Coronavirus Morning News Brief – June 30: Dr. Fauci’s Covid Rebound, China Sticks to ‘Zero Covid’

U.S. Companies Doing Business in China See Small Improvement After Reopening

By Jonathan Spira on 30 June 2022
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Magic Castle at Walt Disney World

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 812th day of the pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist, reported that he had Covid with “very minimal symptoms” on June 15, but, as his symptoms worsened, he began a five-day course of Paxlovid, after which he felt “quite well.”

That didn’t last long.  He did test negative on antigen tests for three consecutive days after finishing the Paxlovid course but, on the fourth day, he reverted to positive.

In an interview at the Foreign Policy’s Global Health Forum he said that he tested again and “reverted to positive.”  Moreover, “over the next day or so I started to feel really poorly, much worse than in the first go-around.”

The doctor believes Paxlovid kept him out of the hospital, although it didn’t keep him from missing his daughter’s wedding, in which he participated remotely.

“Paxlovid did what it was supposed to do,” he said in the interview.

Although both the FDA and CDC don’t recommend a second course of Paxlovid, the drugmaker, Pfizer, does in such cases.  Rebounds in fact are not uncommon and Pfizer’s initial clinical data on Paxlovid, which found that about 1% to 2% of both the treatment and placebo groups had rebounds in trials.

The jury is still out on why rebounds happen so stay tuned.

In other news we cover, Shanghai Disneyland reopened and a well-known Covid conspiracy theorist was heavily fined for attending banned activities during Britain’s lockdown.

Here’s a look at what has taken place over the past 24 hours.

GLOBAL

In the United Kingdom, Covid conspiracy theorist Piers Corbyn, the brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, was found guilty of taking part in four different pandemic rule-breaking events in 2020.  He was fined more than £1,000 as a result.

Also in the United Kingdom, as a shortage of nursing staff worsens, National Health Service hospital staff have been ordered to change bed linens only “if essential” as the NHS has been hit by a shortage of clean laundry.

In China, the American Chamber of Commerce reported that U.S.-based companies with Chinese operations have reported marginal improvements in business conditions, adding that inconsistent coronavirus restrictions across the country continue to pose a challenge to supply chains and production.

Meanwhile, Chinese President XI Jinping said while visiting Wuhan, the ur epicenter of the pandemic, that the country will stick to its “zero Covid” policy despite the economic risks that came with it.  He also said that taking a “herd immunity” approach in China could lead to “unimaginable” consequences.

ENTERTAINMENT

After three months without Mickey Mouse, Shanghai Disneyland reopened on Thursday.  Thousands of visitors were at the gates prior to the opening of Disney’s largest resort in Asia, eager to enter the Magic Kingdom.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Thursday, June 30.

As of Thursday morning, the world has recorded 551.9 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 1.0 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and 6.36 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 527.4 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.9 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Thursday is 18,173,831, an increase of 117,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 18,136,994, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 36,837, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged over the pat 24 hours.

The United States reported 196,230 new coronavirus infections on Thursday for the previous day, compared to 122,495 on Wednesday, 131,797 on Tuesday, and 18,240 on Monday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate continues to be over 100,000 and is now 112,658.  Figures for the weekend (reported the following day) are typically 30% to 60% of those posted on weekdays due to a lower number of tests being conducted.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 112,464, a 7% increase, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 388, an increase of 18% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 32,706, a 9% increase.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Thursday, recorded 89.2 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.04 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 43.5 million, and a reported death toll of 525,116.

New data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed at the end of May that the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 812,890, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, after the United States.  Rosstat reported that 11,583 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in April, down from 35,584 in March and from 43,543 in February.

Meanwhile, Brazil now has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 671,194, and has recorded 32.3 million cases.

France continues to occupy the number four position in total cases with 30.9 million cases, and Germany is in the number five slot with 28.2 million.  The United Kingdom, with 22.7 million cases, is now number six and is the only other country in the world with a total number of cases over the 20 million mark.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Thursday, over 259.4 million people in the United States – or 78.1% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 66.9%, or 222.1 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 593.7 million. Breaking this down further, 89.5% of the population over the age of 18 – or 231.2 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 76.8% of the same group – or 198.4 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 50.7% of that population, or 100.5 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Starting on June 13, the CDC began to update vaccine data on a weekly basis and publish it on Thursdays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.

Over 66.4% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Thursday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 12.04 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 5.35 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 17.4% 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.

Only a handful of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% mark in vaccinations. Many countries, however, are under 20% and, in countries such as Haiti, Senegal, and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits, if not lower.

In addition, North Korea and Eritrea are now the only two countries in the world that have not administered vaccines.

Anna Breuer contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

 

Accura News

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