Pandemic Surveys Offer Grim Analyses

WASHINGTON — Two different surveys of the COVID-19 pandemic offer grim and sobering analyses.

One says the widely accepted COVID-19 global death toll of 5 million is likely underestimated and was probably reached much earlier than November 1 when the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center announced the figure. The other offers up a harsh statistical analysis of the pandemic, including the fact that 50 million people are being infected with the virus every 90 days.

Reuters puts its analysis into perspective with the reminder that it took almost a year to record the first 50 million COVID-19 cases. The current high rate is due to the highly transmissible delta variant, Reuters reports.

The number of cases in Russia, Ukraine and Greece is “at or near record levels of reported cases since the pandemic started two years ago,” according to Reuters, with new infections continuing to rise in 55 of 240 countries.

On Monday, Germany reported its highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began. The Robert Koch Institute reported 201.1 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days, breaking the previous record of 197.6 per 100,000. The French news agency AFP reports that the COVID rate in the eastern German state of Saxony is more than double the national rate at 491.3.

Reuters’ investigation also revealed the statistics of vaccine inequity, including that more than half of the world’s population has not received a single shot of a COVID-19 vaccine and less than 5% of the population in low-income countries has received a single COVID-19 vaccine dose.

The death tolls of some countries may be many times higher than official government reports, according to the Economist magazine. The publication says there are several reasons for the underestimates. Some locations do not include people in COVID-19 death tolls who did not test positive for COVID-19 before dying. Also, hospitals and local governments do not always process death certificates promptly. In addition, people who die at home may not be included in the COVID-19 tally.

A northern California town’s city council has declared itself a “constitutional republic” as a way to express its displeasure with what it considers state and federal overreach in the issuing of mandates, such as for mask wearing, designed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Legal experts say Oroville’s city council’s move, however, does not allow Oroville to opt out of the mandates.

The fully vaccinated in Australia’s New South Wales state are enjoying the lifting of a number of COVID restrictions Monday, including elimination of limits on the number of home visitors.

Health professionals in India are bracing for a surge in coronavirus cases following Diwali, the annual festival of lights, that began Thursday.

Dr. Prakash Singh, a virologist, told The New York Times, “For this Diwali, people almost forgot the virus is still here and killing people.”

Source: Voice of America