Coronavirus Morning News Brief – Aug. 7: Man Attacks Couple With Boomerang Over Vaccines, China Locks Down Tropical Island

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 850th day of the pandemic.


It might pay to keep your eyes open if you are driving in the port city of Geelong in Australia for a well-built shirtless man brandishing a boomerang and driving a red car and prone to what I would call “boomerage,” which has nothing to do with someone’s generation.


Although what transpired before the rampage remains unknown, said boomerang-bearer, who is apparently an anti-vaxxer, attacked a seemingly innocent vehicle with two occupants while brandishing the weapon. He then cursed out the occupants of the vehicle and, when the boomerang broke, he used his hand and fist to (eventually) smash the driver’s side window.


Calling both the driver and his frightened passenger “idiots”, the boomerang-bearer shouted about them having gotten “the vaccine.” He struck the car’s steering wheel and, for a brief moment, grabbed the neck of the driver’s hoodie.


“You’ve both got the vaccine and it’s cost a life,” the man yells.


“Leave me alone,” the driver says to the boomerang-bearer as the latter retreats to his red car, which did not appear to have any boomerang strike marks.


In other news we cover today, face masks are returning to schools, China stranded tens of thousands of tourists after shutting down a tropical island, and there may be hundreds of polio cases going undetected in New York State.


Here’s a look at what has taken place over the past 24 hours.


UNITED STATES


In Kentucky, all pupils at Jefferson County Public Schools will don face masks given the high levels of community transmission there. The masking policy was first approved by the school board in March and renewed in mid-July of this year.


Officials in Calaveras County, a county in both the Gold Country and High Sierra regions of the U.S. state of California, closed a school I the Calaveras Unified School District last Thursday and Friday, after a Covid outbreak left almost 25% of pupils and 50% of staff members out on Wednesday.


Meanwhile, because public health authorities don’t have enough keep busy with during a raging pandemic, New York State’s health commissioner warned that “hundreds” of people may be infected with polio, cases which are going undetected.  The disease has been found in wastewater in Orange and Rockland Counties, and the health department “is treating the single case of polio as just the tip of the iceberg of much greater potential spread,” said the commissioner,  Dr. Mary Bassett.


In Florida, a former administrative officer at the Miami-Dade County Police Department was sentenced to 60 days in prison and 18 months of supervised release, of which the first 60 days would be home confinement after stealing $117,000 in coronavirus pandemic relief funds, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release.  Elise Rivera authorized a co-conspirator to electronically submit an Economy Injury Disaster Loan application to the Small Business Administration on July 3, 2020, claiming the existence of a fictitious business that had a supposed $425,000 in annual revenues.  Rivera also offered to and did in fact submit similar fraudulent applications for other people as well.


GLOBAL


Tens of thousands of Chinese tourists have been stranded in the tropical resort city Sanya thanks to a Covid-19 outbreak.  Authorities in Sanya, the southernmost city on Hainan Island, imposed emergency travel restrictionsafter the onset, banning travel via plane and train into and out of the city after over 800 cases were recorded over the past week.


Meanwhile, dozens of Australians who were stranded by the sudden of the New South Wales-Victoria border last July and effectively left homeless, are not entitled to receive compensation, the government said Friday.


TODAY’S STATISTICS


Now here are the daily statistics for Sunday, August 7.


As of Sunday morning, the world has recorded 589.2 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 1.1 million cases, and almost 6.44 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 560.3 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 3.2 million.


Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Sunday is 22,462,998, a decrease of 1.1 million. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 22,419,147, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 43,851, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged over the pat 24 hours.


The United States reported 10,568 new coronavirus infections on Sunday for the previous day, compared to131,914 on Saturday, 164,117  on Friday, and 217,844  on Thursday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate continues to be over 100,000 and is now 117,265.  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 117,499, an 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 492, an increase of 10% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 43,608, a 1% increase.


In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Sunday, recorded almost 93.9 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of almost 1.06 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, almost 44.2 million, and a reported death toll of 526,669.


New data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed at the end of May that the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 812,890, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, after the United States.  Rosstat reported that 11,583 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in April, down from 35,584 in March and from 43,543 in February.


Meanwhile, France is the country with the third highest number of cases, 34.05 million, although Brazil has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 680,012, and has recorded 34.01 million cases, placing it in the number four slot.


Germany is in the number five slot with over 31.2 million cases.


The other three countries with total case figures over the 20,000 mark are the United Kingdom, with almost 23.4 million cases, in sixth position, and Italy, with almost 21.3 million, in the number seven slot.  South Korea hit the 20 million mark last Wednesday, and has had a total of over 20.5 million cases since the start of the pandemic.


VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Sunday, over 261.6 million people in the United States – or 78.8% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 67.2%, or 223.2 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 604.2 million. Breaking this down further, close to 90% of the population over the age of 18 – or 232.2 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 77.1% of the same group – or 198.9 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 51.4% of that population, or 102.2 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 67.2% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Sunday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 12.4 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 6.85 million doses are now administered each day.


Meanwhile, only 20.2% 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.


Pau Riegler contributed to this story.


(Photo: Accura Media Group)