Coronavirus News Update – Nov. 23: Cases Surge Ahead of Thanksgiving Family Gatherings

By Anna Breuer on 23 November 2021
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A man sits on the phone in a Paris courtyard

With the Thanksgiving holiday just days away, new cases in the United States are climbing across many parts of the United States, a worrysome trend given the fourth wave of infections that is overwhelming parts of Europe.

While the number of new cases is half of what it was one year earlier, it is also up 16% from the prior week, an increase driven mostly by non-vaccinated individuals.

People who remain unvaccinated are “the major source” of coronavirus infections in the country, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist, said Sunday on the news program “ABC This Week.”

Cases are also surging in children, the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Association said. More than 140,000 children in the United States tested positive for the coronavirus in the period November 11 through November 18, a 32% increase from the prior week, when that figure was 107,000.   The pediatric cases accounted for a quarter of the new infections in the country that week, underscoring the urgent need for children ages 5 through 11 to get inoculated as the onset of winter forces more people indoors for longer periods of time.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex tested positive for the coronavirus shortly after meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo and four other ministers.  The news forced the Belgian ministers into isolation and Castex said that he was not experiencing any symptoms, BFMTV, a French 24-hour news channel, reported.

As of Tuesday morning, the world has recorded 258.3 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.3 million, and 5.2million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 234 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 93,878, a 27% increase.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 1,092, a change of -9% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Tuesday, recorded 48.7 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 794,864. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, over 34.5 million, and a death toll of 466,147, 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, 612,842, and has seen just over 22 million cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Tuesday, 230.7 million people in the United States – or 69.5% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 59.2%, or 196.4 million people, are now fully vaccinated, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 452.7 million. Breaking this down further, 82.2% of the population over the age of 18 – or 212.3 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 71% of the same group – or 183.3 million people – is fully vaccinated.

Some 53.4% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 7.74  billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis.

Meanwhile, only 5% 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 65% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine. In countries such as Ethiopia, Haiti, Syria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda, for example, vaccination rates remain 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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