Mon, 01 Mar 2021

Los Angeles First US County to Reach 1 Million COVID Cases

Voice of America
17 Jan 2021, 21:05 GMT+10

John Hopkins University reported early Sunday there are 94.5 million global COVID-19 cases. The United States leads the world in the number of cases with 23.7 million infections, followed by India with 10.5 million and Brazil with 8.4 million.

Los Angeles County in California has become the first U.S. county to record 1 million COVID-19 cases. The news of the number of infections is compounded by the confirmation of the appearance in the county of the highly contagious British variant of the coronavirus.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county's public health director, said in a statement, "The presence of the U.K. variant in Los Angeles County is troubling, as our health care system is already severely strained with more than 7,500 people currently hospitalized." She added that Los Angeles is also experiencing "hospitalizations and deaths, five-times what we experienced over the summer."

Norway is investigating the deaths of more than 25 elderly people who died after receiving Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. The Norwegian Medicines Agency said the affected people already had "serious basic disorders."

In southwestern England, people 80 and older have been able to get their vaccination shots to the sound of live organ music in the 800-year-old Salisbury Cathedral. The cathedral's music director chose the works of Bach and Handel to help people relax as they waited.

The Australian Open will go ahead as planned, despite the discovery of three coronavirus cases that have put 47 players into quarantine for two weeks, the tennis tournament's director, Craig Tiley, said Saturday.

Australia's international borders are closed, but there are exceptions.

For the international tennis tournament, players and their coaches flew into the country on 17 charter flights from seven nations. Each of the estimated 1,200 players, coaches, staff members and officials was required to receive a negative coronavirus test before they boarded the planes, which were kept at 25% capacity.

However, two positive cases were detected in people who arrived on a flight from Los Angeles and a third case arrived on a flight from Abu Dhabi. Sylvain Bruneau, who coaches Canadian star Bianca Andreescu, said he tested positive after arriving from Abu Dhabi, but the rest of his team has tested negative.

Since the pandemic began, Australia has recorded nearly 29,000 cases and just over 900 deaths, according to Hopkins. Just over 800 of those cases occurred in Victoria state during a second wave of the virus. Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is where the Australian Open is played.

Tournament organizers had hoped that charter flights, early arrivals and frequent testing would allow the Open to be played without a hitch.

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