Latest on COVID-19 Pandemic
in 188 countries and regions
have been reported worldwide
have been reported in the U.S.
have been reported in the U.S.
Even as some states and countries re-opened in phases after months of shutdowns, COVI9-19 rolls on, often at record rates, 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. India, Brazil, France and Russia follow the U.S. as the countries leading in infection rate with India rising to near the U.S. level. The situation worsens in Europe as a “second wave” emerges with France and Italy leading the way. This highly contagious virus kills some and spares others, presenting symptoms that are unprecedented and unpredictable. It defies limited means of controlling its spread which further complicates the process of opening up communities. Some countries and states are reinstituting lockdowns to stem the explosion of new cases.
New York State, for example, had managed to bring the rate of infection and death under control (going from the highest rate of infection in the nation to the lowest at one point but now dealing with new hot spots) just as flareups emerged in the Midwest and South, especially in rural areas. States in the Northeast achieved success in fighting the spread by applying stringent mandates, while a number of states continued to record increases as they relaxed control measures and prematurely opened businesses and activities (more than 45 states reported increased infection rates in the past week and the Midwest is seeing record hospitalizations). Texas (now with more than 20,000 dead) became the first state to surpass one million cases and California soon followed. Other states such as Wisconsin, North and South Dakota have become serious hot spots. More lockdowns and restrictions loom as winter approaches.
The re-opening of some schools and other efforts to resume normal activities presented new challenges to local authorities navigating uncharted waters. The U.S. has averaged more than 170,000 new infections every day in the past week, while moving beyond 190,000 to establish a new daily record – according to the CDC COVID data tracker.
While the results of vaccine testing hold great promise, the rollout of a vaccine will be challenging, complex and lengthy. The wearing of masks, proper hand washing and physical distancing remain the best weapons against infection. They work. 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.
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 data from the CDC as of Nov. 7, hospitalization rates for vulnerable communities recorded: Hispanic or Latino people are 4.2 times higher than that of white people; American Indian or Alaska Native people 4.1 times the rate; Black people hospitalized at 3.9 times the rate. The total number of those infected in the U.S. now accounts for nearly one fifth of all cases reported worldwide. 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. Confronting this health inequity crisis is at the heart of Americares response.
Video of one of our health workers in Colombia teaching a very young fellow proper hand-washing skills