The coronavirus has hit another sobering milestone: more than 50 million positive cases worldwide since the pandemic began. Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker reported more than 50.2 million COVID-19 cases globally as of Sunday.
There have been more than 1.2 million deaths from the disease worldwide since the pandemic started. The U.S., with about 4% of the world’s population, represents almost a fifth of all reported cases.
Here are the latest updates:
Kerala test positivity rate remains over 11%
Kerala tested 48,798 samples and reported 5,440 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.
Public health experts were worried about the upcoming Sabarimala pilgrimage, when people from other States would also congregate, possibly causing the case graph to rise again.
The test positivity rate was steady, touching 11.1% on Sunday.
Delivery of COVID-19 vaccines poses a huge challenge
The government recently said it will procure the vaccine and distribute it under a special COVID-19 immunisation programme to four categories of people, free-of-charge. The priority groups named are healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses and ASHA workers, a second category that includes frontline workers including police and armed forces, the third category of those aged above 50 and finally those below 50 years of age with co-morbidities.
“All of those sounds like a simple rank-ordering, but it is not. Hard choices may need to be made. For example, when there is insufficient supply to offer vaccines to all who would otherwise qualify, which group will be prioritised?” asks Dr. Gagandeep Kang, Professor of microbiology at CMC Vellore in an email to The Hindu.
Deciding whom to vaccinate first may be dictated by the characteristics of the vaccines that become initially available, such as the ones that are more effective in the younger population than in older people. “Should we then not vaccinate the elderly? Is there a bar below which vaccines should not be used in a particular group? As soon as we move beyond the big picture characterisation of initial priority groups, there are more questions for discussion than clear answers,” she says.
U.S. becomes first nation to cross 10 million COVID-19 cases
The United States became the first nation worldwide since the pandemic began to surpass 10 million coronavirus infections, according to a Reuters tally on Sunday, as the third wave of the COVID-19 virus surges across the nation.
The United States has reported about a million cases in the past 10 days, the highest rate of infections since the nation reported its first novel coronavirus case in Washington state 293 days ago.
The daily average of reported new deaths in the United States account for one in every 11 deaths reported worldwide each day, according to a Reuters analysis