Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 878th day of the pandemic.
In news we cover today, German workers took a record number of sick days, residents in Chengdu experienced long delays in mandatory Covid testing over the weekend, and England is rolling out new bivalent booster shots on Monday.
Here’s a look at what has taken place over the past 24 hours.
Workers in Germany spent took more sick days in the first half of 2022 than ever before in the same period of the year, a major German medical insurance company said on Thursday. The Techniker Krankenkasse said thatits employed members were absent from work for an average of 9.1 days in the first six months of the year, versus 6.8 days in the same period in 2021 and 7.9 days in 2020, the first full year of the coronavirus pandemic.
In England, the National Health Service will launch its fall inoculation drive with the first jabs of the new bivalent vaccine to be offered to people in and staff at care homes as well as homebound individuals. The following week, the NHS will start to offer booster shots to those at the highest risk including individuals 75 years of age and over and those with compromised immune systems. The United Kingdom was the first country in the world to authorize a newly designed bivalent vaccine from Moderna, which in this case takes aim at the original virus as well as the BA.1 sublineage of the omicron variant.
Hong Kong reported 10,426 new Covid cases, the third time in four days the special administrative region reported case figures over 10,000.
Officials in the former British colony will be expanding the vaccine pass program to residents age 5 and older. The program restricts entry to most businesses and government buildings to individuals who have had a full course of coronavirus vaccines.
Meanwhile, authorities in Chengdu were forced to apologize to the public for serious disruptions in its mandatory Covid-19 mass testing system. Long queues formed late into the cold rainy night over the weekend. In a statement on Saturday night, the municipal government cited “abnormal activity in the citywide nucleic acid testing system” that led to the delays.
SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Organizers of the Gay Games in Hong Kong said that they have scaled back the size of the event in Hong Kong due to pandemic-related travel curbs, adding they were prepared for only locals to take part should pandemic restrictions be particularly severe when the competition begins in November next year.
Now here are the daily statistics for Sunday, September 4.
As of Sunday morning, the world has recorded 610.1 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.6 million cases, and 6.5 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 586.7 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.8 million.
Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Sunday is 16,949,488, a decrease of 259,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 16,907,096, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 42,392, are listed as critical. The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged over the pat 24 hours.
The United States reported 7,437 new coronavirus infections on Sunday for the previous day, compared to 88,353 on Saturday, 108,660 on Friday, and 154,500 on Thursday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 7-day incidence rate is now 85,274. 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 87,039, a 9%decrease, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources. The average daily death toll over the same period is 493, an increase of 7% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 36,721, a 9% decrease.
In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Saturday, recorded over 96.6 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of over 1.07 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, over 44.4 million, and a reported death toll of 527,991.
The newest data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed that, at the end of May, the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 820,307, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, behind the United States. Rosstat reported that 4,991 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in June, down from 7,008 in May and from 11,583 in April.
Meanwhile, France is the country with the third highest number of cases, 34.58 million, although Brazil has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 684,414, and has recorded 34.52 million cases, placing it in the number four slot.
Germany is in the number five slot with over 32.2 million cases.
The other three countries with total case figures over the 20 million mark are South Korea, with 23,57 million cases, moving into the number six position on Sunday, the United Kingdom, with 23.52 million cases, placing it in the number seven slot, and Italy, with 21.9 million, as number eight.
Meanwhile, Russia, with over 19.7 million recorded cases, will likely cross the 20 million mark within under two weeks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of this past Thursday, over 262.9 million people in the United States – or 79.2% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 67.5%, or 224.1 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 610 million. Breaking this down further, 90.2% of the population over the age of 18 – or 232.8 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 77.3% of the same group – or 199.7 million people – is fully vaccinated. In addition, 51.6% of that population, or 103.1 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 the updated information on Thursdays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.
Some 67.7% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Saturday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information. So far, 12.58 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 4.74 million doses are now administered each day.
Meanwhile, only 20.9% 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.
Paul Riegler contributed reporting to this story.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)