Coronavirus News Update – July 24: N.Y. Mayor Urges Businesses to Require Employees to get Vaccinated

France, Italy Restrict Many Venues to the Inoculated

By Paul Riegler on 24 July 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 of 2020

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged employers in the Big Apple to require their employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus and signaled he would take similar measures for hundreds of thousands of municipal workers.

“If people want freedom, if people want jobs, if people want to live again, we have got to get more people vaccinated,” Hizzoner said on a weekly appearance on the radio station WNYC.  “I’m calling upon all New York City employers, including our private hospitals: Move immediately to some form of mandate, whatever the maximum you feel you can do,” he added.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron ordered French healthcare workers to get inoculated by September 15 and told the country’s populace that they will be denied access to most public indoor venues starting August 1 if they are unvaccinated or cannot produce a current negative coronavirus test.

Meanwhile, Italy on Thursday approved a plan starting August 6 that requires the so-called “certificazione verde” or “green pass” for those age 12 and over to gain access to a variety of public places, including restaurants, cafes, gyms, movie theaters, and other public venues.  Previously, the green pass was only used in travel between EU nations.

As of Saturday morning, the world has recorded 194.2 million Covid-19 cases and over 4.16 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 176.3 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

In the United States, the death toll is now 626,664, an increase of 485 in the past day.  Since the start of the pandemic the country has recorded 35.3 million cases, a higher figure than any other country and one that is followed by India, which now has over 31.3 million officially recorded cases and 420,043 officially recorded deaths, although experts believe that both number are in reality significantly higher.

The United States added over 49,746 new cases over the past 24 hours, a 173% 14-day increase and a trend that is fueled by the highly contagious India, or Delta, variant.

Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year over 3.79 billion doses have been administered across the globe as of Saturday morning, an increase of 0.04 billion and the equivalent of over 49 doses for every 100 people, a one-dose increase per hundred over the previous 48 hours.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Saturday, 187.7 million people in the United States – or 56.5% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 48.9%, or 162.3 million people, are now fully vaccinated, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 340.4 million. Breaking this down further, 68.7% of the population over the age of 18 – or 177.4 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 59.8% of the same group – or 154.5 million people – is fully vaccinated.

The United States said it had ordered 200 million additional Covid-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, albeit at a higher price than previous deals, bringing the total number of doses purchased to one billion.  The country is paying $24 per dose, Pfizer said, an increase over the $19.50 it had previously paid. Pfizer said in a statement that the higher price is due to “additional investment necessary to produce, package and deliver new formulations of the vaccine, as well as the increased cost associated with delivering the vaccine in smaller pack sizes to facilitate delivery at individual provider offices, including pediatricians.”

Another Republican is calling on more people to get inoculated. “We’ve got to get folks to take the shot,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey told reporters Thursday.  Only 33.9% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated, according to data from the CDC, the lowest rate in the country.  “Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”

The 2020 Olympic Games opened in Tokyo with Covid-19 precautions in place and a stadium bereft of spectators, despite concerns in Japan about the infection rate from the gathering of 50,000 athletes and officials from 200 countries. The Parade of Nations was significantly scaled down, and a group of protesters using megaphones was audible during a moment of silence in the ceremony.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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