6.57am GMT

Chinese city closes subway

China has reported 33 new cases of Covid-19, mainly in Hebei province where authorities have suspended the subway service and announced tight new restrictions ahead of Lunar New year.

This report from Reuters:

Mainland China reported 33 new Covid-19 cases on 8 January, down from 53 reported a day earlier, the country’s national health authority said on Saturday.

The National Health Commission said in a statement that 14 of the 17 locally transmitted infections were in Hebei, the province surrounding Beijing which entered a “wartime mode” this week as it battles a new cluster of coronavirus infections.

Shijiazhuang, Hebei’s capital, announced on Saturday it would suspend service on its subway. Earlier this week, authorities banned people from leaving the city in an effort to curb the spread of the disease.

Shijiazhuang is launching mass testing across its population of 11 million. On 8 January municipal authorities told residents they must stay home for at least seven days even after they complete a nucleic acid test.

The commission also reported 38 new asymptomatic cases, down from 57 a day earlier. China does not classify these patients, who have been infected by the Sars-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease but are not yet showing any Covid-19 symptoms, as confirmed cases.

A photo distributed by state media of a temporary Covid testing laboratory built on an indoor tennis court in Hebei. Photograph: Yang Shiyao/AP

at 7.03am GMT

6.30am GMT

The prime minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, has received his Covid-19 vaccination.


Got my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine today, together with Director of Medical Services A/Prof Kenneth Mak. We got vaccinated early to show Singaporeans we are confident that the vaccine is safe and effective. – LHL https://t.co/xDj5GNHUWn pic.twitter.com/ACYDvlQLaR

January 8, 2021

He described it as quick and painless, and encouraged all Singaporeans to do the same.


My COVID-19 vaccination at SGH today was a quick and painless process. We will have ample vaccines for everyone, so I hope Singaporeans and long-term residents will take it up when your turn comes, and help keep everyone safer. – LHL https://t.co/eRcBpcyFZH pic.twitter.com/9ocs2k9Zls

January 8, 2021

That has to be the biggest story involving a world leader and social media today! I can’t possibly think of anything that tops it. Anyway, moving on.

6.11am GMT

Medical journal the Lancet has published research about the long-term health impacts of Covid-19.

More than 1,700 people spoke to researchers six months after they had been discharged from hospital in Wuhan.

According to the study, fatigue or muscle weakness was the most reported symptom (63%) followed by sleep difficulties (26%) and anxiety or depression (23%).

An exhibition on the fight against coronavirus in Wuhan. Photograph: Tingshu Wang/Reuters

at 6.21am GMT

5.50am GMT

Most of you reading this would have been in a Covid-19 enforced lockdown at some point in the past year. But did you have to wear a mask while driving alone in your own car?

That’s the advice in Brisbane, Australia, which just started a snap three-day lockdown. This was sent earlier today by the state’s health minister:

Yvette D’Ath MP

If anyone in the Greater Brisbane area is leaving their home they must wear a mask throughout the entire period they are out until they get home.

This includes while driving.

January 8, 2021

5.20am GMT

Here is a piece some of you may have missed earlier, about the countries that are waiting to see how Covid-19 vaccinations unfold elsewhere before launching programs of their own:

at 5.29am GMT

5.12am GMT


Hello and welcome to our continuing coverage of Covid-19 around the world.

Here are the major developments from the last few hours:

The United States has recorded its highest daily increase in coronavirus cases, with 290,000 cases and 3,676 deaths reported in 24 hours.
Mexico has reported 14,362 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 1,038 deaths.
In Australia, New South Wales has recorded one new case of Covid-19 in connection to the Berala cluster and five in hotel quarantine; Victoria has recorded no new locally acquired cases and one in hotel quarantine; and Queensland has recorded no new cases on the first day of a three-day lockdown of greater Brisbane.
Health officials in Australia have changed the rules for releasing people who test positive to Covid-19 from hotel quarantine. It comes as a Queensland woman, who completed quarantine in Victoria and caught a domestic flight to Brisbane, was revealed to have the UK variant of the virus and to still be returning a positive test. States will now do rapid genomic testing of everyone who tests positive to Covid-19, extend the isolation period to 14 days, and require exit testing of positive cases.
In the UK, all NHS health and social care staff will be offered a Covid vaccine as an “immediate” and “critical” priority, with most to receive their first jab by early February.
The US Food and Drug Administration has said genetic variants of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, including the one first detected in the UK, could lead to false negative coronavirus test results.
Spain has recorded its biggest one-day jump in new coronavirus cases since October.
China has reported 33 new cases of Covid-19, mainly in Hebei province where authorities have suspended the subway service and announced tight new restrictions ahead of Lunar New year.
And the World Health Organization director general director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has warned richer nations against hoarding Covid-19 vaccines, saying there is a “clear problem” that low- and middle-income countries are not yet receiving supplies of Covid-19 vaccines.

at 6.44am GMT

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