Latest on COVID-19 Pandemic
in 192 countries and regions
have been reported worldwide
have been reported in the U.S.
have been reported in the U.S.
Even as nearly 88 million people have received a first shot of vaccine in the U.S. and states and countries work to re-open, COVI9-19 rolls on, infecting millions of people globally and killing hundreds of thousands. The pandemic intensifies its onslaught in some countries amid progress in regions that emerge from lock-downs. While the global infection rate declines, an added threat has appeared in the form of variants of the virus. This highly contagious virus kills some and spares others, presenting symptoms that are unprecedented and unpredictable. Some countries and states achieved success in fighting the spread by applying stringent mandates, while other regions recorded sharp increases as they relaxed control measures and prematurely opened businesses and activities. Masking, handwashing and social distancing continue to be critical in combating COVID-19.
The total number of those infected in the U.S. accounts for nearly one fourth of all cases reported worldwide and nearly one-fifth of all global deaths. India, Brazil, Russia and the United Kingdom follow the U.S. as the countries leading in infection rates. Texas (with more than 20,000 dead) became the first state to surpass one million cases; California and Florida soon followed. California, the first state to hit two million, reached an infection level of 3.2 million before a decline occurred.
The re-opening of some schools and other efforts to resume normal activities present new challenges to local authorities navigating uncharted waters. The U.S. has averaged nearly 60,000 new infections every day in the past week, declining after approaching 300,000 to establish a new daily record in January – according to the CDC COVID data tracker. After hospitals across the country reported a hospitalization level of more than 100,000 patients each day for January, the infection rate is now leveling off after declining to its the lowest point since November 2020. But the death toll has passed a grim mark – more than one-half million dead.
“The devastating global death toll—including more than 500,000 documented COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.—is a reminder that we must do more to support frontline health workers and protect our loved ones and communities.” — Americares Chief Medical Officer Dr. Julie Varughese
With the first three successfully tested vaccines receiving emergency approval from the FDA in the U.S. and with more in development, the rollout of vaccines continues. It is a complex and lengthy process that faces logistical and supply challenges but progress is evident as infection rates decline. There can be no doubt that the wearing of masks, proper hand washing and social distancing remain the best weapons against infection. The science is clear. They work. And consider “double masking” as an extra layer of protection. Continuing the 3 steps of prevention and getting vaccinated at the earliest opportunity are both necessary to stop COVID. Please click on the arrow in the image below and see the video of one of our health workers in Colombia teaching a very young fellow proper hand-washing skills.
To learn more about the vaccines, open the ” Trusted Resources” below and view a weekly COVID-19 vaccine Q&A with Americares Senior Pharmacist Erin Briggs, Dr. Sadhana Rajamoorthi, Americares Deputy Medical Director and other Americares health experts.
Read our COVID-19 2020 report on our global work during the Pandemic.
The pandemic has proven especially lethal in predominantly Black and other neighborhoods of color that face systemic inequality including lack of access to quality health care. According to the COVID Racial Data Tracker, COVID has had a particularly deadly impact on Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other people of color with Black people dying at twice the rate of white people. As it rages in poor communities, it also threatens catastrophic growth in countries with large concentrations of urban poverty or with the most fragile health systems. In both rich and poor countries, the virus exposes and exploits every weak point in the health infrastructure. Where you live may determine whether you live or die. Health inequity retains its deadly potential in communities of color and poor health care access as vaccine distribution lags dangerously behind better-resourced neighbors. And that is why the COVAX pillar of access is critical as the only global effort to ensure that people in all corners of the world will get access to COVID-19 vaccines when they are available, regardless of their wealth. It remains a challenge, however, as more than 130 countries still have not started vaccinations. The COVID-19 Pandemic has brought new attention to the health inequity crisis on a national and global scale.
Video of one of our health workers in Colombia teaching a very young fellow proper hand-washing skills