If you were paying careful attention to news relating to the pandemic in early 2020, something quite likely given that there was little else to do, you would have read, both in the Morning News Brief and elsewhere about Dr, Vladimir Zelenko, a self-described “simple country doctor” who had his 15 minutes of fame for his unfounded and controversial coronavirus treatment,
Zelenko, a physician with a practice near Kiryas Joel, a village in Orange County, New York, announced within weeks that he had come upon an effective cure for SARS-Cov-2, namely a three-drug cocktail comprised of hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and zinc sulfate. The “news” drew national attention including that of Mark Meadows, then President Donald Trump’s chief of staff.
The good doctor’s claims were backed only by anecdotal evidence but further study led findings that showed that there was no benefit that could be derived from the use of hydroxychloroquine to fight Covid.
Dr. Zelenko died on Thursday in Dallas from lung cancer at the age of 48.
n other news we cover, Canada is recommending booster doses of vaccine, Australia marked a milestone in its death toll, and Tesla deliveries fell by 18%.
Here’s a look at what has taken place over the past 24 hours.
The Canadian government is urging citizens there to get booster shots of the coronavirus vaccine ahead of a predicted fall wave.
“As the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to circulate worldwide and new variants emerge and spread, we must remain vigilant and prepare for resurgence in the weeks and months ahead,” said the country’s chief medical officer, Theresa Tam, during a briefing Thursday.
Meanwhile, Steven Ho, a Hong Kong lawmaker, tested positive for Covid two days after he posed for a group photo with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the latter’s visit to the special administrative region for the 25th anniversary of the city’s handover. The report is igniting concerns over the effectiveness of the anti-pandemic measures that were in place for the anniversary celebrations.
Ho, who represents the agriculture and fisheries functional constituency in the city, said that, while he tested negative on June 30, his result on July 1 was “uncertain,” with a low viral load “with an extremely low risk of transmission.”
Finally, the pandemic death count in Australia hit the 10,000 mark just as health authorities there are warning of another wave of infections. In addition, the circulation of the new BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants will increase the risk of reinfection, the country’s federal health minister, Mark Butler, said to reporters.
The pandemic has greatly hobbled Tesla’s production capabilities.
The maker of electric vehicles experienced the first quarterly drop in deliveries since the beginning of 2020, when the onset of the pandemic caused a drop in worldwide auto sales.
In the most recent quarter, Tesla delivered approximately 254,000 vehicles, a drop of 18% compared to the first quarter, when it delivered 310,000.
Now here are the daily statistics for Sunday, July 3.
As of Sunday morning, the world has recorded 554.2 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.6 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and 6.36 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 528.9 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.4 million.
Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Sunday is 18,915,114
18,932,585, a decrease of 17,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 18,876,833 , are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 38,281, are listed as critical. The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged over the pat 24 hours.
The United States reported 8,516 new coronavirus infections on Sunday for the previous day, compared to 151,929 on Saturday, 123,718 on Friday, and 196,230 on Thursday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 7-day incidence rate continues to be over 100,000 and is now 107,589. 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 113,490, a 13% 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 387, an increase of 24% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 33,701, an 11% increase.
In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Sunday, recorded 89.5 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.04 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 43.5 million, and a reported death toll of 525,199.
New data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed at the end of May that the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 812,890, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, after the United States. Rosstat reported that 11,583 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in April, down from 35,584 in March and from 43,543 in February.
Meanwhile, Brazil now has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 671,938, and has recorded 32.5 million cases.
France continues to occupy the number four position in total cases with 31.2 million cases, and Germany is in the number five slot with 28.4 million. The United Kingdom, with 22.7 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 Sunday, over 259.9 million people in the United States – or 78.3% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 66.9%, or 222.9million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 596.2 million. Breaking this down further, 89.6% of the population over the age of 18 – or 231.5 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 76.8% of the same group – or 198.5 million people – is fully vaccinated. In addition, 51.1% of that population, or 101.5 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.
Starting on June 13, 2022, the CDC began to update vaccine data on a weekly basis and publish it on Sundays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.
Over 66.5% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Sunday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information. So far, 12.09 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 5.78 million doses are now administered each day.
Meanwhile, only 17.6% 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.
Paul Riegler contributed to this story.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)