The WHO chief’s comments come as cases continue to rise around the world, including Japan, where Tokyo on Wednesday reported its biggest daily rise in new infections since mid-January. Despite the country’s struggle to get the cases under control, Tokyo 2020 organizers have decided to move forward. But just two days before Friday’s official opening ceremony for the Olympics, it’s still unclear whether the public health measures in place will be enough to prevent the Games from becoming a mainstream global event.
Some 11,000 athletes from 200 countries are expected to arrive for the Olympics and the number of Games-related cases in Japan now stands at 79, organizers say. Five of them are residents of the Olympic Village, three of whom are athletes. Competitors, including American gymnast Kara Eaker, basketball player Katie Lou Samuelson and member of tennis star Coco Gauff, tested positive for Covid before arriving in Tokyo, putting an end to their Olympic dreams.
Opinion polls in Japan show that most people oppose holding a major sporting event during a public health crisis. Tokyo extended its state of coronavirus emergency until August 22, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) banning fans from attending the competition – an Olympic first.
The United States also renewed its public health emergency on Tuesday, underscoring the gravity of the pandemic’s trajectory there. Covid-19 cases – fueled by the fast-spreading Delta variant – have nearly tripled in the past three weeks, with at least 44 states now seeing an increase. The Delta variant accounts for the vast majority (83%) of new infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
There is a common theme behind the worsening Covid-19 numbers, according to CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky. “It is becoming an unvaccinated pandemic,” Walensky said during a Covid-19 briefing on Friday. More than 97% of people hospitalized with the virus are now unvaccinated, she said. And 99% of deaths are among the unvaccinated, according to the US Surgeon General.
Meanwhile, vaccination rates in the United States have stagnated. Less than half of the country’s population is fully vaccinated, according to CDC data, and the majority of those who are not vaccinated are not at all likely to be vaccinated, according to a poll released Tuesday by Axios-Ipsos. Dr.Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, warned this week that if those who resist the vaccine do not change their mind, the United States can expect a “smoldering” epidemic for “a period of time. of considerable time ”.
The Dow Jones suffered its biggest drop of the year on Monday, plunging more than 700 points as fears over the Delta variant hit Wall Street as well.
In the UK, where the Delta variant is dominant and cases and deaths are also on the rise, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a bet to lift England’s latest Covid restrictions on Monday, admitting the move could result in more deaths.
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Question: When will the vaccine for young children be available in the United States?
A: It will take months, if not longer, until we have more information on this. That’s because pharmaceutical companies are still doing clinical trials to see how coronavirus vaccines work in children under 12, if they’re safe, and what the right dose should be. Pfizer predicts that they will have more data from their trials, in which children aged 5 to 11 are enrolled, by the fall. Moderna did not provide a timeline on when the results of trial data from their study – which recruits children aged 6 months to 11 years – might be available.
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TOP 3 READINGS OF THE WEEK
Biden targets anti-vaccine misinformation
The Biden administration has stepped up efforts to crush disinformation about Covid, with officials calling on social media giant Facebook not to do enough to stop the spread of these lies on its platform.
Biden said on Friday that Facebook was “killing people” with misinformation, but later reconsidered the comments, saying a dozen people – who have many followers on Facebook and other social media platforms – were anti-vaccine super-disseminators. “Facebook doesn’t kill people – those 12 people are there to give out misinformation. Anyone who listens to it suffers. It kills people. This is bad news,” Biden told reporters at the White House on Monday.
Facebook pushed back the criticism, a Facebook representative telling CNN that “the White House is looking for scapegoats for missing its vaccine targets.” Biden’s goal was for 70% of Americans to be vaccinated by July 4.
Indonesia faces devastating situation, expected to peak
Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, is quickly becoming the new center of the coronavirus crisis in Asia as the Delta variant ravages the country. For weeks, the archipelago nation has been reporting thousands of daily cases and hundreds of deaths. Hospitals are dangerously short of supplies, excavators frantically dig cemeteries and isolation remains impossible for millions of people living on the poverty line.
But the country also faces an additional threat: widespread disinformation that contributes to a vaccination rate of less than 6%. For months, WhatsApp messages spread fake news about ineffective treatments for Covid-19. Vaccine hoaxes have been circulating on social media, preventing some people from getting vaccinated for fear it could cause serious illness or death. Due to this misinformation, many people in Indonesia still do not take Covid-19 seriously, even as cases are increasing around them. And with more than 2.7 million people infected and more than 70,000 dead, onlookers warn the country may not have reached its peak.
The Covid-19 crisis in the Pacific has become a political power game
For years, China and Australia have competed for influence in the Pacific, a region of 14 island nations and territories whose location (between the United States and Asia) has made them desirable for military ambitions. and defense on both sides. Australia has long-standing economic and cultural ties to the Pacific, and it is crucial for the country’s national security to ensure that the Chinese government does not gain a foothold in the region. For Beijing, the region represents an opportunity to extend its influence.
China has donated 300,000 vaccines to the Pacific, but they have failed to respond to Australia’s nearly 600,000 vaccines. And with Canberra promising to deliver an additional 15 million doses to the region, Beijing is behind schedule.
Do you feel anxious about your body image upon release from confinement? You’re not alone.
Pandemic stress led many people to turn to other coping mechanisms, some of which were harmful to physical and mental health. As we envision a return to some sort of normalcy, taking action such as focusing on what you value in your body, engaging with other people who accept and appreciate all bodies, and practicing self-compassion can to help.
Learn more here on how to tackle ‘pandemic of the body’ anxiety.
LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST
The Tokyo Olympics will be one of the few Games to take place during a global pandemic. This means zero supporters in the host city, no family or friends allowed, and a ban on cheering. For today’s episode, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr Sanjay Gupta chats with two-time Olympic rower Gevvie Stone about the competition and her tough decision to postpone medical residency for another year. for training. Gupta also has news of an athlete whose Olympic dreams were shattered by a positive Covid-19 test. And sports psychologists Catherine Sabiston and Kanyali Ilako are considering how the lack of fans and the added stress of Covid could impact athlete performance. Listen now.