Live updates: Mexico approves use of Cuba’s Abdala vaccine


MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s well being security council has accepted the use of Cuba’s three-dose Abdala coronavirus vaccine.

The council mentioned Wednesday that it has enough proof the vaccine is secure and efficient.

The approval for emergency use doesn’t essentially imply the Mexican authorities will purchase or administer the Abdala vaccine in Mexico. Mexico has accepted 10 vaccines for use, however has made little use of some, like China’s Sinopharm.

Cuba has accepted Abdala for use domestically and begun business exports of the three-dose vaccine to Vietnam and Venezuela.



— Asia retains omicron at bay, however a surge could also be inevitable

— WHO: Global COVID instances up 11% final week, omicron danger excessive

— California 1st US state to prime 5M instances amid omicron surge

— Stricter Canadian guidelines complicate NHL push by means of pandemic


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TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas has recorded greater than 7,000 deaths from COVID-19 because the pandemic started.

Gov. Laura Kelly on Wednesday ordered flags to be flown at half-staff till sunset Friday, simply as she has each time Kansas has reported one other 1,000 deaths.

State well being division information confirmed that Kansas averaged 2,003 new confirmed and possible COVID-19 instances a day for the seven days ending Wednesday, its highest seven-day common since Jan. 14. The state additionally averaged 34 new hospitalizations and 7 new deaths a day through the seven days ending Wednesday.

The delta variant has unfold throughout the state, and 45 instances of the brand new omicron variant have been reported in 13 of the state’s 105 counties.


LAS VEGAS — Las Vegas isn’t canceling or scaling again plans for New Year’s Eve gatherings.

More than 300,000 guests are anticipated on the town for occasions together with a New Year’s Eve fireworks present on the Las Vegas Strip that was canceled final yr because of the coronavirus pandemic

Thousands of ticketholders are also anticipated at a multi-stage outside music occasion beneath a cover mild present on the downtown on line casino pedestrian mall.

In saying Wednesday that the present will go on, Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft mentioned: “If you’re sick, stay at home. If you’re indoors, wear a mask.”

Las Vegas regional well being officers reported 2,201 new coronavirus instances — essentially the most in in the future since final Jan. 11. New instances and deaths in Las Vegas have been trending up.


TORONTO — Coronavirus infections are persevering with to climb throughout Canada, prompting a number of provinces to impose extra pandemic restrictions.

Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba provinces all reported document one-day highs for brand spanking new instances Wednesday. Quebec had greater than 13,000 infections within the earlier 24 hours, Ontario listed 10,436 and Manitoba reported 947.

Officials in Newfoundland and Labrador province, in the meantime, say faculties will shift to distant studying after the Christmas break.

And in Nunavut territory, officers are extending a lockdown as an increase in infections strains its well being care system. Premier P.J. Akeeagok says the ban on indoor gatherings that started earlier than Christmas is being prolonged to Jan. 17. Libraries, gyms, arenas and church buildings should additionally stay closed and eating places are restricted to takeout service solely.


EDMONTON, Alberta — An outbreak of coronavirus instances amongst gamers on the world junior males’s hockey championship being held in Canada has led officers to cancel the occasion.

The International Ice Hockey Federation, Hockey Canada and the organizing committee introduced Wednesday that the choice was made to name off the 11-day, 10-country event after a 3rd sport was forfeited in two days.

After two days of video games, gamers testing constructive for the virus had put defending champion United States in addition to the groups for Russia and Czechia into necessary quarantines.

Teams arrived in Alberta on Dec. 15. Players had been quarantined and had been examined earlier than being allowed to skate.


NEW YORK — A surge of coronavirus instances in New York has compelled the postponement of one other signature occasion, the Westminster Kennel Club’s annual canine present.

The present introduced Wednesday it has postponed its 146th annual occasion to have been contested in late January. The announcement didn’t give a brand new date for the present however mentioned it might be later in 2022.

The canine present usually is held in February at Madison Square Garden however was moved to June final yr and held on the Lyndhurst property in suburban Tarrytown. Spectators weren’t allowed, and human contributors needed to be vaccinated or newly examined.


MILAN — The Italian authorities on Wednesday put contemporary restrictions on the unvaccinated and decreased quarantine occasions for these with boosters because the quantity of new virus instances skyrocketed by one-quarter to a single-day complete of practically 100,000.

Under a decree geared toward stopping an financial slowdown, anybody with a booster shot or who has accomplished two doses inside 4 months won’t be required to quarantine after shut contact with somebody who’s constructive. A ten-day quarantine stays in impact for the unvaccinated.

The authorities is decreasing the record of free-time actions out there to the unvaccinated. Starting Jan. 10, the jab will probably be required to entry public transportation of any form, resorts, ski lifts, conventions and festivals, swimming swimming pools and wellness areas. Until then, a detrimental 10 inside 48 hours will stay enough.


NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana’s COVID-19 demise toll edged towards 15,000 on Wednesday, and the zoo in New Orleans mentioned half of its lions had been identified with the illness.

Five deaths reported Wednesday introduced the state complete to 14,983. And hospitalizations, after doubling within the week that ended Sunday, have risen practically 47% since then to 659, the Louisiana Department of Health dashboard indicated.

The three contaminated African lions are doing nicely and have regular appetites, the Audubon Zoo mentioned in a information launch Wednesday. Arnold, a full-grown male; Asani, one of two yearling males, and Kali, one of three females, had been examined after they got here down with coughs and nasal discharges. The different three at the moment are being examined, the assertion mentioned.

“All symptoms have been intermittent and mild,” so no medicine has been wanted, senior veterinarian Bob MacLean mentioned in a press release relayed by a zoo spokeswoman.

“We are prepared to start treatments if signs or animal comfort warrant,” he mentioned.

The zoo mentioned veterinarians don’t know the way the lions turned contaminated, nevertheless it’s seemingly that they received the coronavirus from an asymptomatic keeper in spite of quite a few precautions. Employees have to be vaccinated towards COVID-19, and people working with prone animals should put on N95 or KN95 masks, the assertion mentioned.


PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is warning of a January surge in COVID-19 infections as hospitalizations from the virus proceed to rise.

Hochul says greater than 67,000 individuals examined constructive for COVID-19 throughout the state on Tuesday. About 6,700 had been hospitalized with the virus. That’s greater than double the quantity in hospitals a month in the past when the extremely contagious omicron variant first emerged as a variant of concern.

Hochul urged New Yorkers to maintain New Year’s Eve celebrations small so as to forestall additional unfold of the virus. New COVID-19 instances throughout the nation have risen to their highest stage on document at over 265,000 per day.


MADRID — Spain is reporting over 100,000 infections in 24 hours for the primary time within the coronavirus pandemic, though authorities are working to streamline the information amid a backlog attributable to a excessive quantity of positives confirmed with house testing kits.

Health Minister Carolina Darias known as throughout a press convention Wednesday for self-diagnosed constructive COVID-19 instances to be reported to well being authorities. She additionally mentioned that the omicron variant is now chargeable for most new infections.

With 100,760 new infections, the 14-day cumulative incidence rose Wednesday to 1,508 instances per 100,00 residents, up from 199 just one month in the past.

Darias mentioned that regardless of the share of instances that want hospitalization in intensive care models is “significantly lower” on this surge, the excessive contagion fee “is slowly increasing occupation in hospitals.”

Fearing additional disruption of financial exercise, Spanish authorities have shortened from 10 to seven days the necessary isolation interval for individuals who contract COVID-19 however present no signs and people unvaccinated who’ve been involved with contaminated individuals.


COLUMBUS, Ohio — The quantity of individuals within the hospital with COVID-19 has reached a pandemic document excessive in Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine mentioned Wednesday as he ordered extra members of the state National Guard into hospitals to assist with the surge. The state additionally noticed one other document quantity of new coronavirus instances.

Ohio had 5,356 individuals within the hospital with the coronavirus Wednesday, the very best because the pandemic started in March 2020, accounting for multiple of each 5 hospital beds. That’s additionally the very best per-capita hospitalization fee within the nation, mentioned Robert Wylie, chief medical operations officer on the Cleveland Clinic.

More than 9 of each 10 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 since June have been unvaccinated, DeWine mentioned.

“If you’re vaccinated, the chances of you ending up in the hospital are pretty darn slim,” the governor mentioned.

DeWine is ordering the deployment of 1,250 members of the Ohio National Guard to assist hospitals. That’s on prime of the greater than 1,000 members of the Guard that DeWine known as up earlier this month.

A complete of 20,320 new coronavirus instances had been reported Wednesday. The seven-day rolling common of day by day new instances in Ohio has risen over the previous two weeks from 7,592.86 new instances per day on Dec. 13 to 12,525.57 new instances per day on Dec. 27, based on information collected by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.


NICOSIA, Cyprus — New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cyprus will probably be muted after the federal government banned dancing and ordered bar, restaurant, reception corridor and nightclub patrons to stay seated amid a 3rd day of document day by day COVID-19 infections.

Cyprus’ Health Minister Michael Hadjipantela mentioned Wednesday that the day by day an infection fee now hovers at a document excessive of round 2.5% because the omicron variant has now taken a agency maintain on the nation and is projected to extend infections in addition to hospital admissions.

Hadjipantela mentioned that as of Thursday, the utmost quantity of patrons at bars, eating places and nightclubs will probably be capped at 300 vaccinated individuals. Anyone who hasn’t acquired a booster shot is required to have a detrimental fast check 24 hours previous to attending any perform.

Between Jan. 4 and Jan. 15, all inbound vacationers will probably be required to bear a PCR check 48 hours previous to their departure which they’ll pay for themselves.

Also subsequent month, 40% of all workers at workplaces will probably be required to make money working from home, whereas attendance at sports activities stadiums will probably be capped at 50% capability with all followers needing to put on masks. All visits to hospitals, hospices and nursing houses are additionally banned, whereas extra PCR testing will probably be required for well being sector professionals who haven’t been totally vaccinated.

The Cypriot Health Ministry mentioned practically 83% of these receiving hospital remedy for COVID-19 should not vaccinated.


JACKSON, Miss. — COVID-19 outbreaks in Mississippi nursing houses have nearly doubled up to now week, an indicator that the state is probably going heading into one other main surge of virus instances and hospitalizations, a prime well being official mentioned Wednesday.

There had been 63 outbreaks in Mississippi nursing houses Monday, round twice the quantity of nursing house outbreaks reported within the state final week, state epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers wrote in a memo to Mississippi hospitals and well being care suppliers. There had been 8,344 new COVID-19 instances reported final week, an 80% improve from the week earlier than. Byers mentioned a rising proportion of Mississippi instances are fueled by the omicron variant of the virus.

The information factors to “very rapid growth of COVID-19 infection and transmission and indicate that we have now entered our 5th wave of COVID-19 in the state,” Byers wrote.

Last week, the omicron variant accounted for round 13% of all samples sequenced within the state, up from round 8% within the earlier week.

“This likely represents an underestimate of the impact of Omicron on the state, with samples collected in the last two weeks still pending sequencing,” the state epidemiologist mentioned, noting that the omicron variant is considerably extra infectious than the delta variant.


LA PAZ, Bolivia — Bolivia’s foremost cities canceled any public actions for New Year’s Eve after the nation reached a document 4,939 new instances of COVID-19, the very best quantity for in the future in all of the pandemic within the South American nation.

The celebrations had been known as off for the cities of La Paz, Cochabamba and El Alto after native authorities mentioned it might be irresponsible to permit public festivities.

“The pandemic is escalating, and life is first,” mentioned Iván Arias, mayor of La Paz. “It’s preferable to be safe than sorry.”

Bolivia has not detected the omicron variant, however the well being authorities have mentioned that the surge in instances could be attributed to individuals not following some measures reminiscent of social distancing or sporting masks.

President Luis Arce issued a decree requiring individuals to indicate a vaccination certificates earlier than getting into some public locations, like eating places. The measure will take impact on Jan. 1.

Only a little bit bit greater than 38% of the inhabitants is totally vaccinated, based on on-line analysis web site Our World in Data. Bolivia, a rustic of 11.5 million individuals, has reported greater than 585,000 infections and greater than 19,600 deaths because the begin of the pandemic.

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