Coronavirus News Update – March 9: Italy Marks 100,000 Deaths One Year After First Lockdown

By Jesse Sokolow on 9 March 2021
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A country road in northern Italy

The coronavirus has infected over 117.8 million people worldwide as of Tuesday. The death toll from the virus is above 2.6 million, according to Worldometer, which tracks the data.

Meanwhile, since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year, the world has administered more than 309.3 million doses, the equivalent of four doses for every 100 people. Approximately 60 million people in the United States have received at least one dose, including 31.4 million who have received both doses. Around 23.5% of the population in the United States over the age of 18 has received at least one dose and 12.3% have received both doses.

Approximately one year after its first national lockdown, Italy passed the 100,000 mark in deaths from the coronavirus. The country was the first in Europe to be severely impacted by the pandemic, exploding as the ground zero for coronavirus cases and deaths on the Continent, and the first to take major lockdown steps. Italy now ranks number six in the world’s death toll from the virus, following the United States, Brazil, Mexico, India, and the United Kingdom.

On Monday, China announced the release of a digital vaccine passport. The passport will contain holders’ medical history, including their Covid-19 tests and vaccinations. The service, which runs on Tencent’s WeChat application, is available only for Chinese nationals.

Research from the group Policy Analysis for California Education showed that young American students, some who have gone almost a year without in-person learning, have fallen behind in terms of reading skills. According to the study, as of last fall, second graders in the country were 26% behind where they would have been without a pandemic-interrupted school year in their ability to read correctly and at speed, while third graders were 33% behind.

Russian intelligence services have been found to be at the heart of a disinformation campaign attacking the efficacy of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in the United States. Three publications run by the Russian intelligence services have repeatedly claimed that their country’s vaccine, Sputnik V, is more effective and has less side effects than the vaccines developed in the United States. “We will fight with every tool we have,” Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said on Monday. “We are aware of it, we are monitoring it and we are taking steps to address.”

Finally, P.1, the variant of Coronavirus that first arose in Brazil, has been shown that it has the ability to infect people who had already recovered from Covid-19, three new studies have shown. The variant likely originated in the Brazilian city of Manaus, where it spread rapidly due to its increased level of contagiousness. Although the studies have yet to be published in journals, health officials around the world are cautioning that the preliminary findings need to be taken seriously.

Anna Breuer contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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