Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 764th day of the pandemic.
Theater legend Patti Lupone, while taking part in a filmed question-and-answer session with her costars for the Tony-nominated revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Company,” called out a pair of theatergoers, following a performance on Tuesday, when she noticed the two not wearing their masks over their noses. She promptly went on to tell them to do so.
“Put your mask over your nose… that’s the rule,” Lupone admonished, adding “if you don’t want to follow the rules, get the f— out.”
Broadway houses were closed for over 18 months starting in March 2020 and all theaters require patrons to don face masks covering their mouth and nose. Some Broadway theaters continue to require proof of vaccination for entry as well.
Lupone, who missed ten performances of “Company” in late February and early March after contracting the coronavirus herself, continued to make her point: “Who do you think you are? Just put your mask over your nose, we have worked really hard,” she said angrily.
In other news we cover today, North Korea reported its first pandemic-related deaths and the tech industry in China is sputtering amidst the stringent lockdowns in Shanghai, the country’s financial and tech hub.
Here’s a look at what has taken place over the past 24 hours.
North Korea, which is facing its first confirmed Covid-19 outbreak as one of two countries in the world without any vaccinations against the virus, received an offer of help from the office of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeo.
The hermit nation reported the outbreak on Thursday.
The country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, seen on state television donning a face mask for the first time since the start of the pandemic, said that 187,800 people were in quarantine. State media reported 18,000 “fever cases” and a death toll of six, one from the BA.2 omicron subvariant.
Last year, the North Korean government turned down an offer of three million Covid-19 vaccine doses of Sinovac Biotech. The country has very limited Covid testing capabilities as well.
Apple iPhone manufacturer Pegatron said it once again cut production in its Shanghai factory, where strict lockdowns remain in force.
China’s leading integrated circuit manufacturer, SMIC, or Semiconductor Manufacturing International, said that the lockdowns in Shanghai could reduce production by 5% this quarter and that domestic smartphone makers might see 200 million fewer shipments this year.
Now here are the daily statistics for Friday, May 13.
As of Friday morning, the world has recorded 519.9 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.6 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and almost 6.3 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 474.6 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.4 million.
Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Friday is 39,022,510, an increase of 266,000 from the prior day. Out of that figure, 99.9%, or 38,983,344, are considered mild, and 0.1%, or 39,166, are listed as critical. The percentage of cases considered critical is largely unchanged over the past 24 hours.
The United States reported 115,357 new coronavirus infections on Friday for the previous day, compared to 161,535 on Thursday, 93,413 on Wednesday, and 110,388 on Tuesday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 7-day incidence rate continues to climb and is now 88,545. 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 87,522, a 59% increase, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources. The average daily death toll over the same period is 321, a decrease of 4% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 20,070, a 20% increase.
In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Friday, recorded 84 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of over 1 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, over 43.1 million, and a reported death toll of 524,190.
New data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed at the end of April that the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now over 803,000, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, after the United States. Rosstat reported that 35,584 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in the month of March, compared to 43,543 in February.
Meanwhile, Brazil now has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 664,700, and has seen 30.6 million cases.
France continues to occupy the number four position in total cases with 29.1 million cases, and Germany is in the number five slot with 25.7 million. The United Kingdom, with 22.2 million cases, is now number six and is the only other country in the world with a total number of cases over the 20 million mark.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Friday, 257.7 million people in the United States – or 77.6% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 66.4%, or 220.5 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 580.5 million. Breaking this down further, 89% of the population over the age of 18 – or 229.9 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 76.3% of the same group – or 196.9 million people – is fully vaccinated. In addition, 49.8% of that population, or 98.2 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.
The CDC adjusted downward on Thursday the figures for first doses and reclassified a small quantity as either second doses or third shots. This resulted in a one-time decrease of 0.5 percentage point for the first dose and an average increase of 0.1 percentage points for second and 0.2 percentage points for the third doses.
Over 65.5% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Friday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information. So far, 11.69 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 8.74 million doses are now administered each day.
Meanwhile, only 15.9% 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 to this story.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)