Coronavirus latest news: New Zealand's policy of hotel quarantine being considered by UK officials

New Zealand's hotel quarantine policy is under scrutiny by British officials
Anyone over the age of 18 could be vaccinated by the end of June.
The new £ 158 million superfactory will vaccinate against new strains
Minister accused of wasting thrusts vaccinating people with immunity
New Zealand's policy of placing newcomers in hotels to complete their quarantine is being considered by British officials as an option to control the spread of new coronavirus variants.
Ministers have instructed staff to study a wide range of anti-quarantine policies, reports on Saturday evening suggest. Facial recognition technology and GPS to check that people remain isolated may also be considered.
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The government has already issued travel bans for arrivals from South America, Portugal and Cape Verde as a new variant of the coronavirus is emerging in Brazil.
According to the Sunday Times, officials were ordered last week to study New Zealand's "directed isolation" policy, which charges anyone who arrives to stay at an airport hotel and forces them to remain in isolation for two weeks.
Follow the latest updates below.
8:48 a.m.
Russia reports 23,586 new Covid-19 cases and 481 deaths
Russia reported 23,586 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, including 4,012 in Moscow, which plans to reopen public schools on Monday after an extended New Year's break.
The Russian crisis center Covid-19 confirmed 481 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the national death toll to 65,566.
8:40 am
Austria extends third ban until February 8th
Austria will extend its lockdown for Covid-19 until February 8, reported the APA news agency, citing sources familiar with the negotiations between the federal and state governments.
The restriction on public life was supposed to end on Jan. 24, but health officials have warned that infection rates remain too high to relax restrictions at this stage.
Protesters in white suits and masks take part in a demonstration against the Covid-19 restrictions in Vienna - Lisi Niesner / Reuters
The government has scheduled a press conference at 10:00 a.m. GMT to discuss the latest measures.
Austria, a country of 8.9 million people, is in its third lockdown, where only important shops are open. The country has reported nearly 390,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 7,000 deaths related to Covid-19 since the pandemic started last year.
8:33 am
Britain can see a way out of the pandemic, health minister says
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the UK was "almost on track" with 324,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines administered in 24 hours.
More than 3.5 million people in the UK have now received their first dose of vaccine, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said as he greeted those who were helping "the fantastic national effort".
Two vaccines have been launched in the UK and a third - developed by Moderna - has also been approved for use.
Mr Hancock wrote on the Sunday Express: "We can see the way out of this pandemic. We are almost on our way home.
"After months of detailed preparation, rigorous scientific research, and extraordinary patience, we are introducing two high-potency vaccines, a third coming in the spring and other clinical trials.
"We're rolling it out to as many vulnerable people as possible and we expect tens of millions of people to be vaccinated by spring."
07:54 am
Tokyo reports 1,593 new infections
Tokyo reported 1,592 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the government said.
Japan extended the state of emergency in the capital to seven other prefectures on Wednesday to curb an increase in Covid-19 infections.
07:36 am
India reports successful start of vaccination campaign
India's vaccination campaign against Covid-19 got off to a successful start: More than 190,000 people received their first shocks and no one was hospitalized for serious side effects, the Ministry of Health said. However, there have been reports of concerns about the self-drawn vaccine.
The authorities have issued emergency approvals for two vaccines - Oxford-AstraZeneca and the indigenous company Covaxin, whose Phase 3 studies are ongoing - and plan to provide around 300 million people in the country with 1.3 billion vaccines by July immunize.
A medical representative at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi wrote a letter demanding that Oxford-AstraZeneca deliver the Covishield vaccine in place of Covaxin to allay any fears.
"Residents are somewhat concerned about the lack of a full trial in the Covaxin case and may not attend large numbers, defeating the purpose of the vaccination," said the letter to the hospital's medical superintendent.
Read more: From crowded Delhi to the remote Himalayas, the world's most complex vaccine drive begins
In Mumbai - Anadolu, Indian health workers wait in line to receive a coronavirus vaccine
07:09 am
Pfizer insures Europe against vaccines
Pharmaceutical company Pfizer sought to address concerns in Europe about its coronavirus vaccine delivery as restrictions on fighting the rampant pandemic doubled around the world.
The coronavirus pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down. Infections are rising to over 94 million and more than two million deaths, and Europe is one of the hardest-hit parts of the world.
There are concerns that delays in the delivery of Pfizer BioNTech images could hamper a European vaccine launch, which has already been heavily criticized across the continent.
The Belgian plant is currently working on an increase in capacity, and the company and its German partner BioNTech announced on Saturday that they would be able to increase vaccine production "significantly" in the second quarter.
Deliveries to the EU would return to the original schedule on January 25, they promised.
Read more: UK faces delays in delivery of Pfizer vaccine
06:40 am
Pakistan approves Oxford vaccine
Pakistan's Minister of Planning said the country's medicines agency has approved Oxford-AstraZeneca's use of the vaccine and the government is trying to make it available by the first quarter of the year.
Asad Umar, who is also the head of the national agency for Covid-19, told Geo TV that the vaccine will be given to health workers and people aged 65 and over in the first phase.
Umar said the Chinese company CanSino is also conducting clinical trials in Pakistan and hopes that its vaccine will also be registered next month.
He said Pakistan will get the vaccines through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and other alternative international sources. The AstraZeneca vaccine is made in India, which has strained relations with rival Pakistan and will prioritize its own people.
Pakistan reported 2,521 new cases and 43 deaths in the past 24 hours.
Read more: UK Covid Vaccine Tracking: Are We On Track To End Lockdown?
A Pakistani boy sells face masks on a street after new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Karachi - SHAHZAIB AKBER / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock
06:17 am
The French minister criticized the memoirs written during the crisis
France's finance minister has come under fire for writing his "preliminary memoir" between two statewide lockdowns while overseeing the worst economic shock since World War II.
L'Ange et la Bête, published Thursday, is Bruno Le Maire's ninth book and the third he has written since President Macron handed him the powerful ministerial post in 2017. But its creation, while France was facing economic collapse, was frowned upon by some of its peers.
Read the full story
Police officers ask a man for the travel declaration in Trocadero Square at the start of the new curfew in Paris - MOHAMMED BADRA / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock
04:13 am
China reports viruses found on ice
The coronavirus was found on ice cream made in east China, which led to a recall of boxes from the same batch, according to the government.
Daqiaodao Food Co., Ltd. in Tianjin next to Beijing has been sealed and its employees have been tested for the coronavirus, according to a statement from the city government. There was no evidence that anyone had contracted the virus from the ice.
Most of the 29,000 boxes in the batch had yet to be sold, the government said. It is said that 390 sales in Tianjin have been tracked and authorities in other locations have been notified of sales to their areas.
Ingredients included New Zealand milk powder and whey powder from Ukraine, the government said.
Read the full story
Read more: Wuhan lab workers were first virus victims, US says
Read more: China blames steamed buns for the latest wave of infections
02:20 am
Mexico has more than 20,000 cases on day two
Mexico recorded its second straight day with more than 20,000 coronavirus cases on Saturday, indicating a surge in a country already struggling with overcrowded hospitals in many areas.
There were 20,523 newly confirmed cases on Saturday after 21,366 infections were reported on Friday. That was about twice as much as a week ago. Coverage usually decreases on weekends, suggesting that the next week could bring even higher numbers.
The country also recorded 1,219 other deaths, a near-record. The country now has nearly 1.63 million infections and has recorded over 140,000 deaths in the pandemic to date.
In Mexico City, the current center of the pandemic in Mexico, 88 percent of hospital beds are full.
City workers walk down a street after delivering an oxygen tank to patients with Covid-19 in the Iztapalapa neighborhood of Mexico City (AP)
02:16 am
Australian Open despite Covid flight
The director of the Australian Open tournament, Craig Tiley, has confirmed that the first Grand Slam of the year will take place from February 8, despite the fact that Melbourne players have been forced into tough quarantine due to positive Covid-19 cases on their charter planes .
Forty-seven players and their followers are forced to isolate themselves in their hotel rooms in Melbourne for two weeks and can no longer have them trained after three infections were reported on two charter flights bringing them to Melbourne.
Other players who landed in Australia also commit to a 14-day quarantine but are allowed to leave their hotels five hours a day to train, raising questions about the integrity of the Grand Slam.
Tiley said the tournament would start as planned but the governing body Tennis Australia would try to change the lead-up tournaments to help the players affected.
Read more: Australian Open quarantine - 47 players isolate after positive tests
Venus Williams arrives at Adelaide Airport. All players and staff coming to Adelaide for the Australian Open must go through 14 days of hotel quarantine - Getty
02:11 am
Amazon receives emergency supplies with respirators and oxygen
The Brazilian jungle state of Amazonas received more emergency oxygen and respirators on Saturday as the military and neighboring Venezuela struggled to ease a humanitarian crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Air Force also said it had evacuated 12 patients overnight from hospitals in the state capital, Manaus, to the northern city of Sao Luis. The hospitals were at the breaking point with no oxygen supply and overcrowded intensive care units.
The Brazilian Air Force said on Saturday a second flight had landed in Manaus after an earlier emergency delivery of five tanks containing eight tanks of liquid oxygen, and the Navy said in a statement that 40 respirators will be sent.
Venezuela announced that it had sent the first batch of oxygen on the 1,500 km road trip to Amazonas that was due to arrive in Manaus on Sunday.
Read more: In Brazilian hospitals in Manaus, patients are running out of oxygen as hundreds are waiting for beds
Family members of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 line up with empty oxygen tanks to be refilled in Manaus - AP
01:54 am
Today's top stories
Every adult in the UK will be vaccinated by the end of June, senior government officials hope, as they become increasingly optimistic and can accelerate the rollout.
Britain will be able to vaccinate the entire nation against dangerous new strains of Covid in four months after opening a £ 158 million superfactory later this year, The Telegraph has announced.
Ministers are being asked to wait before giving rare coronavirus bumps to people who have just recovered from the virus because they have been immune for at least five months.
Britain's strategic defense against pandemic pathogens is being built in a field in Oxfordshire - but it won't be ready for a year.
Armed forces doctors will spend at least two months in hospitals across the southeast to ease pressure on frontline workers grappling with the rising number of coronavirus patients, The Telegraph can show.
According to The Telegraph, railroad companies are considering an airline-style point system for regular travelers to help win back customers after the pandemic.
Private school parents have been told they will not receive a fee refund due to the Charity Act for this period, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.
Eurostar is on its way to a financial collapse that risks disrupting a vital link with the continent as the pandemic subsides, business leaders and MPs have warned the Chancellor.
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