Coronavirus News Briefing – Oct. 12: Covid Response ‘One of UK’s Worst Ever Public Health Failures’

By Anna Breuer on 12 October 2021
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The United Kingdom’s initial response to the coronavirus pandemic was one of the country’s worst ever public health failures, a House of Commons inquiry found.

The belief in “herd immunity” and the delay in ordering a lockdown was part of a deliberately “slow and gradualist” approach which meant that the country fared “significantly worse” than others, according to the 151-page “Coronavirus: Lessons Learned to Date” report.

Referring the slow response, the report said that “[I]t is now clear that this was the wrong policy, and that it led to a higher initial death toll than would have resulted from a more emphatic early policy. In a pandemic spreading rapidly and exponentially, every week counted.”

As of Tuesday morning, the world has recorded 239.2 million Covid-19 cases and almost 4.9 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 216.4 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 89,256, a -24% change.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 1,853, a change of -10% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has as of Saturday recorded 45.3 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 734,611. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, over 33.9 million, and a death toll of 451,032, 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, 601,266, and has seen 21.6 million cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Tuesday, 216.9 million people in the United States – or 65.3% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 56.4%, or 187.2 million people, are now fully vaccinated, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 401.8 million. Breaking this down further, 78.2% of the population over the age of 18 – or 202 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 67.8% of the same group – or 175 million people – is fully vaccinated.

More than 3.75 billion people across the globe  have received a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, a figure that roughly equates to 48.8% of the world’s population, a 0.8 percentage point increase in the past 24 hours. There remains, however, a stark gap between the percentage of individuals vaccinated in more advanced 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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