Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 1,007th day of the pandemic.
In other news we cover today, Long Covid symptoms can linger for over a year, a new study reported, emergency-room patients could wait several days during the Covid winter, and the United States extended the current public health emergency for three more months.
A new study found that even mild cases of SARS-CoV-2 can cause Long Covid and that some Long Covid symptoms resulting from this can linger for more than a year.
The study, published Wednesday in the medical journal BMJ, covered two million patients and that, although most protracted symptoms subsided within a year, some of the syndrome’s most debilitating consequences, namely dizziness, loss of taste and smell, and problems with concentration and memory, still were present in a minority of Long Covid patients a full year after the initial infection.
The Biden administration extended the Covid public health emergency on Wednesday as the XBB 1.5 omicron sublineage continued to drive case figures upward.
The uptick in Covid cases this Covid winter is making long hospital waits the new normal. ER doctors and nurses are struggling to care for non-Covid emergencies and are sometimes unable to give patients timely, lifesaving treatments that they require. The tripledemic of SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is causing logjams in incoming patients that seemingly never end.
The Defense Department said it rescinded its coronavirus vaccine mandate. The move was required by the recently passed annual defense bill.
SARS-CoV-2 was the leading cause of death among police officers for a third year in the row. Some 70 policemen died from it in 2022 according to a new report released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Lothar Wieler, who became a household name as Präsident of the Robert Koch Institut, Germany’s agency for disease control and prevention, announced plans to retire on April 1. He assumed the post in 2015.
In England, make-shift morgues built during the early days of the pandemic are once again being called into service to deal with the higher death toll.
Officials in Uganda announced that that country’s Ebola outbreak had come to an end. Health authorities used lockdowns and other control measures to stop the spread of the virus in fewer than four months and called it “a great day for the country.”
The union representing almost 9,000 nurses at Mount Sinai and Montefiore hospitals reached a tentative agreement after a three-day strike. Nurses were demanding better pay and improved nurse-to-patient ratios.
Now here are the daily statistics for Thursday, January 12.
As of Thursday morning, the world has recorded 670.1 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.5 million cases, and 6.72 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 641.2 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.3 million.
Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Thursday at press time is 22,150,948, an increase of 191,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 22,102,546, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 48,402, are listed as critical. The percentage of cases considered critical has not changed over the past 24 hours.
The United States reported 44,472 new coronavirus infections on Thursday for the previous day, compared to 34,774 on Wednesday, 43,918 on Tuesday, 6,100 on Monday, 3,607 on Sunday, and 115,075 on Saturday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 7-day incidence rate is now 67,390. 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 63,088, a decrease of 2% averaged over the past 14 days, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources. The average daily death toll over the same period is 555, an increase of 61% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 46,278, an increase of 12%. In addition, the number of patients in ICUs was 5,567, an increase of 11% and the test positivity rate is now 15%, an 8% increase.
In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Thursday, recorded 103.3 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.12 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, just under 44.7 million, and a reported death toll of 530,722.
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 39.4 million, and Germany is in the number four slot, with 37.6 million total cases.
Brazil, which has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 695,127, has recorded 36.6 million cases, placing it in the number five slot.
The other five countries with total case figures over the 20 million mark are Japan, with 31 million cases, South Korea, with 29.7 million cases, placing it in the number seven slot, and Italy, with 25.3 million, as number eight, as well as the United Kingdom, with 24.2 million, and Russia, with just over 21.8 million.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of the past Thursday, 268.5 million people in the United States – or 80.9% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 69.1%, or 229.3 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 665.1 million. Breaking this down further, 91.8% of the population over the age of 18 – or 237.1 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 78.8% of the same group – or 203.4 million people – is fully vaccinated. In addition, 17.7% of the same population, or over 45.7 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 Thursdays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.
Some 69.1% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Thursday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information. So far, 13.2 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 2.15 million doses are now administered each day.
Meanwhile, only 25.9% 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.
Anna Breuer contributed reporting to this story.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)