By MORGAN WINSOR, ERIN SCHUMAKER and IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 103 million people worldwide and killed over 2.2 million of them, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Here’s how the news is developing Tuesday. All times Eastern:
Feb 02, 9:29 am
Russia’s vaccine found to be over 91% effective in peer-reviewed study
Feb 02, 8:27 am
Japan extends state of emergency in greater Tokyo area
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has extended a state of emergency in Tokyo and nine surrounding prefectures for another month to further stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The declaration, however, was lifted in Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo, where the COVID-19 infection rate has eased.
“I regret that the declaration cannot be lifted across the nation at this time,” Suga said Tuesday night in a televised address from his office in Tokyo.
The prime minister used a chart to show that Japan’s daily number of newly diagnosed infections has declined from 7,721 on Jan. 7 to 1,783 on Feb. In Tokyo, that number has dropped from 2,447 on Jan. 7 to 393 on Feb. 1. According to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, there were 556 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the capital city on Tuesday.
Suga said the state of emergency could be lifted earlier than March 7 if the situation continues to improve. He noted that his government is hoping to begin a mass COVID-19 vaccination program as early as mid-February.
“Thanks to the cooperation of the people of Japan, we have seen a marked outcome,” he said. “At this point in time, I need to ask the people to endure another round of the state of emergency so that positive outcomes can be solidified.”
The move comes less than six months before the pandemic-delayed 2020 Summer Olympics are scheduled to open in Tokyo.
A state of emergency declaration gives the governors of those respective regions the authority to ask residents for cooperation in efforts to curb the spread of the virus. There are currently no legal ramifications for non-compliance.
Suga first declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures on Jan. 7, before expanding the order to include more virus-hit areas.
Under the state of emergency, Suga said governors will ask residents to refrain from dining out and to stay home after 8 p.m. unless for essential reasons. They will also ask companies to decrease the number of employees commuting to work by 70%.
Suga said bars and restaurants will be asked to stop serving alcohol by 7 p.m. and to close by 8 p.m. Governors may disclose the name of the businesses that don’t comply, while those that do will be given 1.8 million Japanese yen ($17,000) per month.
Spectator events will be limited to an audience of 5,000 people. Schools will not be asked to close, according to Suga.
Suga’s predecessor, Shinzo Abe, declared a nationwide state of emergency relatively early in the pandemic in April, which lasted for a month. At that time, residents were asked to reduce person-to-person contact by 80% and to practice “jishuku,” or “self-restraint,” by staying at home and closing non-essential businesses.
Feb 02, 7:15 am
Tokyo Olympics will take place ‘no matter how the COVID situation will be’
The Tokyo Olympics will take place this year “no matter how the COVID situation will be,” organizers said Tuesday.
“We will make sure the Games will be held no matter how the COVID situation will be,” Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, said during remarks at a meeting on preparations for the event. “We go beyond the discussion of whether we hold (the Games) or not hold. We are to come up with ‘new’ Olympics.”
The 2020 Summer Olympics were supposed to kick off in the Japanese capital last year on July 24. But in late March, amid mounting calls to delay or cancel the upcoming Games, the International Olympic Committee and Japan’s prime minister announced that the event would be held a year later due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Games are now scheduled to open in Tokyo this summer on July 23, but doubt has surfaced as Japan — and much of the world — grapples with a resurgence of COVID-19 infections. Moreover, Japan is not expected to begin administering its first round of COVID-19 vaccinations until the end of February.
Last week, organizers said COVID-19 vaccines will not be a requirement to compete in the Tokyo Olympics and that they are still considering holding the Games without spectators.
Feb 02, 6:49 am
US reports over 134,000 new cases
There were 134,339 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the United States on Monday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Monday’s case count is far less than the country’s all-time high of 300,282 newly confirmed infections on Jan. 2, Johns Hopkins data shows.
An additional 2,031 fatalities from COVID-19 were registered nationwide on Monday, down from a peak of 4,466 new deaths on Jan. 12, according to Johns Hopkins data.
COVID-19 data may be skewed due to possible lags in reporting over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend.
A total of 26,321,457 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 443,365 have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.
Much of the country was under lockdown by the end of March as the first wave of the pandemic hit. By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up over the summer.
The numbers lingered around 40,000 to 50,000 from mid-August through early October before surging again to record levels, crossing 100,000 for the first time on Nov. 4, then reaching 200,000 on Nov. 27 before topping 300,000 on Jan. 2.
So far, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized two COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use — one developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, and another developed by American biotechnology company Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. More than 32 million vaccine doses have been administered nationwide, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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