Coronavirus Morning News Brief – April 27: 60% of Americans Have Had Covid Says CDC, Europe to End Emergency Phase of Pandemic

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris Tests Positive for SARS-CoV-2

By Jonathan Spira on 27 April 2022
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Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 748th day of the pandemic.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, Covid has become almost as common as the common cold.

New data reported in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report indicates that close to 60% of the U.S. population, including three in four children, have at one time or another been infected with the coronavirus, be it omicron, delta, or a variant thereof.

The findings show how the omicron variant and its subvariants changed the pandemic landscape.  Up until December, only one person in three had been infected, the CDC said.

A prior case of Covid offers some natural protection or immunity from reinfection but because SARS-Cov-2 can cause severe medical complications, it’s nonetheless important for people to get inoculated even when they have Covid antibodies.

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that a recent study showed that unvaccinated people who already had Covid-19 are more than twice as likely as fully vaccinated people to be reinfected with Covid-19.

In other news we cover today, the European Union is ending the “emergency phase” of its pandemic response, Vice President Kamala Harris is the latest in Washington, D.C. to test positive for SARS-Cov-2, and case numbers in Shanghai are falling.

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

UNITED STATES

Vice President Kamala Harris announced Tuesday that she had tested positive for the coronavirus.  Harris became the latest high-ranking government official to become infected.  The news report raises concerns about President Biden’s potential exposure as the virus outbreaks strike the White House, Congress, and major newsrooms in the capital city.

“Today, Vice President Harris tested positive for COVID-19 on rapid and PCR tests,” said the vice president’s press secretary, Kirsten Allen. “She has exhibited no symptoms, will isolate and continue to work from the vice president’s residence. She has not been a close contact to the president or first lady due to their respective recent travel schedules.”

The vice president’s infection raised questions about whether President Joseph Biden should this year attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which is returning this year after a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus.

A major coronavirus testing program in California is winding down operations.  The collaboration between the city of Davis, other Yolo County cities, and the University of California, Davis, will perform its final tests at some point over the summer.  The program has been recognized as one of the most robust programs in the state and for helping limit outbreaks of the virus.

GLOBAL

The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, said on Wednesday that it was moving out of the emergency phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, the EU will focus on vaccination, pandemic surveillance, and testing in preparation for a possible new pandemic wave in the fall.

In making the announcement, Ursula von Leyen, the commission’s president said that the bloc must maintain its vigilance.

“New variants can emerge and spread fast,” said von der Leyen, who added that “we know the way forward.”

“We need to further step up vaccination and boosting, and targeted testing – and we need to continue to coordinate our responses closely in the EU.”

Meanwhile, in China, the reported number of new daily infections in Shanghai was down for the fourth day in a row to 2,472, and the city recorded its lowest daily number of new cases since April 5.  Meanwhile, the mass testing in Beijing revealed a worrying increase after the tests revealed that the coronavirus had spread undetected for a week.

The total number of infections in the capital city now stands at 113.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Wednesday, April 27.

As of Wednesday morning, the world has recorded 510.9 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.8 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and over 6.2 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 464.2 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.7 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Wednesday is 40,485,372, an increase of 57,000 from the prior day. Out of that figure, 99.9%, or 40,443,401, are considered mild, and 0.1%, or 41,971, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical is largely unchanged over the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 54,447 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday for the previous day, compared to 74,612 on Tuesday, 12,816 on Monday, 18,917  on Sunday, and 69,827 on Saturday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate is 50,298.  Figures for the weekend (reported the following day) are typically 30% to 60% of those posted on weekdays due to a lower number of tests being conducted.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 50,791, a 61% 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 362, a decrease of 32% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Wednesday, recorded 82.8 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of over 1 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, almost 43.1 million, and a reported death toll of 522,374. Meanwhile, Brazil has recorded the second highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 662,941, and has just under 30.4 million cases.  France continues to occupy the number four position with 28.4 million cases, and Germany is in the number five slot with 24.2 million.  The United Kingdom, with over 21.9 million cases, is now number six and is the only other country in the world with a total number of cases over the 20 million mark.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Wednesday, over 257.4 million people in the United States – or 77.5% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 66.1%, or 219.4 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 573.6 million. Breaking this down further, 88.9% of the population over the age of 18 – or 229.7 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 76% of the same group – or 196.3 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 49.2% of that population, or 96.6 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Over 65.1% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Wednesday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 11.55 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 11.26 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 15.2% 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 75% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine.

Only a handful of the world’s poorest countries –  Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal –  have reached the 70% mark in vaccinations. Many countries, however, are under 20% and, in countries such as Haiti, Senegal, and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits, if not lower.

In addition, North Korea and Eritrea are now the only two countries in the world that have not administered vaccines.

Anna Breuer contributed to this story.

 

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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