Thursday August 19, 2021 | Kaiser Santé news

Data indicates 4 in 5 South Africans may have had Covid

Data on the case fatality rate and excessive deaths in South Africa suggests that 80% of the population may have had covid, making it one of the worst affected countries. Meanwhile, the United States suggests that next month’s United Nations General Assembly should be virtual to prevent it from becoming a super-broadcaster.

Bloomberg: Death data shows 80% of South Africans may have had Covid

Up to four in five South Africans could have contracted the coronavirus, indicating the country could be one of the countries hardest hit in the world by the disease, said chief actuary of the largest health insurer from Africa. Discovery Health actuary Emile Stipp based his calculations on the country’s fatality rate and excess deaths, a measure of the number of deaths compared to a historical average. They are believed to provide a more accurate picture of the impact of the pandemic than the official toll. (Sguazzin, 8/18)

AP: US urges more than 150 world leaders not to appear at UN over COVID

The United States is urging the more than 150 countries planning to send their leader or a government minister to New York to speak in person at the United Nations General Assembly next month to consider giving a video address to the place to prevent the annual high-level week from becoming “a super-propagator event”. A note from the US mission to the 192 other UN member countries also called for all other UN-hosted meetings and side events to be virtual, saying these side meetings that draw travelers to New York ” unnecessarily increase the risk to our community, New Yorkers and other travelers. (Lederer, 08/19)

Axios: COVID evacuation flights help overseas travelers return home

There is a lot of pent-up demand for overseas travel, but one thing that holds Americans back is the fear of being stranded in a foreign country if they contract COVID-19 while traveling. The United States is requiring all arriving air passengers – vaccinated or not, including Americans returning home – to test negative for COVID-19 no more than three days before their trip. (Müller, 08/19)

Axios: New Zealand Prime Minister says scientists have solved ‘puzzle’ of COVID outbreak

New Zealand scientists have linked the country’s growing COVID-19 cluster to the Delta outbreak that started in Sydney, Australia – and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday they were “pretty sure” of have found the source. Since the country entered its highest pandemic restrictions just before midnight Tuesday for a positive local test result, scientists have discovered links to a traveler who arrived in New Zealand from Sydney on August 7. (Falconer, 8/19)

AP: Latvians protest against compulsory vaccination

Thousands of people took to the streets of Riga, the Latvian capital, on Wednesday evening to protest against compulsory vaccination against COVID-19. The Baltic News Service, the region’s main news agency, said the number of people exceeded the maximum allowed for public protests, people were not observing the distance and many were not wearing face masks. (8/19)

Bloomberg: Mexico’s Covid Cases Rise From Record 28,953 Amid Third Wave

Mexico reported a record daily increase in Covid-19 cases with 28,953, bringing the total to 3,152,205, the health ministry said in its daily report on Wednesday. The ministry reported 940 new deaths from Covid-19 for a total of 250,469. Mexico had vaccinated 61% of adults as of Aug. 16 with at least one dose, with just over half having received a full vaccination, said Tuesday. Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell on Twitter. Of the Covid-19 deaths in Mexico in 2021, 95.5% were unvaccinated, 2.5% were partially vaccinated and 2% vaccinated, Lopez-Gatell said. (Orozco, 8/18)

The Washington Post: Nicole Kidman exempted from strict Hong Kong quarantine rule, sparks backlash

Olympic medalists, global bank executives and all other Hong Kong residents face between 14 and 21 days of mandatory quarantine, among the strictest border control rules in the world. But not Nicole Kidman, who was spotted shopping in the city just two days after arriving. The Daily Mail Australia first reported that Kidman boarded a private plane in Sydney to Hong Kong, where she is filming a television series about the city’s expats. (Mahtani, 08/19)

Bloomberg: Singapore to expel Briton who refused to wear mask, reports show

Singapore will deport a British national who has repeatedly refused to wear a mask in defiance of the Asian city-state’s strict social distancing rules, CNA reported. Photos of Benjamin Glynn not wearing a mask on a train in Singapore’s central business district have gone viral, and he has been charged with the violation as well as subsequently appearing in court without a mask. According to the Straits Times, Glynn said during the trial that he was a “ruler” to whom the charges did not apply, an argument rejected by the Singaporean court. Police officers testified that Glynn told them Covid-19 was a “hoax” and that the vaccines were bad for human health, the newspaper reported. (Wallbank, 08/19)

On Havana Syndrome –

The Wall Street Journal: US officials in Germany affected by Havana syndrome

At least two U.S. officials stationed in Germany have sought medical treatment after developing symptoms of the mysterious health problem known as Havana Syndrome, U.S. diplomats have said. Symptoms, which included nausea, severe headaches, ear pain, fatigue, sleeplessness and sluggishness, have started to appear in recent months and some victims have been unable to work, said diplomats. These are the first cases reported in a NATO country that is home to US troops and nuclear weapons. (Pancevski, 8/18)

Also –

CIDRAP: Global influenza activity remains sporadic; Influenza B is more common than influenza A

Global influenza activity has remained at very low levels, as it has been during much of the COVID-19 pandemic, with influenza B the most commonly detected strain, the World Organization said. Health (WHO) in its latest update, which covers the last half of July. . Influenza is still at interseasonal levels in the northern and southern hemispheres. Sporadic detections have been reported in parts of the world, including West and East Africa and some countries in South Asia, including India, Bangladesh and Nepal. (8/18)

AP: “WeThe15” highlights the rights of 1.2 billion people with disabilities

The opening of the Tokyo Paralympic Games next week is used as a stage to launch a human rights movement targeting the 1.2 billion people with disabilities around the world. The campaign is called “WeThe15” and takes its name from World Health Organization estimates that people with disabilities make up 15% of the world’s population. The campaign is led by the International Paralympic Committee, United Nations Human Rights, the International Alliance of Persons with Disabilities and others. (Wade, 08/19)

The Washington Post: Polish Olympian Sells Silver Medal At Auction To Help Pay For Infant Surgery

For Maria Andrejczyk, something mattered more than the silver medal she won in the javelin at the Tokyo Olympics. The bone cancer survivor therefore decided to auction her medal to raise funds to help pay for the surgery of an 8 month old baby with a heart defect. … On Monday, she wrote that an offer of $ 125,000 from Zabka, a Polish convenience store chain, was the winner, with funds intended to help the child undergo surgery at the University of Montreal medical center. Stanford. (Boren, 8/18)

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