the virus worse than the spike there last summer. Another 98 deaths were reported Saturday, two days after a record 297 fatalities. Hospitalizations are at an all-time high, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The state reported 11,094 new cases at the end of the week, which included a daily record of more than 17,000 new infections.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip Are Vaccinated (10:34 a.m. NY)

Queen Elizabeth II and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh received the first dose of Covid-19 vaccinations at Windsor Castle, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace.

The palace rarely comments of the private health matters of the Queen, 94, and her husband, 99.

Portugal Reports More Than 9,000 New Cases (9:38 a.m NY)

California Deaths Hit Record as U.S. Cases Soar: Virus Update

Portugal on Saturday reported 9,478 new confirmed coronavirus cases in a day, less than the record 10,176 announced on Friday, taking the total to 476,187. Deaths rose by 111 to 7,701, following a record daily increase of 118 on Friday. The government has said it may tighten restrictions on movement next week.

False Reports of ‘U.S. Variant’ From White House Task Force: NYT (9:27 a.m NY)

Reports of a highly contagious new coronavirus variant in the U.S., published on Friday by multiple news outlets, are based on speculative statements made by Dr. Deborah Birx and are inaccurate, according to several government officials, the New York Times said.

U.S. Reports Second-Highest New Infections (7:41 a.m. NY)

The U.S. added another 287,771 new infections on Friday, the second-highest number on record, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. The previous high of 299,087 was recorded on Jan. 2 and was considered inflated as states reported backlogged data from over the New Year holiday. The average number of cases rose more than 40,000 a day compared with the average of the previous week.

Another 3,595 people died on Friday, down from the record 4,102 set the previous day. On average, almost 400 more people died each day compared with the previous week’s average.

France to Have Vaccinated 100,000 by Close of Weekend (7:20 a.m. NY)

France will have given 100,000 people jabs against Covid-19 by the end of the weekend, Health Minister Olivier Veran said Saturday in televised remarks to reporters at a vaccination center in Tarbes, southwest France.

The pace will accelerate, with more people receiving shots each day, he said, after the government faced criticism for getting off to a slower start in the inoculation campaign than neighboring countries. “We want to go quickly; we wanted first to do things safely, and to be serious,” Prime Minister Jean Castex said during the same briefing.

France also has put eight more departments under a longer curfew to try to curb the spread of the virus, bringing to the number of regions where the curfew starts at 6 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. more than 20.

California Deaths Hit Record as U.S. Cases Soar: Virus Update

U.K. Eyes Delaying Tax Rises, Times Says (6:39 a.m. NY)

U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is expected to postpone tax rises until after the summer at the earliest because of concerns about the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, The Times reported.

Iran Sees a Drop in Daily Cases: (6:19 a.m. NY)

Iran reported a dip in both the number of daily Covid-19 deaths and new cases with 82 fatalities and 5,924 new infections in the last 24 hours. The new numbers brought the country’s total death count to 56,100 in over 1.2 million known cases, the Health Ministry reported.

United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia Case Updates (6:01 a.m. NY)

UAE announced 2,998 new Covid-19 cases, with 2,264 recoveries, and five deaths in last 24 hours. Saudi Arabia recorded 110 new cases and 4 fatalities, meanwhile.

Poland Posts Leap in Reported Cases (6:27 p.m. HK)

Poland posted a 20% day-to-day leap in reported cases to 10,548 on Saturday. Overall toll breached 31,000 mark with 438 new deaths reported, as country has vaccinated almost 189,000 people.

Rich Book Covid-19 Jabs Abroad to Skip U.K. Wait, Telegraph Says (5:53 p.m. HK)

Super-rich and high-profile Britons are increasingly opting to travel abroad to get a private vaccine against the coronavirus, the Telegraph reported on Saturday.

South Africa Runs Vaccine Tests on Variant, Reuters Says (4:57 p.m. HK)

South African scientists are testing whether vaccines will be less effective against a variant of the coronavirus identified in the country and should have results within two weeks, Reuters said, citing Penny Moore, a professor at the country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

German Death Toll Above 1,000 for Fourth Day (4:21 p.m. HK)

California Deaths Hit Record as U.S. Cases Soar: Virus Update

Germany’s death toll from the coronavirus exceeded 1,000 for a fourth-straight day, making the past week the country’s deadliest stint of the pandemic.

Fatalities increased by 1,035 in the 24 hours through Saturday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Total infections rose 19,840 to 1.91 million, in line with figures from recent weeks and portending no relief in sight for the country’s increasingly stretched health system.

Doctors and nurses in many hospitals are close to being overwhelmed, and the virus mutations intensify the level of concern, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a podcast. With the coming weeks set to be the country’s toughest yet in the pandemic, Germans need to consistently adhere to the tougher lockdown measures, she said. The tempo of vaccinations will increase and there will be enough in Germany for everyone, she added.

Russia Sees 23,309 New Covid-19 Cases (4 p.m. HK)

Russia recorded 23,309 Covid cases over the past day, including 4,900 in Moscow and 3,006 in St. Petersburg. The country recorded 470 deaths, bringing the total Covid death toll to 61,381.

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