Coronavirus Morning News Brief – Feb. 6: Canadian Truckers Loudly Protest Restrictions, Turkey’s President Tests Positive

Two Men Who Stole 192 Ventilators Destinated for Hospitals Sentenced

By Jonathan Spira on 6 February 2022
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At at-home coronavirus test

Even as the surges fueled by the omicron variant of the coronavirus appear to be on the decline in many places, the world is ostensibly sicker than it has been in over 100 years, namely since the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic which killed at least 17 and as many as 100 million people, epidemiologists have estimated.  Only the Black Death –  the bubonic plague of 1346 to 1353 –  which resulted in the death of between 75 million to 200 million people – an estimated 30% to 60% of the population of Europe – and the Plague of Justinian of 541 to 549 with similar numbers took a greater toll.

The coronavirus pandemic, by comparison, has only resulted in the deaths thus far of 5.7 million.

In other news we cover today, trucker protests over Covid restrictions in Canada grew louder, the leader of Turkey tested positive for the coronavirus, and the world moved within striking distance of the 400 million mark in total Covid infections.

UNITED STATES

Two men – Yelvis Denis Hernandez and Luis Ura Montero – who in August 2020 stole 192 ventilators that were eventually bound for El Salvador – were sentenced to 41 months in prison each, according to a news release issued by the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of Florida.

Two major drugstore chains are removing purchase limits on at-home coronavirus tests.   CVS had capped the purchase limit at six, while Walgreens would allow just four. The stores cited “improved in-stock conditions” in a statement.

GLOBAL

As celebrations of the Lunar New Year began, the death toll in South Korea crossed the one million mark, adding 38,691 new cases on Sunday, a pandemic high.

Meanwhile, in Turkey, Cumhuriyeti Cumhurbaşkanı Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife, Emine Erdogan, tested positive for the coronavirus, he announced on Twitter on Saturday.   The news came two days after a visit to the Ukraine, during which he met with that country’s leader, Volodmymyr Zelensky.

“We will continue our work at home,” Erdogan said in a tweet. “We look forward to your prayers.”

In Canada, thousands of people in trucks, tractors, and cars have hit the streets in protest of the country’s coronavirus restrictions.  The movement started in Alberta and has since moved to Québec City and cities and towns in between.  The protestors are using persistent and rather noisy horn honking to demand the lifting of the restrictions, including vaccine and mask mandates as well as lockdowns.

SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

The number of new coronavirus daily cases amongst arriving athletes and team officials arriving at the Beijing airport declined Saturday, when only two of the 190 arrivals tested positive, versus 20 on Friday.  In addition, twoother attendees including journalists from abroad also tested positive.

A total of 305 people arrived Saturday, versus 287 on Friday.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Sunday, February 6.

As of Sunday morning, the world has recorded 394.9 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 2.5 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and 5.75 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 313.6 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 2.6 million.

Worldwide, the number of active cases as of Sunday is 75,156,199.  Out of that figure, 99.9%, or 75,609,247, are considered mild, and 0.1%, or 91,060, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical fell is largely unchanged over the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 123,593 new coronavirus infections on Sunday for the previous day, compared to 310,155 new cases  on Saturday, 312,238  on Friday, and 324,907  on Thursday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The lower figures for Sunday are being attributed in great part to the severe weather that much of the county had over the past 48 hours.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 303,964, a 57% decrease, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 2,597, an increase of 21% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Sunday, recorded 77.9 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 925,655. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 42.2 million, and a reported death toll of 502,008. Finally, Brazil has recorded the second highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 631,869, and has seen 26.5 million cases.  France now occupies the number four position, with 20.6 million cases, and the United Kingdom is in the number five slot with 17.8 million.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Sunday, 250.9 million people in the United States – or 75.6% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 64.1%, or 212.7 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 542.7 million. Breaking this down further, 87.2% of the population over the age of 18 – or 225.1 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 74.3% of the same group – or 191.9 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 45.4% of that population, or 87 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Over 61.4% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Sunday, a figure that is largely unchanged in the past 24 hours, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 10.2 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis.

Meanwhile, only 10% of people in low-income countries have received one dose, while in countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine. In countries such as Ethiopia, Haiti, Syria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits, if not lower.

Paul Riegler contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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