Coronavirus Morning News Brief – April 30: New Cases Rise in 47 of 50 States, Airbnb Changes Covid Cancellation Policy

Shanghai Reports No New Cases Outside of Quarantined Areas

By Jonathan Spira on 30 April 2022
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The Belasco Theatre prior to a performance of the musical “Girl From the North Country”

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 751st day of the pandemic.

Here we go again.

New coronavirus cases are currently rising in 47 of the 50 states in the United States, as opposed to just in the Northeast, as was the case earlier in April.

The 7-day average of new cases was just 29,196 on the last day of March and hit a 2022 low of 28,549 on April 3. There were almost 82,000 new cases in the country on Friday and the 7-day incidence was at its highest point at 57,169 since March 2, when it was at 57,604.

The number of hospitalizations in the United States is also climbing nationwide, after falling earlier this month to its lowest point since March 2020.  Some 30 out of the 50 states have reported increases in that figure and, in the Northeast, which has seen a higher number of new infections over the past month than elsewhere, the number of individuals hospitalized due to the virus was up 40% since the middle of the month.

In other news we cover today, the FDA announced a timetable for authorizing vaccines for children under 5 and Airbnb changed its Covid cancellation policy.

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

UNITED STATES

The Food and Drug Administration said on Friday that June 8 would be the earliest date that it would present data to its outside advisors for a recommendation on whether to authorize Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccines for the country’s youngest children.

The agency said that it understood the urgency of protecting the nation’s 18 million children under the age of 5,and emphasized that it would act quickly “if the data support a clear path forward following our evaluation.”

GLOBAL

Officials in Shanghai said that there had been no new cases in the city on Saturday outside of those areas currently in quarantine.

The news is a positive sign in a city of 25 million that has been paralyzed by lockdowns

TRAVEL

Airbnb announced a change in its cancellation policy relating to the pandemic.

The  lodging company said that it would no longer issue refunds for coronavirus-related cancellations. The new policy is effective starting on May 31, 2022.

ENTERTAINMENT

The musical “Girl from the North Country” reopened on Friday on Broadway after a highly publicized pause that started in January due to plummeting attendance at Broadway theaters at the start of the omicron surge.

The show features the music of Bob Dylan and is set in a small Minnesota town in the 1930s.

It will have a limited run through June 11 at the Belasco Theatre.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Saturday, April 30.

As of Saturday morning, the world has recorded 512.9 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.5 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and almost 6.3 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 466.9 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.7 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Saturday is 39,861,864, a decrease of 52,000 from the prior day. Out of that figure, 99.9%, or 39,820,711, are considered mild, and 0.1%, or 41,153, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical is largely unchanged over the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 81,673 new coronavirus infections on Saturday for the previous day, compared to 71,390  on Friday, 84,570  reported on Thursday, and 54,447  on Wednesday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate is 57,169.  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 56,869, a 52% 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 316, a decrease of 32% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Saturday, recorded 83 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 523,803.

New data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed on Friday that the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now over 803,000, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, after the United States.  Rosstat reported that 35,584 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in the month of March, compared to 43,543 in February.

Meanwhile, Brazil now has recorded the fourth highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 663,280, and has over 30.4 million cases.

France continues to occupy the number four position in total cases with over 28.6 million cases, and Germany is in the number five slot with 24.7 million.  The United Kingdom, with over 22 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 Saturday, 257.6 million people in the United States – or 77.6% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 66.1%, or 219.6 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 575.3 million. Breaking this down further, 89% of the population over the age of 18 – or 229.8 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 76.1% of the same group – or 196.4 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 49.3% of that population, or 96.8 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Over 65.4% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Saturday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 11.59 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 10.09 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 15.7% 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.

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.

Paul Riegler contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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