Coronavirus Morning News Brief – Nov. 13: Cruise Ship With 800 Passengers With Covid Docks in Sydney, China Sees Record Number of Cases

A 1970 Cadillac DeVille convertible in Los Angeles traffic


Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 948th day of the pandemic.


In news we cover today, cases of Covid and the flu are surging in parts of the United States, China recorded a record number of new infections in three cities, and a cruise ship with 800 passengers who tested positive for Covid docked in Sydney,.


UNITED STATES


Health officials in Los Angeles County are reporting a significant increase in Covid cases and hospitalizations as the Thanksgiving holiday weekend nears.


The increase, however, isn’t limited just to Los Angeles.


“Our winter virus season is here early, especially for our kids. We are seeing stress on our clinics and hospitals that care for kids, especially infants and kids under 12,“ said Dr. Tomás Aragón, California’s public health director in a statement. “Kids get infected from other kids and adults, so everyone needs to do their part.”


Meanwhile, the Herricks, New York high school teacher who faces a felony charge for having admitted injecting a 17-year-old friend of her son with a dose of coronavirus vaccine without his parents’ permission was fired by the Herricks Board of Education, local media reported.


The Herricks Board of Education fired the high school science teacher who faces a felony charge for admittedly injecting a 17-year-old friend of her son with a coronavirus vaccine at her home last December without his parent’s permission,


GLOBAL


Health officials in China reported 14,878 new SARS-CoV-2  infections on Saturday.  The country’s capital, Beijing, as well as two manufacturing hubs, Guangzhou and Zhengzhou, reported a record number of new cases.  The number of cases on Friday was 11,950.


The Group of 20, or G20, launched a pandemic fund targeted at low-to middle-income countries with a goal of financing efforts such as surveillance, research, and better access to vaccines, among others measures.  The fund is chaired by G20 member Indonesia, but that country’s president, Joko Widoko, said in a statement that the amount of money raised thus far for the fund is not sufficient to meet the needs of those countries.


Indonesia President Joko Widodo said on Sunday at the launch of a Group of 20 (G20) pandemic fund that the amount of money raised so far to improve preparedness for future pandemics was not yet sufficient.


TRAVEL


A Carnival Australia cruise ship with 800 passengers who had tested positive for Covid on board docked in Sydney Saturday.


The Majestic Princess cruise ship,  was roughly halfway through a 12-day voyage when an outbreak of cases was reported, said the cruise line’s president, Marguerite Fitzgerald, at a media briefing on Saturday.


“All positive cases were mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic, and those guests isolated in their staterooms and then separated from non-impacted guests,” said Briana Latter, a spokesman for Princess Cruises, the parent of Carnival Australia.


TODAY’S STATISTICS


Now here are the daily statistics for Sunday, November 13.


As of Sunday morning, the world has recorded 640.3 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.2 million cases, and 6.62 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 619.8 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.2 million.


Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Sunday at press time is 13,845,357, a decrease of 35,000. Out of that figure, 99.7%, or  13,809,589, are considered mild, and 0.3%, or 35,768, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical has not changed over the past 24 hours.


The United States reported 2,575 new coronavirus infections on Sunday for the previous day, compared to 11,324  on Saturday, 87,849  on Friday, 76,861 on Thursday, and 21,017 on Wednesday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate is now 37,329.  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 39,618, an increase of 7%, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 317, a decrease of 10% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 28,031, an increase of 3%.


In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Sunday, recorded 99.9 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.1 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, almost 44.7 million, and a reported death toll of 530,531.


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 reported that 3,284 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in July, 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 37.1 million, and Germany is in the number four slot, with over 36 million total cases.


Brazil, which has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 688,735, has recorded over 34.9 million cases, placing it in the number five slot.


The other five countries with total case figures over the 20 million mark are South Korea, with 26.2 million cases, the United Kingdom, with 23.9 million cases, placing it in the number seven slot, and Italy, with 23.8 million, as number eight, as well as Japan, with 23.2 million, and Russia, with 21.5 million.


VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Thursday, 267 million people in the United States – or 80.4% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 68.6%, or 227.8 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 646.5 million. Breaking this down further, 91.4% of the population over the age of 18 – or 236.1 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 78.4% of the same group – or 202.4 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 11.7% of the U.S. population of the same population, or 30.3 million people, has already received an updated or bivalent 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 Thursday by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.


Some 68.2% 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, 12.94 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 2.47 million doses are now administered each day.


Meanwhile, only 23.6% 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)