By MORGAN WINSOR, ERIN SCHUMAKER and IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 67.6 million people and killed over 1.5 million worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Here’s how the news is developing Tuesday. All times Eastern:
Dec 08, 5:52 am
Russia extends ban on mass gatherings at schools until 2022
Russia has banned schools and extracurricular clubs from holding mass gatherings until Jan. 1, 2022.
A ban on mass gatherings at Russian schools was first imposed in June to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus and was set to expire on Jan. 1, 2021. But a new decree published Monday and signed by Russia’s chief sanitary doctor, Anna Popova, extends the ban and now also applies to sports organizations and other social infrastructure for children and youth.
Universities and colleges are exempt from the ban.
Russia’s coronavirus response headquarters said Tuesday it had confirmed 26,097 new cases of COVID-19 as well as 562 deaths from the disease in the past 24 hours. The country’s cumulative total currently stands at 2,515,009 confirmed cases with 44,159 deaths.
Despite the growing number of infections and deaths, Russian authorities have repeatedly said they have no plans to impose another nationwide lockdown.
The Eastern European country of 145 million people has the fourth-highest tally of COVID-19 cases in the world, behind only the United States, India and Brazil, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Dec 08, 4:16 am
90-year-old grandmother becomes first to receive Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine outside clinical trial
A 90-year-old grandmother became Patient A on Tuesday morning as she was the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine outside a clinical trial.
Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week, received the shot — the first of 800,000 doses — at University Hospital Coventry in central England at 6:31 a.m., as part of a mass immunization program rolled out across the United Kingdom, according to a press release from the National Health Service (NHS), the country’s publicly-funded health care system.
Keenan, a former jewelry shop assistant who only retired four years ago, said she feels “so privileged to be the first person.” She will receive a booster injection — re-exposure to the immunizing antigen after initial vaccination — in 21 days “to ensure she has the best chance of being protected against the virus,” according to the press release.
“It’s the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the New Year after being on my own for most of the year,” Keenan, who has two children and four grandchildren, said in a statement released by the NHS.
Last week, the U.K. became the first country in the world to authorize emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech. The potentially life-saving vaccine was shown in late-stage clinical trials to be more than 95% effective in preventing COVID-19.
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