Coronavirus Morning News Brief – September 28: North Korea launches mass vaccination campaign, Japanese Covid pill shows promise

Adirondack chairs in the Andironacks in upstate New York

Hello. This is the report by Jonathan Spira. Now here is the pandemic news from around the world on the 902nd day of the pandemic.

President Biden’s premature declaration that the pandemic was over and the clumsy pivot from the White House fueled a discussion about how we will know when the pandemic is over. Apparently the fat lady hasn’t sung yet.

I am a trained historian and graduate and, much like when looking for when a paradigm shift took place, the end of the pandemic can only be determined in the rear view mirror.

There will not be a single moment like the armistice of November 11, 1918 at 11 a.m. when the First World War ended. We will look for milestones, including interrupting transmission of the virus, eliminating hospitalizations and deaths, and a broad relaxation of self-isolation.

At this point we have barely reached the third point.

We have made great progress but the coronavirus has always known how to be one step ahead and it is only when science is one step ahead of the virus that we can truly say that the pandemic is over.

In the news we’re covering today, Disney Cruises has ended vaccination mandates for most cruises, North Korea has embarked on a mass vaccination campaign, and a Japanese drugmaker has a promising drug. with which to deal with Covid.

Here’s a look at what’s happened over the past 24 hours.


New York State has figured out what to do with the 168 shipments of expired hand sanitizer it still has on hand since the early days of the pandemic. Prisoners in public facilities produced hundreds of thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer and much of it remains in storage at the New York State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany and expired. The state has contracted Eastman Kodak to dispose and recycle the expired hand sanitizer and Kodak will distill it to extract the isopropyl alcohol for reuse in manufacturing. The project is expected to last 44 weeks.


North Korea has embarked on a mass vaccination campaign against the coronavirus, announced South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, its main intelligence agency. The spy agency did not say specifically which border areas began vaccinations or the vaccine supplier, although the doses are likely to have come from China. North Korea was one of two countries in the world that did not launch mass vaccination campaigns. The other is Eritrea in East Africa, whose neighbors include Ethiopia and Sudan.

In Japan, the pharmaceutical company Shionogi reported that its oral treatment for Covid demonstrated a significant reduction in symptoms compared to a placebo in a phase III trial in Asia.


Disney Cruise Line will no longer require proof of vaccination for passage on most of its cruises, making it the latest major cruise line in the United States to eliminate the requirement. For voyages on Disney Wish, Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy and Disney Wonder starting Oct. 14, full vaccinations are “strongly recommended,” but not required, the cruise line said on its website. Proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within two days of travel is required for unvaccinated passengers aged five and over.


Now here are the daily stats for Wednesday, September 28.

As of Wednesday morning, the world had recorded 621.6 million cases of Covid-19, an increase of 0.5 million cases and more than 6.5 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. Additionally, 601.6 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.4 million.

Worldwide, the number of active cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday is 13,256,190, an increase of 89,000. Of this figure, 99.7%, or 13,216,539, are considered mild and 0.3 %, or 39,651, are listed as critical. The percentage of cases considered critical has not changed in the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 41,906 new coronavirus infections for the previous day on Wednesday, compared with 58,520 on Tuesday, 5,275 on Monday, 8,091 on Sunday, 44,458 on Saturday and 92,729 on Friday, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services. social. . The 7-day incidence rate is now 51,249. Figures for the weekend (reported the next day) are typically 30%-60% of those shown on weekdays due to fewer tests being performed .

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 51,259, a drop of 21%, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources. The average number of daily deaths over the same period is 415, a decrease of 4% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations over the period was 28,974, a decrease of 15%.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic, the United States on Wednesday recorded just under 98 million cases, a figure higher than any other country, and a death toll of 1.08 million. India has the second highest number of officially registered cases in the world, 44.6 million, and a reported death toll of 528,584.

The latest data from Russia’s state statistical service Rosstat showed that, at the end of July, the number of Covid- or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 823,623, giving the country the second highest pandemic in the world. related death toll, behind the United States. Rosstat reported that 3,284 people died from coronavirus or related causes in July, compared to 5,023 in June, 7,008 in May and 11,583 in April.

Meanwhile, France is the third country with the highest number of cases, with 35.2 million, although Brazil recorded the third highest number of deaths from the virus, 685,930, and recorded 34.7 million cases, placing it fourth. insert.

Germany ranks fifth with 33.1 million cases.

The other five countries with total cases above 20 million are South Korea, with just under 24.7 million cases, the United Kingdom, with 23.6 million cases, placing it in seventh place , and Italy, with 22.4 million, as number eight, as well as Japan, with 21.1 million, and Russia, with 20.9 million.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, since last Thursday, more than 263.8 million people in the United States – or 79.5% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 67.8%, or 224.9 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been distributed in the United States is now 616.2 million. Breaking it down further, 90.4% of the population over 18 – or 233.4 million people – have received at least one first vaccination and 77.5% of the same group – or 200.1 million people – are fully vaccinated. In addition, 51.8% of this population, or 103.7 million people, have already received a first booster dose of vaccine.

Beginning June 13, 2022, the CDC began updating vaccine data on a weekly basis and releasing updated information on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EDT, according to a statement posted on the CDC’s website. agency.

Some 68% of the world’s population received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday, according to Our World in Data, an online science publication that tracks such information. So far, 12.72 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered worldwide and 3.22 million doses are now being administered every day.

Meanwhile, only 22.6% of people in low-income countries have received a dose, while in countries like Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the UK and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Only a few of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% vaccination mark. Many countries, however, are below 20%, and in countries like Haiti, Senegal and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits or even lower.

Moreover, with the start of vaccinations in North Korea, Eritrea remains the only country in the world that has not administered vaccines.

Anna Breuer contributed reporting for this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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