Coronavirus Morning News Brief – Aug. 22: New York Ends ‘Test-to-Stay’ Rules in Schools, Japanese Prime Minister Tests Positive

Australia Launches Inquiry Into Early Government Pandemic Actions

By Jonathan Spira on 22 August 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 865th day of the pandemic.

In news we cover today, the Japanese prime minister tested positive for Covid and Australia announced an inquiry into some of its early pandemic policies.

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


In New York State, Governor Kathy Hochul announced she is lifting quarantine and “test-to-stay” restrictions in schools ahead of the start of the new academic year.

“No more quarantining – no more ‘test to stay,’” the governor said at a press conference Monday morning.

“The days of sending an entire classroom home because one person was symptomatic or tested positive – those days are over,” she added.


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday that he had tested positive for Covid.   The 65-year-old leader, who recently received his second booster dose of coronavirus vaccine, is experiencing a slight fever and cough, his office said.

In Australia, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced an inquiry that will examine the role of state governments in managing the pandemic and that of the federal coalition under former prime minister Scott Morrison.

Finally, local governments in China are being forced to cut services as the country’s “zero-Covid” policy along with falling tax revenue stresses the system and puts jobs under threat.  Bus service was suspended in two towns after  local governments were unable to pay drivers for several months.  One town was Dancheng, which has a population of 1.06 million residents.


Now here are the daily statistics for Monday, August 21.

As of Monday morning, the world has recorded 601.2 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.4 million cases, and over 6.47 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 575.7 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.9 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Monday is 19,070,100, a decrease of 316,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 19,026,224, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 43,876, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged over the pat 24 hours.

The United States reported 8,552 new coronavirus infections on Monday for the previous day, compared to 7,927 on Sunday, 108,491 on Saturday, 126,323 on Friday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate is now 94,484.  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 95,156, a 19% 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 460, a decrease of 7% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 40,375, a 7% decrease.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Monday, recorded over 95.3 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of close to 1.07 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 44.3 million, and a reported death toll of 527,368.

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 820,307, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, behind the United States.  Rosstat reported that 4,991 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in June, down from 7,008 in May and from 11,583 in April.

Meanwhile, France is the country with the third highest number of cases, 34.35 million, although Brazil has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 682,587, and has recorded 34.28 million cases, placing it in the number four slot.

Germany is in the number five slot with over 31.8 million cases.

The other three countries with total case figures over the 20 million mark are the United Kingdom, with 23.5 million cases, in sixth position, South Korea, with 22.23  million cases, placing it in the number seven slot, and Italy, with over 21.7 million, as number eight.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Monday, over 262.3 million people in the United States – or 79% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 67.4%, or 223.7 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 607.5 million. Breaking this down further, 90% of the population over the age of 18 – or 232.5 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 77.2% of the same group – or 199.4 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 51.5% of that population, or 102.7 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 the updated information on Mondays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.

Some 67.5% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Monday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 12.5 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 4.97 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 20.7% 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.

Anna Breuer contributed reporting to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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