Covid-19 Variants Update
Latest Coronavirus updates
10 min read
By Bill Petros
Where do we stand now in the Pandemic?
Latest updates on Covid-19 As per WHO's latest reports:
Deaths from the disease are now at one of their lowest in the last year. Having said that, the WHO officials taking part in the regular briefings pointed out that with almost 50,000 deaths per week, it is still at an unacceptably higher level. As of today there have been 520 Million reported case of Corona virus worldwide and 6,233,186 deaths.
As per the reports coming out from various regions, there has been a decline in all areas and continents Except Europe. Europe is facing fresh waves due to the new COVID-19 variants. The reports also suggest that countries and world population groups with the least access to COVID vaccines have reported the highest deaths.
Amidst the WHO reports, we have good news in the US as the US is now getting ready for booster shots. As per a recent CDC update and an announcement on 10/22/2021, the eligibility to receive booster shots has been for all individuals who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccine.
As per CDC, the below groups are eligible to get a booster shot after six months of taking the first shot: * People who are of the age 65 years or more. * People older than 18 years or more and living in long-term life care settings. * People older than 18 years or more have some underlying medical conditions. * People who are more than 18 years of age and live in places where the risk of infection is high. Booster shots are also recommended for everyone who has taken the Johnson and Johnson vaccine shot, who is 18 years old and has taken the shot more than two months back.
Also, as per CDC, people can choose their booster dose as mix and match are allowed in booster shots. WHERE ARE WE NOW WITH COVID-19? Here's where we are with COVID-19 now, as per reports from worldwide. GERMANY - The recent rise in the numbers has compelled the German leadership to consider extending the curbs, which will automatically expire as a nationwide emergency is set to lapse on Nov 25.
The likelihood of another nationwide lockdown is doubtful, but the state premiers are adhering to keeping the COVID norms of sanitization, wearing masks, and getting vaccinated as it currently is.
Russia: On Friday, Oct 22, 2021, Russia reported a new cases count of an alarming 37,141 cases and 1064 deaths in the 24 hours. This increase in the case counts has prompted the Government to reintroduce the curbs and restrictions and renew the calls to the people to come and get vaccinated. CHINA – China on Thursday identified 28 new cases and was quick to restrict citizen movement and seal some parts of the capital Beijing and close down some public places. China has always been quick to control new outbreaks, and the authorities are doing what they can to contain the new transmission.
Melbourne in Australia has been the city that has been locked out for the longest time. Since the outbreak in March 2020, this city in Australia has been under lockdown for 262 days, about nine months over six separate lockdown periods. However, the town came out of lockdown earlier this week, and residents were seen flocking pubs and restaurants to celebrate the ease of curbs.
In Hong Kong, a cruise ship named "Spectrum of the Seas" was stopped from leaving the terminal as a crew member suspected to be COVID-19 infected after routine testing. About 1000 passengers had already boarded the cruise, who were deboarded and were asked to undergo compulsory testing.
New Zealand has been setting an example of how to do it in style. As of Friday, about 68 percent of eligible New Zealanders had already been vaccinated, with about 86 percent of people have had at least one dose.
New Zealand is set to end the stringent lockdown only once 90 percent of New Zealanders are fully vaccinated, as informed by PM Jacinda Ardern to the press this Friday. Europe: Eastern European countries such as Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland have the lowest vaccination rates.
While Latvia has gone under a complete lockdown, Bulgaria and Romania regret it as they are now struggling with a surge of COVID-19 cases while Poland is selling its excess doses. The European subcontinent is torn between regret and defiance. To read the details of these reports, go to – reuters.com [https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/what-you-need-know-about-coronavirus-right-now-2021-03-02/]
India had seen a deadly second wave at the beginning of March, which slowed down their vaccination programs. But after controlling the numbers in June 2021, India has completed a new vaccination milestone of 1 billion doses as per Reuters [https://www.reuters.com/world/india/india-celebrates-1-bln-covid-19-vaccine-doses-with-song-film-2021-10-21/].
With more than 34.1 million confirmed cases and over 451,000 deaths, the country had been severely impacted by the pandemic. However, experts believe India's death toll is far more than the stated number due to underreported cases.
WHAT ARE THE COVID-19 VARIANTS?
Since the first outbreak of COVID-19, one thing that has been worrying is the ability of this deadly virus to mutate into different variants. The other variants have been classified as below: 1. Variant Being Monitored Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Epsilon, Eta, Iota, Kappa, 1.617.3, Mu, and Zeta. 2. Variant of Interest 3. Variant of Concern Variants put under this classification need the greatest attention from the authorities.
These variants are deadly and change the character and mutate very quickly. The Delta or B.1.617.2 and its AY lineages are classified as a Variant of Concern, and many countries are still trying to cope with the havoc caused by this variant. 4. Variant of High Consequence In the US, there has not been any Variant of High Consequences that have been identified. For more on COVID 19 variants, check the cdc.gov page [https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/variant-info.html].
WHAT DO THE NUMBERS SAY?
Update: Nov 2021
Here is a snapshot of the COVID numbers that you must know: * Globally, there are confirmed case counts above 242.8 million, and more than 4.9 million people have lost their lives due to COVID 19. * In the US, more than 45.3 million cases were confirmed, and around 734,000 people have lost their lives. * Coming to vaccination numbers in the US, more than 50 percent of the US adults are fully vaccinated, and when talking in numbers, 219.9 million adults have received their first dose. More than 190.1 million people are now fully vaccinated, as CDC [https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations_vacc-total-admin-rate-total].
With vaccination rising and the numbers going down steadily, let's only hope for the best.