Coronavirus Morning News Brief – Sept. 30: Italy Ends Public Transit Mask Mandate, Head of Russian Church Seriously Ill With Covid

Pandemic Made Young Adults Moodier and Less Cooperative, Says Study

By Jonathan Spira on 30 September 2022
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Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square in Moscow

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 904th day of the pandemic.

If you are getting a strange reaction from someone younger than you, there might be a very good reason: A new study shows the extent to which the coronavirus has altered individuals’ personalities.

The pandemic may have made young adults moodier and less cooperative, a study published in Plus One, a multi-disciplinary journal, contends.

In the article, the team of researchers led by Angelina Sulin of the Florida State University College of Medicine, explain that if the changes persist, it would appear “population-wide stressful events can slightly bend the trajectory of personality, especially in younger adults.”

In other news we cover today, Italy ended its public transit mask mandate, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church contracted Covid, and Australia is ending the mandatory home quarantine for individuals with the coronavirus.

UNITED STATES

Sales of Covid test kits are reportedly surging ahead of a fall and winter surge in cases.  One company, iPromo, which also sells corporate gifts, told Yahoo Finance that sales of test kits are up 80% since August.  Most orders are from indoor event venues such as theaters or arenas as well as from charity organizations.

Medicaid fraud was rampant even before the pandemic. In California, a Laguna Hills doctor, Mohamed Waddah El-Nachef, pleaded guilty to defrauding Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, of more than $20 million by prescribing to patients unnecessary medications that were later sold on the black market.

GLOBAL

Italy ended its mask mandate for public transit.  Italians will no longer have to don face masks on buses and the metro, the health ministry said late on Thursday.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, tested positive for the coronavirus, the church’s press service announced on Friday.  Kirill, who is 77, is experiencing “severe symptoms” but his condition is “satisfactory,” the church said.

Australia will end the mandatory five-day home quarantine for individuals with the coronavirus starting on October 14, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Friday.  The quarantine is one of the country’s last remaining restrictions of the pandemic era.

In Hong Kong, the government said it plans to ease some coronavirus curbs in an orderly fashion as pandemic case figures in the Asia financial hub were continuing to stabilize.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Friday, September 30.

As of Friday morning, the world has recorded 622.6 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.6 million cases, and over 6.5 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 602.4 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.5 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Friday is 13,648,295, an increase of 138,000. Out of that figure, 99.7%, or 13,608,616, are considered mild, and 0.3%, or 39,679, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical has not changed over the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 84,801 new coronavirus infections on Friday for the previous day, compared to 100,524 on Thursday, 41,906 on Wednesday, and 58,520 on Tuesday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate is now 49,233.  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 47,569, a 26% 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 407, a decrease of 11% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 28,639, an 11% decrease.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Friday, recorded 98.2 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, 44.6 million, and a reported death toll of 528,629.

The newest data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed that, at the end of July, the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 823,623, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, behind the United States.  Rosstat reported that 3,284 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in July, down from 5,023 in June, 7,008 in May and 11,583 in April.

Meanwhile, France is the country with the third highest number of cases, with 35.3 million, although Brazil has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 686,027, and has recorded 34.7 million cases, placing it in the number four slot.

Germany is in the number five slot with 33.2 million cases.

The other five countries with total case figures over the 20 million mark are South Korea, with over 24.8 million cases, the United Kingdom, with 23.6 million cases, placing it in the number seven slot, and Italy, with 22.4 million, as number eight, as well as Japan, with 21.3 million, and Russia, with 21.3 million.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of the past Thursday, over 264.1 million people in the United States – or 79.5% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 67.9%, or 225.3 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 619.8 million. Breaking this down further, 90.5% of the population over the age of 18 – or 233.6 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 77.6% of the same group – or 200.8 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 51.9% of that population, or 104 million people, has already received a first 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 68% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Friday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 12.74 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 3.73 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 22.7% 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, with the start of vaccinations in North Korea, Eritrea remains the only country in the world that has not administered vaccines.

Anna Breuer contributed reporting to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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