The overall number of global coronavirus cases has topped 60.8 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.42 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
In its latest update on Friday, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 60,860,169 and 1,429,733, respectively.
The US is the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 12,879,861 and 263,413, respectively, according to the CSSE.
India comes in second place in terms of cases at 9,266,705, while the country’s death toll soared to 135,223.
The other countries with more than a million confirmed cases are Brazil (6,166,606), France (2,235,537), Russia (2,169,424), Spain (1,617,355), the UK (1,578,429), Italy (1,509,875), Argentina (1,399,431), Colombia (1,280,487), Mexico (1,078,594) and Germany (1,005,307), the CSSE figures showed.
Brazil currently accounts for the second highest number of fatalities at 170,769.
Another 17,555 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 15,74,562, according to official figures released on Thursday.
The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 498 to 57,031, the data showed.
Earlier Thursday, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that most of England will face harsh coronavirus restrictions in the new three-tier system when the lockdown ends next week, the Xinhua news agency reported.
Large parts of the Midlands, North East and North West, including Manchester, as well as Kent, will face the toughest restrictions in Tier Three, according to Hancock.
Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, expressed his concerns over the impact of Tier Three restrictions on businesses.
“The new Tier Three will hit the hospitality sector extremely hard. While there are grants for businesses forced to close, there is no extra support for business which supply them like security, catering and cleaning,” he said.
“This will cause real hardship for people whose jobs will be affected and risk the loss of many businesses.”
In Tier Three areas, all pubs, bars and restaurants must close except for delivery, takeaway and drive-through. Hotels and indoor entertainment venues must also close in these areas.
A majority of areas including London, and Liverpool city region are listed in Tier Two.
The Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are the only areas of England in Tier One, the lowest level of restrictions.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Monday a “tougher” tiered system of coronavirus restrictions to replace England’s current lockdown when it ends on Dec. 2.
England is currently under a month-long national lockdown, the second of its kind since the coronavirus outbreak in Britain, in a bid to quell the resurgence of coronavirus.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.
Global Covid-19 cases surpassed 60 million on Wednesday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
The global case count reached 60,037,735, with a total of 1,413,325 deaths worldwide as of 12:27 p.m. local time (1727 GMT), the CSSE data showed.
The US reported the most cases and deaths around the world, which stood at 12,642,245 and 260,591, respectively. India recorded 9,222,216 cases, ranking second in the world. Brazil followed India with 6,118,708 cases and 170,115 deaths, the world’s second-largest death toll, the Xinhua news agency reported.
Countries with more than 1.5 million cases also include France, Russia, Spain and Britain, while other countries with over 50,000 deaths include India, Mexico, Britain, Italy and France, according to the CSSE tally.
Global cases topped 40 million on Oct. 19, and hit 50 million on November 8. It took 20 days for the global caseload to jump from 40 million to 50 million, and only 17 days from 50 million to 60 million.
The US remains the worst-hit nation, accounting for more than 20 per cent of global cases.
On Tuesday, the US identified 1,72,935 new cases, marking the 22nd consecutive day that the country had reported more than 1,00,000 new cases.
US medical professionals and experts feared the case number will continue to surge after the Thanksgiving holiday.
US president-elect Joe Biden renewed his call to Americans to “hang on!”, mask up and limit social gatherings until the coronavirus vaccine is available at population scale.
“We have to try to slow the growth of the virus. We owe that to the doctors, the nurses, and the other front-line health care workers who have risked so much and heroically battled this virus for so long,” Biden said in his Thanksgiving message to the nation ahead of a long weekend that traditionally features large family gatherings and a burst of cross country travel.
Biden promised to “change the course of the disease” soon after his inauguration, on January 20, 2021.
“More testing will find people with cases and get them away from other people, slowing the number of infections. More protective gear for businesses and schools will do the same – reducing the number of cases. Clear guidance will get more businesses and more schools open,” he said.
Biden struck an upbeat tone despite the looming crisis of a “dark winter” that medical experts have warned about. “There is real hope, tangible hope. So hang on. Don’t let yourself surrender to the fatigue,” Biden urged Americans as daily cases and deaths shattered records.
“I know we can and we will beat this virus. America is not going to lose this war. You will get your lives back. Life is going to return to normal. That will happen. This will not last forever,” he said.
Biden noted that in his own family, a big Thanksgiving is off the table because of the pandemic.
By the time Biden spoke on Wednesday afternoon, more than 4 million people had already passed through airport checkpoints starting last Friday.
Hospitals in multiple states are at capacity and doctors are preparing for the worst spike in cases all year, post Thanksgiving. America leads the world in coronavirus cases and deaths.
Research shows that being in a room with fresh air can reduce risk of infection from particles by over 70%
The film is part of the Hands. Face. Space. campaign which urges public to adopt simple health behaviours to help reduce the risk of the virus spreading
A new public information campaign launched by the Government to highlight how letting fresh air into indoor spaces can reduce the risk of infection from coronavirus by over 70%.
The campaign, which forms part of wider ‘Hands. Face. Space’ guidance, sees the release of a new short film created with scientists and an engineer at Leeds University.
The film illustrates how coronavirus lingers in the air in spaces with no fresh air, increasing the risk of people breathing in infected particles, and how the risk can be reduced significantly by regularly ventilating enclosed areas.
As we spend more time indoors, experts are recommending that the public open windows for short, sharp bursts of 10 -15 minutes regularly throughout the day, or leave windows open a small amount continuously, to remove any infected particles lingering in the room.
Additionally, it is advised that any household systems that use outdoor air, including kitchen or bathroom extractor fans, are used correctly and regularly as an additional method to remove infected particles.
Airing indoor spaces is particularly important when:
1. People have visitors (when permitted) or tradespeople in their home, for example for construction or emergencies;
2. Someone from a support bubble is meeting with another household indoors;
3. A care worker is seeing a patient indoors; or
4. If someone in the household has the virus, as this can help prevent transmission to other household members
Professor Catherine Noakes, from Leeds University who advised on the film, said:
“When a room does not have any fresh air, and where people are generating large amounts of aerosol through activities such as singing and loud speech, that is when transmission of coronavirus is most likely. Fresh air must come from outdoors – recirculating air just means the aerosols containing the virus move around the same room rather than being extracted outdoors.
Coronavirus is spread through the air bydroplets andsmaller particles (known asaerosols) that are exhaled from the nose and mouth of an infected person as they breathe, speak or cough. They behave in a similar way to smoke but are invisible. The majority of virus transmissions happen indoors. Being indoors, with no fresh air, the particles can remain suspended in the air for hours and build up over time.
The longer people spend in the same room as these particles, the more likely they are to become infected.
GP, Dr Amir Khan said:
“As we approach winter, and inevitably spend more time indoors, fresh air is extremely beneficial. For COVID-19, it is important to ventilate indoor spaces if someone in your home has the virus as this can help prevent transmission to other household members.
“You should also let fresh air into your home when you have any visitors and just after they leave in case they are infected. Remember, opening windows alongside washing your hands, covering your face and making space is also essential in reducing your risk of COVID-19.”
Ventilation to provide fresh air in enclosed spaces is just as important as the other actions, so remember this as well as Hands, Face, Space. These are the most effective ways we can all control the spread of the virus. Visit gov.uk/coronavirus for more information.
The public are encouraged to continue to be vigilant of coronavirus symptoms which include a new continuous cough, high temperature, or a loss or change in your sense of taste or smell. If you or someone you know, displays any symptoms please get a free test by calling 119 or visiting NHS.uk.
The WHO chief’s remarks came after drugmaker AstraZeneca said on Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine, developed with Oxford University, was up to 90 percent effective, making it the third major drug company after Pfizer and Moderna to have reported late-stage data for a potential COVID-19 vaccine…reports Asian Lite News
“There is now real hope that vaccines, in combination with other tried and tested public health measures, will help to end the pandemic,” said the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The WHO chief’s remarks came after drugmaker AstraZeneca said on Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine, developed with Oxford University, was up to 90 percent effective, making it the third major drug company after Pfizer and Moderna to have reported late-stage data for a potential COVID-19 vaccine, Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.
“The significance of this scientific achievement cannot be overstated. No vaccines in history have been developed as rapidly as these. The scientific community has set a new standard for vaccine development,” Tedros added.
He pointed out now the international community must set a new standard for access, as “the urgency with which vaccines have been developed must be matched by the same urgency to distribute them fairly.”
Worried that the poorest and most vulnerable countries will be trampled in the stampede for vaccines, WHO established the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator to support global efforts in developing vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, and has joined so far 187 countries in the COVAX facility to collaborate on the procurement and rollout of vaccines, ensuring affordable prices, volumes and timing for all countries.
According to the WHO chief, some US $4.3 billion is needed immediately to support the mass procurement and delivery of vaccines, tests and treatments, while additional US $23.8 billion will be needed next year.
“The International Monetary Fund estimates that if medical solutions can be made available faster and more widely, it could lead to a cumulative increase in global income of almost US $9 trillion by the end of 2025,” he said.
UNICEF is leading efforts to procure and deliver vaccines from manufacturers that have agreements with the COVAX Facility. In collaboration with PAHO, UNICEF will coordinate the purchase and delivery for 92 low- and lower middle-income economies as quickly and securely as possible…reports Asian Lite News
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is working with more than 350 partners, including major airlines, shipping lines and logistics associations from around the world, to deliver Covid-19 vaccines to over 92 countries, as soon as doses become available, the agency said on Monday.
Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF Supply Division, highlighted the importance of the partnership to ensure capacity for the massive undertaking, the Xinhua news agency reported.
“As work continues to develop Covid-19 vaccines, UNICEF is stepping up efforts with airlines, freight operators, shipping lines and other logistics associations to deliver life-saving vaccines as quickly and safely as possible,” she said.
“This invaluable collaboration will go a long way to ensure that enough transport capacity is in place for this historic and mammoth operation. We need all hands on deck as we get ready to deliver Covid-19 vaccine doses, syringes and more personal protective equipment to protect front line workers around the globe,” the UNICEF official added.
To kick-start preparations, UNICEF along with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) briefed major global airlines last week on the expected capacity requirements and discussed ways to transport close to 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine doses next year. This is in addition to the 1 billion syringes that need to be transported by sea-freight.
In the coming weeks, UNICEF is also assessing existing transport capacity to identify gaps and future requirements, said the agency.
“The procurement, delivery and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines is anticipated to be the largest and fastest such operation ever undertaken,” it added.
UNICEF is leading efforts to procure and deliver vaccines from manufacturers that have agreements with the COVAX Facility. In collaboration with PAHO, UNICEF will coordinate the purchase and delivery for 92 low- and lower middle-income economies as quickly and securely as possible.
The efforts build on UNICEF’s longstanding efforts with the logistics industry to transport supplies around the world despite restrictions related to the pandemic. Since January, it has delivered over 190 million U.S. dollars worth of Covid-19 supplies such as masks, gowns, oxygen concentrators and diagnostic test kits to support countries as they respond to the pandemic.
As the largest single purchaser of vaccines in the world, UNICEF normally procures more than 2 billion doses of vaccines annually for routine immunisation and outbreak response on behalf of nearly 100 countries.
This unparalleled expertise includes the coordination of thousands of shipments with various cold chain requirements, making the UN agency an expert in supply chain management of temperature-controlled products, which is especially needed during this historic undertaking.
“Health care workers likely to provide direct care for Covid-19 patients and other vulnerable residents to be the first group to receive the vaccine. This includes staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities, emergency medical services and home health care workers,” said a news release from the governor’s office…reports Asian Lite News
Health workers providing direct care for Covid-19 patients and other vulnerable residents will be the first to receive vaccines, US Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Monday.
It was announced by Abbott and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) from the guiding principles for the state’ Covid-19 vaccine allocation process, the Xinhua news agency reported.
“Health care workers likely to provide direct care for Covid-19 patients and other vulnerable residents to be the first group to receive the vaccine. This includes staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities, emergency medical services and home health care workers,” said a news release from the governor’s office.
According to the release, the state’s initial distribution for Covid-19 vaccines is expected as early as next month.
“These guiding principles established by the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel will ensure that the State of Texas swiftly distributes the Covid-19 vaccine to Texans who voluntarily choose to be immunized,” said Abbott.
“This foundation for the allocation process will help us mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in our communities, protect the most vulnerable Texans, and safeguard crucial state resources,” he added.
Soon after the US President-elect, Joe Biden signalled that fighting the Covid-19 pandemic will be an immediate priority for his administration, a new study revealed that coronavirus cases in the country are likely to double before he takes office.
According to the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, Inauguration Day is still two months away and the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases are likely to increase to 20 million by the end of January, nearly doubling the current level of 12.3 million cases.
“One of the key reasons for the increased accuracy of our model over other Covid-19 forecasts is that this model accounts for the fact that people live in interconnected social networks rather than interacting mostly with random groups of strangers,” said study author Raphael Thomadsen from Washington University in the US.
“This allows the model to forecast that growth will not continue at exponential rates for long periods of time, as classic Covid-19 forecasts predict,” Thomadsen added.
An interactive online version of the model also allows users to observe the impact different levels of social distancing will have on the spread of Covid-19.
The current social distancing reflects an approximate 60 per cent return to normalcy, as compared with the level of social distancing before the pandemic.
“If we continue, as a nation, at the current level of social distancing, the model forecasts that we are likely to reach 20 million cases before the end of January 2021,” the authors wrote.
The upcoming holiday season will present a great deal of uncertainty to the outlook of the pandemic as people travel more at the end of the year.
“This will likely make our forecast an optimistic one,” said Meng Liu, assistant professor of marketing and study co-author.