COVID Highlights - Arabian Peninsula and Elsewhere

@ June 17, COVID-19 Deaths Per Million:

  • Italy: 2,106
  • UK: 1,875
  • USA: 1,851
  • Spain: 1,724
  • Germany: 1,080
  • Canada: 683
  • Saudi Arabia: 216
  • UAE: 174

June 17 - CNN: "Former White House adviser says dangerous coronavirus variant is 'like Covid on steroids'" ... "A coronavirus variant first identified in India is "like Covid on steroids," Andy Slavitt, former White House senior adviser for Covid-19 response, said Wednesday. "(The Delta variant) is a more virulent strain," Slavitt told CNN. "This is like Covid on steroids. You can be around people for less time and still get exposed." ... The good news is that vaccines appear to be effective against the variant. ..."

June 16 - New York Times: "Calls grow in the U.S. for a commission to investigate the pandemic" ... "The lawyer who led the inquiry into the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has quietly laid a foundation for a nonpartisan commission in the United States to investigate the coronavirus pandemic, with financial backing from four foundations and a paid staff that has already interviewed more than 200 public health experts, business leaders, elected officials, victims and their families. ..."

June 15 - CNN: "Efforts to vaccinate the US may continue for years as Covid-19 variants circle the globe, expert says" ... "... "We are going to need to have a highly vaccinated population for years if not longer. This virus is going to be circulating in the world for a long time," said Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the US Food and Drug Administration's Vaccine Advisory Committee. ... "When a virus is more contagious, you need to have a higher percentage of the population that is protected, immunized, if you're going to stop the spread," he added. ​..."

June 15 - CNN: "Athletes face potential disqualification for breaking Covid-19 rules at Tokyo Olympics" ... "... Athletes who fail to comply with Covid-19 rules at this summer’s Tokyo Games face the prospect of disqualification, organizers announced on Tuesday as they published their third and final version of the Tokyo 2020 "Playbook." The range of potential sanctions that organizers could impose on athletes and/or officials for Covid-19 violations ranges from warnings, temporary or permanent exclusion from the Games, withdrawal of accreditation through to disqualification and financial sanctions. ..."

June 14 - CNN: "FAA says 3,000 unruly passengers reported this year" ... "... The sharp spike in misbehaving and even violent passengers includes 2,300 reports that passengers refused to comply with the federal requirement to wear face masks on airplanes. ..."

June 11 - New York Times: "Leaders of the G7 nations will offer plans to bring the pandemic to an end" ... "The leaders of the world’s wealthiest democracies are expected to pledge one billion doses of Covid vaccines to poor and middle-income countries on Friday as part of a campaign to “vaccinate the world” by the end of 2022. The stakes could hardly be higher. ... It is not just a race to save lives, restart economies and lift restrictions that continue to take an immeasurable toll on people around the globe. ..."

June 10 - CNN: "Variant first identified in India now comprises 91% of new cases in the UK, health minister says" ... "The B1.617.2 variant — also called the Delta variant, which was first identified in India — now comprises 91% of new coronavirus cases in the UK according to British Health Minister Matt Hancock. ... Hancock said that he saw the figure in the latest assessment on Wednesday night. The spread of the Delta variant has prompted concerns about the likelihood of the UK lifting its final stage of restrictions as planned on June 21...."

June 9 - CNN: "CDC issues new travel advice for more than 120 countries" ... " ... The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its international travel guidance on Monday to give specific advice for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. The update includes moving 33 countries, including Iceland, Israel and Singapore, into the lowest risk category. ..."

June 8 - CNN: "CDC study shows how vaccination coverage reduces Covid-19 cases, severe illness and death" ... "Declines in US Covid-19 cases, emergency department visits, hospital admissions and deaths were largest in age groups that were most vaccinated and show how vaccinations are working to fight the coronavirus, according to a new study published Tuesday in the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report...."

June 7 - CNN: "Secretary of state: US will distribute 80 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to other countries by end of July" ... " ... On Monday, Blinken said that “about 75% of that first 25 million will be done in coordination with COVAX, the other 25% we’ll be able to do directly, making sure that we're taking the account of the science and the needs, where there are surges, where there are variants, where some countries need second shots, and have a deficit. All of this based on science, based on equity, and without political favor are being demanded in return, unlike some other countries.” ... "

June 4 - CNN: "New increases in teen hospitalization rates reinforce importance of Covid-19 vaccination, CDC study says" ... " ... The report looked at hospitalization data for 12- to- 17-year-olds from a large coronavirus surveillance network. It found 204 adolescents who were likely hospitalized primarily for Covid-19 between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2021. Nearly a third — 31.4% — were admitted to intensive care units and 4.9% required invasive mechanical ventilation. There were no associated deaths. ... "

June 4 - CTV News: "Study finds how you react to bitter flavours may determine your risk of developing severe COVID-19" ... " ... A recent study published in the medical journal JAMA Network Open analyzed more than 1,900 patients and found that “supertasters” – people who are overly sensitive to bitter flavours – were less likely to test positive for COVID-19. Those who find bitter foods tolerable or don’t register bitter tastes were significantly more likely to test positive for the disease, to be hospitalized, and to be symptomatic for a longer duration than their supertaster counterparts. ... "

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