Coronavirus Morning News Brief – January 18: ‘The clouds of Covid are parting’ and will Omicron end the pandemic?
Slowly but surely, the world has made progress in vaccinating its citizens. As of Tuesday morning, some 60% of the world’s population had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to Our World in Data, which uses the most recent official figures from governments and health ministries around the world.
The picture is also brighter in the northeastern United States, where states are seeing a rapid decline in Covid cases.
“Covid clouds are parting,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said on Monday, adding that while keeping weather “the forecast is much brighter than it was before. “.
Other states in the region appear to be following the pattern set by New York, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
While cases are stabilizing in the northeast, they remain high in the rest of the country. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser, was asked at the virtual World Economic Forum on Monday whether 2022 could be the year in which Covid becomes rampant. Fauci stressed that “we don’t know,” but said it depends on whether “we don’t get another variant that evades the immune response.”
Meanwhile, Oklahoma City hospitals are overwhelmed by a surge in Covid patients, with no intensive care beds or inpatient beds available.
“Our emergency departments are overflowing,” the chief medical officers of four health systems said in an open letter released Monday. “Our caregivers are still strong, but they are exhausted. Even these heroes can’t keep up any longer.
In the nation’s capital, the Smithsonian Institution said it would reduce the hours of its museums and the National Zoo until further notice, amid staff shortages due to the omicron-fueled Covid surge. He also said he would respond “to the needs of the public” by opening more museums on weekends.
The assets of a slot car racing joint that had been in business in Brooklyn for more than five decades were sold over the weekend by the son of the two original owners following the death of his parents, Buzz and Dolores Perri, from Covid mid-last year. Buzz and Dolores remained the picture of health well into the 80s, but Dolores, according to a Daily Beast article, fell in love with “natural living” guru and self-proclaimed alternative medicine expert Gary Nell, who espoused views saying toxic vaccines and a fraud.
Researchers in Israel said early data suggests that a fourth dose of an mRNA vaccine such as that from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna can increase antibody counts to more than what has been seen after a third dose. , but that might not be enough to protect against a breakthrough infection powered by the omicron variant, even if it was “a pretty nice boost.”
Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the infection prevention and control unit at Sheba Medical Center, told reporters that the results are “very preliminary” and have not yet been released.
Health Canada, the agency responsible for licensing drugs in this country, has given the green light to the country’s first antiviral pill for Covid, Paxlovid, which is made by Pfizer. The country has already received more than 30,000 treatments and expects another 12,000 to arrive in the next two to three months, according to Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health.
According to a government press release, two former Cathay Pacific flight attendants have been charged by Hong Kong police with violating “Disease Prevention and Control Regulations” in the special administration area. The two are said to have arrived in Hong Kong from the United States on two separate days, December 24 and December 25, 2021. The two ‘carried out unnecessary activities’ in the days following their arrival when they should have instead be isolated, according to the press release.
Both later tested positive for the omicron variant of the coronavirus. They were treated at a hospital and released, authorities said.
Amid the UK’s brewing garden party scandal, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says no one told him the May 2020 outdoor party at No 10 Downing Street was a potential breach of coronavirus restrictions.
“Nobody told me it was against the rules…because I would remember it,” the prime minister said, adding that “[I]If I had found my time, I wouldn’t have let things go this way.
SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
The Australian Open won’t be the only major tennis match that unvaccinated Novak Djokovic will be left out of: On Monday, the French sports ministry said there would be no waivers to the new vaccine passport law that was approved in the National Assembly on Sunday. The measure requires anyone entering restaurants and cafes as well as sports venues such as where the French Open will take place to present a vaccination passport showing their full vaccination status.
“This will apply to anyone who is a spectator or professional sportsperson. And this until further notice,” the ministry said in a statement.
The tennis player will also not be able to enter Spain in April for the Spanish Open without getting vaccinated. El presidente del Gobierno Pedro Sanchez has publicly welcomed the Australian government’s decision to revoke Djokovic’s visa.
“The rules are there to comply with and no one is above the rules,” he said on Monday. “And if these are the rules that the Australian government has approved, then they must be allowed.”
Finally, French clothing manufacturer Lacoste, founded in 1933 by fellow tennis player Rene Lacoste, said it planned to “review” with Djokovic, whom it sponsors, the events that unfolded in Australia. “as soon as possible”.
Now here are the daily stats for Tuesday, January 18.
As of Tuesday morning, the world recorded 332 million cases of Covid-19, an increase of 2.8 million new cases over the previous 24 hours and nearly 5.6 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks these information. Additionally, 269.3 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 1.4 million.
Worldwide, the number of active cases as of Tuesday is 57,173,574. Of this figure, 99.8%, or 55,077,037, are considered mild and 0.2%, or 96,537, are listed as reviews. The percentage of cases considered critical has remained largely unchanged over the past 24 hours.
The United States reported 712,051 on Tuesday for the day before, compared to 337,984 on Monday and 818,418 on Sunday, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 790,553, an increase of 62%, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources. The average number of daily deaths over the same period is 1,961, an increase of 54% over the same period.
In addition, since the start of the pandemic, the United States on Tuesday recorded 67.6 million cases, a figure higher than any other country, and a death toll of 874,321. India has the second highest number of officially recorded cases in the world, nearly 37.6 million, and a reported death toll of 486,784. Finally, Brazil has recorded the second highest number of deaths from the virus, 621,261, and recorded 23.1 million cases.
SPOTLIGHT ON IMMUNIZATION
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Tuesday, 248.7 million people in the United States – or 74.9% – received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 62.9%, or 208.9 million people, have received two doses of the vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been distributed in the United States is now 526.9 million. Breaking it down further, 86.9% of the population over 18 – or 224.3 million people – received at least one first inoculation and 73.5% of the same group – or 189.9 million people – are completely vaccinated. In addition, 41.3% of this population, or 78.4 million people, have already received a third dose, or booster dose, of vaccine.
Due to the Monday holiday, the agency has not updated its vaccination numbers since Saturday evening.
More than 60% of the world’s population received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday, a figure up 0.2 percentage points in the past 24 hours, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication. who follows this information. So far, 9.71 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered worldwide.
Meanwhile, only 9.6% of people in low-income countries have received a dose, while in countries like Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the UK and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. In countries like Ethiopia, Haiti, Syria, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits or even lower.
Figures from the World Health Organization show that rich countries are vaccinating people at the rate of one person per second, while the majority of poor countries have yet to give their citizens a single dose.
It is essential that the world does a better job of sharing vaccines with the poorest countries.
Sharing vaccines is not just a form of charity. On the contrary, the equitable distribution of vaccines is in the health and economic interests of each country and no country can overcome the pandemic until other countries have also recovered.
Anna Breuer contributed to this story.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)