Coronavirus News Update – Nov. 9: WHO Warns U.S. to Tighten Covid Restrictions Amidst New Surge in Europe

By Anna Breuer on 9 November 2021
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The number of new coronavirus infections in Europe has risen by 50% over the past month, causing the World Health Organization to predict 500,000 additional deaths by February. Dr. Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, issued a warning in an interview with CBS News, saying that United States should not wait to bring back anti-virus measures, saying “the earlier, the stricter, the better.”

Meanwhile, health officials in Singapore announced that the government will no longer cover healthcare related costs for those individuals who chose not to get inoculated against the coronavirus. “We will begin charging Covid-19 patients who are unvaccinated by choice,” the country’s health ministry said in a statement. The policy change does not affect those who, due to medical conditions, cannot tolerate the vaccine nor does it affect children 12 years of age or under.

Finally, administrators at Saint Michaels College in Vermont said that Halloween parties at the school were to blame for a surge in Covid cases.  Seventy-seven students tested positive last week and an additional 77 tested positive this week, compared to a total of 11 who tested positive in the period from August 27 to October 22, according to the school’s online Covid dashboard, which tracks such information.

As of Tuesday morning, the world has recorded 251.3 million Covid-19 cases and almost 5.1 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 227.5 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 73,875, a 5% increase.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 1,218, a change of -15% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Tuesday, recorded over 47.5 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 776,311. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, almost 34.4 million, and a death toll of 461,375, 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, 609,602, and has seen almost 21.9 million cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Tuesday, 223.9 million people in the United States – or 67.5% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 58.4%, or 194 million people, are now fully vaccinated, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 432.1 million. Breaking this down further, 80.7% of the population over the age of 18 – or 208.5 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 70.1% of the same group – or 181.1 million people – is fully vaccinated.

Some 51.1% 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, 7.31 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis.

Meanwhile, only 4.2% 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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