Covid: States clamp down as US cases pass 11 million mark
Michigan, Washington and California are the latest US states to bring in strict measures
to try to curb the spread of Covid-19, as cases top 11 million.
High schools and colleges are to halt on-site teaching while restaurants are prohibited
from offering indoor dining in Michigan from Wednesday.
Indoor restaurant dining is also banned in Washington State, and gyms, cinemas,
theatres and museums will close.
And much of California will return to its most severe restriction level.
On average, more than 1,000 people a day are dying with the virus, and the overall
death toll is close to 250,000. Hospital admissions have also reached record levels
with nearly 150,000 new cases across the US on Monday.
The Trump administration struck an optimistic note on Friday, saying it hoped to
distribute 20 million doses of an approved vaccine in December, and for each month
after that - although vaccines have yet to get official approval.
President-elect Joe Biden said on Monday that "people may die" because of
the White House's refusal to facilitate a presidential transition and co-ordinate with
the Biden team for a vaccination campaign. The lack of cooperation is
"totally irresponsible", he said.
On Monday, in a major new development, US drug company Moderna said its
Covid-19 vaccine was nearly 95% effective according to early results.
A similar announcement earlier this month about another vaccine - from
the companies Pfizer and BioNTech - sent stock markets soaring amid hopes that life
could return to normal next year.
Mr Biden celebrated the developments, but cautioned that distributing a vaccine
to Americans is "a huge, huge, undertaking".
Even without coordination between the president and the president-elect, aides
to Mr Biden have said his team would nonetheless start talking to vaccine
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