Coronavirus News Update – Jan. 24: Biden Speaks of ‘a Dark Winter,’ U.K. Variant Possibly More Deadly Than Thought

By Anna Breuer on 24 January 2021
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Sunset in Hawaii

“We’re in a dark winter of this pandemic,” said President Joseph Biden at the end of the week, warning that the situation in the United States will get worse before it gets better. He warned that the death toll could rise to over 500,000 this month alone.

As the number of cases of the coronavirus across the globe passed the 99 million mark, with 25.5 million of those in the United States, the last county there to identify a coronavirus case – Kalawao, on the island of Molokai in Hawaii, the site of a former leper’s colony isolated by the Pacific Ocean – reported its first case after a resident apparently picked up the virus while traveling.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the U.K. Covid-19 variant, known as B.1.1.7., could be more deadly than the previous variants.  More research is needed before a final determination can be made.

Health officials in Madrid announced multiple new lockdown restrictions there including a requirement that restaurants and bars close by 9 p.m. starting Monday and limit the number of people at a table to four instead of six.  The city’s nighttime curfew will be moved ahead by one hour to 10 p.m. The action effectively stops restaurants from serving at the traditional Spanish dinner hour.

In one of the most drastic measures taken there since the start of the pandemic, Hong Kong locked down a section in the Jordan District, a densely packed neighborhood, amidst a surge in cases.

New Zealand, which has been widely praised for its successful response to the pandemic, reported its first community coronavirus case in months.  The patient, a woman who recently returned from Europe, had completed two weeks in isolation at a facility in Auckland, where she had tested negative twice.  She developed symptoms two days later.

In Toronto, where residents have been under a stay-at-home mandate since December 12, 2020, there have been over 110 lockdown violation charges issued, the Toronto Star reported over the weekend.  The charges included at least 50 from from illegal gatherings, and 20 from an anti-lockdown protest last weekend.  Four criminal charges were issued at the lockdown protest.  In addition, so-called notices were given to several shops, personal services businesses, nail salons, and a hookah lounge.

Hundreds of National Guardsmen deployed to Washington, D.C. following the attempted insurrection by Trump supporters on January 6 tested positive for the coronavirus.  The Guardsmen have been in extremely tight quarters while deployed to protect the Capitol and most were not tested before traveling to D.C.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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