Coronavirus News Briefing – October 31: Germany and Colorado Face Rising Number of New Cases

Tonga Reports Its First Ever Coronavirus Infection

By Paul Riegler on 31 October 2021
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Schloß Nymphenburg in Munich

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel said she is concerned about the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Germany as well as what she referred to as “Leichfertigkeit” or “recklessness” amongst the country’s population when it comes to getting vaccinated.  Some 3 million Germans over the age of 60 have yet to get their first jab.

The Robert Koch Institute, the country’s public health authority, recorded 21,543 new cases and 90 deaths on Saturday.  The country’s seven-day incidence rate was over 145 infections per 100,000 members of the population on Saturday, after reaching 100 last week for the first time tie since May of this year.

In Colorado, health officials are reporting the highest hospitalization rate since last December.  The number of new reported cases has almost doubled since late September.  While cases are down in the South, states with colder weather are seeing a resurgence. “Right now is not the time, as cases are coming down, to become complacent because we do know colder weather is ahead of us,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In New York City, a vaccine mandate for city workers resulted in a significant increase in the percentage of those inoculated as of Friday night.  The vaccination rate was at 83% of all workers, up 12 percentage points from 71% on October 19.  “We issued a Covid19 mandate and our workforce stepped up,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a tweet late Friday.

Finally, the island nation of Tonga, which has managed to keep the coronavirus at bay since the start of the pandemic, reported its first ever case after a visitor from New Zealand tested positive. In a radio address to the country, Prime Minister Tohiba Tu’i’onetoa said that the infected traveler arrived with 214 other passengers on a flight from Christchurch on Wednesday and had been isolating in a quarantine hotel.

As of Sunday morning, the world has recorded 247.3 million Covid-19 cases and, as mentioned, over 5 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 223.9 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 72,707, a -13% change.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 1,345, a change of -12% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Sunday, recorded over 46.8 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 766,177. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 34.3 million, and a death toll of 458,219, although experts believe that both numbers are in reality significantly higher.  Finally, Brazil has recorded the second highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 607,764, and has seen over 21.8 million cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Sunday, 221.3 million people in the United States – or 66.7% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 57.6%, or 191.2 million people, are now fully vaccinated, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 417.8 million. Breaking this down further, 79.8% of the population over the age of 18 – or 206.1 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 69.2% of the same group – or 178.6 million people – is fully vaccinated.

More than 3.87 billion people across the globe have received a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, a figure that roughly equates to 50.4% of the world’s population, a .2 percentage point increase in the past 24 hours. There remains, however, a countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, where at least 65% of the population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, and countries such as Ethiopia, Haiti, Syria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda, for example, where vaccination rates are in the single digits, if not lower.

Figures from the World Health Organization show that well-off countries are vaccinating people at the rate of one person per second, while the majority of poor countries have yet to give a single dose to its citizens.

It is critical that the world do a better job of sharing vaccines with poorer nations.

Sharing vaccines is not merely a form of charity.  Rather, the equitable distribution of vaccines is in every country’s health and economic interest and no country will be able to move past the pandemic until other countries have recovered as well.

Jonathan Spira contributed to this story.


(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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