Coronavirus News Brief – Oct. 29: Cases in Europe Surge, Britain Removes All Countries from Red List

By Anna Breuer on 29 October 2021
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While the number of new coronavirus cases is in decline in many parts of the world, that figure is surging in Europe. The World Health Organization reported that, in the period from October 18 through October 24, more than half of the world’s new confirmed cases were in Europe.

Low vaccination rates in many parts of Eastern Europe are largely to blame.  The majority of the adult population in Western Europe is fully immunized against Covid.

“The global number of reported cases and deaths from Covid-19 is now increasing for the first time in two months, driven by an ongoing rise in Europe that outweighs declines in other regions,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director general, said to reporters on Thursday. “It’s another reminder that the Covid-19 pandemic is far from over.”

Meanwhile, Britain officials said that they were removing all remaining countries from the so-called “red list.”  As a result, fully-vaccinated travelers arriving from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela will no longer have to quarantine in a hotel. The Department of Transport is keeping the red list program in place, however, and officials warned that countries could be added to it if warranted.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that Britain has been “able to do this now because the variants of concern that we have been tracking are no longer of concern to the chief medical officers.”

As of Friday morning, the world has recorded 246.5 million Covid-19 cases and over 4.99 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 223.3 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 72,569, a -16% change.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 1,381, a change of -13% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Friday, recorded over 46.7 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 763,784. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, over 34.2 million, and a death toll of 457,221, although experts believe that both numbers are in reality significantly higher.  Finally, Brazil has recorded the second highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 607,125, and has seen 21.8 million cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Friday, 221.3 million people in the United States – or 66.7% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 57.6%, or 191.2 million people, are now fully vaccinated, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 417.8 million. Breaking this down further, 79.8% of the population over the age of 18 – or 206.1 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 69.2% of the same group – or 178.6 million people – is fully vaccinated.

More than 3.87 billion people across the globe have received a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, a figure that roughly equates to 50.4% of the world’s population, a .2 percentage point increase in the past 24 hours. There remains, however, a countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, where at least 65% of the population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, and countries such as Ethiopia, Haiti, Syria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda, for example, where vaccination rates are in the single digits, if not lower.

Figures from the World Health Organization show that well-off countries are vaccinating people at the rate of one person per second, while the majority of poor countries have yet to give a single dose to its citizens.

It is critical that the world do a better job of sharing vaccines with poorer nations.

Sharing vaccines is not merely a form of charity.  Rather, the equitable distribution of vaccines is in every country’s health and economic interest and no country will be able to move past the pandemic until other countries have recovered as well.

Jonathan Spira contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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