Coronavirus Morning News Brief – July 11: How to Protect Yourself Against the Current Covid Surge, New Lockdowns in China

Senator Schumer Tests Positive for Covid

By Jonathan Spira on 11 July 2022
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Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 823rd day of the pandemic.

The eagerly awaited lull in Covid cases this summer does not seem to be making an appearance this year.  Instead, cases continue to surge, driven by the new omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which are partially able to elude immunity both from vaccines and prior infections.

Given the risk of Long Covid, or long-haul symptoms after an initial infection, many people want to continue to take every precaution possible without greatly impinging on daily life.

Presuming one is already fully vaccinated, it would be appropriate to get a booster dose or even a second booster if the first booster was over five months ago.  Those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised are eligible for a third booster dose.

In addition, wearing a high-quality N95 or equivalent mask such as an FFP2 will protect both the wearer as well as those around him.  I live in a high-rise condominium tower that resembles a hotel and I don an FFP2 mask when leaving my apartment and taking the lift down to the lobby or garage.

I rarely wear a mask outdoors but I do don one when in crowds.

If I feel anything resembling a Covid symptom, I use a rapid test so that I could start an antiviral such as Merck’s Molnupiravir (in my case, Paxlovid is contraindicated) to keep symptoms to a minimum.

In other news we cover today, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tested positive for Covid and lockdowns are returning to three Chinese cities.

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

UNITED STATES

The United States placed an order for 3.2 million doses of coronavirus vaccine from Novavax, a Maryland-based pharmaceutical house.  Once authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, it will be the fourth vaccine available in the United States.

Initially  it will be available as a primary immunization series for adults but it could later be authorized as a booster shot as well.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tested positive for the coronavirus; his spokesman announced Sunday night.  The senator, who is vaccinated and double boosted, is experiencing “mild symptoms,” the spokesman, Justin Goodman, said in a statement.

Despite his high office, the senator is not listed in the order of presidential succession.  Only the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and the president pro tempore of the Senate, Patrick Leahy, are on the succession list as number 2 and number 3, respectively.

GLOBAL

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol will temporarily suspend the informal media briefings that he has held on a nearly daily basis since taking office in May, his office said.  The move comes amidst rising numbers of new coronavirus infections in the country.

In China, three cities – namely Xi’an, Lanzhou, and Haikou – are in partial lockdown affecting several million residents amidst new outbreaks of Covid cases.

Officials in Macau, which placed a major hotel, the Grand Lisboa, in lockdown a week ago and closed its casinos, have ordered residents to stay home.  Macau is considered the world’s largest gambling hub.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Monday, July 11.

As of Monday morning, the world has recorded 560.9 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.5 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and 6.37 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 533.9 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.5 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Monday is 20,618,708, a decrease of 61,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 20,580,819, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 37,889, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged over the pat 24 hours.

The United States reported 22,569 new coronavirus infections on Monday for the previous day, compared to 23,586 on Sunday, 167,904 on Saturday, and 124,631 on Friday, 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 113,726.  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 107,533, a 5% 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 322, a decrease of 7% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 37,472, an 18% increase.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Monday, recorded over 90.3 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.05 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 43.6 million, and a reported death toll of 525,454.

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, 673,659, and has recorded 32.9 million cases.

France continues to occupy the number four position in total cases with over 32.1 million cases, and Germany is in the number five slot with over 29 million.  The United Kingdom, with 22.9 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, while Italy is fast approaching that mark, with 19.4 million cases.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Monday, over 260.3 million people in the United States – or 78.4% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 67%, or 222.5 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 596.2 million. Breaking this down further, 89.7% of the population over the age of 18 – or 231.7 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 76.7% of the same group – or 198.6 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 51.2% of that population, or 101.7 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Starting on June 13, 2022, the CDC began to update vaccine data on a weekly basis and publish it on Mondays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.

Over 66.8% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Monday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 12.15 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 4.71 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 19.1% 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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