Coronavirus Morning News Brief – March 10: Prices Climbed 7.9% in February, Cases Surge Across the Globe

Deer May Serve as a Reservoir for the Coronavirus

By Jonathan Spira on 10 March 2022
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A shop owner in Kurashiki, Japan

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 69th day of 2022.

In what amounted to a five-minute pause between the pandemic and the outbreak of war in Europe, inflation rose 7.9% in February according to figures released Thursday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It is the largest annual increase in 40 years and does not reflect the war’s recent impact on global energy markets, which is causing dramatic increases in the price drivers pay at the pump for a gallon (or liter) of fuel and higher transport costs.

Of course, the pandemic is far from over: We will observe the second anniversary of the declaration of SARS-Cov2 as a pandemic on Friday, a move that took place on March 11, 2020.

“We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic,” the head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at a news conference then.

At the time, Tedros noted that there had been 118,000 cases in 114 countries and that the death toll was 4,291.

As of March 10, 2022, the world has recorded over 450 million cases and six million deaths.

The mind boggles.

In other news we cover today, cases are surging in Asia and Germany and researchers now believe that deer serve as a kind of reservoir for the virus.

Here’s a look at what has taken place over the past 24 hours.

UNITED STATES

Puerto Rico announced it will ease entry requirements into the territory for domestic visitors from the mainland starting Thursday.

The governor announced that such travelers will no longer need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test to visit and will no longer need to complete a travel declaration as well.  The territory’s indoor mask mandate also ended on Thursday.

Meanwhile, researchers in Pennsylvania and Ontario found what they termed a “stunning” rate of Covid-19 cases among deer.  The studies offer evidence that the deer are a reservoir for the coronavirus.

GLOBAL

Health officials in Germany reported a record number of new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, the first time that over a quarter-million new cases were recorded.  The news comes as the cabinet of Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz is discussing plans to drop most mask and social-distancing rules and vaccine requirements when the law covering these measures expires at the end of March.

The Robert Koch Institut, the country’s agency for disease control and prevention, reported 262,785 new cases, after reporting 261,063 on Tuesday.  The 7-day average is 202,071, and the country hit a pandemic high of 356,864 on March 3.

In Canada, officials in Ontario said that the province would end its universal mask mandate on March 21.  Cases have fallen dramatically since a pandemic high of 17,160 new infections was reported on December 29 of last year.  The number of new cases reported on Wednesday was 1,949.

The province’s chief medical officer, Dr. Kieran Moore, cautioned at a news conference that “removing the mask mandate does not mean the risk is gone.”

Finally, while the omicron variant-fueled surge of cases has retreated in many parts of the world, it continues to cause surges in multiple parts of Asia.

Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam as well as Pacific island nations including New Zealand and Tonga are continuing to see a high number of new infections.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Thursday, March 10.

As of Thursday morning, the world has recorded 452.1 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 1.6 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and over 6 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 386.5 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 1.9 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Thursday is 59,512,293.  Out of that figure, 99.9%, or 59,444,565, are considered mild, and 0.1%, or 67,728, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical is largely unchanged over the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 47,236 new coronavirus infections on Thursday for the previous day, compared to 31,820 on Wednesday, 69,459 on Tuesday 6,753 on Monday, according to data from 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 37,685, a 51% decrease, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 1,369, a decrease of 28% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Sunday, recorded 81.1 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 989,473. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, over 42.9 million, and a reported death toll of 515,490. Finally, Brazil has recorded the second highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 653,588, and has seen 29.2 million cases.  France continues to occupy the number four position, with 23.2 million cases, and the United Kingdom is in the number five slot with over 19.4 million.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Thursday, 254.3 million people in the United States – or 76.6% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 65.2%, or 216.4 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 555.9 million. Breaking this down further, 88.1% of the population over the age of 18 – or 227.4 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 75.1% of the same group – or 194.1 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 47.5% of that population, or 92.3 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Over 63.4% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Sunday, a figure that is largely unchanged in the past 24 hours, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 10.93 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis.

Meanwhile, only 13.7% 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 75% 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.

Anna Breuer contributed to this story.

 

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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