Coronavirus News Update – March 23: N.Y. Mayor Calls on Governor Cuomo to Slow Down Big Apple’s Reopening

Third Brazilian Lawmaker Succumbs to Covid

By Jesse Sokolow on 23 March 2021
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Three of New York’s finest on a deserted Park Avenue in the middle of the day in the spring last year

As of Tuesday morning, the world has recorded 124.4 million Covid-19 cases, and has seen over 2.74 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such data.

Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year, the world has administered more than 458 million doses, the equivalent of 6 doses for every 100 people, an increase from 5.8 doses the prior day..

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that 82.5 million people in the United States, or 32% of the population over the age of 18, have received at least one dose, including over 44.8 million people, or 17.4% of the same population, who have received both doses. Overall, 13.5% of the population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, a 0.2 percentage point increase over Monday’s figures.

In New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that residents of the state aged 50 and older will be eligible to receive Covid-19 vaccines starting Tuesday. “The production is ramping up,” Cuomo said at a media appearance. “We’ve spent so many months not having enough. Over the next few weeks, you’re going to see the production of the vaccine ramp up.”

However, while the vaccines are increasing in supply, there has also been a spike in New York of different variants of the virus, prompting New York City MayorBill de Blasio to urge Cuomo, who recently increased indoor dining capacity to 50% and allowed group fitness classes to resume, to “reassess” his thinking in terms of reopening the state. “It’s time to reassess for sure,” said de Blasio at briefing on Monday. “Certainly we have to stop there while we see what happens with these variants.”

Meanwhile, West Virginia expanded vaccination eligibility to all adults, joining Alaska and Mississippi in making everyone older than 16 eligible. Tennessee will allow all residents 16 years of age and older to receive vaccinations starting on April 5, 2021.

In Hawaii, three people who had been fully vaccinated tested positive for Covid. None of the individuals became severely ill, nor did they appear to have transmitted the disease to others, the state department of health said. All three had received both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control on Monday again urged people not to travel during spring break, amidst the chaotic backdrop of Miami Beach, where, despite an 8 p.m. curfew being instituted, people were staying out late while gathering, mostly maskless, in large crowds. The tension came to a head on Saturday, when police had to resort to firing balls of pepper spray to disperse crowds who defied the curfew and continued to party.

A Florida lawmaker espressed dismay about the coronavirus outbreak t Mar-a-Lago, the private club and former residence of Marjorie Merriweather Post that is now owned by Donald Trump. “It is clear to me that folks at Mar-a-Lago are cavalier and careless about mask wearing,” state Representative Omari Hardy said to People Magazine.  In January, Hardy called for the club to be shut down for violating the county’s mask mandate.

Last week, a senator in Brazil died of the coronavirus, the third senator to do so since the start of the pandemic. While the first two to succumb were aged 87 and 83, Senator Major Olimpio was just 58 years old. The country currently has the second highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, after the United States, with over 12 million cases and more than 295,000 deaths.

Anna Breuer contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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