Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira’s report. Here now the news of the pandemic from around the world on the 931st day of the pandemic.
Both President Biden and I may have received our bivalent Covid booster shots, but we are in the minority. As a result, the White House is bracing for between 30,000 and 70,000 deaths attributable to the virus come winter. Almost everything could be prevented with vaccinations and other health measures, such as better ventilation, masking and social distancing, the administration stated.
The lower end of the administration’s estimate reflects the current death toll, which averages more than 350 Covid deaths per day. On Wednesday, that figure was 1,125, though the 7-day average is 356.
I try not to be alarmist but I do take precautions. Virologists have been riding their virtual horses from Charleston to Lexington, Massachusetts, shouting “variants are coming, variants are coming” to no avail.
New sublineages of omicron that evade the immune system, particularly BQ.1.1 and XBB, are of great concern, although BA.5 is currently dominant in the United States. BQ1.1 is likely to overtake BA.5 in the coming weeks and its ability to evade much of the body’s immunity against Covid is likely to spark a new wave of winter cases.
In other news we cover today, Wuhan, the site of the first Covid outbreak, is once again under lockdown and hospitalizations of children in New York City are rising sharply.
In New York City, children are visiting hospitals in record numbers with respiratory illnesses, including Covid, RSV, and influenza. The last time Big Apple hospitals saw children in this number was at the start of the omicron surge around Christmas last year, a figure confirmed by Dr. Jay Varma, the city’s former pandemic adviser.
“The last time it was this bad was in the middle of the first wave of Omicron (actually Christmas Day 2021),” Varma said on Twitter.
Chinese authorities have placed more than 800,000 people under lockdown in Wuhan, the site of the world’s first Covid outbreak in 2019. The move comes as other Chinese cities were sealing off buildings, closing city districts and locking up millions.
Hong Kong officials continue to ease pandemic-related restrictions and are lifting restrictions on the opening hours of restaurants, pubs and other such establishments starting next Thursday. Meanwhile, barbecue joints under government administration will also resume operations.
Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan will not be able to enjoy the restaurant’s extended hours. He is stranded in Saudi Arabia after contracting the coronavirus and will remain there for a “short time” to comply with health regulations.
Carnival Cruise Line has waived most of its remaining pandemic-induced requirements. The cruise line no longer requires proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test for voyages of 15 nights or less, but all travelers age five and older are encouraged to take a Covid test three days before embarkation. Passengers on longer trips must be fully vaccinated or request a waiver of the requirement.
Meanwhile, Princess Cruises has made similar changes, ending its remaining vaccination and testing requirements for many voyages. The cruise line said in an emailed statement that the changes apply “except in destinations where government regulations may vary, such as Australia and some voyages with enhanced guidelines that have their own vaccination and testing requirements.”
Now here are the daily stats for Thursday, October 27.
As of Thursday morning, the world has recorded 634.4 million cases of covid-19, an increase of 0.9 million cases and 6.6 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. Additionally, 613.4 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.5 million.
Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Thursday at press time is 14,397,043, an increase of 3,000. Of that number, 99.7%, or 14,360,789, are considered mild, and 0.3%, or 36,254, are listed as critical. The percentage of cases considered critical has not changed in the last 24 hours.
The United States reported 80,771 new coronavirus infections on Thursday from the previous day, compared with 25,656 on Wednesday, 38,763 on Tuesday and 6,975 on Monday, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services. 7-day incidence rate is now 35,670. Weekend numbers (reported the next day) are typically 30% to 60% of those posted on weekdays due to less testing being done.
The daily average of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 37,615, a decrease of 4%, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources. The average number of daily deaths for the same period is 361, a decrease of 5% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 26,792, a figure that has not changed.
In addition, since the start of the pandemic, the United States has registered, as of Thursday, 99.2 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.1 million. India has the world’s second-highest number of officially recorded cases, more than 44.6 million, and a reported death toll of 528,987.
The most recent data from Russia’s state statistics service Rosstat showed that as of the end of July, the number of covid or covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 823,623, giving the country the second highest pandemic in the world. number of related deaths, behind the United States. Rosstat reported that 3,284 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in July, up from 5,023 in June, 7,008 in May and 11,583 in April.
Meanwhile, France is the third country with the highest number of cases, with 36.7 million, and Germany is at number four, with more than 35.4 million total cases.
Brazil, which has recorded the third-highest number of deaths from the virus, 687,960, has recorded more than 34.8 million cases, putting it at number five.
The other five countries with total case figures above 20 million are South Korea, with 25.4 million cases, the United Kingdom, with 23.9 million cases, placing it at number seven, and Italy, with 23.4 million, at number eight. as well as Japan, with 22.1 million, and Russia, with 21.4 million.
FOCUS ON VACCINATION
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of last Thursday, more than 265.6 million people in the United States, or 80%, have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 68.2%, or 226.6 million people, have received two doses of the vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 632.9 million. Breaking this down further, 91% of the population over the age of 18, or 234.9 million people, have received at least one first inoculation and 78% of the same group, or 201.4 million people, are fully vaccinated. . In addition, 52.3% of that population, or 105.3 million people, have already received a first booster dose of the vaccine.
Beginning June 13, 2022, the CDC began updating vaccine data weekly and released the updated information on Thursday at 8 p.m. EDT, according to a statement on the agency’s website.
About 68.4% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of Thursday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information. So far, 12.87 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered globally, and 2.21 million doses are now administered per day.
Meanwhile, only 23.5% of people in low-income countries have received a 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% vaccination mark. However, many countries are below 20%, and in countries like Haiti, Senegal and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain at or below 10%.
Furthermore, with the start of vaccinations in North Korea at the end of September, Eritrea remains the only country in the world that has not administered vaccinations.
Anna Breuer contributed reporting to this story.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)