Coronavirus News Update – June 13: U.S. Death Toll Crosses 600,000 Mark

By Anna Breuer on 13 June 2021
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Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square in Moscow

As the Group of Seven summit in Carbis Bay, a seaside resort in England, comes to an end, world leaders are expected to sign a declaration on global health that will begin the steps towards avoiding another major pandemic. The Carbis Bay declaration is described in a statement issued by organizers of the meeting as a “historic statement setting out a series of concrete commitments to prevent any repeat of the human and economic devastation wreaked by coronavirus.”

As of Sunday morning, the world has recorded over 176.5 million Covid-19 cases and has seen 3.81 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 160.5 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

In the United States, the death toll crossed the 600,000 mark, with 34.3 million active cases having been reported since the start of the pandemic. The United States has reported more cases during the pandemic than any other country.

Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year, over 2.33 billion doses have been administered across the globe as of Sunday morning, the equivalent of over 30 doses for every 100 people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Sunday, 173.4 million people in the United States – or 52.2% –have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 43.1%, or 143.1 million people, are fully vaccinated, bringing the total number of doses dispensed in the United States to over 308.1 million. Breaking this down further, 64.3% of the population over the age of 18 – or 165.9 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 53.9% of the same group – or 139 million people – is fully vaccinated.

Health officials in Russia are scrambling to contain a new surge in coronavirus cases. The biggest spike is in Moscow and the city’s mayor, Sergey Sobyanin, who said that the situation has “deteriorated sharply” in a post on his blog, ordered a “long paid weekend” from June 12 to June 20 during which workers should stay home.   The mayor also ordered bars and restaurants to stop serving customers at 11 p.m and closed food courts in shopping malls as well as public playgrounds and athletic fields, and begged residents to get vaccinated, saying that, without mass vaccinations, the city would be in “constant fever.”

The head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urged China to cooperate with an investigation into the origins of SARS-CoV-2, following the G7 summit where leaders of the seven nations discussed the causes of the pandemic. In his remarks, he said that he hoped there would be better cooperation and transparency.  “As you know, we will need cooperation from the Chinese side,” he said, “We need transparency to understand or know or find the origin of this virus.”

Meanwhile, YouTube said it had suspended the account of a Republican senator over a Covid-19 post.  Senator Ron Johnson was banned from the service for one week after posting remarks about controversial alternative therapies for Covid.  “We removed the video in accordance with our Covid-19 medical misinformation policies, which don’t allow content that encourages people to use Hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus,” a YouTube spokesman said in a statement.

Germany continued its public awareness campaign with videos by Baywatch and Knightrider star David Hasselhoff and a Berlin doctor, Najeed al-Saidi. The doctor was used to promote vaccinations to the country’s Arabic-speaking population and was found to have posted anti-Semitic material on Facebook in May. His video was swiftly removed.  “We did not conduct the necessary background checks in time,“ a government spokesman said in a statement.

Finally, the beleaguered Copa América tournament, which was moved to Brazil less than two weeks ago after its original host, Argentina, said it could not host it safely, reported that at least 12 Venezuela players and team staff tested positive for the virus a day before they were slated to play Brazil in the opening match.  Meanwhile, reports from Bolivia indicate that at least four people connected to its team, scheduled to play Paraguay on Monday, became infected with the virus.

Paul Riegler contributed reporting to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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