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Opinion

Covid-19: what you need to know today

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On Wednesday, December 16, the world saw 715,068 cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), according to worldometers.info. The seven-day average of daily cases on the day was 637,090, the highest to date. The world saw 13,450 deaths from Covid-19 on December 16; and the seven-day average of deaths was 11,285, again the highest to date. The discovery of vaccines that can prevent the disease, their approval in some countries and imminent approval in others, and the frenzied preparations by governments everywhere to obtain vaccines, establish the infrastructure to store and transport them, identify who will be the first to receive them. Dosing, and training those who will administer the injections, has pushed news of the pandemic into the background; But the bad news is that, almost out of sight, he is furious.

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In India especially, this is easy to overlook because our own numbers are so much better. India saw 28,415 new Covid-19 cases on December 16. The seven-day average of cases was 27,672. India also saw 356 deaths on December 16; the average of seven days of deaths was 382. The number of cases is almost 70% lower than the peaks observed in September; death figures, 67% lower than the peaks seen in September. All the numbers for India are from the HT panel. Sure, India remains one of the 10 most affected countries today, according to data from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center (the other nine are the United States, Brazil, Turkey, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France and Ukraine). And it is one of the six countries on this list where the average daily cases has a downward trend (it only has an upward trend in Turkey, Russia, the United Kingdom and Germany). The only reason the US is not on that list of countries where cases are trending up is due to a statistical anomaly, a problem that will likely correct as the week progresses.

On Wednesday, according to the New York Times, the US registered 244,365 new cases, the highest in one day in any country in the world (in fact, no other country has crossed the 100,000 cases per day mark). The country also recorded the highest number of daily deaths on Wednesday with 3,607. That’s about 40% of daily cases worldwide and just over a quarter of all deaths, so it’s clear which country is driving the global numbers. The only good news for the US in the dark days ahead will be that it may soon be among the few countries in the world to start keeping another tally: the number of vaccinated. However, the third wave of the pandemic has devastated the country and will likely continue to do so until the end of the month: hospitalizations are at an all-time high (just over 100,000) and intensive care units are filling up rapidly.

However, not only the US is increasing the number of cases. With a seven-day average of around 42,000 new cases daily, Brazil is experiencing a strong second wave of infections; With a seven-day average of around 22,000 new cases daily, Germany’s second wave, which seemed to be under control in the second half of November, has only strengthened in intensity, forcing the country to declare a lockdown between the December 16 and January 10. ; and the UK, which appeared to have passed the second wave in early December, is seeing an increase in daily new cases (to a seven-day average of around 20,000). Mexico is also experiencing a strong second wave, with a seven-day average of new cases per day increasing to more than 10,000. And while Italy, France, and Spain appear to have passed the second wave, they are still seeing a substantial number of daily cases (a seven-day average of about 10,000 in France, 8,000 in Spain, and more than 15,000 in Italy). .

As India exhales during her current breath, she would do well to keep an eye on these numbers, if only to remind herself how quickly things can change.

Hindustan Times

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