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The U.K. variant of Covid-19, which scientists say spreads more easily, has been detected across the U.S., including Texas, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
That news came as the U.S. marked 4,000 deaths Thursday, according to an NBC News tally — the highest national daily total since the pandemic began.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said Wednesday that he is advising states to begin vaccinating lower-priority groups against Covid-19 if the doses they have on hand would otherwise be sitting in freezers.
- Map of U.S. hot spots and worldwide Covid-19 cases.
- Tracking surges in states across the country this winter.
- Map of travel restrictions and which states have a mask mandate.
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Japan declares state of emergency for Tokyo, nearby areas
TOKYO — Japan has declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and three nearby areas as coronavirus cases continue to surge, hitting a daily record of 2,447 in the capital.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga issued the declaration at the government task force for the coronavirus. It kicks in Friday until Feb. 7, and centers around asking restaurants and bars to close at 8 p.m. and people to stay home and not mingle in crowds.
The declaration carries no penalties. But it works as a strong request while Japan juggles to keep the economy going.
Shopping malls and schools will remain open. Movie theaters, museums and other events will be asked to reduce attendance. Places that defy the request will get publicized on a list, while those that comply will be eligible for aid, according to officials.
Coronavirus cases have been surging in Japan after the year-end and New Year’s holidays.