Coronavirus Morning News Brief – July 14: Japan Warns of Major Surge, Passengers Stuck on Cruise Ship After Testing Positive

The ‘New Normal’ in Hawaii and Idaho Marks Stark Milestone

By Jonathan Spira on 14 July 2022
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People crossing a street in Honolulu in pre-pandemic days

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 826th day of the pandemic.

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 826th day of the pandemic.

Perhaps much to their surprise, visitors to the Aloha State quickly learn that Hawaii still has an indoor mask mandate for schools.

Indeed, Hawaii has had requirements for indoor and outdoor masking in place longer than any other state in the union.

Hawaii lifted its outdoor mask mandate for school campuses in March and the indoor school mask mandate will end on August 1, the date when public schools will reopen for the new school year.

“We really are looking at trying to move toward a more normal classroom experience this fall,” said Dr. Sarah Kemble, the state epidemiologist at the Hawaii Department of Health, at a virtual news conference. “This is the best opportunity we’ve had yet to move toward this new normal.”

In other news we cover today, Japan’s prime minister is warning of a significant surge in Covid cases, over 100 travelers are stuck on a cruise ship in Australia after testing positive, and Idaho will soon mark a stark milestone.

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

UNITED STATES

The state of Idaho, with a population of just 1.8 million people, which places it 38th when compared to other states in the union, is about to cross the 5,000 mark in its death toll from the coronavirus.  The figure currently sits at 4,996 based on state data.  The state perhaps best known for its potatoes has seen 471,000 coronavirus infections since the outbreak of the virus.

The Food and Drug Administration gave the green light to a new coronavirus vaccine made by Novavax.  The drugmaker was an early recipient of support by the government’s Operation Warp program.

Unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which are made with mRNA, the Novavax vaccine has a very different design and contains nanoparticles comprised of proteins from the surface of the coronavirus.

The Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement saying that it remains “committed to ensuring that any American who wants a vaccine can get one, including those who prefer a non-mRNA option.”

GLOBAL

Japanese health officials warned of a significant Covid surge and Tokyo raised its alert level.

At his first news conference since the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that the highest level of caution was necessary.

“The coronavirus is spreading throughout the nation and through all age groups,” he said. He urged people to get their booster shots and emphasized the need for this for people in their 20s and 30s, whose inoculation rates are lagging behind other age groups.

TRAVEL

If you think that cruise ship travel is now without its hazards, think again.  Over 100 largely Australian passengers and crew are being forced to stay on board the Coral Princess cruise ship until they test negative for the coronavirus.  Dozens became infected on board after the ship set sail from Far North Queensland Sunday.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Thursday, July 14.

As of Thursday morning, the world has recorded 564.4 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 1.2 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and 6.38 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 536.4 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.8 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Thursday is 21,602,700, an increase of 447,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 21,563,817, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 38,889, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged over the pat 24 hours.

The United States reported 191,735 new coronavirus infections on Thursday for the previous day, compared to 183,322 on Wednesday, 175,329 on Tuesday 22,569 on Monday, and 23,586 on Sunday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate continues to be over 100,000 and is now 127,000.  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 130,511, a 16% 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 430, an increase of 11% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 38,971, a 19% increase.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Thursday, recorded 90.9 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.05 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 43.7 million, and a reported death toll of 525,557.

New data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed at the end of May that the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 812,890, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, after the United States.  Rosstat reported that 11,583 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in April, down from 35,584 in March and from 43,543 in February.

Meanwhile, Brazil now has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 674,554, and has recorded 33.1 million cases.

France continues to occupy the number four position in total cases with over 32.7 million cases, and Germany is in the number five slot with 29.5 million.  The United Kingdom, with 22.9 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, while Italy is fast approaching that mark, with 19.8 million cases.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Thursday, over 260.3 million people in the United States – or 78.4% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 67%, or 222.5 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 596.2 million. Breaking this down further, 89.7% of the population over the age of 18 – or 231.7 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 76.7% of the same group – or 198.6 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 51.2% of that population, or 101.7 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Starting on June 13, 2022, the CDC began to update vaccine data on a weekly basis and publish it on Thursdays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.

Over 66.7% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Thursday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 12.2 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 5.5 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 19.4% 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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