The global COVID-19 case count topped 73 million on Tuesday, with the U.S. leading the way by averaging nearly 210,000 new cases a day in the past week, as hospitalizations continue to break daily record.
But the good news is, vaccines continued to be rolled out and there’s reason to be optimistic that reinforcements are coming soon.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration published a report Tuesday saying Moderna Inc.’s
COVID-19 vaccine candidate is “highly effective,” two days before an advisory committee is scheduled to meet and vote on whether the potential vaccine should be granted emergency use authorization (EUA).
The vaccines couldn’t come soon enough, as 201,073 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the U.S. on Monday, according to data provided by the New York Times, and at least 1,678 new deaths. On average, there were 209,600 cases a day over the past week, up 31% from the average two weeks earlier.
The U.S. has now recorded a total of 16,598,094 cases as of Tuesday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and 302,046 COVID-19-related deaths.
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Meanwhile, hospitalizations keep increasing, reaching a ninth-straight daily record of 110,549 patients on Monday, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
The numbers are likely to keep growing for now, as 47 states had positivity rates for COVID-19 tests of over 5%, which the World Health Organization deemed a dangerous threshold, and 30 states had positivity rates of at least 10%, JHU data show.
The states with the highest positivity rates were Idaho at 57.6%, South Dakota at 42.8% and Pennsylvania at 38.4%, while the states below 5% were Maine (4.5%), Hawaii (2.6%) and Vermont (2.2%).
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, continued to push for people to take the vaccine to fight the spread of the pandemic. On Tuesday, he said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he felt strongly that President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris should be vaccinated as soon as possible for security reasons.
As the case count continues to surge, the U.S. could be facing more lockdown measures, just as a number of countries in Europe tighten lockdown restrictions, as widespread vaccinations are still likely months away. New York City Bill de Blasio has warned people that a full shutdown was possible, as California and Michigan have increased restrictions.
The number of global confirmed cases of COVID-19 grew to 73,179,330, according to JHU data, as the death toll reached 1,629,792. At least 41.5 million people have recovered.
The U.S. was by far the world leader as it accounted for roughly one-fifth of the cases and deaths.
Brazil had the second most deaths at 181,835 and third most cases at 6,927,145, while India was second in cases at 9,906,165 and third in deaths at 143,709.
Mexico was fourth in deaths at 114,298 and 13th in cases at 1,255,974.
Italy had the fifth most deaths globally, and the most in Europe, at 65,857. The U.K. was sixth with a death toll of 65,006, and was seventh in cases at 1,893,364. Italy was eighth in cases at 1,870,576.
Russia was fourth globally, and led Europe with 2,682,866 cases. Germany was 16th in deaths at 23,100 and 12th in cases at 1,377,552.
China, where the virus was first discovered late last year, has had 94,525 confirmed cases and 4,756 deaths.