U.S. Weekly Cases Surge; FDA Warns on Animal Drug: Virus Update
U.S. weekly infections slightly exceeded 1 million on Friday, apparently for the first time since the surge last winter, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.
The FDA warned Americans against taking ivermectin, a drug usually used on animals, as a treatment or prevention for Covid-19.
Thousands protested again in major French cities against government rules on proof of vaccination or a negative test for most public activities.
- Global Tracker: Cases reach 211.2 million; deaths pass 4.4 million
- Vaccine Tracker: More than 4.93 billion doses administered
- U.S. Spotlight: Delta wave in U.S. northeast may be nearing peak
- Science can’t keep up with virus, creating worry for vaccinated
- Biden plan prods scientists to back boosters despite murky data
- As Covid lingers, Mastercard revamps NYC offices for a new era
FDA Issues Warning on Animal Drug (5:50 p.m. NY)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a strong and unusual warning on Saturday: “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”
The FDA was reacting to alarms from Mississippi, the state with the worst outbreak in the U.S., that people have been taking ivermectin to treat or prevent Covid-19. The drug is often used against parasites in livestock.
On Friday, Mississippi’s health department issued a warning that more than 70% of recent calls to the state’s poison center came after people took ivermectin bought at livestock supply centers.
California Cases Rise; One in 10 Infected (2:30 p.m. NY)
California added 13,613 new cases, bringing the total to 4.1 million. That means at least one in 10 people in the Golden State has been infected by the virus at some point of the pandemic.
It added 82 deaths for a total of 64,585. Hospitalizations have risen to the highest since early February, with the number of available ICU beds down to a 1,627, one of the lowest levels in six months.
In Los Angeles County, the total number of deaths surpassed 25,000 this week.
France Protests Continue (1:59 p.m. NY)
Thousands of people protested across major French cities against new government measures that make access to restaurants, museums and virtually all activities conditional on proof of vaccination or a recent negative test. It was the sixth consecutive weekend of protests.
President Emmanuel Macron, who is widely expected to seek re-election in April, is stepping up pressure against those who refuse to get vaccinated amid a spike in new infections. French overseas territories, where vaccination rates are lower, have been hardest hit by the virus’s fourth wave.
U.S. Shots Continue Momentum (12:41 p.m. NY)
Slightly more than 1 million doses were reported administered in the U.S. for the third consecutive day as vaccinations increase amid the delta variant surge.
Cyrus Shahpar, the White House data director for Covid-19, said in a tweet that now 60% of people ages 12 and above are now fully vaccinated. Vaccinations had not gone above 1 million since early July, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker.
UNC Reports Second Cluster (12:07 p.m. NY)
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has identified a second cluster of Covid-19 cases, amid a debate over whether the school should mandate vaccines.
The school said in a Twitter post Saturday that the cluster involved five cases at a residence hall. Less than two weeks ago, just before students returned for the semester, another cluster was announced at the pharmacy school.
U.S. Weekly Infections Exceed 1 Million (8:38 a.m. NY)
U.S. weekly infections slightly exceeded 1 million on Friday, apparently for the first time since the surge last winter, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. Two states, Florida and Texas, each hit hard by the spread of the delta variant, accounted for about a quarter of all cases.
Weekly cases in the U.S. rose above 1 million for about two and a half months during the worst of the last viral wave, from mid-November until the end of January, the data show. The high mark was above 1.7 million, in early January.
French Polynesia Will Shut Schools (6:24 a.m. NY)
French Polynesia President Edouard Fritch announced that all elementary and high schools in the archipelago will be closed for two weeks starting Monday amid efforts to mitigate an accelerating infection rate, AFP reported.
Polynesia has France’s highest reported infection rate at 2,800 cases per 100,000 people.
Sri Lanka Locks Down Again (4:57 p.m. HK)
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa ordered a 10-day nationwide lockdown on Friday evening to contain the surge in cases, Press Trust of India reported from a televised address.
Rajapaksa, who had earlier ignored calls for a shutdown even as virus cases overwhelmed hospitals, also warned of economic consequences of a prolonged shutdown. The government has reimposed the lockdown for the first time since mid-June.
Soccer Finals Accelerated U.K. Infections (4:20 p.m. HK)
Over 5,500 were likely infected by the virus during England’s semifinal and final matches at the European soccer championships, according to a report by the country’s public health authority. Data showed further spikes in positive test results across the country as England progressed through the tournament.
The report said that while mass participation events can take place safely, extra care was needed where people would be close together for extended periods. The case numbers from the last two matches were particularly high because of the number of fans without tickets who showed up outside the stadium.
Korea Sees 50% Vaccinated by End-September (2:30 p.m. HK)
South Korea expects half of its population to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of September. The country has one of the lowest inoculation rates among major Asian economies, but the pace is picking up.
“The progress is faster than expected,” President Moon Jae-in wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday, noting that over 50% of South Korean have received at least their first dose.
Victoria Expands Lockdown (11:05 a.m. HK)
Neighboring state New South Wales recorded 825 new cases on Saturday, an almost 30% increase from Friday. In New Zealand, 21 new local cases were recorded, with 18 in Auckland and three in Wellington.
Florida Weekly Deaths Rise, Cases Decline (10:07 a.m. HK)
Deaths are still largely occurring among seniors, but there’s been an alarming uptick in fatalities among younger Floridians.
Meanwhile, Orlando’s mayor and local utilities on Friday asked the city’s residents to conserve water amid a rising need for liquid oxygen to treat coronavirus patients.
Thai Cases May Have Peaked (9:30 a.m. HK)
Thailand is seeing signs that daily infections are starting to level off, the Bangkok Post reported, citing Apisamai Srirangson, an assistant spokeswoman for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration. The country reported 20,571 new cases Saturday, with the daily rate having declined from the recent peak of over 23,000 on Aug. 13. Total cumulative infections in Thailand surpassed 1 million on Friday as the delta strain sweeps through the Southeast Asian nation.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.