Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

Delta surge appears to be ebbing, according to Fauci

Delta surge appears to be ebbing, according to Fauci

After weathering four distinct surges since the coronavirus epidemic began last year, the United States appears to be heading toward a decrease in acceleration and remission of cases, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci at supper at the White House on Wednesday.

The comments from the White Houses chief medical adviser and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases follow a decline in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, raising hopes that the summer surge fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant of virus is coming to halt.

Although the numbers are decreasing, Fauci stated, the virus is not yet under control. He added that rates have risen from lows in the past.

We need to get that curve down a lot more than it is because were dealing with incredibly transmissible virus, he added. When the virus has 80,000 to 90,000 cases a day, thats not where you want to be, he added.

According to the Washington Posts coronavirus tracker, daily reported cases decreased by almost 12 percent in the past week, averaging 89,886 cases as of Wednesday. Hospitalizations have fallen by 7.7 percent. Deaths, too, are down to a seven-day moving average of 1,715, after peaking at 3,347 on Jan. 17.

The nation's top infectious disease doctor stated that eliminating the virus would be challenging, noting that the world has managed to eradicate just one disease smallpox. However, reaching the kind of normal that we are all craving for would be possible with a higher vaccination rate, he added.

Without a doubt, we can get to control, Fauci said. It's within our power and capability. [The immunized] have a five-times-the-lesser chance of getting infected, ten-to-12-folds fewer chance being admitted to the hospital, and he has remained in the clinic for more than two years. These vaccines work, because when you examine the real-world efficacy, [the immuniized have]..., five times the less chance getting sick, 10-to12- times less risk of being hospitalized,and more then 10-

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26 scientists are enrolled in a coronavirus-origins team, according to WHO.

The coronavirus epidemic has been in the news for almost two years, killing over 4.8 million people around the world. Yet its origins are still unknown.

The World Health Organization on Wednesday named 26 scientists to a new multinational advisory team charged with studying the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in an attempt to fill this knowledge gap.

The formation of the Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of Novel Pathogens comes less than six months after the conclusion of a joint WHO-China trip that has since been buried in controversy for its inconclusive results. China, where the virus appears to have originated, has reacted in fury to investigations on its soil.

The advisory group is also charged with investigating the possibility of future pandemics an objective that derives from lessons learned from the mistakes of the early days of this epidemic.

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In November, the United States would allow nonessential travellers at Canadian and Mexican borders to enter the country for no reason.

The Biden administration will lift travel restrictions at the borders with Canada and Mexico starting in November for fully vaccinated travelers, reopening the door of the United States to tourists and separated family members who have been sealed out of country during the epidemic.

Foreigners who provide proof of vaccination and are looking to visit families, friends, or shop in the United States will be allowed entry, senior administration officials said Tuesday, weeks after the administration said it will lift a similar broad restriction on foreigners coming to the country from overseas.

The lifting of the bans will effectively mark the reopening of America to travelers and tourists, signaling a new phase in the recovery from the epidemic after the country closed its borders for nearly 19 months.

Despite the new requirements, the United States will only accept immunized visitors. Unvaccinated travelers will continue to be banned from crossing the border with Mexico or Canada, according to officials. Commercial drivers and students, who were never banned from crossing the land borders, will also have to show proof of vaccination when crossing starting in January, giving them time to adjust to the new rules, officials said.

The travel restrictions, which were implemented in March 2020, only applied to nonessential travelers relatives who wanted to visit family members, or shoppers, who border communities relied on for income. Politicians representing such communities have urged the Biden administration to lift the restrictions to provide a reprieve for ailing businesses.

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Democrats want White House to disclose Moderna vaccine technology to the public.

Congressional Democrats on Wednesday urged the Biden administration to increase pressure on Moderna and possibly reveal details of the companys mRNA vaccines, as tensions mount over whether the firm has adequately shared its knowledge-how with the developing world.

In a letter to Biden administration officials, Senator Elizabeth Warren, d-Massachusetts, and her colleagues wrote to the Washington Post: Despite receiving substantial public funding from American taxpayers and numerous grants, Moderna has refused requests to share its technology, including from the US government.

Moderna, which had not released a vaccine before the coronavirus epidemic, has been given nearly $10 billion in federal funding to expand its vaccine manufacturing capacity, conduct trials, and make shots, according to the lawmakers. The federal government also supported the firms vaccine development.

Modernas production details are disclosed even if the business does not willingly comply with those federal contracts, according to the Democrats.

The agreement Moderna entered into with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) may give the federal government legal authority to access and share the COVID-19 vaccine ingredient list and manufacturing instructions, the Democratic leader added. BARDA has unlimited rights to data funded under this contract.

Representative Pramila Jayapal, a Washington Democrat and chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Senator Jeff Merkley, an Oregon democrat, and others were also present. David Kessler, COVID-19 response's chief scientific officer, and Gary Disbrow, BARDA''s director of research, received the letter. Moderna's head office is in Cambridge, which is represented by Warren.

a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations stated that Biden administration officials are skeptical that the Moderna contract could be used to compel disclosure.

Moderna did not have to provide information on the knowledge-how necessary to create the vaccine under the contract, according to the official. Even if the government had access to the manufacturing records, that information could not be shared publicly, he added.

Moderna has pledged to provide as many as 500 million doses of its vaccine to Covax, a World Health Organization-backed initiative to distribute vaccines around the world, to ensure that the initiative will reach as far as 300 million people. The business also announced intentions to establish a manufacturing facility in Africa.

However, advocacy groups have criticized Moderna for not doing more to immediately share its vaccines with developing countries, and administration officials have privately raised similar concerns. Tom Frieden, who was director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the Obama administration, argued in a Post op-ed on Tuesday that Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTechs mRNA technology should be more widely distributed.

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China offers booster shots to high-risk people in the form of flu shots for high risk individuals.

According to state media, Chinese authorities are distributing third shots of coronavirus vaccines for high-risk groups in at least 10 regions as the country prepares to achieve its goal of fully vaccinating 80 percent of its population by the end of the year.

After a series of outbreaks of the Delta variant, Wang Huaqing, the chief expert for Chinas immunization program at the Chinese Center for Disease Control, recommended last month that additional shots be given to people in frontline professions, including medical workers, people with weaker immune systems, those aged 60 or older, and travelers visiting countries considered at high risk.

According to state media, more than 40,000 people in Hubei, the province that includes Wuhan where the virus first appeared, had been given booster shots by Sunday.

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