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ANKARA, Turkey — A primary batch of vaccines developed by Chinese language biopharmaceutical firm Sinovac has arrived in Turkey, after a two-week delay.

A aircraft carrying 3 million doses of the CoronaVac vaccine landed within the capital Ankara early on Wednesday. The primary cargo was initially scheduled to reach on Dec. 11 however Turkish officers stated issues regarding permits, adopted by a COVID-19 case in Beijing customs and excessive alert in opposition to infections there, brought about the delay.

Turkey has signed a deal for 50 million doses of the vaccine, which the nation says has an efficacy price of 91.25% based mostly on early outcomes of late-stage trials performed in Turkey.

The vaccine will now be examined by two public well being companies earlier than the federal government provides its formal approval for inoculations, beginning with well being care employees.

Turkey has additionally reached an settlement with Pfizer BioNTech, which is to supply 4.5 million doses of its vaccine till the tip of March and the choice to purchase as much as 30 million doses later within the yr.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Prime Chinese language officers quietly ordered strict controls on all COVID-19 analysis within the nation, inside paperwork obtained by The AP present, cloaking the seek for the origins of the virus in secrecy.

— Newly elected Congressman Luke Letlow dies from COVID-19 issues at age 41 days earlier than he would have been sworn into workplace.

— Well being officers say a Colorado man who grew to become the primary reported individual within the U.S. to have a COVID-19 variant that’s spreading in the UK hadn’t been touring.

— California’s most densely populated space continues to set new demise and hospitalization data and public well being officers say it should stay below strict stay-home orders for the foreseeable future.

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— Comply with AP’s protection at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

NEW DELHI — India is extending the suspension of flights to and from the UK till Jan. 7 because of the the unfold of a coronavirus variant.

The resumption of flights after that date will likely be strictly regulated, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri stated in a tweet on Wednesday.

India’s Well being Ministry has confirmed 20 individuals who returned from the UK earlier than the suspension have been discovered contaminated with the brand new variant.

India on Wednesday maintained an general downward pattern and reported 20,549 new instances of the virus up to now 24 hours, taking its complete as much as 10.24 million confirmed infections. One other 286 deaths have been reported up to now 24 hours, taking complete fatalities to 148,439.

India is anticipated to start out a vaccination drive for some 300 million folks early subsequent month.

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The United Arab Emirates’ capital of Abu Dhabi has shelved plans to reopen faculties for in-person instruction after the vacation break.

Authorities within the federation of seven sheikhdoms ordered Wednesday that every one personal and public faculties within the capital begin 2021 with two weeks of distant studying “to guard the well being and security of scholars, academics and college workers.”

For the autumn semester, faculties within the capital have been ready to select from a patchwork of plans starting from totally in-person to distant lessons. The choice to mandate distance studying for a part of January comes because the nation sees a spike in virus instances.

The UAE this week stated it detected “a restricted quantity” of the primary identified instances of the fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus discovered within the U.Okay., with out elaborating on quantity or journey historical past of the contaminated folks.

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With an financial system depending on hospitality and aviation, the nation has remained largely open for tourism and enterprise regardless of its rising case numbers.

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BATON ROUGE, La. — Luke Letlow, who was to have been Louisiana’s latest Republican member of the U.S. Home, has died from issues associated to COVID-19 solely days earlier than being sworn into workplace. He was 41.

Letlow spokesman Andrew Bautsch confirmed the congressman-elect’s demise Tuesday at Ochsner-LSU Well being Shreveport. The spokesman says that “the household appreciates the quite a few prayers and help over the previous days.”

Letlow had received a December runoff election and was set to take workplace in January. He was admitted to a Monroe hospital on Dec. 19 after testing optimistic for the coronavirus. He was later transferred to the Shreveport medical heart and positioned in intensive care.

Letlow is survived by his spouse, Julia Barnhill Letlow, and two kids.

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SAN FRANCISCO — California’s prime well being official says hospitals in hard-hit Los Angeles County are turning to “disaster care” and bracing for the coronavirus surge to worsen within the new yr.

Dr. Mark Ghaly’s remark got here Tuesday as he prolonged strict stay-home orders in areas the place intensive care models have few beds.

Ghaly says Southern California and the agricultural San Joaquin Valley have nearly no ICU capability to deal with COVID-19 sufferers. He says some overwhelmed hospitals don’t have area to unload ambulances or get oxygen to sufferers who can’t breathe.

The state’s “disaster care” pointers enable for rationing therapy when workers, drugs and provides are in brief provide.

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California reported greater than 31,000 new coronavirus infections Tuesday and 242 deaths. Almost 25,000 folks within the state have died from COVID-19 through the pandemic.

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DENVER — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis says the state has recorded the primary reported U.S. case of the coronavirus variant that has been seen in the UK.

State well being officers stated Tuesday that the variant was present in a person in his 20s who’s in isolation southeast of Denver and has no journey historical past.

The Colorado State Laboratory confirmed the virus variant, and the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention was notified.

Scientists within the U.Okay. consider the brand new virus variant is extra contagious than beforehand recognized strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Well being officers have stated the vaccines being given now are considered efficient in opposition to the variant.

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NEW YORK — Drugmaker Pfizer and companion BioNTech say they are going to be supplying an extra 100 million doses of their coronavirus vaccine to the European Union subsequent yr.

The European Fee is exercising its choice to purchase these extra doses below the preliminary contract it signed with the 2 drugmakers final month.

New York-based Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech stated Tuesday the extra provide will give the EU’s 27 member states a complete of 300 million doses, sufficient to present 150 million folks the two-dose vaccine.

Almost all of the EU member nations began their vaccination campaigns Sunday.

The 2 corporations have stated they might present as much as 1.3 billion doses of the vaccine worldwide by the tip of 2021, however manufacturing constraints may scale back that quantity.

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