Coronavirus live updates: US reports over 168,000 new cases

Samara Heisz/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, ERIN SCHUMAKER and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 96.2 million people worldwide and killed over two million of them, 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 Wednesday. All times Eastern:

Jan 20, 7:56 am
Zimbabwe’s foreign minister dies from COVID-19

Zimbabwe’s minister of foreign affairs and international trade, Sibusiso Moyo, has died from COVID-19, officials said. He was 61.

Moyo “succumbed to COVID-19 at a local hospital” early Wednesday morning, according to a statement from presidential spokesman George Charamba.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa took to Twitter to confirm the news and post a photo of Moyo.

“Zimbabwe has lost a devoted public servant and a true hero, and I have lost a friend. He fought his entire life so that Zimbabwe could be free,” Mnangagwa tweeted. “May he rest in peace.”

Moyo gained recognition in November 2017 as the army general who announced on national television that the Zimbabwean military had placed then-President Robert Mugabe under house arrest, while insisting it was not a coup. The move ended Mugabe’s 37-year rule and Moyo was appointed to Mnangagwa’s cabinet when he took power with military backing.

Zimbabwe has recently seen a surge in COVID-19 infections amid fears of a new, more contagious variant of the novel coronavirus that emerged in neighboring South Africa. Zimbabwe has confirmed more than 28,000 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, including at least 825 deaths, according to the latest data from the Africas Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Jan 20, 6:41 am
Over 15.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered in US so far

More than 15.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the United States to date, according to data published on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

Over 13.5 million people have received one or more doses of the vaccine, while more than two million have received two doses, according to the CDC data, which was updated Tuesday.

Jan 20, 5:39 am
US reports over 168,000 new cases

There were 168,058 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the United States on Tuesday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The latest daily case count is far less than the country’s all-time high of 298,031 newly confirmed infections on Jan. 2, Johns Hopkins data shows.

An additional 2,550 fatalities from COVID-19 were registered nationwide on Tuesday, down from a peak of 4,462 new deaths on Jan. 12, according to Johns Hopkins data.

COVID-19 data may be skewed due to possible lags in reporting over the holidays followed by a potentially very large backlog.

A total of 24,253,368 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 401,730 have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.

Much of the country was under lockdown by the end of March as the first wave of the pandemic hit. By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up over the summer.

The numbers lingered around 40,000 to 50,000 from mid-August through early October before surging again to record levels, crossing 100,000 for the first time on Nov. 4, then reaching 200,000 on Nov. 27 before nearing 300,000 on Jan. 2.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.