Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 1,158th day of the pandemic. Today is also Tulip Day, a holiday that occurs annually on May 13.
Tulip Day is intended promote the start of the cut tulip flower season. Each year, as spring brings the promise of a new life with blooming buds and flowers, many people across the globe purchase tulips from Holland and elsewhere.
In other news we cover today, the CDC announced a target for air exchange in rooms and buildings in order to prevent Covid, the majority of U.S. states sunset their Covid notification apps this week, and multiple industries in New York lag behind the reset of the nation in job recovery.
Officials in most states discontinued the use of their Covid exposure alert systems. The system, jointly developed by Apple and google at the start of the pandemic, helped millions of Americans trace infections and make important decisions about isolation and testing. California, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Virginia, and Washington are among the states who have sunset their notification tools.
Meanwhile, New York City has apparently recovered 99% of lost pandemic jobs, although the gains are uneven across the economy. A new analysis by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli indicates that the recovery has yet to impact retail, tourism, restaurants, and construction and that these sectors lag the national recovery.
Finally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced extensive updates to its ventilation guidance on helping prevent indoor transmission of the virus that causes Covid-19. The new guidance calls for five air changes per hour in terms of the extent to which rooms and buildings should be ventilated.
OTHER HEALTHCARE NEWS
Several cases of drug-resistant ringworm were reported for the first time in the United States and community spread is already suspected. The cases, reported by a dermatologist in New York City, were documented in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The first case was reported in 2021 and the second followed in 2022. The two patients had not had any contact with one another.
The newly emerging fungal pathogen is often misidentified in common laboratory tests. Ringworm is also known as tineas, dermatophytosis, jock itch, and athlete’s foot.
One of the patient’s required a four-week course of an oral anti-fungal medicine, itraconazole, while the other patient had only seen an 80% improvement at the time the case study was written and this followed multiple attempts to treat the condition.
Now here are the daily statistics for Saturday, May 13.
As of Saturday morning, the world has recorded 688.3 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.1 million from the previous day, and 6.87 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 660.7 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.1 million from the previous day.
The reader should note that infrequent reporting from some sources may appear as spikes in new case figures or death tolls.
Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Saturday at press time is 20,725,383 20,729,269, adecrease of 3,800. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 20,686,390 are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 38,993, are listed as critical. The percentage of cases considered critical has not changed over the past eight months.
The United States reported 77,263 new cases in the period April 27 through May 3, a figure that is down 22% over the same period one week earlier, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The death toll for the same period is 1,109, a figure that is down 11%. The average daily number of hospital admissions from Covid was 4,275 on May 12, a figure that is down 2% over the preceding 14 days. Finally, the test positivity rate is 5.3%, up 3% over the 14 days preceding May 7.
Starting on March 25, 2023, the Morning News Brief began to update case data as well as death tolls on a weekly basis.
In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Saturday, recorded 106.8 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.16 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, just under 45 million, and a reported death toll of 531,767.
The newest data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed that, at the end of July, the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 823,623, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, behind the United States. Rosstat last reported that 3,284 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in July 2022, down from 5,023 in June, 7,008 in May and 11,583 in April.
Meanwhile, France is the country with the third highest number of cases, with 40 million, and Germany is in the number four slot, with 38.4 million total cases.
Brazil, which has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 702,116, has recorded 37.5 million cases, placing it in the number five slot.
The other five countries with total case figures over the 20 million mark are Japan, with 33.8 million cases, South Korea, with 31.4 million cases, placing it in the number seven slot, and Italy, with 25.8 million, as number eight, as well as the United Kingdom, with over 24.5 million, and Russia, with 22.9 million.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Thursday, 270.1 million people in the United States – or 81.4% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 69.5%, or 230.6 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 676.7 million. Breaking this down further, 92.23% of the population over the age of 18 – or 238.2 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 79.1% of the same group – or 204.3 million people – is fully vaccinated. In addition, 20.5% of the same population, or just under 53 million people, has already received an updated or bivalent booster dose of vaccine, while 23.9 million people over the age of 65, or 43.3% of that population have also received the bivalent booster.
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 70% 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, 13.38 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 209,714 doses are now administered each day.
Meanwhile, only 29.9% 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 at or below 10%.
In addition, with the start of vaccinations in North Korea in late September, Eritrea remains the only country in the world that has not administered vaccines.
Paul Riegler contributed reporting to this story.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)