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COVID-19

‘Monumental tragedy of epic proportions unfolding across India’

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(Last Updated On: April 20, 2021)

India reported 1,761 deaths from COVID-19 overnight, its highest daily toll, with large parts of the country now under lockdown, Reuters reported.

This comes as the country battles a second wave that has left people fighting for hospital beds, oxygen and medicines.

The world’s second most populous country is grappling with its biggest public health emergency after it lowered its guard when coronavirus infections fell to a multi-month low in February, health experts and officials say.

On Tuesday, the health ministry reported 259,170 new infections, the world’s highest daily rate. It has reported daily infections above the 200,000 mark for six days.

Total coronavirus cases in India are now at 15.32 million, second only to the United States.

Reuters reported that Delhi, the capital city which has seen a surge in cases, began a six-day lockdown late on Monday that officials hope will slow the virus transmission and relieve the pressure on the health infrastructure.

People in Delhi and in towns of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, put out desperate calls for help on Twitter, asking for assistance getting their families into hospitals. Others reported dire shortage of oxygen and the anti-viral drug Remdesivir.

“(A) monumental tragedy of epic proportions is unfolding across India. No hospital beds, no oxygen, no vaccination,” said Manish Tewari, an opposition lawmaker, on Twitter.

India has lost 180,530 people to the disease, still quite a distance from the 567,538 deaths reported in the United States. But experts have warned that the official death toll does not reflect ground reality and that it could sharply rise as doctors struggle to cope with the pressure, Reuters reported.

“The huge pressure on hospitals and the health system right now will mean that a good number who would have recovered had they been able to access hospital services may die simply because of this,” said Gautam I. Menon, a professor at Ashoka University.

Several major cities are already reporting far larger numbers of cremations and burials under coronavirus protocols than official COVID-19 death tolls, according to crematorium and cemetery workers, the media and a review of government data. read more

Reuters Bhramar Mukherjee, a professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Michigan, said many parts of India were in “data denial”.

“Everything is so muddy,” she said. “It feels like nobody understands the situation very clearly, and that’s very irksome.”

Stung by criticism that the government had failed its people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered vaccinations on Monday for anyone above the age of 18 to be given from May 1.

So far, 108.5 million people have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a government portal, a small portion of India’s 1.3 billion population.

Reuters also reported the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection has said all travel should be avoided to the country, while Britain said it will add India to its travel “red-list”.

COVID-19

Up to 180,000 health workers may have died from COVID-19

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(Last Updated On: October 22, 2021)

Between 80,000 and 180,000 health and care workers may have died from COVID-19 between January of 2020 and May of this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

This estimate features in a new WHO working paper based on the 3.45 million coronavirus-related deaths reported globally to the UN health agency up to May; a figure that WHO said may well be at least 60 percent lower than the actual number of victims.

To highlight the need for better protection, WHO was joined by global partners working to end the pandemic, to issue an urgent call for concrete action on behalf of workers in the sector.

Speaking to journalists in Geneva, WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, reiterated that “the backbone of every health system is its workforce.”

“COVID-19 is a powerful demonstration of just how much we rely on these men and women, and how vulnerable we all are when the people who protect our health are themselves unprotected”, he added.

WHO and partners said that apart from huge concern over deaths, an increasing proportion of the workforce continue to suffer from burnout, stress, anxiety and fatigue.

They are calling on leaders and policy makers to ensure equitable access to vaccines so that health and care workers are prioritized.

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COVID-19

Global COVID-19 cases exceed 236 million, death toll hits 4.83 million

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(Last Updated On: October 11, 2021)

The cumulative total number of global COVID-19 cases has exceeded 236.5 million with the death toll hitting 4.83 million as of Friday, according to the latest data compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Specifically, there had been 236,599,025 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 4,831,486 deaths as of Wednesday, the WHO’s COVID-19 dashboard showed Monday.

In addition, a total of 6.3 billion vaccine doses had been administered across the world as of Saturday, according to the WHO.

The cumulative total of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 44.3 million as of Sunday, with the death toll surpassing 713,000, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

The country’s case count rose to 44,338,297 on Sunday, and its death toll came to 713,154, the CSSE tally showed.

As of early Monday morning, a total of 400,352,880 doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered across the United States, CSSE data showed.

Reuters reported that in Britain, another 34,574 people have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing its total coronavirus cases to 8,154,306, according to official figures released Sunday.

The country also recorded another 38 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 137,735. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.

There are currently 6,763 patients in hospital in the UK with COVID-19.

Russia meanwhile confirmed 28,647 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, taking the national tally to 7,775,365, the official monitoring and response center said Sunday.

The nationwide death toll grew by 962, close to a record number of 968 a day earlier, to 216,415. Recoveries increased by 17,274 to 6,858,119.

In Asia, India’s COVID-19 tally rose to 33,971,607 on Monday, as 18,132 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours across the country, showed the federal health ministry’s latest data.

The number of new cases recorded in a day are the lowest in the past 215 days, said a statement by the federal health ministry.

Besides, as many as 193 deaths from the pandemic since Sunday morning took the total death toll to 450,782.

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COVID-19

U.S. COVID-19 cases surpass 44.2 million, death toll tops 710,000

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(Last Updated On: October 9, 2021)

The cumulative total of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 44.2 million as of Friday, with the death toll surpassing 712,000, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

The country’s case count rose to 44,285,030 on Friday, and its death toll came to 712,646, the CSSE tally showed.

The Alaska state in northwestern America has recently witnessed a sharp surge in COVID-19 patients and a shortage of medical resources.

The state has become one of the country’s hardest-hit places by the pandemic, as reported by some local media on Friday.

In the past two weeks, the number of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States has increased by more than three times, and most of the new cases did not get vaccinated.

In addition, the rural area in Alaska is more vulnerable to the pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday that COVID-19 associated multisystem inflammatory syndrome cases in children has increased by 12 percent since late August, the largest growth so far this year.

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