Coronavirus Live News: As New York discovers first case of fresh UK strain, England enters third lockdown

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The first two cases of a new variant reported in São Paulo; NHS doctors equate hospitals with war zones; the UK becomes the first country to receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine

New York’s full story now confirms the first case of the infectious new British strain:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that New York has detected the first case of the more infectious form of the coronavirus originally identified in the United Kingdom.

The finding raises concerns about the threat to hospital capacity if it spreads rapidly in the state, particularly when public vaccination attempts are behind schedule in the U.S., causing some states to threaten to redistribute vaccinations if hospitals do not quickly place them in more weapons.

Cuomo announced that there is a new strain on a man in his 60s who lives in a town north of the state capital, Albany.

The man, who is recovering, had not recently traveled, indicating that the group is spreading. So far, the variant has been identified in Colorado, then California, and then in Florida late last week.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has signaled in Australia that the federal government will assist more than 2,000 citizens of Victoria stuck in the state of New South Wales due to a New Year’s Day lockout.

In Tuesday’s interviews with 3AW and 2GB, the Australian premier announced that on Monday night he had spoken with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews about developing a “better way home” for people who were unable to return home before the harsh New Year’s Day border closure was enforced.

Morrison said that by establishing Covid-free areas in NSW, the Commonwealth valued the right of states to set health policy, including border controls, but would help make them as ‘painless as possible’:

And for a coronavirus break and some other news to clean up this site…. Here’s a brief meditation (by me) on narwhals and their insane teeth:

On Monday, a coalition representing major U.S. airlines sponsored a plan by public health officials to introduce a global monitoring program that, according to a letter seen by Reuters, would require negative tests before any foreign airline passengers return to the United States. In a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, Airlines for America, which represents American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and other major carriers, also urged the Trump administration to step forward with recommendations to remove existing entry restrictions as soon as possible for travelers from Europe, the United Kingdom and Brazil. Airlines want to see at least 14 days before the new requirement

According to court records released Monday, a Wisconsin pharmacist who was sure the world was ‘crashing down’ told police he attempted to ruin hundreds of doses of coronavirus vaccine because he thought the shots would mutate the DNA of people.

Police arrested Advocate Aurora Health pharmacist Steven Brandenburg last week in Grafton, about 20 miles north of Milwaukee, following an investigation into the 57 contaminated Moderna vaccine vials, which officials say contained enough doses to vaccinate more than 500 individuals.

There are charges pending:

Hello and welcome, Helen Sullivan, to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic today.

I’m going to keep you updated, and you can communicate with me as always, or find me on Twitter @helenrsullivan.

As Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced, England will undergo the toughest national lockdown since March, with schools closed and people permitted to leave once a day for exercise for at least six weeks, as the number of people in the hospital hits new highs.

NHS doctors have associated hospitals in Britain with war zones.

The chairman of the BMA Council, Dr. Chaand Nagpaul, said there is a strong need for significant intervention to contain the virus, particularly the new form, because “the NHS is on the brink.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has, meanwhile, reported that

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