Coronavirus News Update – April 23: State of Emergency Declared In Japan, Germany to Enter National Lockdown

U.S. Healthcare Workers Report Mental Health Affected by Work During Pandemic, Says Survey

By Jesse Sokolow on 23 April 2021
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Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion, in Kyoto

States of emergency were declared in Tokyo and Osaka, adding more uncertainty to the Summer Olympic Games that are scheduled to take place in Tokyo in three months. Schools can remain open, but all non-essential businesses will close, as the country continues to battle a fourth wave of the virus. Currently, less than 1% of the country’s population is fully vaccinated.

As of Friday morning, the world has recorded over 145.4 million Covid-19 cases and has seen over 3.08 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 123.49 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year, the world has administered more than 953 million doses, the equivalent of approximately 12.06 doses for every 100 people as of Friday morning, a .04 increase over Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Friday, over 135.7 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.  Approximately 52% of the population over the age of 18 – some 134.2 million people – has received at least a first inoculation, including 88.8 million people, or 34.4% of the same population, over a third of all adults in the country, who have received both doses. Overall, 26.9% of the population, or 89.2 million people, has been fully vaccinated against the virus, a 0.5 percentage point increase over Thursday

For the second day in a row, India set a global record for new daily coronavirus cases recorded. The country reported more than 330,000 new infections on Friday, a significant increase over Thursday’s figure of 312,731. Additionally, there were over 2,200 deaths reported on Friday.

Following Thursday’s signing of a new Notbremse or emergency-break law that would give the federal government nationwide authority to enact lockdowns in Germany, the country did just that on Friday. Beginning Saturday, a curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. will be imposed for all areas of the country with an incidence rate of over 100 cases per 100,000 residents, and schools will close in all areas with a rate of more than 165 per 100,000.  Because only a few areas have sufficiently low levels of transmission, the current lockdown will impact virtually the entire country.

The pandemic is taking its toll on healthcare workers as well. With many hospitals going in and out of states of chaos since last March, approximately three in ten healthcare workers have contemplated changing their professions, according to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll. The poll also showed that around 60% said that the pandemic has affected their mental health.

Two independent studies found that both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines will prevent serious illness and death against all of the known variants, including the New York, South African, and U.K. mutations. When the variants first started emerging, it was unclear as to whether or not they could be effectively combated by the existing vaccines.

Because most people in Pakistan flout coronavirus safety guidelines, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Friday that he will call in the army to help make sure that guidelines are followed. The government will close all schools up to grade 12 until the middle of next month, and will bar outdoor dining.

Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, said on Friday that the company is currently working on a Covid-19 booster shot to combat coronavirus variants. Bancel said that he hopes to have them ready by this the end of summer.

Anna Breuer contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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