Health and Healthcare Systems

COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 9 November

Arriving from a London flight, Marie Graham of Scotland hugs her son Ally Graham and granddaughter Iona, 1, who she was meeting for the first time, as the U.S. reopens air and land borders to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccinated travellers for the first time since the COVID-19 restrictions were imposed, at Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle, Washington, U.S. November 8, 2021.  REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Families were reunited as US COVID-19 travel restrictions were eased yesterday. Image: REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Joe Myers
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  • This daily news round-up brings you a selection of the latest news and updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top stories: Global confirmed COVID-19 cases pass 250 million; Australia's NSW says unvaccinated 16 times more likely to die from COVID-19; Bulgaria reports record daily COVID-19 deaths.
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1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 250.4 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths has now passed 5.05 million. More than 7.28 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

The UK has said it will recognize vaccines on the World Health Organization's Emergency Use Listing later in November, adding China's Sinovac, Sinopharm and India's Covaxin to its list of approved vaccines for inbound travellers.

India could resume delivery of COVID-19 vaccine doses to COVAX, the vaccine-sharing facility, in a few weeks time. It would mark the first time since April that supplies have been shared via COVAX.

AstraZeneca's COVID-19 antibody cocktail has cleared the first step towards regulatory approval in Australia.

Oral pills from Merck and Pfizer/BioNTech might have been shown to blunt the worst effects of COVID-19 if taken early enough, but doctors have warned people not to confuse the benefits of the treatments with the prevention offered by vaccines.

The Danish government has proposed reinstating the use of a digital 'corona pass', to be used when Danes visit indoor bars and restaurants, as COVID-19 cases rise.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said yesterday that a single dose of its antibody cocktail reduced the risk of contracting COVID-19 by 81.6% in a late-stage trial, in the two to eight months period following the drug's administration.

Bulgaria has reported a record number of new daily COVID-19 deaths, as the country deals with a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases.

Thousands have gathered in New Zealand to protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and government lockdowns. You can read more about vaccine mandates here.

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in selected countries
Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in selected countries. Image: Our World in Data

2. Australia's NSW says unvaccinated 16 times more likely to die from COVID-19

Unvaccinated people are 16 times more likely to end up in intensive care units or die from COVID-19, the Australian state of New South Wales has said in a report. Officials have urged people to get vaccinated as the country tries to live with COVID-19.

The data from state health department showed only 11% of people out of 412 who died from the Delta outbreak over four months through early October were fully vaccinated. The average age of those deaths was 82.

Only around 3% of people in intensive care units had two doses, while more than 63% of the 61,800 cases detected between 16 June and 7 October were unvaccinated.

"Young people with two doses of a vaccine experienced lower rates of infection and almost no serious disease, while those unvaccinated in this age group were at greater risk of developing COVID-19 and needing hospitalisation," NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said in a statement.


3. Global confirmed COVID-19 cases pass 250 million

Global confirmed COVID-19 cases have passed 250 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. It comes as some countries in Eastern Europe continue to experience surging cases while others lift travel restrictions and resume tourism.

The daily average number of cases has fallen by 36% over the past three months, according to a Reuters analysis, but the virus is still infecting 50 million people worldwide every 90 days due to the highly transmissible Delta variant. By contrast, it took nearly a year to record the first 50 million COVID-19 cases.

Cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases globally
Cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases globally. Image: Our World in Data

Health experts are optimistic that many nations have put the worst of the pandemic behind them thanks to vaccines and natural exposure, although they caution that colder weather and upcoming holiday gatherings could increase cases.

"We think between now and the end of 2022, this is the point where we get control over this virus... where we can significantly reduce severe disease and death," Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization's Technical Lead on COVID-19, told Reuters.


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