"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 15th Jul 2021
'We are seeing people passing quicker than before': What hospitals look like in the U.S. hot spots
- Dr Sergio Segarra says when COVID-19 patient numbers in the Miami hospital he works dipped below 20 last month, he began feeling optimistic.
- 'I remember seeing articles in the news about hospitals in California with empty COVID units and I longed for that experience,' Segarra, the chief medical officer with Baptist Health's Baptist Hospital, said. 'It's an experience we were working our way towards that unfortunately has taken a rather sad turn.'
- In the weeks since, the hospital's COVID-19 patient numbers have more than tripled, and staff are now treating more than 70 people, an 'exponential growth,' he said, that they were not expecting. To accomodate the climbing patient numbers, the hospital recently reopened two units that were previously shut down.
- The overwhelming majority of those coming in sick with COVID are unvaccinated, Segarra said. Many are young - people in their 20s and 30s who are getting 'extremely, extremely sick' and some who are dying.
- Roughly 45% of people in Florida are fully vaccinated, according to state data. The low vaccination rates, along with a dangerous coronavirus variant that's now the dominant strain in the United States and the relaxed COVID-19 guidelines, are what Segarra said he thinks have led to the increase.
- 'It's very sad to see, as a health care professional, that this is generally an avoidable and preventable disease and to see so many people dying from a preventable illness,' he said. 'It's heartbreaking.'
- With cases of the virus surging in most of the United States - driven by unvaccinated Americans and fuelled by the highly contagious Delta Variant - COVID-19 hospitalizations are climbing in other parts of the country, too, and hospitals are again bracing for another round of devastation.
- And in COVID hot spots such as Florida and Missouri, where patients are quickly filling COVID units, experts warn a rise in deaths could soon follow.
'We are seeing people passing quicker than before': What hospitals look like in US Covid hot spots
The hospital's Covid-19 patient numbers have more than tripled, and staff are now treating more than 70 people, an "exponential growth," he said, that they were not expecting. To accommodate the climbing patient numbers, the hospital recently reopened two units that were previously shut down. The overwhelming majority of those coming in sick with Covid are unvaccinated, Segarra said. Many are young -- people in their 20s and 30s who are getting "extremely, extremely sick" and some of whom are dying. Roughly 45% of people in Florida are fully vaccinated, according to state data. The low vaccination rates, along with a dangerous coronavirus variant that's now the dominant strain in the United States and the relaxed Covid-19 guidelines, are what Segarra said he thinks have led to the increase.
Olympics COVID cluster at Olympic hotel as Tokyo cases surge
New COVID-19 cases at Brazil delegation's hotel. Russia women's rugby team isolating after masseur infected. Host city records most daily cases in nearly six months. Global public interest in Games at low level - poll
Delta lockdown will shrink GDP, cost thousands of jobs
Sydney’s prolonged lockdown for an anticipated two months will cause the national economy to shrink in the current quarter and cost thousands of jobs according to economists, stalling momentum in Australia’s bounceback from the virus recession. The $5 billion in government support payments to businesses and households, however, will cushion the blow and help the economy to follow past lockdown and reopening trends by swiftly rebounding once restrictions are eased, market economists said.
Mandatory face masks to remain in string of English cities as mayors stage mass revolt
Face masks will remain mandatory in certain transport settings in a string of English cities after mayors staged a revolt. The mayors of Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, North of Tyne and West of England all blasted Boris Johnson's decision to axe compulsory face coverings from Monday.In a damning joint press conference, they announced face masks will remain compulsory in the parts of the transport network that they have control over, despite the Prime Minister's 'Freedom Day' on July 19. That means the coverings will be a "condition of carriage" on the London Underground and buses; all Metrolink trams in Greater Manchester; and the Tyne and Wear Metro. They will also be mandatory in bus stations and terminals in South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire
French rush to get vaccinated after president's warning
More than 1 million people in France made vaccine appointments in less than a day, according to figures released Tuesday, after the president cranked up pressure on everyone to get vaccinated to save the summer vacation season and the French economy. Some bristled at President Emmanuel Macron’s admonition to “get vaccinated!” immediately, but many people signed up for shots, accepting that getting injected was the only way to return to some semblance of pre-pandemic life.
South Africa violence: Troop numbers on streets double to 5,000 amid looting - and more could be deployed
The number of soldiers deployed on the streets of South Africa has doubled to 5,000 as the army and police struggle to quell days of looting and violence. President Cyril Ramaphosa is considering boosting troop numbers even more, as at least 72 people have been killed in the worst unrest in the country for years. And some citizens are arming themselves to protect their property and businesses from the rampage, which has hit two of South Africa's nine provinces - KwaZulu-Natal, where Durban is located, and Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg.
Coup, COVID fuelling 'perfect storm' in Myanmar, UN expert warns
Surging COVID-19 cases as the Delta variant spreads, a collapsed health system, and “deep mistrust” of the military junta, are a “perfect storm” of factors that could lead to further major loss of life in Myanmar, the UN independent expert on the human rights situation in the country warned on Wednesday. In a statement, Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews said “emergency” assistance for Myanmar was desperately needed to save lives. “The highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being and that right is being denied to most within Myanmar. The international community must act.”
Cuban protests risk exacerbating COVID-19 spike - PAHO
Protests in Cuba will increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission because of an already high level of cases and the more contagious Delta variant, health officials said on Wednesday. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) urged Cubans and tourists visiting the Caribbean nation to avoid crowds, wear masks and frequently wash hands. "The gathering of individuals for protests... increases the risk of transmission, in particular in cases such as Cuba where you have active transmission in many areas over the last week and 34,244 new cases reported," said Dr. Ciro Ugarte, PAHO's director of health emergencies.
Risk of 'catastrophic' coronavirus surge in Middle East- WHO
A surge of coronavirus cases in several Middle Eastern countries could have dire consequences, aggravated by the spread of the Delta variant and low vaccine availability, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday. After a decline in cases and deaths in the WHO's Eastern Mediterranean region for eight weeks, the agency said there had been significant increases in cases in Libya, Iran, Iraq and Tunisia, with sharp rises expected in Lebanon and Morocco
EU regulator weighing mixing COVID-19 vaccines, booster doses
Says 'not in position' to advise on use of different doses. Says countries may adapt strategies based on available evidence. Finds no 'clear' link between Moderna shot, new blood condition. EC says it follows science, but needs to be prepared
Covid: Low uptake of jab causing 'crisis' at NHS trust
A health boss says his hospitals are in "the teeth of a growing local crisis" over low uptake of the Covid jab. Richard Beeken, chief executive at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, said it had 60 coronavirus inpatients, eight of whom were "critically unwell". In a letter to staff, he said it was vital people had the vaccination to boost their protection. But following 600 calls to under-40s to encourage jabs, he said, fewer than 10 agreed to appointments. Mr Beeken wrote that intensive care units were full and urgent cancer surgery was "under threat" due to Covid pressures faced by the trust.
COVID-19: SAGE scientists urge government to put contingency plans in place for rising hospital admissions
Scientists have urged the government to put contingency plans in place ready for surging hospital admissions as COVID cases are set to remain high until the end of August. Members of the government scientific advisory committee SAGE summarised the latest modelling from Warwick, Imperial, LSHTM and Juniper for easing restrictions during a 7 July meeting and have issued their latest COVID-19 advice. Scientists approved the delayed lifting of coronavirus restrictions on 19 July, which they said has allowed more people to get vaccinated and would prevent the next wave being pushed further towards the autumn and winter.
China to start giving COVID-19 shots to teenagers this month
Several areas in China will start vaccinating teenagers this month against COVID-19, state media and local authorities said, as the country steps up its inoculation campaign.
Covid-19 Vaccines Are Becoming Mandatory in Parts of China
Several local governments in China are planning to bar residents who haven’t been vaccinated against Covid-19 from accessing public venues, stirring controversy as the country makes a push for herd immunity. In recent days, a dozen counties and cities in the eastern provinces of Zhejiang, Fujian and Jiangxi set late-August deadlines for people 18 years or older to complete a two-shot vaccine regimen, according to similarly worded online statements. Many of them also set dates in late July by which unvaccinated people would be barred from entering schools, libraries, prisons, nursing homes and inpatient facilities at hospitals without a valid medical exemption. Some of the localities attributed their new policies to “national, provincial and municipal arrangements,” without explaining whether they received a decree from the central government.
German retailers support face masks, fear new lockdown
German retailers still support the wearing of face masks in stores as they worry about another wave of the coronavirus pandemic possibly leading to new restrictions, an industry association said on Wednesday.
Zimbabwe targets 1 million people in COVID-19 vaccine blitz
Zimbabwe is aiming to vaccinate 1 million people against COVID-19 in the next two weeks, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Tuesday as he extended tough lockdown measures by another 14 days.
Politics is causing needless deaths in the fight against Covid-19
In what is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated, almost every adult American can make a choice not to die a needless death from Covid-19. But the task of persuading holdouts, skeptics and the merely disinterested to get their shots is being complicated by the further politicization of the pandemic -- a trend that will cost lives and exacerbate an already stark tragedy that has deepened the nation's ideological estrangement.
COVID-19: Parliament staff 'incredulous and angry' at MPs not having to wear masks from Monday
Trade unions representing workers in parliament have expressed "incredulity, anger and concern" at a decision not to make MPs continue to wear face masks from next week. Following confirmation that England will move to step four of the government's roadmap for lifting COVID restrictions from 19 July, the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, this week set out how rules will be relaxed in parliament.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings sues Florida over prohibition on vaccine requirements.
The fight over requiring vaccinations for travel is heating up. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings sued Florida’s surgeon general on Tuesday, accusing the state of preventing it from “safely and soundly” resuming trips by barring it from requiring customers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The filing represents the latest twist in a monthslong fight over the resumption of cruises from Florida, a hub for the industry. Under Gov. Ron DeSantis, the state has fought vaccine requirements by cruises and other businesses, claiming that such policies are discriminatory. Supporters of vaccine requirements have argued that requiring vaccines is necessary to protect public health.
French police quell protest against COVID health passport rules
Dozens of French police used tear gas to disperse a protest against President Emmanuel Macron's plan to require a COVID-19 vaccine certificate or negative PCR test to gain entry to bars, restaurants and cinemas from next month.
Australia extends Sydney lockdown as COVID-19 outbreak nears 900 infections
Australian authorities extended a lockdown in Sydney on Wednesday by at least 14 days after three weeks of initial restrictions failed to stamp out the biggest outbreak of COVID-19 this year in the country's largest city. New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said restrictions would remain in place until at least July 30 after reporting 97 new locally transmitted cases, a slight increase from a day earlier. "It always hurts to say this, but we need to extend the lockdown at least a further two weeks," Berejiklian said in Sydney on Wednesday.
Netherlands sees Covid cases rise 500% in a week
There was a 500 per cent increase in new coronavirus cases in the Netherlands in the week to Tuesday and the reproduction rate or R number now stands at 2.17 and rising – its highest since the pandemic began. Days after acting prime minister Mark Rutte apologised for relaxing restrictions too quickly, the head of the Centre for Infectious Disease Control, Dr Aura Timen, briefed MPs that the current wave was directly linked to the most recent easing on June 26th.
Young children will pay the price if enough US adults don't get vaccinated against Covid-19, expert says
Children will likely pay the price for adults in the US not getting vaccinated at high enough rates to slow or stop the spread of Covid-19, which has been surging in most states, a vaccine expert said. If vaccination rates among adults and kids 12 and older keep lagging amid increased spread of the Delta variant, the youngest members of the population will be most affected, said Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccinologist and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
Scientists could create a single vaccine that fights multiple coronaviruses within 5 years, potentially preventing the next pandemic, an expert says
Twenty groups of scientists are trying to create a single vaccine that fights multiple coronaviruses. Coronavirus is the virus family that SARS-CoV-2 - which caused the COVID-19 pandemic - belongs to. An expert said scientists could make the vaccine within five years, preventing future pandemics.
'We're drowning': Argentines struggle under COVID-19 as death toll nears 100000
In the San Vicente cemetery in the central Argentine city of Cordoba, Sandra del Valle Pereyra, 50, has come to visit the graves of her parents who both died from COVID-19 that has ripped through the South American nation.
Aid offers hope as Tunisia struggles to cope with COVID-19 surge
After successfully containing the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Tunisia is struggling to cope with a resurgence of the virus, with intensive care wards full and doctors overburdened by a rapid rise in cases and deaths. "Doctors are exhausted, as the number of patients exceeded the capacity of the hospital," Ahmed Ghoul, a nurse at Charles Nicolle, told Reuters. "Even the mortuary was full and we could no longer find a place for them."
Victoria reintroduces masks in outdoor and indoor settings amid new COVID-19 outbreak
Masks will be mandatory indoors for Victorians aged 12 and above from Thursday as the state deals with another COVID outbreak, which includes 11 new confirmed cases. The new rules, announced by the Victorian Department of Health, state that masks must be worn in all workplaces and secondary schools. They must also be worn outdoors when you cannot remain socially distanced from those who are not from your household.
Covid-19 cases rise in US hotspots
Daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have doubled in the last three weeks from an average of 11,400 on June 23 to an average of 23,600 new cases per day All but two states - Maine and South Dakota - reported that case numbers have increased the past two weeks. Coronavirus daily deaths have only slightly risen from in the last two weeks from 257 per day to 265 per day, with about 99.5% of the 3,165 deaths in July occurring among unvaccinated people. Health experts blame the rise in cases on the spread of the Indian 'Delta' variant, lagging vaccination rates in several counties and Fourth of July gatherings. In Missouri, which has the highest prevalence of the Delta variant, infections have risen 38% from an average of 938 cases per day two weeks ago to 1,298 per day as of Tuesday. Louisiana, which has the second lowest vaccination rate only to Mississippi, has seen cases rise 92% in two weeks from an average of 434 per day to 836 per day
Bangladesh's COVID-19 death toll exceeds 17,000
Bangladesh reported 12,383 new COVID-19 cases and 210 more deaths on Wednesday, making the tally at 1,059,538 and the death toll at 17,052, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said. The official data showed that 42,490 samples were tested in the last 24 hours as of 8:00 a.m. local time Wednesday across Bangladesh. The total number of recovered patients in the country stood at 897,412 including 8,245 new recoveries, said the DGHS. According to the official data, the COVID-19 fatality rate in Bangladesh is 1.61 percent and the current recovery rate stands at 84.70 percent.
Feature: Third COVID-19 wave triggers demand for vaccines in Zimbabwe
At Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Zimbabwe's largest referral hospital and one of the country's vaccination centers, scores of people could not wait to receive their lifesaving jabs. The country's vaccination drive had been marred by vaccine hesitancy since its launch in February, but the third pandemic wave that hits Zimbabwe has triggered the demand for vaccines. Sekesai Kazangarara, who had come to receive her first shot, said while she was hesitant to receive the jab when the vaccination was opened to the general public, the fear of getting sick if infected drove her to get the vaccine as soon as she could.
Dutch COVID-19 cases jump in short-lived reopening of nightlife
New coronavirus cases in the Netherlands have jumped more than six-fold in the past week, mainly among young adults, following a decision to largely scrap restrictions.
Nearly 3000 confined to cabins after COVID-19 case on Singapore cruise
Infection confirmed in a passenger on 'cruise to nowhere.' Nearly 3,000 passengers, crew on Genting Cruise Lines ship. Ashore, Singapore marks highest new COVID tally in months
Vietnam says Pfizer to provide additional 20 mln COVID-19 vaccine doses
Vietnam on Wednesday said U.S. vaccine maker Pfizer would provide an additional 20 million doses of its COVID-19 mRNA shot, as the country tries to shore up supplies at a time of record number of new infections. The additional Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines would be used for 12-18 year olds, its health ministry said in a statement. It comes a day after Vietnam said it would offer the vaccine as a second dose option for people inoculated with one shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine