24 January 2021

• US coronavirus cases exceed 25 million as President Biden predicts that the national death toll may surpass 600,000. Source
• Modeling the impact of coronavirus vaccines on the US epidemic reveals that millions more people will fall ill and thousands more will die unless masking, social distancing, working remotely and other measures continue – at least until July. Source
• After Pfizer announced that it was delivering fewer coronavirus vaccine doses to the EU than expected, Charles Michel, President of the European Council, announced that it intends “…to enforce the contracts that were signed by the pharmaceutical companies” and will be “…using all the legal means that are at our disposal.” Source
• In Zimbabwe, where four government officials – Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Sibusiso Busi Moyo, Transportation Minister Joel Matiza, former education minister, Aeneas Chigwedere and Ellen Gwaradzimba Manicaland’s Minister of Provincial Affairs – have died from COVID-19 within days of one another, nurses are striking until they are given proper PPE, oxygen is in short supply and government spokesperson Nick Mangwana warned that hospitals are overwhelmed. President Emmerson D. Mnangagwa promises that help is on the way – and that coronavirus vaccines will be rolled out across the country although no funding for the initiative has been announced. Sources 1,2
• CDC is reviewing UK data suggesting that the B.1.1.7 variant may be deadlier as well as more transmissible. Source
• Oman orders 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine. Source
• Vaccine shortages across the US lead to the cancellation of thousands of appointments and a backlog of requests for them. Source
• The US imposes a ban on non-citizen travel from South Africa to prevent the spread of coronavirus variants. Source
• Israel imposes a week-long ban on air travel (except for medical treatment, legal matters and funerals) to prevent coronavirus variants from spreading in the country.
New Zealand reports a case of coronavirus –and confirms that it is the South African variant – in a returning traveler who was thought to have been infected by another traveler during quarantine. Sources 1,2
• Although Spain’s daily case rate has doubled over the past two weeks, and some regional leaders are calling for the central government to impose a full lockdown, it has not done so. Source
• In the Netherlands, violent anti-lockdown protests were held in Amsterdam and Eindhoven, while in the village of Urk, a group of young people set the coronavirus testing center on fire. Source

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