COVID-19 STATS FOR January16, 2022
Debra Schrishuhn for PDA National Staff
* France surpasses Russia in number of cases.
**Italy surpasses Spain and Germany in number of cases.
***Spain and Italy surpass Iran in number of cases.
**** Now 48 countries report more than one million cases of COVID-19, with the remainder being, Argentina (surpassing Iran), Iran, Colombia, Mexico (surpassing Poland and Indonesia), Poland (surpassing Indonesia), Indonesia, Ukraine, South Africa, Netherlands, Philippines, Malaysia, Canada (surpassing Thailand, Peru. and Czechia), Czechia, Peru, Belgium (surpassing Thailand), Thailand, Iraq, Vietnam (surpassing Chile and Romania), Romania, Chile, Japan, Portugal (surpassing Bangladesh), Israel (surpassing Bangladesh), newcomer Australia, Switzerland (surpassing Slovakia and Bangladesh), Greece (surpassing Hungary, Austria, Pakistan, Serbia, Sweden, Slovakia, and Bangladesh), Bangladesh, Sweden (surpassing Slovakia), Austria (surpassing Pakistan and Serbia), Serbia (surpassing Slovakia), Slovakia, Hungary (surpassing Pakistan), Pakistan, Kazakhstan, newcomer Denmark (surpassing Jordan), Jordan, and newcomers Ireland and Morocco.
Top Ten states with COVID-19 cases:
- California+ 6,874,405
New York+ 4,456,337
N. Carolina++ 2,001,087
New Jersey+++ 1,979,057
Top Ten states with COVID-19 deaths:
- California 77,966
New York 61,193
New Jersey 30,079
+California tops 6M cases; Texas and Florida top 5 M cases; New York tops 4M cases; Georgia and N. Carolina top 2M cases
++North Carolina and New Jersey surpass Michigan in cases.
+++Now 23 states post more than 1M cases, the remainder beingMichigan, Arizona, Tennessee, Indiana, Massachusetts, Virginia (surpassing Wisconsin), Wisconsin, Missouri, newcomer South Carolina surpassing Minnesota), Minnesota, and newcomers Colorado, Washington, and Alabama.
++++Ohio surpasses Michigan and Georgia in number of deaths; Georgia; Michigan surpasses New Jersey
++++Now 28 states with more than 10K COVID-19 deaths, the remainder being Arizona, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Indiana (surpassing North Carolina), North Carolina, Missouri (surpassing Alabama), Alabam , Virginia, Louisiana, South Carolina, , Maryland (surpassing Kentucky), Kentucky, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado, Mississippi, and newcomer Washington.
The Guardian, 1/16: The recent decision by regulators to approve the antiviral agent Paxlovid for use in the UK adds a formidable new weapon to the arsenal of treatments for Covid-19. Pfizer says the drug has almost 90% success in preventing severe illness in vulnerable adults if taken soon after infection occurs. Paxlovid is one of a growing repertoire of antiviral medicines – which also includes Merck’s agent Molnurpiravir – that can be given to people who have contracted the disease. Crucially, antivirals – which disrupt a virus’s ability to replicate inside an infected cell – provide hope that infected vulnerable individuals, including the very elderly and those with compromised immune systems, can be kept out of hospital. It has taken two years of research for the first antivirals to be approved, with drugs becoming available more than a year after the first Covid vaccines were given in the UK. So why has it taken so long, comparatively, for effective antivirals to be developed? And what role will they play in the UK, which now has broad vaccine protection against Covid?
Vaccines come first and antivirals afterwards when most predictions suggested it would be the other way around. Why?
“I expected antivirals would be in use before vaccines, I admit,” says Tom Fletcher of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. “What actually happened reflects the unbelievable speed of the vaccine research and the failure of the first tranche of antivirals that were tested.” At the start of the pandemic, most effort went on considering repurposed drugs – ones used to treat other illnesses but which had established safety profiles – in order to treat Covid-19.
“However, none of these repurposed antivirals have worked,” added Fletcher, who is also a member of the UK Agile trial that tries to find new Covid treatments. “After that, scientists focused on new antivirals specifically designed for Covid-19. Normally, drug development pipelines take five to 10 years at best. These timelines have been accelerated but it has still taken two years to get to this point.”
How will the new antiviral drugs be used?
Doctors have learned a great deal about treating Covid-19 patients in hospitals. “They have greatly improved outcomes for seriously ill patients – through knowing when to turn them, administer dexamethasone or give them intravenous antibodies,” said Ruth McKernan, chair of the BioIndustry Association. “But prevention is better than cure. So keeping people out of hospital is the real goal here and the new oral antivirals should be invaluable in achieving that.” Once a vulnerable person – someone who is old or has a compromised immune system – becomes infected, they will be given Paxlovid or Molnurpiravir and that, it is hoped, will prevent them becoming so sick that they need to go to hospital, which is good news for the patient and for the NHS.
What still needs to be discovered about antivirals?
“Clinical trials of antivirals began shortly after Covid first arrived, so they were tested almost totally on non-vaccinated patients,” said Eddie Gray, chair of the UK government’s antivirals taskforce. “Today, we have a population that is largely vaccinated. So we need to show that antivirals still have real benefits for these people.” This data will be provided by an Oxford University study, called Panoramic, which is assessing the impact of antivirals on vulnerable but vaccinated people in the UK. “Panoramic is very important,” added Gray. “It’s the mechanism by which we will work out the magnitude of the benefit our vaccinated population gets from antivirals. We expect results next month.”
What lessons are there for treating Covid from other use of antivirals?
“These drugs operate by disrupting the way that a virus produces copies of itself inside our cells and we have seen this process being deployed in antivirals that deal with other diseases,” added Gray. “One implication is that they are likely to be very effective in tackling new variants of Covid.”
The Asean Post, 1/16: Dutch Relax Tough COVID Curb : The Netherlands is to ease some of the toughest COVID restrictions in Europe, allowing shops, gyms, hairdressers and sex workers to reopen, Prime Minister Mark Rutte says. Bars, restaurants, cafes and cultural locations will however remain closed until at least 25 January, Rutte tells the first news conference since a new government was sworn in earlier this week.
Hong Kong Transit Passenger Ban : Hong Kong bans passengers from more than 150 nations from transiting through its airport, in the latest radical measure to conform with China’s zero-COVID policy.
Jabs For 5-11s : Norway says it will open COVID vaccinations to 5-11-year-olds on a voluntary basis but stops short of issuing an official recommendation. Vaccinations of the same age group also start in Sao Paulo, Brazil, a month after the green light by health authorities in spite of criticisms from COVID-sceptic President Jair Bolsonaro.
Cases Receding In New York :The record Omicron variant wave is beginning to recede in New York and other major United States (US) cities official data shows, with the downward trend following similar patterns seen in Britain and in South Africa.
Polish Medical Advisers Resign : 13 of the Polish prime minister’s 17 medical advisers on coronavirus resign, accusing the populist conservative government of inaction in the face of the pandemic.
Rwanda Gets Tougher : Rwandan authorities tell public sector workers to get vaccinated against COVID or resign, further tightening the strict pandemic measures which have seen people flee the country.
Tunisians Defy Protest Ban : Tunisian police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse hundreds of demonstrators protesting against President Kais Saied’s July power grab, in defiance of a ban on gatherings over COVID.
Swedish PM Positive : Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson tests positive for COVID-19, her office says, making her the third party leader to catch the disease following a meeting earlier this week.
Six Nations Games To Go Ahead : Rugby Union Six Nations matches in Wales will be able to go ahead after the Welsh government announces it is easing coronavirus restrictions in the coming weeks.
New Cases At Man City : Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says that his Premier League champions have been hit by fresh coronavirus cases ahead of their match with second placed Chelsea.
More Than 5.5 Million Dead : The coronavirus has killed at least 5,519,380 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources on Friday. The US has recorded the most COVID deaths with 846,488, followed by Brazil with 620,545, India on 485,350 and Russia 319,911. Taking into account excess mortality linked to COVID-19, the WHO estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.
Salt Lake Tribune, 1/15: As the highly contagious omicron variant spreads rapidly throughout the state, Utah now ranks fourth in the country in average daily coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, according to the Washington Post’s COVID-19 tracker. The Beehive State’s daily average over the last week is 304 cases per 100,00 people, the tracker showed on Friday – a 52% increase in the last seven days. Only Rhode Island, Delaware and New York topped Utah’s average daily case count, which was tied with California.
Donald G. McNeil, Jr, blog, 1/15: “As of this week, about 1,800 Americans a day are dying of Covid; the C.D.C. expects that number to rise above 2,600. Virtually all are adults. If 95 percent were unvaccinated and we assume that 75 percent of those were Trump supporters, that’s 1,300 to 1,900 of his voters being subtracted from the rolls every single day. Donald Trump lost Arizona by a mere 10,000 votes. He lost Georgia by 12,000, He lost Wisconsin by 21,000. He lost Nevada by 33,000. Right now, about 60 Arizonans, 36 Georgians, 34 Wisconsinites and 14 Nevadans are dying of Covid each day. Seventy five percent of 95 percent of that would be minus 103 Trump voters per day — just in those four swing states. Week after week. That adds up.”
Political Wire, 1/14: The White House announced that a new website will begin accepting orders on January 19 for free rapid tests.
New York Times, 1/14: “At least 80 percent of staffed hospital beds were occupied in 24 states on Thursday. … More troubling, the data showed that in 18 states and Washington, D.C., at least 85 percent of beds in adult intensive care units were full.”
Political Wire, 1/14: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) slammed Donald Trump on the Ruthless podcast saying he regretted not being “much louder” in opposing the Trump administration’s calls for a lock down early on in the pandemic.
New York Times, 1/14: “The Treasury Department told Arizona officials on Friday that it could claw back some of the state’s pandemic aid and withhold future payments if the state did not halt or redesign programs that use the money to undercut mask requirements in schools,”
The Hill, 1/14: Millions of families this weekend will stop receiving monthly child tax payments for the first time in months after Congress failed to pass an extension of the expanded credit.”
New York Times, 1/14: “Starting Saturday, new federal rules will require private insurers to cover the at-home coronavirus tests that Americans buy in pharmacies and other stores. The new system could, in theory, allow millions of consumers to pick up tests at thousands of locations without spending any money. The reality, at least in the short term, is likely to be messier: Some insurers say it will probably take weeks to fully set up the system the White House envisions.”
AP, 1/13: The Supreme Court blocked President Biden’s vaccine-or-test rule for large U.S. businesses, but allowed the vaccine mandate to stand for most federally-funded health care facilities.
New York Times, 1/13: “The vote in the employer mandate case was 6 to 3, with liberal justices in dissent. The vote in the health care case was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joining the liberal justices to form a majority.”
Political Wire, 1/13: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) baselessly blamed Dr. Anthony Fauci for being entirely “responsible” for the coronavirus pandemic. Said Greene: “We have so many serious problems and we can point them all at one man. That is Dr. Fauci.” She added: “Dr. Fauci is responsible for all of this. He created the gain-of-function. He gave it to China. They created the bioweapon, which is Covid-19, and it broke the world.”
The Independent, 1/13: Right-wing talk radio personality Glenn Beck said he has contracted Covid-19 for the second time after refusing the vaccine, The Independent reports. Said Beck: “It’s starting to go into my lungs today and a little disturbing. I’m on all the medications and treatments and everything else, so… it’s all good.” Beck said the antibody treatment ‘doesn’t seem to be working’ in his case, but he added that he is taking Ivermectin, an anti parasite drug popular in right-wing, anti-vaccine circles that has no proven effect against Covid-19.”
New York Times, 1/13; The surging Omicron variant appears to have peaked in parts of the Northeast.“A huge surge in cases that lasts for about one month, followed by a rapid decline, would be consistent with the experience in some places where Omicron arrived earlier than in the U.S.” However: “In much of the country, cases are still soaring.”
New York Times, 1/13: “The Winter Olympics are three weeks away, but tickets have yet to go on sale. Airlines are shifting schedules, creating travel confusion. Now, a spate of coronavirus outbreaks around China — including some locally transmitted cases of the fast-spreading Omicron variant — is adding to the uncertainty ahead of the Games in Beijing.”
Washington Post, 1/13: “President Biden will announce Thursday that the federal government is deploying additional medical teams to six states — New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Michigan and New Mexico — to help hospitals struggling to respond to the spike in cases of the omicron coronavirus variant. It’s one of the actions Biden plans to highlight in a speech from the White House complex on the administration’s ‘whole of government covid-19 surge response,’ much of which is already underway.”
New York Times, 1/12: “Just when it seemed as if the atmosphere on Capitol Hill could not get worse, Omicron came to town. At least 129 House members and senators have announced a coronavirus infection since the outset of the pandemic, nearly a quarter of the lawmakers in Congress. A baker’s dozen announced infections in the last week alone. A mask mandate that has been only fitfully respected by Republicans in the House was turned up a notch to require only N95s and KN95s — and compliance is just as spotty. Social distancing is back; when the body of Harry Reid, the former Senate majority leader, lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday, chairs were arranged several feet apart. The grand atrium of the Capitol Visitor Center, once filled with tourists, has been reconfigured with stanchions to demarcate the Covid testing line for lawmakers and staff members. Schadenfreude is in full tilt.”
NBC News, 1/12: Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) “compared Covid vaccine mandates to the Holocaust, a statement that was met with swift backlash from Jewish groups,” Davidson’s tweet: “Let’s recall that the Nazis dehumanized Jewish people before segregating them, segregated them before imprisoning them, imprisoned them before enslaving them, and enslaved them before massacring them.”
Washington Post 1/12: “West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced that he is “extremely unwell” after testing positive for the coronavirus, forcing him to postpone his State of the State address. Justice is fully vaccinated and boosted and has been a big proponent of urging citizens to get their shots.
Wall Street Journal, 1/12: “Public-school attendance across the U.S. has dropped to unusually low levels, complicating efforts to keep schools open, as districts also contend with major staff shortages. Many students in kindergarten through 12th grade are out sick because of Covid-19 or are being kept home by anxious parents, as the Omicron variant surges, officials say. Remote learning often isn’t being offered anymore for students who are home. Empty desks create a quandary for teachers, who must decide whether to push ahead with lesson plans knowing a large number of their students will need to catch up.”
AP, 1/12: “Scientists are seeing signals that COVID-19′s alarming omicron wave may have peaked in Britain and is about to do the same in the U.S., at which point cases may start dropping off dramatically. The reason: The variant has proved so wildly contagious that it may already be running out of people to infect, just a month and a half after it was first detected in South Africa.”
Washington Post, 1/12: “Last year, the administration said it was providing $10 billion for school-based testing. Nonetheless, before the omicron variant began racing across the country, relatively few districts even attempted testing for students and employees absent symptoms of covid-19. Experts point to confusing guidance on when testing is needed, difficulty implementing programs and lack of interest on the part of schools, plus test shortages.”
AP, 1/12: “The White House announced Wednesday that the administration is making a dedicated stream of 5 million rapid tests and 5 million lab-based PCR tests available to schools starting this month to ease supply shortages and promote the safe reopening of schools,” the Associated Press reports.
CBC, 1/12: Quebec Premier François Legault said the province would be imposing a health tax on Quebecers who refuse to get their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in the coming weeks.
Washington Post, 1/12: Dr. Anthony Fauci said the omicron coronavirus variant will infect “just about everybody” regardless of vaccination status. But he added those who have been vaccinated will “very likely, with some exceptions, do reasonably well,” and avoid hospitalization and death.
Daily Beast, 1/12: U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker (R) “will not say whether he has been vaccinated. But in Walker’s mind, he may not need the shot. That’s because, months before the vaccine was available, Walker was swearing by—and encouraging others to use—unproven mystery treatments, including an allegedly FDA-approved ‘dry mist’ that will ‘kill any COVID on your body.’”
Washington Post, 1/12: “As Americans push into a third winter of viral discontent, this season has delivered something different: Amid the deep polarization about masks and vaccines, amid the discord over whether and how to return to pre-pandemic life, a strange unity of confusion is emerging, a common inability to decipher conflicting advice and clashing guidelines coming from government, science, health, media and other institutions. On seemingly every front in the battle against the coronavirus, the messages are muddled: Test or don’t test? Which test? When? Isolate or not? For five days? Ten? Go to school or not? See friends and resume normal life, or hunker down again — and if so, for how long, to what end?”
The Hill, 1/11: White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci was caught on a hot mic calling Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) “a moron” during his testimony before the Senate Health Committee on the omicron variant of the coronavirus
Roll Call, 1/11: The Biden administration is preparing to ask Congress for “substantial” funding to address the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic domestically and abroad. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told reporters during a pen and pad briefing that he expects the White House will ask lawmakers to appropriate funding for testing, vaccines and “to make sure schools have resources to keep themselves safe.”
NBC News, 1/11: Dr. Anthony Fauci sparred with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) during a Senate hearing after the senator attacked the doctor for appearing to disagree with scientists who said the coronavirus originated from a lab in China. Said Fauci: “What happens when he gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue, is that all of a sudden that kindles the crazies out there, and I have threats upon my life, harassment of my family, and my children, with obscene phone calls because people are lying about me.”
New York Times, 1/11: More than half of people in Europe could be infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in the next six to eight weeks, the World Health Organization warned on Tuesday, amid “a new west-to-east tidal wave sweeping across the region,”
CNBC, 1/11: Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch did not wear a mask for a hearing Tuesday, even as all the other justices in attendance did so, and as two of his colleagues — Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor — appeared remotely due to apparent concerns about Covid-19,
New York Times, 1/11: The CDC advised Americans to avoid travel to Canada, citing “very high” levels of the coronavirus. Canada was placed under a Level 4 travel health notice — the highest category — joining several countries, including France, Germany, Britain, Spain, South Africa and others.
Washington Post, 1/11: “The CDC is considering updating its mask guidance to recommend that people opt for the highly protective N95 or KN95 masks worn by health-care personnel, if they can do so consistently. With the highly transmissible omicron variant spurring record levels of infections and hospitalizations, experts have repeatedly urged the Biden administration to recommend the better-quality masks rather than cloth coverings to protect against an airborne virus, and to underscore the importance of masking.”
Chicago Tribune, 1/10: “A proposal for Chicago Public Schools to resume in-person classes Wednesday has been approved by the Chicago Teachers Union’s House of Delegates following a contentious weeklong standoff.”
New York Times, 1/10: “The deal, which [Chicago] city officials said included provisions for additional testing and metrics that would close schools with major virus outbreaks, was approved by the union’s House of Delegates on Monday night and was expected to be voted on later in the week by rank-and-file teachers.”
New York Times, 1/10: “The number of Americans hospitalized with Covid-19 has surpassed last winter’s peak, underscoring the severity of the threat the virus continues to pose as the extremely contagious Omicron variant tears through the United States. As of Sunday, 142,388 patients with the virus were hospitalized nationwide, surpassing the peak of 142,315 reported on Jan. 14 of last year.”
Washington Post, 1/10: “But the highly transmissible omicron variant threatens to obliterate that benchmark. If models of omicron’s spread prove accurate — even the researchers who produce them admit forecasts are difficult during a pandemic — current numbers may seem small in just a few weeks. Disease modelers are predicting total hospitalizations in the 275,000 to 300,000 range when the peak is reached, probably later this month.”
CTV, 1/10: First-dose vaccinations quadrupled in Quebec ahead of vaccine passport requirements at liquor and cannabis stores,