Sources: White House Considers Ending Travel Bans From Europe, Brazil
Bans from China and Iran would continue. News reports are from Mexico, Russia, Hong Kong and mainland China, as well.
White House Coronavirus Task Force Backs Restoration Of Inbound Travel From Brazil, UK And Europe, Sources Say
The White House Coronavirus Task Force has recommended to President Donald Trump that the United States begin allowing travelers into the country from Brazil, the United Kingdom and the 27 countries in the European Union, according to two officials involved in the discussions. (Tausche, 12/9)
In other global news —
Mexico's COVID-19 Deaths Average 55 Years Vs. 75 In Europe
Mexico’s coronavirus spokesman said Thursday the country’s median age of death from COVID-19 was a shockingly young 55, as compared to an average of 75 in many European countries. Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell said that nonetheless, Mexico’s future coronavirus vaccination program would target the oldest Mexicans first. (12/11)
Russia Reports Record COVID-19 Deaths, Cases Climb
Russia reported on Friday its highest COVID-19 daily death tally a day after official data revealed a surge in excess deaths in October that made it Russia’s most deadly month in a decade. Russia, which began vaccinating vulnerable people in Moscow on Saturday, has resisted imposing a strict lockdown as it did in the spring, relying on targeted measures instead, though the Kremlin says places like St Petersburg are nearing a “red line”. (12/11)
The Washington Post:
Russia Rolls Out Its Sputnik V Vaccine. But There's More Skeptics Than Takers.
The staff at Moscow's Polyclinic No. 5, syringes at the ready, waited for the expected flood of people as the first phase of mass coronavirus vaccinations rolled out this week. And waited. And waited some more. Rows of empty seats lined the waiting area. Staff members, with little to do, squabbled about where to put a small vase of dried pink flowers. (Dixon, 12/11)
The Washington Post:
Hong Kong Secures Sinovac, Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccines
The Hong Kong government said Friday it had secured coronavirus vaccine supplies from both Pfizer and China’s state-backed Sinovac, with millions of doses to begin arriving early next year. A first batch of the Sinovac vaccine will arrive in January, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said, with priority given to frontline health-care workers and the elderly. The Pfizer vaccine, made in the United States, will arrive in the first quarter of 2021. The Hong Kong government is separately in talks with makers of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, too. (Mahtani, 12/11)
Sinovac: What Do We Know About China's Covid-19 Vaccine?
Shipments of Beijing-based biopharmaceutical company Sinovac's Covid-19 vaccine CoronaVac have arrived in Indonesia in preparation for a mass vaccination campaign, with another 1.8m doses due to arrive by January. But the vaccine is yet to finish its late-stage trials, which begs the question: what exactly do we know about this Chinese vaccine? (12/10)
One Year On, Wuhan Market At Epicentre Of Virus Outbreak Remains Barricaded And Empty
For over six years, 38-year-old Wuhan restaurant owner Lai Yun started most days the same way - with a trip to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, just ten minutes walk from his house. “I’d send the kids to school, have breakfast and then walk over to the market. It was very convenient,” he said. That changed on Dec. 31, 2019, after four cases of a mystery pneumonia were linked to the market and it was shuttered overnight. By the end of the month, the city had begun a gruelling 76-day lockdown that came with just hours notice and barred people from leaving their homes. (Cadell, 12/11)