JLN Wellness Exchange: Record Covid Numbers Seen Worldwide

John Lothian News Staff

John Lothian News Staff

The number of new coronavirus cases worldwide shot up to a new record (NY Times), with 400,000 in India, putting pressure to waive vaccine patents to stop the spread (WSJ). The sick in India are caring for the sicker (WSJ).

The U.S. is launching trade talks on Covid-19 vaccine distribution, while Canada’s muddled Covid response leaves it struggling against a third wave (FT) and Russia lags behind others in its Covid-19 vaccination drive. The U.S. counties at highest risk for COVID harm often have the lowest vaccination rates (ProPublica).

Singapore recorded its first Covid-19 death in weeks amid a flare up (Bloomberg). The next generation of vaccines could be a pill or spray (WSJ). Refusing a vaccine could cost you your job (Bloomberg).

The U.K. Covid-19 variant’s hold in U.S. has a silver lining as vaccines counter it. The B.1.1.7 strain is more contagious than others, but safety measures and shots can keep it in check (Bloomberg).

The political chaos and poverty of South America leave it at the virus’s mercy (The Guardian).

Global Virus Cases Reach New Peak, Driven by India and South America
Lazaro Gamio and Alexandria Symonds – NY Times
Worldwide, the number of new coronavirus cases has shot upward since the beginning of March, more than doubling in two months. For the past two weeks, new global cases have exceeded their previous high point in early January. The average daily rate of new cases has now been above 800,000 for more than a week.

US to launch trade talks on COVID-19 vaccine distribution
Darlene Superville – AP
The U.S. top trade negotiator will begin talks with the World Trade Organization on ways to overcome intellectual property issues that are keeping critically needed COVID-19 vaccines from being more widely distributed worldwide, two White House officials said Sunday.

Russia lags behind others in its COVID-19 vaccination drive
Daria Litvinova – AP
While at the Park House shopping mall in northern Moscow, Vladimir Makarov saw it was offering the coronavirus vaccine to customers, so he asked how long it would take.

Singapore Sees First Covid Death in Weeks Amid Flareup
Philip Heijmans – Bloomberg
Cluster of 37 cases identified at hospital since last week; Could further tighten measures if transmission persists
Singapore saw its first fatality due to complications from Covid-19 in nearly two months over the weekend, amid a flareup of cases in a country that’s been one of the world’s most successful in containing the virus.

India’s Covid-19 Crisis Raises Pressure to Waive Vaccine Patents; Amid widening gap in vaccinations between the rich and poor worlds, developing nations push to loosen intellectual-property restrictions on shots
Saeed Shah, Yaroslav Trofimov and Gabriele Steinhauser- WSJ
Covid-19 cases in India and other developing nations is adding momentum to a push to suspend intellectual-property restrictions on vaccines, putting pressure on Washington, other Western governments and pharmaceutical companies to do more to address the crisis.

Next Generation of Covid-19 Vaccines Could Be Pill or Spray; Drugmakers and government labs are developing doses easier to take and transport to tackle coronavirus variants and avert future pandemics
Peter Loftus and Gregory Zuckerman – WSJ
The next generation of Covid-19 vaccines in development could come as a pill or a nasal spray and be easier to store and transport than the current handful of shots that form the backbone of the world-wide vaccination effort.

U.K. Covid-19 Variant’s Hold in U.S. Has Silver Lining: Vaccines Counter It; B.1.1.7 strain is more contagious than others, but safety measures and shots can keep it in check
Brianna Abbott – WSJ
The highly contagious U.K. variant of the Covid-19 virus, now the dominant virus strain in the U.S., is making the pandemic harder to control. But it also comes with a silver lining: The authorized vaccines work well against it.

India’s Covid Calamity Has Sick Caring for the Sicker: ‘Alone to Save My Family’; Instead of a wedding, a bride-to-be scours a hard-hit city for oxygen and hospital beds to rescue her father and grandfather before it is too late
Vibhuti Agarwal, Shefali Anand and Krishna Pokharel – WSJ
Days before Nikita Goel had planned to get married, she and five family members tested positive for the coronavirus, including her parents and 86-year-old grandfather. “I felt like a roof had fallen,” she said.

Counties at Highest Risk for COVID Harm Often Have Lowest Vaccination Rates; The vaccine rollout was meant to prioritize vulnerable communities, but four months of data shows healthier — and often wealthier — counties have been faster to vaccinate.
Ryan Gabrielson – ProPublica
As the U.S. rushes to vaccinate its population against the coronavirus, most counties with the sickest residents are lagging behind and making only incremental progress reaching their most vulnerable population

Covid: political chaos and poverty leave South America at virus’s mercy; President Jair Bolsonaro’s prediction that the coronavirus crisis was nearing an end was misguided in Brazil and many of its neighbours
Tom Phillips – The Guardian
South America produced some of the most horrific episodes of the pandemic last year, with mass graves dug in the Brazilian Amazon and bodies dumped on pavements in the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil. But at the end of 2020 there was some hope that with the onset of vaccination the worst might have passed. Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, even claimed the crisis had reached its “tail-end” in December.

Refusing the Covid Vaccine Is Legal But Could Still Cost You Your Job
Sarah Kopit – Bloomberg
Social media rife with talk that the boss can’t make it a rule; Experts say it’s just an employment condition, but jury is out
Texas nurse Jennifer Bridges plans to go to work on June 7, like it’s any other day. The only difference is, when she gets there she expects to be fired. That day is the deadline her employer, Houston Methodist hospital, has given its staff to get the Covid-19 vaccine, something Bridges, 39, doesn’t want to do.

Canada’s muddled Covid response leaves it struggling against third wave; Case count per capita exceeds that of the US for the first time since the pandemic began
Jason Kirby and John Burn-Murdoch – FT
As the US has seemed to get a grip on its Covid-19 crisis, Canadians have been angered by a chaotic government response that has allowed a third wave to take hold and led to a delayed vaccine rollout.

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