Coronavirus Morning News Brief – Jan. 11: U.S. Reports 1.4 Million New Cases, Shattering Global Record

Covid Hospitalizations in U.S. Also Hit Record High

By Jonathan Spira on 11 January 2022
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National Statuary Hall, U.S. Capitol

The United States recorded over 1.4 million new coronavirus cases Monday, the highest daily total for any country in the world, according to data from Worldometer, which tracks such information.  The number of new cases is driven largely by the highly transmissible omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The news came as Covid-related hospitalizations in the country also reached a record high – 145,982 – surpassing the previous peak in January 2021, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

UNITED STATES

In Washington, D.C., the coronavirus is surging amongst members of Congress. As a result, leadership there is restoring social-distancing protocols for floor votes and is urging everyone to upgrade their masks to the more protective KN95 or N95 type instead of cloth or surgical masks.

GLOBAL

Protestors have taken to the streets across much of Western and Central Europe, decrying pandemic-era rules that have or will soon shut out non-vaccinated individuals from much of public life.

Over 100,000 people rallied in France in opposition to what they termed the government’s plans to restrict the rights of the unvaccinated. The protests came on a day when the country recorded over 300,000 new coronavirus cases and one day after the lower house of parliament approved a bill that would require individuals to present proof of vaccination in order to eat in restaurants, travel on inter-city trains, go to the cinema, or attend cultural events.

More than 40,000 people demonstrated in Vienna, where vaccinations against the virus are set to become mandatory at the start of February.

Finally, protests took place over the weekend in major German cities.  In Hamburg, police estimated 16,000 were in attendance.

Gesundheitsminister Karl Lauterbach said that the arguments proffered by opponents of the coronavirus vaccine had lost “all measure and focus.”

“A small group is willing to wipe all scientific knowledge off the table and voluntarily enter a bubble of bogus truths,” he said in an interview with the newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

TRAVEL

The first cruise ship to arrive in Honolulu since the start of the pandemic docked in Honolulu Harbor Sunday.  The Grand Princess, which had sailed from Los Angeles, had over 2,000 passengers on board. While state rules require visitors to be fully vaccinated or tested, the CDC has placed the ship under a yellow status, meaning that several passengers or one or more crew members may be infected with the virus nonetheless.

SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Broadway theaters announced the extension of current mask rules as well as an expansion of their vaccination policy.  The mask rules have been extended to at least April 30 and the vaccination policy will continue and has been amended to require that children between the ages of 5 and 11 be fully vaccinated in order to attend a performance.  Previously they were only required to have had their first dose.

The national tour of “Hamilton,” currently performing at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, is cancelling performances from January 11 through January 16 due to an outbreak of the coronavirus amongst the company.

The saga of tennis player Novak Djokovic did not end with a ruling in his favor by an Australian court.  Immigration authorities there said they were now investigating him for making a false statement on his visa application.  Djokovic said on his application that he had not travelled internationally in the 14 days prior to his flight on January 4 to Australia, via Dubai, from Spain.  Social media posts show him in his native Serbia on Christmas Day, however.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Tuesday, January 11.

As of Tuesday morning, the world has recorded 311.5 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 3.3 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and over 5.5 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 260.8 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 1.1 million.

Worldwide, the number of active cases as of Tuesday is 45,086,113.  Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 44,991,991, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 94,122, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical was largely unchanged over the past 24 hours.

The United States had recorded 1.4 million new cases as of Tuesday morning, compared with 313,061 as of Sunday,445,684 on Sunday, 894,490 on Saturday and 759,218 on Friday, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 677,242, a 215% increase, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 1,559, an increase of 16% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Tuesday, recorded 62.7 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 861,336. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 36.9 million, and a reported death toll of 484,213.  Finally, Brazil has recorded the second highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 620,142, and has almost 22.6 million cases.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Tuesday, 247.1 million people in the United States – or 74.4% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 62.6%, or 207.8 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 520.2 million. Breaking this down further, 86.4% of the population over the age of 18 – or 223.2million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 73.2% of the same group – or 189.1 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 39.6% of that population, or 74.9 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Over 59.2% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Tuesday, a figure that is down 0.1 percentage points in the past 24 hours, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 9.49 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis.

Meanwhile, only 8.9% 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.

Anna Breuer contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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