Testing Doesn’t Fully Account For The Recent Surge
Trump has repeatedly insisted that the US’s high case count is the result of increased testing. The US leads the world in terms of total tests administered: nearly 133 million so far.
But several countries are administering more tests relative to their population size. Singapore, for instance, is testing nearly 3,500 out of every 100,000 people each day, on average.
The US ranks 11th in testing per capita.
Experts say testing doesn’t fully account for the rising number of coronavirus infections in the US. If that were the case, the nation’s test-positivity rate the share of coronavirus tests that come back positive would be flat or going down. Instead, the test-positivity rate rose from 4.6% on October 1 to around 6.2% on Sunday.
When comparing how nations have spent money to address the economic consequences of the pandemic, Japan leads the rest. It has spent around 20% of its GDP on a COVID-19 stimulus package, according to data from the International Monetary Fund.
The US, meanwhile, ranks fourth among G20 countries in terms of stimulus spending. The Trump administration has delivered $3.4 trillion in coronavirus aid so far.
With negotiations over a second round of relief checks deadlocked in Congress, it’s now increasingly unlikely that a new bill will be approved before Election Day on November 3.
This story has been updated with new data. It was originally published October 21, 2020.
Elsewhere In Health Care
Democrats are divided on whether to focus on expanding Obamacare or Medicare.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosis office is pushing the White House to make permanent a temporary expansion of Affordable Care Act subsidies that were included in the $1.9 trillion stimulus legislation last month, Jeff Stein reports.
But Sen. Bernie Sanders told Jeff he’s arguing for lowering the age of Medicare eligibility to 55 or 60 and expanding the program for seniors so it covers dental, vision and hearing care.
The contrasting visions for the next phase of President Bidens legislative agenda reflect divisions within the Democratic Party about how Biden should further overhaul health insurance in the United States, Jeff writes.
Deaths Per Million People: 324993
Initially, Bosnia and Herzegovina managed to keep COVID-19 under control. The government even imposed strict bans on anyone over 65 leaving their home for any reason even for a short walk, to get groceries, or go to the pharmacy.
The second and third waves, however, increased death rates massively. Some commentators and experts pinned the blame on the government for reopening the border, whilst authorities blamed citizens, employers, and business owners for not following the recommended measures.
In April 2021, over 1,000 people marched through Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, to demand the governments resignation over its poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Recommended Reading: Cvs Rapid Test Price
The Health : Here’s How The Us Compares To Other Countries On The Coronavirus Pandemic
with Paige Winfield Cunningham
An October 2019 report by the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health Security and the Nuclear Threat Initiative concluded the United States was the country best prepared to handle a pandemic.
A year and a half later, the reality looks far different.
The United States has suffered nearly one-fifth of the worlds covid-19 deaths, according to Hopkinss own data, even as it accounts for just over 4 percent of the worlds population. Twenty-three percent of the worlds recorded coronavirus cases have occurred among Americans.
In my book, I think of the U.S. as having the worst outcomes, said Jennifer Nuzzo, a Johns Hopkins epidemiologist who co-led the pandemic preparedness index, which she said was meant to measure capacity, and not as a predictive tool. Its just the size of our epidemic and the fact that it didnt have to be this way.
Yet the United States is hardly the only country to struggle to tamp down the virus.
Many of its peers in Western Europe and its neighbors in the Americas have also failed to control the virus. Every country in the European Union save Cyprus and Finland, and the majority of countries in the Americas, are above the global rate of recorded deaths.
Many countries today have much higher daily new cases per capita than the United States, where around 21 new cases are being diagnosed every day for every 100,000 people.
The U.S. ranks 13th in the world in coronavirus deaths per capita.
A Growing Number Of Countries Also Stipulate That A Shot Or A Negative Test Will Be Needed For Dining Out Among Other Activities
A growing number of countries are also making shots compulsory for public servants or travellers.
Here are some countries’ vaccine mandates:
Australia decided in late June to make vaccinations mandatory for high-risk aged-care workers and employees in quarantine hotels.
In Tasmania, vaccines will be mandatory for aged care workers as of Sept. 17, the Examiner reported https://bit.ly/3xQ2LYw on Aug. 14.
Western Australia said on Oct. 5 that it would require all employees working in mining, oil and gas exploration to have their first dose by Dec. 1 and be fully vaccinated by Jan. 1.
It is mandatory for care home workers in England to have vaccinations from October.
English nightclubs and other venues with large crowds require patrons to present proof of full vaccination from the end of September.
Britain is highly likely to require health workers to be vaccinated against COVID, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Sept. 14.
Canada will place unvaccinated federal employees on unpaid leave and require COVID-19 shots for air, train and ship passengers.
Federal employees will be required to declare their full vaccination status by Oct. 29. Workers and passengers aged 12 and older on trains, planes and marine transport operating domestically must show they have been inoculated by Oct. 30.
From Sept. 13, vaccines are required for patrons of non-essential businesses such as restaurants and movie theatres.
Read Also: Did Hank Aaron Die From Vaccine
Deaths Per Million People: 385
Bhutan was not predicted to handle the coronavirus pandemic well. When the outbreak initially happened, the country only had 337 physicians for a population of around 760,000 less than half the WHOs recommended ratio of doctors to people and only one of these physicians had advanced training in critical care.
It was the governments impeccable communication that kept COVID-19 cases down, with officials issuing clear, concise daily updates and creating COVID-19 helplines for citizens. The health ministry also rolled out an initiative called Our Gyenkhu , which spread awareness of COVID-19 through influencers, actors, visual artists, bloggers, and sports personalities.
On top of this, the country barred tourists, closed schools and public institutions, began flexible working hours, introduced a successful track and trace program, and continuously called for face masks and social distancing.
Tests Per Confirmed Case
Another way of looking at the extent of testing relative to the scale of the outbreak is to ask: How many tests does a country do to find one COVID-19 case?
It is simply the inverse of our data on the positive rate.
Countries that do very few tests per confirmed case are unlikely to be testing widely enough to find all cases. The WHO has suggested around 10 30 tests per confirmed case as a general benchmark of adequate testing.2
You May Like: Cvs Testing Price
Is There Anything The Government Can Do About It Now
In December, the Biden administration announced a plan to purchase 500 million at-home test kits and mail them for free to Americans who want them starting this month.
Public health officials say the move comes too late, with the Omicron surge already well underway.
All of these are reactive and not proactive, said Aditi Nerurkar, a physician at Harvard Medical School. It is a wonderful idea to have a website and a central clearinghouse for people to obtain tests, but that should have happened in October and not in January.
In L.A. County, a free test-by-mail PCR testing program that could offer results within about four days was suspended Wednesday due to the current backlog in the logistics of processing kits, county officials said.
Aspinall called the next three months essential for rapid testing as the surge coincides with the return of the traditional flu season that was largely nonexistent last year due to social distancing and masking measures.
Read More About The Omicron Variant:
Dean Whiting, CEO of peak testing body Pathology Technology Australia, said shelves here were full to the brim with rapid tests in November, and most weren’t moving that quickly.
Some states were slower than others to jump on board and make rapid tests available for retail sale after they had been approved for at-home use by the TGA WA remains a hold-out, with a ban set to be lifted some time this month.
“It was only three or four weeks ago that governments started to indicate that these tests had a role and to articulate what that role was. Up until then, we had no proper buying signals from any of the authorities,” Mr Whiting said.
As Australia’s Omicron wave began to accelerate in mid-December, the industry was caught by surprise “so much so that by about Boxing Day almost all the shelves had been cleared”.
Mr Whiting said retailers scrambled to pull the little stock they had in warehouses out to their stores, but it hasn’t been enough.
“Demand far outstrips supply at the moment, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.
“I’ve spoken to members about resupplying … they have got orders in their systems for tens of millions of these tests. But they will take four to six weeks to come through.”
Don’t Miss: Covid Test Cost Cvs
Daily New Coronavirus Cases In Canada
Daily new cases data provides an early indication as to whether a countryâs epidemic curve is flattening and if containment measures are working. They are also a good gauge of the current impact on the health-care system.
The latest information from the World Health Organization shows that 15 per cent of COVID-19 infections are severe and require oxygen. Another five per cent are critical and require ventilators. Ensuring the health-care system isnât overwhelmed is key to containing the coronavirus outbreak in Canada.
How Can The Us Increase Vaccination Rates
Efforts to improve access among populations with low vaccination rates and educate people about effectiveness and safety are necessary, but not sufficient, to increase vaccination rates in the U.S.
Requirements have been effective in other nations. High-income countries, like France, Canada, and Italy, have created strong incentives to increase vaccine uptake. This summer, France saw 1.3 million people sign up for vaccine appointments in a single day after President Emmanuel Macron announced proof of vaccination would be necessary to enter many establishments, like restaurants and stores. In Germany, people who are not vaccinated will be barred from public spaces in areas where COVID-19 hospitalization rates are greater than three patients per 100,000 people. Italy, which has one of the worlds strictest mandates, required all public and private workers to be vaccinated or face suspension with no pay. Austria has announced a nationwide vaccination mandate for February 2022, the first of its kind in a Western democracy.
Also Check: How Much Does A Covid 19 Test Cost At Cvs
How Can The Us Catch Up With Other Countries On Covid
Senior Vice President for Policy and Research, The Commonwealth Fund
Senior Vice President for Policy and Research, The Commonwealth Fund
The United States began 2021 as a leader in COVID-19 vaccinations, but has fallen behind what can the country do to catch up with other high-income countries?
Other high-income countries have struggled with vaccine hesitancy and political resistance, but theyve raised vaccination rates by leveraging mandates and incentives
The United States began 2021 as a leader in COVID-19 vaccinations but has fallen behind dozens of other countries with fewer resources. There is a pressing need to increase vaccination: deaths and hospitalizations are rising again in the U.S. and Europe, almost entirely among unvaccinated people.In this post, we examine the reasons why the U.S. has lagged other high-income countries and how it could catch up.
Deaths Per Million People: 320167
When COVID-19 hit North Macedonia in February 2020, the country was being run by a technical government made up of the ruling party and main opposition, ahead of an April election.
This has been a legal requirement in the country since 2015, to reduce fears that the ruling party would rig any given election, but any hopes that it would encourage the parties to work together particularly during a deadly pandemic were soon dashed.
Polarisation and in-fighting abounded, with the two parties quests for popularity convincing them to hold off on strict measures that may have slowed the pandemics spread.
As a result, the government was reluctant to close churches or mosques ahead of religious holidays, and embarked on an slapdash, seemingly improvised strategy that saw for instance a curfew in the capital, Skopje, result in people fleeing to other towns.
A lack of consistency in the law and its enforcement has allowed the virus to spread in three distinct waves, with the latest spike in September 2021 belatedly leading the government to introduce restrictions on people entering or leaving the country.
It also doesn’t help that a relatively low 34.8% of the population has been fully vaccinated, compared to, say, the UK’s 65.8% figure.
You May Like: How Much For Covid Test At Cvs
Testing Vs Gdp Per Capita
This chart plots the total number of tests performed per thousand people against GDP per capita. We see that richer countries in general have done more testing.
The differences in the extent of testing between rich and poor countries is large. While poorer countries such as Cote dIvoire and Nigeria have done only a few tests per thousand people, richer countries like Australia, Denmark and the United Arab Emirates have done more tests than there are people in the country.
Where Are Cases Still High
The number of daily cases is stable or falling in most regions. However, Europe is reporting its highest-ever number of daily cases and there has been a recent rise in cases in North America.
A number of countries are seeing a rapid rise in a new Covid variant, named Omicron by the World Health Organization and categorised as a “variant of concern”.
The WHO says Omicron has now been identified in at least 89 countries – and is spreading significantly faster than the Delta strain.
Early studies suggest that Omicron is more transmissible or better able to evade vaccines but further evidence is needed to confirm these findings.
Asia, which was the centre of the initial outbreak that spread from Wuhan in China in early 2020, has seen cases falling in recent weeks.
In India, where the number of new daily cases has fallen dramatically since May, the official death toll is almost 480,000 and it has recorded about 35 million cases – second only to the US.
The World Health Organization has warned that Europe is once again “at the epicentre” of the Covid pandemic and could see half a million more deaths by February.
The WHO gave this warning before the emergence of the Omicron variant, which, along with the increase in Delta infections, has prompted several European countries to increase the scale of their vaccine and booster campaigns.
The new Omicron variant has also led to the UK and the EU tightening travel restrictions.
Also Check: How Long Does Rapid Testing Take At Cvs
When You Arrive In England Not Fully Vaccinated
After you arrive in England you must:
- quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 full days
- take your COVID-19 PCR tests you must book these tests before you travel
You must take the first test on or before day 2 and the second test on or after day 8. The day you arrive is day 0.
If you are in England for less than 10 days, you need to quarantine for the time you are here. You need to book day 2 and day 8 PCR tests. You only need to take the tests if you are still in England on those days.
If the test result is positive
If your day 2 test is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day you took the test is day 0.
You do not need to take the day 8 test if your day 2 test is positive. If your day 2 test is negative, you must take your day 8 test.
If your day 8 test is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day you took the day 8 test is day 0.
If the test result is negative
If your day 2 test is negative, you must continue to quarantine.
You must take your day 8 test on or after day 8.
If your day 8 test is negative, you can stop quarantine on whichever is later:
- day 10 day 0 is the day you arrived in England
- when you receive the day 8 test result
If you receive your day 8 negative test result back on day 9, you must continue to quarantine until the end of day 10.
If you receive your day 8 negative test result back on day 12, you must quarantine until the end of day 12.
If the test result is unclear
Unvaccinated People Face More Restrictions As European Nations Act To Stem Rising Infections
Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile
Police officers check the vaccination status of shoppers at the entrance to a store in Vienna
European countries are taking action to tackle the latest wave of Covid as winter approaches.
Infections have been rising across parts of the continent, with some countries experiencing a record number of daily cases in recent weeks.
The World Health Organisation said that Europe was the only region in the world where Covid-related deaths increased last week, after the continent saw a rise of 5 per cent.
Restrictions have been stepped up for unvaccinated people in some parts of Europe Austria, for instance, has implemented a targeted lockdown while people have been urged to work from home in a bid to control infections in time for winter.
Here is a round-up of what European countries are doing as they try to curb the spread of the virus.
Don’t Miss: How Much Is The Rapid Test At Cvs