Coronavirus Morning News Brief – Sept. 12: Covid Reducing U.S. Workforce by 500,000, 66 Million Now Under Lockdown in China

Japan May Soon Loosen Entry Restrictions Further, Allowing Individual Travelers

By Jonathan Spira on 12 September 2022
  • Share

Sunset in Okinawa, Japan

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 886th day of the pandemic.

A study published at the start of September found that coronavirus mRNA vaccines produced a mucosal antibody response in people with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the response was minimal in those who were not previously infected with the virus, the study’s authors noted.

The primary author of the study was Kaori Sano of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

In effect, Sano wrote, the vaccine was more efficient in those with a prior history of Covid.

Sano and his colleagues noted that it remains unclear what the mechanism is that causes the injected mRNA vaccines to induce a mucosal SigA response. The authors surmise that it is possible that the vaccines boosted pre-existing mucosal immunity in those who were previously infected. SigA responses observed among seronegative participants could have been related to immune memory elicited by other human coronaviruses.

A SigA, or secretory immunoglobulin A, response at the intestinal mucosa is one of the body’s primary defense mechanisms protecting against enteric infections and may therefore be used as an indicator of bacterial enteropathogenicity.

In other news we cover today, Covid may have shrunk the U.S. workforce by 500,000, 66 million people are under partial or full lockdown in China, and Japan may soon further loosen entry requirements and allow individual visitors.

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

UNITED STATES

A new study released Monday shows that illnesses stemming from Covid-19 have shrunk the nation’s workforce by at least half a million workers.  The research, published as a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research, argues that the country’s labor force would have at least 500,000 more members were it not for those felled by Covid, according to the study’s authors, economists Gopi Shah Goda of Stanford University and Evan J. Soltas, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Meanwhile, as workers returned to Goldman Sachs offices in Manhattan in droves for a five-day workweek, they found that the free coffee stations that had greeted them when they were a hybrid workforce were gone. The coffee station had been at the entrance of 200 West Street.

GLOBAL

The lockdown in Chengdu, which began September 1, appears to be unending as officials have given no indication of when it might end.  The city of 22 million, home to China’s panda population, has in recent months, in addition to the full lockdown, endured heat waves, power cuts, and, on Monday, an earthquake that hit 6.8 on the Richter scale and killed 65 people in the surrounding region.

Currently, 66 million people in China are under partial or full lockdown.

Meanwhile, Chinese leader Xi Jinping will leave the country this week for the first time since the start of the pandemic, traveling to a security forum meeting in Uzbekistan, where he will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.

LONG COVID

Long Covid may be costing Australia five billion Australian dollars ($3.4 billion), based on an analysis conducted by the Australian Financial Review, using data from the country’s Treasury department, which showed that 31,000 workers called in sick due to the condition in the month of June.  An analysis by the think tank Impact Economics and Policy found that the economic cost was 100 million Australian dollars per week.

Meanwhile, in Germany, a doctor at the Universitätsklinikum Bonn, or University Hospital Bonn, believes he can help Long Covid patients by looking at the psychological consequences of the condition and helping them come to grips with the limitations that Long Covid imposes.

“With psychotherapy, physiotherapy, and medications such as psychotropic drugs and painkillers, neurological and psychiatric symptoms can be well-managed,” Dr. Max Pensel told the Deutsche Welle.

TRAVEL

Japan’s government will soon waive tourist visa requirements as it attempts to further ease border controls enacted to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Fuji News Network reported on Monday. The government is likely to also allow visitors to enter the country without being part of an official tourist group, a current requirement that is keeping visitor numbers low and delaying an economic recovery in the country.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Monday, September 12.

As of Monday morning, the world has recorded 613.9 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.3 million cases, and over 6.5 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 592.8 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.6 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Monday is 14,666,685, a decrease of 247,000. Out of that figure, 99.7%, or 14,625,164, are considered mild, and 0.3%, or 41,521, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical has not changed over the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 11,464 new coronavirus infections on Monday for the previous day, compared to 3,227 on Sunday, 73,885 on Saturday, 88,425 on Friday, and 144,151 on Thursday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate is now 71,480.  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 66,159, a 25% 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 375, a decrease of 22% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 34,931, a 9% decrease.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Monday, recorded 97.1 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.08 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 44.5 million, and a reported death toll of 528,165.

The newest data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed that, at the end of May, the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 820,307, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, behind the United States.  Rosstat reported that 4,991 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in June, down from 7,008 in May and from 11,583 in April.

Meanwhile, France is the country with the third highest number of cases, 34.7 million, although Brazil has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 684,914, and has recorded 34.57 million cases, placing it in the number four slot.

Germany is in the number five slot with over 32.4 million cases.

The other four countries with total case figures over the 20 million mark are South Korea, with 24 million cases, the United Kingdom, with over 23.5 million cases, placing it in the number seven slot, and Italy, with 22 million, as number eight, as well as Japan, which hit the 20 million mark on Saturday and now has over 20.1 million, and Russia, with 20.1 million.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of the past Thursday, over 263.1 million people in the United States – or 79.2% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 67.6%, or 224.4 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 610 million. Breaking this down further, 90.2% of the population over the age of 18 – or 232.9 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 77.4% of the same group – or 199.7 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 51.7% of that population, or 103.2 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 the updated information on Thursdays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.

Some 67.8% 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, 12.63 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 3.77 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 21% 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 reporting to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

Read previous post:
Lingering Virus May Cause Long Covid

There may be some good news on the puzzling Long Covid front.  Based on recent research, scientists believe that post-acute...

Close