The ongoing Tokyo Olympics seems threatened by the spike in Covid -19 cases across Japan. However, there has been no official announcement by the Japanese government to that effect. Japan recorded 3,177 new cases for the first time today Wednesday, July 29. This is as stated by Kyodo News, quoting government sources.
The figure is a daily record high for the second consecutive day since the spike in the number of infections and hospitalizations began in Tokyo and across the country.
Japan has been spared the kind of devastation experienced in India, Indonesia and the United States. But the fifth wave of the pandemic spurred by the Indian “Delta” variant is assuming alarming proportions.
South Korea has today recorded 1,896 new Covid-19 cases for Tuesday, July 27. It is the country’s highest-ever recorded daily increase since the spike in the fourth wave of the deadly Delta variant. This daily figure is higher than the previously recorded high of July 22 outside Seoul, the capital city. Of the above figure, 33.5 per cent or 611 were recorded outside Seoul as quoted by Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
It is the first time the figure outside Capital has exceeded 600 since the first wave broke out in a church gathering in the southern part of the country. Tight measures are being effected nationwide to prevent further spread. South Korea is expecting shipments of Moderna Covid – 19 vaccines pledged to the country. Despite initial delays. the health ministry is optimistic about the arrival and rollout of the vaccine program next week. The delay has been attributed to setbacks from Mordena’s manufacturing partners.
U.S: MANDATORY VACCINE PROGRAM FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES.
U.S President Joe Biden says he might impose a mandatory vaccine program for all federal employees in the country. Biden said he is losing patience with the unvaccinated as the Delta variant continues its surge across the U.S. The Director of the U.S Centre for Disease Control (CDC), Dr Rochelle Walensky has attributed the spike to the highly contagious Indian Delta variant.
She said the variant accounts for 83 per cent of all new cases and is responsible for the spread to all the fifty states in the country. The average daily new cases in the past one month “has increased by 376 per cent, from 11887 on June 26 to 56,635 on July 26”. The surging infection rates and hospitalizations in the past one month have become very worrying to the Federal government. The situation is reportedly worse in the states of Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri and Texas.
Consequently, the CDC has recommended that “fully vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors in COVID hot spot” areas. It is even more so in schools regardless of the number of shots already received. It is a reversal of the position already taken by the CDC on May 13, stating that “that vaccinated people were safe to unmask”. The situation is believed to be more precarious with people who have received one dose of the Johnson & Johnson Covid -19 vaccine.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is said to be less effective against the Indian Delta variant. One shot of Johnson & Johnson is not as effective as Pfizer and Moderna. As a result, the roughly 13 million Americans who received it will need boosters, a new study has suggested. Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford are having a rethink about modifying their Covid-19 vaccines.
In line with a study in the U.K, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca are made of the same technology. It has also been proven that Johnson & Johnson patients were five to seven times lower when exposed to the Delta variant. In May, one analysis from Public Health England found two doses of Pfizer BioN Tech vaccine 80 per cent effective at preventing infection by the variant.
In truth, the vaccine was 88 per cent on “symptomatic disease and 96 per cent effective against hospitalizations”. As of May 2021, no specific data has been released yet to ascertain the efficacy of the Moderna vaccine against the Delta variant. However, a study in Canada confirmed the first dose of the Moderna vaccine proved 72 per cent effective when administered on the Delta variant
Confirmed studies are still lacking as to how effective vaccines can prevent death from the variant, but one analysis from India, from where the Delta variant originated confirmed that 0.4 per cent of vaccinated people died from the variant. An expert, Dr Moore told the Times that Johnson & Johnson should start administering two doses. There is a confirmation from numerous studies that Johnson & Johnson vaccine provide greater efficacy after two doses.