Coronavirus News Update for Sept. 21 – Trump Says Vaccines Will Not Be Widely Available Until Spring

By Anna Breuer on 21 September 2020
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Dining room at Sherwood’s Landing in Maryland

As the number of coronavirus cases worldwide topped 31 million on Sunday, U.K. Prime Minister said he was adding restrictions and taking other measures in an effort to avoid a lockdown. “We are now seeing a second wave coming in,” he said to reporters late last week. “It is absolutely, I’m afraid, inevitable, that we will see it in this country,” he added.

The number of new daily cases in Britain has risen to over 4,000 and the officials announced tougher penalties for those who fail to abide by current restrictions.  The government will impose fines of £1,000 ($1,292) against those who do not self-isolate after testing positive and for those individuals who leave their homes after being traced as a close contact of someone who contracted the virus.

In the United States, President Trump finally acknowledged that a vaccine for the coronavirus might not be widely available there until the spring, even if distribution were to start earlier.  Speaking at a briefing at the White House, the president said that, once a vaccine is authorized, “distribution will begin within 24 hours.” Trump also said that there will be “at least 100 million vaccine doses before the end of the year,” adding that “we expect to have enough vaccines for every American by April.”

A new forecast from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington predicts 378,321 deaths from the coronavirus in the United States by January 1. The estimate is lower by 36,769 fewer deaths, when the institute forecast 415,090 deaths over the same period of time.

The infection rate in the Northeast, where the number of new cases was the highest this spring, is relatively low, but there have been rising case numbers in the Midwest.  Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota have reported more new coronavirus infections per capita than any other states in the union.

Meanwhile Minnesota set a new single-day record for new cases, reporting over 1,200.

In Maryland, state officials said they will allow restaurants to expand indoor dining on Monday to 75% of capacity, a controversial move given concerns over the spread of the virus in the state. Governor Larry Hogan cited a declining positivity rate of 2.85% as a justification for the move although others challenged that figure as not representing the actual positivity rate. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University said that the positivity rate in the state was 5.7%.

Meanwhile, in Australia, officials in the city of Melbourne said they were considering easing virus restrictions after recording only 14 new cases on Sunday.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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