COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 Vaccine News
Novel Coronavirus / 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease


Indonesia’s daily Covid infections higher than India and Brazil

Jul 18, 2021 – Indonesia has reported more daily Covid-19 infections than India and Brazil as the Delta strain sweeps across south-east Asia, placing intense pressure on health systems.
> theguardian.com/indonesia-covid-infections-higher-india-brazil


The Delta Covid Variant’s Urgent Message for America

Jul 1, 2021 – The delta variant is what experts have long feared: It’s more contagious, bringing a wave of hospitalizations and deaths for unvaccinated people wherever it goes, and it shows the early signs of being able to evade vaccines. In early June, one vaccine scientist dubbed delta “the variant of the future” because it signals, far sooner than experts hoped, the rise of more worrying strains.
> newrepublic.com/delta-covid-variants-urgent-message-america


A silent decimation: South America’s losing battle against Covid

Jun 18, 2021 – On Wednesday this week, Paraguay registered 18.09 deaths per million, compared with 2.71 in India, 2.2 in South Africa, 1.01 in the US, and 0.14 in the UK. And as the US and Europe begin to emerge from the pandemic, discard their masks and ponder how best to spend the recovery funds, the crisis most evident in Paraguay is playing out across much of South America.
> theguardian.com/covid-south-america-paraguay-argentina-peru

Ali H. Mokdad
Director at IHME, Professor of Health Metrics Sciences


Apr 30, 2021
Vaccine hesitancy and current vaccine eligibility (16+) will prevent us from reaching herd immunity before winter. Many of us will remain susceptible, especially to the new escape variants, and this will sustain a surge in the winter.

Increased vaccine eligibility to under 16 and boosters (if they become available) would change the future situation. We will have “a close to normal” summer which may provide a false sense of security.
We are not out of danger- we need to remain vigilant.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) has long term projections (will release in the coming weeks). After vaccines, masks provide the best option to control the COVID-19 pandemic.


Apr 26, 2021
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) projects about 960,000 cumulative COVID-19 deaths on August 1, 2021 in India. This represents about 575,000 additional deaths from today (April 24) to August 1.


Apr 24, 2021
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), a research center at University of Washington, projects 5,050,000 cumulative COVID-19 deaths globally on August 1, 2021. This represents 1,507,000 additional deaths from now until August 1. Daily deaths will peak at over 25,000 in mid-May.
This change is due to the extraordinary surge in cases and deaths in India. Limited sequence data released in India suggests some states are dominated by this escape variant B.1.617, but there are also considerable reported numbers of isolates of B.1.1.7 and B.1.351.
The global trend in the next weeks will be driven largely by the trends in India. Vaccination in India with AstraZeneca – which may be minimally effective against escape variants – will probably not change the trajectory much in the next months.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Europe >


Brazil

May 14, 2021 – The corner bars are jammed once again with rambunctious crowds in Brazil’s largest cities, but health experts warn that the easing of COVID-19 restrictions is premature and will deepen the world’s second deadliest pandemic.
> Brazil’s easing of COVID-19 controls will cause new surge, experts warn

Apr 30, 2021 – The number of states with ICU capacity above 90% has slipped to 10, from 17 a month ago, according to data from the state-run Fiocruz medical research institute. And nighttime burials at Vila Formosa and three other cemeteries in Sao Paulo were suspended Thursday, after two weeks of declining deaths.

That comes as cold comfort in a country where some 2,400 people died every day over the past week, more than triple the number in the U.S. Brazil surpassed the grim milestone of 400,000 confirmed deaths on Thursday — a number considered by experts to be a significant undercount, in part because many cases were overlooked, especially early in the pandemic. The seven-day average has retreated from more than 3,100 deaths in mid-April, but Fiocruz warned in a bulletin Wednesday that it may plateau —and at an even higher level than it did last year.
> Brazil backs away from the virus brink, but remains at risk

P.1, the Brazilian COVID Variant
Apr 27, 2021 – There are currently more than 1,200 variant lineages of the COVID-19 coronavirus identified in the world. Viruses are constantly mutating, so any mutation from the original strain identified in Wuhan, China, is considered a variant. The more times COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person, the higher the risk of mutations.

But not all variants are of equal concern to public health experts, who focus on the ones that could make COVID-19 more transmissible, more severe or that could interfere with vaccine efficacy or testing accuracy.

Of those 1,200 lineages, the CDC reports five variants of concern circulating in the United States. B.1.1.7 — the most prevalent in the U.S., at 53,819 cases — was first reported in Kent, in southeastern England, in December 2020. It spread rapidly across the UK and then on to more than 100 countries. P.1, the second most common variant in the U.S. at 2,598 cases, was first reported on Jan. 10, 2021, in Japanese travelers returning to Tokyo from Manaus, Brazil.
> An Immunologist Traces the Spread of P.1, the Brazilian COVID Variant


Canada

All eyes on B.1.617
Apr 23, 2021 – Public Health Ontario (PHO) has confirmed 36 B.1.617 variant cases, the so-called “double mutant” variant of COVID-19 first detected in India, have been confirmed across the province.
The variant of interest is currently devastating India and its health care system, with over 300,000 cases reported alone on Thursday. The new strain has also been found in several other countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Belgium, Namibia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States.
> Public Health Ontario confirms 36 cases of B.1.617 variant now in province
> ‘Significant number’ of young people are dying at home with COVID-19: Ontario coroner


India

Apr 26, 2021 – India’s outbreak is an enormous tragedy for its own people, but it’s also a catastrophe for the rest of the world. Ninety-two developing nations rely on India, home to the Serum Institute, the world’s largest vaccine maker, for the doses to protect their own populations, a supply now constrained by India’s domestic obligations. Meanwhile, the coronavirus is mutating. Reports of double- and even triple-mutant strains of the virus, which experts fear could be driving the country’s latest surge, have prompted concerns that what has started in India won’t end there. Despite efforts to restrict the spread of India’s new COVID-19 variant, called B.1.617, it has already been identified in at least 10 countries, including the United States and Britain.
> Why the World Should Worry About India

Apr 26, 2021 – India’s governments have spent very low amounts on health—3.5 percent of GDP in 2018, a figure that has remained the same for decades. India’s current health expenditure per capita, by purchasing power parity, was 275.13 in 2018, around the figures of Kiribati, Myanmar and Sierra Leone. This is a very low number for a country with the kind of industrial capacity and wealth of India.

In late 2020, the Indian government admitted that it has 0.8 medical doctors for every 1,000 Indians, and it has 1.7 nurses for every 1,000 Indians. No country of India’s size and wealth has such a low medical staff. It gets worse. India has only 5.3 beds for every 10,000 people, while China—for example—has 43.1 beds for the same number. India has only 2.3 critical care beds for 100,000 people (compared to 3.6 in China) and it has only 48,000 ventilators (China had 70,000 ventilators in Wuhan alone).
> The COVID-19 Catastrophe in India Keeps Growing

Apr 23, 2021 – “Every day, more than 2,000 people in India are dying with COVID-19, according to official numbers—and experts believe that number is a dramatic underestimate. Three health officials who asked to remain anonymous told me they believe that the daily number of COVID-19 deaths in India has already crossed the 10,000 figure. There is no escape from it; in the past week alone, I have lost four people to COVID-19—a distant relative, my next-door neighbor, and two of my closest friends, both in their mid-30s.”

In West Bengal, where Modi himself has been campaigning. the BJP Chief has advocated drinking cow urine to treat COVID-19. Vijay Chauthaiwale, in charge of the BJP’s foreign affairs department, wrote a column calling economists and experts part of the “anti-Modi lobby” and encouraging Indians not to reject traditional medicine, including cow urine and turmeric to boost the immune system.
> ‘This Is Hell.’ Prime Minister Modi’s Failure to Lead Is Deepening India’s COVID-19 Crisis


United States

Apr 25, 2021 – Across Michigan, which is experiencing by far the country’s most dangerous outbreak, more younger people are being admitted to hospitals with the coronavirus than at any other time in the pandemic. Michigan hospitals are now admitting about twice as many coronavirus patients in their 30s and 40s as they were during the fall peak, according to the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.
> Michigan’s Covid Wards Are Filling Up With Younger Patients


The pandemic in countries with humanitarian crises: What’s happened so far and what’s coming next?

Dec 7, 2020 – A conversation between Mark Lowcock, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, and Bruce Jones, Director of the Project on International Order and Strategy, Brookings Institution
> reliefweb.int/pandemic-countries-humanitarian-crises

Coronavirus: ‘Infection here for many years to come’

Vaccine ‘unlikely to have durable effect’
Jul 21, 2020 – Prof Sir John Bell, of the University of Oxford, said he thought it was unlikely that Covid-19 would ever be eliminated despite the positive news announced on Monday that trials by his university had triggered an immune response – an important step in developing a vaccine.

“The reality is that this pathogen is here forever, it isn’t going anywhere,” he told MPs.
“Look at how much trouble they’ve had in eliminating, for example, polio, that eradication programme has been going on for 15 years and they’re still not there.
“So this is going to come and go, and we’re going to get winters where we get a lot of this virus back in action.
> bbc.com/news/uk-53488142