Oct. 1 (Reuters) – The United States surpassed 700,000 coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, as authorities roll out vaccine booster doses to protect the elderly and those working in professions at high risk.
The country has reported an average of more than 2,000 deaths a day over the past week, which is about 60% of the peak deaths in January, a Reuters analysis of public health data showed.
The United States continues to lead the global ranking of COVID-19 cases and deaths, accounting for 19% and 14% of all reported infections and deaths, according to the Reuters tally. Globally, the pandemic is expected to exceed 5 million deaths.
The highly transmissible Delta variant has led to an increase in COVID-19 cases that peaked around mid-September before dropping to the current level of around 117,625 cases per day, based on a seven-day moving average.
That’s still well above the 10,000 cases per day that America’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, must be met to end the health crisis. Read more
While the number of national hospitalizations has declined in recent weeks, some states, particularly in the south of the country, are opposing the trend to record large increases, putting pressure on health systems.
US President Joe Biden received a booster shot on Monday, hoping to set an example for Americans about the need to get an extra shot even as millions go without their first injection. Read more
As scientists are divided over the need for booster vaccines when so many people in the United States and other countries are unvaccinated, Biden announced the surge in August as part of an effort to scale up protection against the highly transmissible Delta variant. Read more
About 56% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated, with about 65% receiving at least one dose, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
New York hospitals on Monday began firing or suspending healthcare workers for defying a state order to get vaccinated, while a federal judge ruled in favor of a care provider Ohio’s private health care provider that had forced injections on its staff. Read more
Vaccination rates in parts of the Midwest and South are lower than in the Northeast and parts of the West Coast, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicating a divide between rural and urban areas of the country.
Reportage de Shaina Ahluwalia, Lasya Priya M et Roshan Abraham ^ Bengaluru; Montage par Jane Wardell
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