The global COVID-19 epidemic continues to spread, with a cumulative number of confirmed cases exceeding 80 million. Towards the end of 2020, the global epidemic situation is still very serious.
According to Xinhua News Agency, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University in the United States, as of 7:22 Beijing time on December 28, the cumulative number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide exceeded 80.72 million, and the cumulative number of deaths exceeded 1.76 million.
More than 3.97 million new confirmed cases and more than 70,000 new deaths worldwide in the past week, both new figures are down from the previous weeks.
Since the UK discovered the more contagion of the novel coronavirus mutant strain this month, many countries have also found confirmed cases related to the mutant virus. But at the same time, many countries have approved the coronavirus vaccine and started large-scale vaccination, bringing more hope to this long-term fight against the epidemic.
The growth rate of the epidemic in the United States has slowed down, but the situation is still serious.
According to the Washington Post, as of December 28, sub-Saharan Africa had the largest month-on-month increase in new confirmed cases last week, and the number of new cases in the past week increased by 18% compared with the previous week.
The growth of the epidemic in the Middle East and North Africa, South America, the United States, North America (excluding the United States) and Europe (including Russia) has slowed down, with the number of new confirmed cases in the week down 20%, 18%, 15%, 11% and 10% respectively compared with last week.
This value increased slightly in East and Oceania, Central Asia and South Asia, 2% and 1%, respectively.
The growth rate of confirmed cases in the United States has slowed down slightly, but it is still the country with the highest cumulative number of confirmed cases and deaths in the world.
According to the real-time epidemic tracking data updated by The New York Times, as of the 27th local time, the average number of new confirmed cases in the United States in the past seven days reached 184,000.
The New York Times notes that due to fewer tests around Christmas and New Year, and many states will not report in time during the holiday season, the recent data may be more different from the actual situation.
Meanwhile, the cumulative number of deaths in the United States since the outbreak of the epidemic has exceeded 330,000.
Among the states in the United States, the epidemic situation in California is particularly serious.
According to the New York Times, as of the 27th local time, California’s average daily number of new confirmed cases exceeded 39,000 in seven days, and the average of 100 new cases per 100,000 people per day.
On the 23rd local time, California became the first state in the United States to have a cumulative cumulative number of confirmed cases exceeding 2 million.
The Financial Times reported on the 25th that the state’s recent coronavirus mortality rate has soared, and the capacity of ICU beds in Southern California has dropped to 0% on the 25th. The health care system is facing huge challenges and pressure.
Multiple mutant strains have been found in many countries.
At least three mutant COVID-19 strains have recently been found worldwide, which have spread to more than a dozen countries and regions.
According to Al Jazeera on the 26th, the United Kingdom first reported the discovery of a mutant strain in the country on the 14th local time, which was named VUI-202012/01.
The virus is the main strain of recent new cases in the UK, and analysis shows that the virus may be more likely to spread.
According to the incomplete statistics of The Paper.com, as of the 28th, there have been at least a dozen United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Iceland, Portugal, Canada, Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, Jordan, Lebanon, etc.
Countries and regions reported confirmed cases associated with the VUI-202012/01 strain.
On the 26th, Canadian local time, two confirmed cases of the same mutant strain found in the United Kingdom were reported, but the couple had no recent history of traveling abroad and did not find any previous contact with the confirmed patient.
In addition, South Africa has also reported another mutant strain “501. V2”, this mutant strain accounts for a high proportion of recent new confirmed cases in South Africa.
The head of the African Disease Control Agency said on the 24th that Nigeria has also found another strain of COVID-19, which is named “P681H”, which is quite different from the first two variants, but also spreads relatively slowly.
It is also reported that Ecuador and Chile have also recently reported new mutant strains, which may not be directly related to the above strains.
Due to the report of the mutant virus in the United Kingdom, more than 50 countries and regions have issued different travel restrictions on the United Kingdom.
South Africa has also been banned from flights from many countries, while Japan has announced a suspension of foreigners’ entry from the 28th.
The analysis pointed out that the novel coronavirus is easy to mutate as an RNA (ribonucleic acid) virus, and many mutant strains have been reported before that.
WHO, together with a number of infectious disease experts and vaccine developers, said that there is no need to worry about the impact of mutant coronavirus strains on vaccine effectiveness.
The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Tedros, said recently that the most important thing is to curb the spread of all COVID-19 as soon as possible.
The more the virus spreads, the more chances of mutation.
Multinational promotion of vaccination
In order to curb the continued rampant epidemic, many countries recently approved the use of the coronavirus vaccine and gradually started large-scale vaccination.
At present, many vaccines, such as “Satellite-V” developed by Russia, vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech of Germany, Moderna vaccine in the United States, and vaccines of China National Pharmaceutical Group have been approved and applied.
The European Commission approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on the 21st. Since the 27th, EU countries have launched large-scale vaccination. In addition, vaccination efforts have been initiated in many countries on many continents, such as Israel, Serbia, Bulgaria, Mexico, Chile, Oman and Kuwait.
The South Korean government also said on the 27th that it has decided to start vaccination against the novel coronavirus from February next year.
The first vaccination in various countries is the elderly and staff in nursing homes and front-line medical staff, and some leaders are also the first to vaccinated to demonstrate to the public and dispel their doubts.
Kremlin spokesman Peskov said on the 27th that Russian President Putin will be vaccinated against the “satellite-V” vaccine developed by Russia and is currently waiting for the formal process to be completed.
According to the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca recently revealed that the latest data show that the vaccine jointly developed by the company and Oxford University in the United Kingdom is effective at 95%.
The British government expects that the British Drug Administration will approve the vaccine by December 31 and start vaccination in the UK from January 4 next year.