Coronavirus Morning News Brief – Aug. 10: Why More Airline Flights Are Being Cancelled, Boomerang Attack Update

New York State Extends Paid Leave for Coronavirus Vaccinations

By Jonathan Spira on 10 August 2022
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Terminal 5, the home of British Airways at London Heathrow, taken fromn the air

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 853rd day of the pandemic.

It’s clear that millions of people are beginning to act as if the coronavirus pandemic is over, which is of course simply not the case, and nowhere is it more apparent than in the airline industry, where it isn’t at all uncommon for a flight to be cancelled because either the pilots or cabin crew called in sick due to either contracting Covid or having been in close contact with someone who has the virus.

Over the course of the pandemic, hundreds of pilots retired and airlines have struggled mightily as they attempt to train new ones. The situation has been exacerbated by cuts in defense spending that resulted in fewer pilots being trained for the military. These pilots were a ready supply of  proficient fliers who were readily adaptable, with minimal additional training, for employment in commercial aviation.

Add all this to the number of airline employees – gate agents and cabin crew alike – who feel burnt out and have flat out quit, and it’s easy to see why weather events that wouldn’t have created even a ripple in flight operations prior to the pandemic now brings airlines to their knees.

In other news we cover today, New York extended paid leave time for Covid vaccinations and more details were revealed about the mysterious anti-vaxxer boomerang attack in Australia.

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

UNITED STATES

Officials in New York extended the state’s coronavirus vaccine paid leave for an additional year, now set to expire on December 31, 2023.  The law requires employers in the state to provide “a sufficient period of time, not to exceed four hours” of paid leave per dose of vaccine, including booster shots.

GLOBAL

The incident in Geelong, Australia, in which a man attacked with a boomerang a couple sitting in a car that was reported in these pages on Sunday has a new plot twist: The crazed, shirtless, and well-built boomerang-bearer has now been identified as Edward von Moger.  He is the brother of troubled celebrity body builder Calum von Moger, who portrayed Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 2018 film “Bigger” and was recently seriously injured when he jumped from the second floor of his home, also in Geelong.   The boomerang-bearer, who is apparently an anti-vaxxer, repeatedly struck the vehicle with the weapon in a case of boomerage, cursed out the occupants of the vehicle and, when the poor boomerang finally broke, used his hand and fist to smash the driver’s side window.

Also in Australia, a worker who was terminated at an office supply company over his refusal to comply with the company’s coronavirus vaccine policy lost his appeal to the Fair Work Commission, the Australian industrial relations tribunal.  Victor Tey, who then tried to run for political office, was told his former employer’s policy was “valid and fair” and that the company had had every right to terminate him.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Wednesday, August 10.

As of Wednesday morning, the world has recorded 591.6 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.7 million cases, and 6.44 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 562.6 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.3 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Wednesday is 21,571,855, a decrease of 221,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 21,527,782, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 44,073, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged over the pat 24 hours.

The United States reported 128,656 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday for the previous day, compared to 135,412 on Tuesday, 10,081 on Monday, 10,568 on Sunday, and 131,914 on Saturday, 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 115,635.  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 109,117, a 15% 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 490, an increase of 13% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 42,868, a 13% increase.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Wednesday, recorded 94.1 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.06 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, almost 44.2 million, and a reported death toll of 526,826.

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, France is the country with the third highest number of cases, 34.12 million, although Brazil has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 680,598, and has recorded 34.07 million cases, placing it in the number four slot.

Germany is in the number five slot with 31.3 million cases.

The other three countries with total case figures over the 20,000 mark are the United Kingdom, with almost 23.4 million cases, in sixth position, Italy, with 21.4 million, in the number seven slot, and South Korea, with 20.8 million cases, as number eight.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Wednesday, over 261.6 million people in the United States – or 78.8% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 67.2%, or 223.2 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 604.2 million. Breaking this down further, close to 90% of the population over the age of 18 – or 232.2 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 77.1% of the same group – or 198.9 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 51.4% of that population, or 102.2 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 the updated information on Thursdays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.

Some 67.2% 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, 12.42 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 5.79 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 20.2% 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.

Basilio Alferow and Anna Breuer contributed reporting to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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