Dr. Vivek Murthy, the US Surgeon General has warned that COVID-19 misinformation is an ’urgent threat’ to public health as cases continue to rise across the country and vaccination rates continue to stagnate. Dr. Murthy said misinformation has impeded efforts to get the U.S. population vaccinated, led people to mistrust health officials and have caused unproven treatments to be promoted.
Experts have cautioned that since COVID-19 has absorbed the world’s energies and isolated countries from one another, this might have inadvertently accelerated the creep of authoritarianism and extremism across the globe. This has also been made possible as the biggest global public health emergency in a century has handed power to government authorities and restricted life for billions of people.
Haiti reported that it had received its first COVID-19 vaccine doses as the country battles a spike in cases and deaths. The Pan American Health Organization said that the United States donated the 500,000 doses via the United Nations’ COVAX program, which aims to provide COVID-19 vaccines for low-income countries. The shipment is of the Moderna vaccine.
Official figures have shown that the Chinese economy’s sharp rebound from the coronavirus pandemic has now slowed. The country’s GDP increased by 7.9% in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same time last year. This was less than half the rate which had been observed in the previous quarter, and also missed economists’ forecasts of 8.1% growth.
About 23 million children missed out on basic childhood vaccines last year, the World Health Organization and UNICEF said on Thursday, warning about a devastating consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic for routine health services. The number was the highest since 2009, according to the organizations, and mostly affected children living in remote or deprived areas.
Overdose deaths in the United States soared to a record 93,000 last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a 29 percent increase as compared to the previous year, when 72,000 drug overdose deaths were recorded. Lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions isolated those with drug addictions and made treatment harder to get.
Jair Bolsonaro, the President of Brazil was reportedly hospitalized due to persistent hiccups — the latest health scare for the right wing leader who was stabbed in the stomach on the campaign trail in 2018. In July 2020, Bolsonaro contracted COVID-19 but recovered. In recent public appearances, he had a stubborn cough and, more recently, developed chronic hiccups.
Sydney, the largest city of Australia has announced that it will be extending its lockdown as it struggles to contain an outbreak of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. The Delta variant was first identified in India, and is associated with increased transmissibility. Sydney’s stay-at-home orders, which started in late June, have been extended until July 30.
Healthcare experts have cautioned that the worrying increase in COVID-19 cases being seen in many states is linked to the spread of the Delta variant, which was first identified in India. The variant now accounts for as many as 97 percent of infections in some states. CDC data has shown that the Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, makes up 51.7 percent of new infections.
Senator Mitt Romney urged US citizens to get themselves vaccinated against COVID-19, and also took a strong stand against the rising politicization of vaccines within his party, by terming it ’moronic.’ There’s an increasing political divide in the U.S. that is translating to who is getting vaccinated. Some of the least vaccinated states and communities, for example, are the most Republican.
All health care workers in France must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by September or risk not being paid, the government has announced. The requirement applies to doctors, nurses, office staff and volunteers. President Emmanuel Macron stressed that from next month, health passes will need to be shown to access places like shops, bars, cinemas and long-distance train journeys in France.
A fire swept through a coronavirus ward in southern Iraq, killing at least 50 people and injuring dozens more. The officials said all those who died suffered severe burns during the blaze at al-Hussein Teaching Hospital in the southern city of Nasiryah. The new ward, opened just three months ago, contained 70 beds. At least 63 patients inside the ward when the fire began.
The FDA is expected to announce a new warning for the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine. It is expected that the FDA will say that the shot has been linked to a serious but rare autoimmune disorder. About 100 preliminary reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome have been detected after 12.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine were administered. Most people eventually recover from the disorder.
The World Health Organization advised that rich countries should not be ordering booster shots for their vaccinated populations while other countries have yet to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO General Director said that concerns are rising due to an increase in deaths from the pandemic, the dominance of the Delta variant, and an unequal distribution of vaccines.
World hunger and malnutrition levels worsened dramatically last year, with most of the increase likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After remaining virtually unchanged for five years, the number of undernourished people rose to around 768 million last year - equivalent to 10 per cent of the world’s population. The same was revealed in a multi-agency United Nations (U.N.) report.
Senator Ted Cruz took to Twitter as he came out in support of the thousands of protesters that took to the streets in Havana to rail against the worsening conditions in Cuba. Cuba is going through its worst economic crisis in decades, along with a resurgence of coronavirus cases, as it suffers the consequences of U.S. sanctions. Protests also broke out across Miami in support of the Cuban people.
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom will on Monday (Jul 12) urge caution as he is expected to confirm plans to remove nearly all remaining COVID-19 restrictions in England from Jul 19. The British PM had set out proposals to eliminate rules on mask-wearing and social contact, and the instruction to work from home, on what he has called a ’one-way road to freedom’.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that Americans ’right now’ do not need a booster shot to protect against the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19. Dr. Fauci, however, left the door open to the possibility of recommending booster shots in the future as trials and studies into the extra dose continue. Pfizer has already announced that it is developing a third jab.
More than 600 medical workers in Thailand who received two doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine have been infected with COVID-19. The Ministry of Public Health said that 618 of the 77,348 medical workers who were vaccinated with Sinovac have contracted the virus. A nurse has died from the so-called breakthrough infection, too, and another medical worker is in critical condition.
A 90-year-old woman who died after falling ill with COVID-19 was infected with both the Alpha and Beta variants of the coronavirus at the same time. The unvaccinated Belgian woman lived alone and received at-home nursing care. She was admitted to the OLV Hospital in the Belgian city of Aalst after a spate of falls in March and tested positive for COVID-19 the same day.
Finance ministers of the world’s 20 largest economies warned that an upsurge in new coronavirus variants could threaten global economic recovery. The leaders also endorsed new rules aimed at stopping multinationals shifting profits to low-tax havens. G20 leaders are currently aiming at finalizing a new global minimum corporate tax rate of 15 per cent at a Rome summit in October.
The Santa Clara County in California announced that it revised the method in how it registered Covid deaths that led to a 22% drop in its death toll. The county had been tallying anyone who died with the virus as a COVID-19 death, even if it did not play a role. It now says that in order for a death to be attributed to the virus, the disease needs to be listed as contributing the cause of death.
The CDC updated its public health guidance for schools, and said that fully vaccinated teachers and students don’t need to wear masks inside school buildings. However, those who have not been vaccinated should continue to wear masks, the CDC further said. The guidance will likely have no impact on students under 12, who are currently ineligible to get a Covid vaccine in the U.S.
Tyson Fury’s world heavyweight title defense against Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas looks set to be postponed because of a coronavirus outbreak in the champion’s camp. A court ruling in May had forced Fury to ditch an immediate bout with Anthony Joshua and instead put his WBC title on the line in a third meeting with Wilder. Fury’s team hoped to resurrect his bout with Joshua later this year.