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 187 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. While the global infection rate has declined in some countries, 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. More than a year into the pandemic, masking, handwashing and social distancing continue to be critical in combating the relentless advance of COVID-19. It is more important then ever to stay vigilant and get vaccinated in the race against the new variants.
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, France and Russia follow the U.S. as the countries leading in infection rates with the European Union facing a possible third wave as vaccinations lag in EU countries. Texas became the first state to surpass one million cases; California and Florida soon followed. As states like Michigan become new hot spots, an uptick in infections involving the new variants has raised concerns among health professionals.
The re-opening of some schools and other efforts to resume normal activities present new challenges to local authorities. The U.S. has averaged nearly 67,000 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. Although the death toll has slowed, it still records nearly 1,000 deaths per day and has passed a grim mark of more than a half million lives lost to the pandemic.
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 to accelerate. It is a complex and lengthy process but progress is evident as more people become eligible. There can be no doubt, however, that the wearing of masks, proper hand washing and social distancing remain critical weapons against infection. The science is clear. They work. Continuing the 3 steps of prevention and getting vaccinated at the earliest opportunity are both necessary to stop COVID-19. 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 COVID-19 Updates with Americares CEO Christine Squires, Senior Pharmacist Erin Briggs, Dr. Sadhana Rajamoorthi, Deputy Medical Director and other Americares health experts.
Read the 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 exhibits 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 with 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 many under-resourced 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