20 July 2021

• WHO reports a 12 percent global increase in global COVID-19 cases over the past week, which increased  from 400,000 per day to 490,000 per day, and reaching 3.4 million, with almost 57,000 deaths. Prevalence of the Delta variant has exceeded 75 percent in countries including Australia, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Denmark, India, Indonesia, Israel, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and the UK, and there is some evidence suggesting that it may be more infectious during the early stage of infection and an increased risk of hospitalization.

India’s COVID-19 death toll could be ten times higher than the official total of 414,000, according to a report co-written by Arvind Subramanian, the Indian government’s former chief economic adviser, and two researchers at the Center for Global Development, a nonprofit think tank based in Washington, and Harvard University.  The report says that it is “…tragically clear is that too many people, in the millions rather than hundreds of thousands, may have died.” Source 

• US CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky announces that the Delta variant accounts for 83 percent of the nation’s coronavirus cases. Source 

• The UK announces that it is not going to launch a mass vaccination campaign for young teens; instead, it will offer the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to teens ages 12 to 15 who have severe neurologic disabilities, Down’s Syndrome, immunosuppression or profound learning disabilities, and children aged 12 to 17 who live with an immunosuppressed person. “Based on the fact that previously well children, if they do get Covid-19, are likely to have a very mild form of the disease, the health benefits of vaccinating them are small,” said Anthony Harnden, the Deputy Chair of the The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization. Source

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