by Associated Press
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama is suffering a “self-inflicted” wound from COVID-19, a health leader says, hospitals are filling up as the state lags the nation in vaccinations.
According to state figures, around 500 people are being treated for this virus across the state. A month ago only 166 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, thousands more were vaccinated before the new Delta version took hold.
Hospitals are far from the critical point reached in January, when about 3,000 people were being treated at one time. But the delta version threatens to worsen the situation except for an increase in vaccinations, said Dr. Donald Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association.
“There’s just a sense of hopelessness,” said Williamson, former chief of the Alabama Department of Public Health. “The fact that cases are increasing is a self-injury.”
Precautions like face masks and social distancing are rare in the state. Williamson said figures show that only 50 people currently hospitalized who are eligible for a shot had received one. “This is the plague of our generation, and certainly of our lifetime,” he said. “And now it can be so easily avoided, but we are failing to do so.”
According to state data, only 38% of the state’s population has received at least one vaccine dose and only 31% have been fully vaccinated.
More on the pandemic:
– Dr. Fauci, Sen. Paul accuse business of lying about virus
— CDC: Delta version accounts for 83% of US cases
– UK hits highest daily virus deaths in 4 months
– Research: Millions of people may die during the pandemic in India
Get more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine
Here’s what else is happening:
LAS VEGAS – The fifth largest in the US, the Las Vegas school district says it only requires face masks for some students, despite strict guidelines to follow recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The Las Vegas-area Clark County School District plans to require face masks for fourth and fifth graders, but make them optional for third graders in preschool. Students and teachers of classes VI to XII will not be required to wear masks if they are vaccinated. The district with more than 300,000 students is about to start its school year on August 9.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that schools require face masks for children over age 2 and for all adults, regardless of vaccination status. Clark County health officials on Friday advised people to wear masks in crowded places, whether they have been vaccinated or not, citing rising cases of the coronavirus.
Clark County schools told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that if it changes its policy, it will notify the community.
NEW ORLEANS – The city of New Orleans is considering new restrictions after a nine-fold increase in daily coronavirus cases and the percentage of positive tests.
City spokesman Beau Tidwell says Mayor LaToya Cantrell and city health officials will announce the plans on Wednesday. He says the rules involving masks are “certainly a strong possibility.”
The average daily number of cases rose to 99 on Monday from 11 two weeks ago. Most of the new cases involve the delta version of the virus. While mitigation measures are being considered, Tidwell says vaccinating more people is the key to stopping the spread.
The city eased most virus-related restrictions in May, including masking requirements for businesses and individuals.
WASHINGTON — A confrontation has erupted on Capitol Hill between the government’s top infectious disease doctor and a US senator, each accusing the other of lying.
Dr. Anthony Fauci angrily confronted Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky in his testimony before a Senate committee. Fauci rejected Paul’s insistence that the US facilitate research in a Chinese laboratory that could have sparked the COVID-19 outbreak.
Fauci, speaking to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, said the study the senator referred to entirely referred to a different type of virus than the one responsible for the coronavirus outbreak.
“Senator Paul, you don’t know what you’re talking about, quite frankly,” Fauci said. “And I want to say officially. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“If anyone is lying here, Senator, it’s you,” he said.
It was the latest in a series of conflicts between Paul and Fauci about the origins of the virus that caused the global pandemic.
LONDON – Britain has recorded its highest daily number of coronavirus-related deaths in four months, following a spike in infections amid the spread of the delta version and the lifting of lockdown restrictions.
Government data on Tuesday showed 96 new virus-related deaths, the highest since March 24. Britain also recorded 46,558 confirmed cases. The numbers have traditionally been higher on Tuesdays due to the weekend reporting lag.
The rise in deaths comes a day after the British government ended lockdown restrictions, including social distancing and mask-wearing, in England. Critics have warned that this would lead to further spread of the coronavirus and possible deaths in the coming weeks.
The UK’s confirmed virus death toll stands at 128,823, the seventh highest in the world.
NEW YORK – Health officials say the delta variant of the coronavirus continues to rise and accounts for an estimated 83% of US COVID-19 cases.
This is a dramatic increase from the week of July 3, when the variant accounted for nearly 50% of the genetically sequenced coronavirus cases.
“The best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 variants is to stop the spread of the disease, and vaccination is the most powerful tool we have,” said Dr. Rochelle Valensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hearing in the US Senate on Tuesday.
The delta variant is a mutated coronavirus that spreads more easily than the other versions. It was first found in India but now it has been recognized worldwide.
MEXICO CITY – Officials in Mexico say they have been given fake doses of the COVID-19 drug remdesivir for sale on the Internet and at a private hospital near the US border.
The Federal Medical Safety Commission said late Monday that the counterfeit antiviral drug, which it called a “health risk”, was found at a hospital in the Gulf Coast city of Tampico in the border state of Tamaulipas.
The commission said the supplements were purchased “irregularly” on the Internet, but did not state whether the drug was used there.
The drug’s manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, confirmed the falsification. Appearance and lot number on packaging do not match original.
The US and Mexico have approved remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19.
NEW DELHI – The most comprehensive research yet estimated that India’s excess deaths during the coronavirus pandemic were 10 times the official COVID-19 toll.
Most experts believe India’s official death toll of 414,000 was too low, but the government has dismissed those concerns. A report released on Tuesday estimated 3 million to 4.7 million more deaths between January 2020 and this June.
It calculated its figures by comparing deaths to pre-pandemic years, looking at the spread of the virus in the population, and using the current economic survey. The report also estimated that India’s initial virus surge last year killed many more people than reported, creating conditions for a horrific surge earlier this year.
The report was published by Arvind Subramaniam, former Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India and two other researchers from the Center for Global Development and Harvard University, a Washington-based non-profit think tank.
Cairo – Muslims around the world are celebrating the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, or “the Feast of Sacrifice”, in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s holiday comes amid growing concerns about the highly contagious Delta variant that has prompted some countries to impose new restrictions.
Indonesia is facing a devastating new wave of coronavirus cases and has imposed various restrictions.
Already, the pandemic has taken a toll on Hajj, a sacred mainstay of Islam, for a second year, the last day of which coincides with Eid al-Adha. Islamic pilgrimage has been reduced dramatically because of the virus.
TEHRAN, Iran – Iran has broken another record in the country’s daily coronavirus cases, even as Tehran and its surroundings went under lockdown.
Iran’s health ministry launched the week-long measure on Tuesday amid another surge in the pandemic, with 27,444 new cases and 250 deaths announced in the past.
The lockdown – the country’s fifth so far – lasts until next Monday. All markets, market places and public offices are closed, as well as movie theatres, gyms and restaurants in both Tehran province and the neighboring province of Alborz.
With over 3.5 million cases in the pandemic, the total confirmed death toll has reached 87,624.
WASHINGTON — The nation’s top infectious disease experts are advising parents to follow new COVID-19 guidance for wearing masks issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The Academy is recommending that schools require face masks for children over age 2 and for all adults, regardless of vaccination status. Dr Anthony Fauci told “CBS This Morning” that the academy wants to “go the extra mile” to make sure kids are safe in school as cases blamed on the delta version of the coronavirus rise.
This guidance differs slightly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has advised wearing masks only for uninsured children and adults in schools.
Fauci says the CDC is “watching carefully” its COVID-19 school guidance.
TORONTO – Canada says it will begin giving fully vaccinated U.S. citizens in Canada on August 9 and those in the rest of the world on September 7.
Canadian officials say the 14-day quarantine requirement will be waived until August 9 for eligible travelers who are currently living in the United States and have received the full course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada. have done.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the date for the US to allow fully vaccinated Canadians to cross the land border is not yet known. Any Canadian can currently fly to the US
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he does not plan to reinstate a citywide mask mandate, even as COVID-19 cases rise, instead vaccinating more residents. Instead of focusing on
There have been calls for New York City to follow the lead of Los Angeles County, which announced last week that it would be required to wear a mask indoors amid a sharp rise in virus cases.
But de Blasio insists that vaccination is a better strategy for the country’s most populous city.
“The value of masks is undeniable, but masks are not getting to the root of the problem. Vaccination is there,” the mayor said during a livestreamed press briefing. “So we do not intend to have a mask mandate. We intend to double vaccination.”