A version of this story appeared in the July 17 edition of CNN’s Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction newsletter. Sign up here to receive the need-to-know headlines every weekday
(CNN)India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has joined US President Donald Trump and Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro in presiding over a country that has reported more than 1 million cases of the novel coronavirus.
More than 25,000 have died after contracting the virus in India. The country’s marginalized communities are suffering the most
from the epidemic and its devastating economic toll.
Across India, critically ill virus patients are being turned away from hospitals
for lack of beds, staff and equipment, as healthcare systems buckle under the pressure of the escalating pandemic.
Despite its recent economic boom, India is still a developing country, with a majority of its 1.3 billion people living in poverty. A fifth survive on less than $2 a day.
But similarly dire scenes are on display in the world’s richest country, the US. In Texas, morgues are overflowing
and some patients have had to wait on stretchers for 10 hours before being examined. In Florida, a number of hospitals are running at capacity
. Patients who do not require urgent care are being turned away. In Arizona, people are fainting
from the heat while waiting for hours to be tested.
The US is much better equipped to deal with the pandemic. It spends nearly 17% of its GDP on health care, roughly twice the average of other developed nations. It has almost six times as many beds available per 1,000 people as India. Yet its death toll is five times as high.
The system is getting stretched beyond its limits now. There were 77,255 new cases
reported across the US yesterday, topping a previous high set two days ago and pushing the total case count above 3.5 million. At least 943 people were reported dead.
“How can you not shake your head, right?,” Dr. Ali Khan, dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, told CNN. “We are the one outlier amongst all of our peer countries. All of Europe has contained their disease. And many parts of the world, not only have they contained, they’ve eliminated disease.”
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED
Q: Do different blood types make us more vulnerable to Covid-19?
Most humans fall into one of four blood groups
— A, B, AB or O. Ordinarily, your blood type makes very little difference in your daily life except if you need to have a blood transfusion.
However, a recent study
has suggested that people with Type A may have a higher risk of catching Covid-19 and of developing severe symptoms. People with Type O blood have a lower risk. These study results follow evidence from past research that certain blood groups are more vulnerable to other diseases like cancer.
Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
Almost all Covid-19 patients with symptoms had at least one of these three
Covid-19 can cause a wide variety of symptoms, but a new analysis of records of 164 patients by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that most seemed to share at least one of these three: fever, cough or shortness of breath
The patients were asked to report on a wide variety of symptoms and also asked to report on any additional symptoms that were not widely recognized. Among these patients, nearly all — 96% — had had either a fever, cough, or shortness of breath and about 45% experienced all three. The report said 84% of surveyed patients said they had a cough, and 80% reported they had a fever.
Covid-19 is a new disease and scientists are still learning about its symptoms. Researchers at King’s College London
said yesterday that skin rash should be considered a fourth key symptom of the disease. They said that 8.8% of people who have reported testing positive for the virus had experienced a skin rash as a symptom.
These teachers are preparing their wills ahead of their schools’ reopening
Back-to-school is looking a little different for many teachers nationwide this year, as they grapple with returning to their classrooms amid a pandemic. Added to their list of concerns: Death.
“How horrible is it that one of the things on the list to do is to have a plan for students and teachers dying?” Denise Bradford, a teacher in Orange County, California told Theresa Waldrop
The county’s education board voted this week to return children to schools without face masks or social distancing
, despite a surge in coronavirus cases and more than 7,000 Covid-19 deaths in the state.
Bradford is not alone: Many teachers CNN spoke with, some who asked not to be named due to fears of repercussions from their school districts, said they are preparing for the worst this fall.
Russia accused of trying to steal vaccine research with cyberattacks
US, UK and Canadian security officials have warned yesterday that Russian cyber actors
are targeting organizations involved in coronavirus vaccine development in an effort to steal their research.
An advisory published by the UK National Cyber Security Centre has detailed activity by a Russian hacking group called APT29, which also goes by the name “the Dukes” or “Cozy Bear.”
Cozy Bear is one of two hacking groups linked to Russian intelligence that is believed to have accessed the Democratic National Committee’s internal systems in the lead-up to the 2016 US election, but yesterday’s announcement is the first time this group has been named in connection to cyberattacks related to the pandemic. Russia has denied the claims.
Researchers turn to Brazil in search of a vaccine
Brazil, where the number of cases has now surpassed 2 million, is one of a small handful of sites for testing experimental coronavirus vaccines
. It offers an unusual and appealing mix for research: a skyrocketing rate of transmission, as well as internationally respected research centers and a public health system experienced in creating and distributing vaccines.
According to the World Health Organization, 163 Covid-19 vaccines were being developed around the world as of this week. While 23 had started clinical trials involving humans, only two have reached Phase 3 — the last scientific stage before approval to be marketed.
Both Phase 3 trials will include Brazil and are scheduled to involve at least 14,000 Brazilians. Advanced talks are also underway to launch three more vaccine trials in the country, according to Brazilian institutes consulted by CNN.
Meanwhile, more than 100 top scientists including 15 Nobel laureates have written an open letter
calling for volunteers to be exposed to the coronavirus to assist with vaccine development.
A vaccine trial participant describes what his side effects felt like
One of the participants in Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine trial has spoken about the side effects he experienced
Ian Haydon, who received a high dose of the vaccine, said he had high fever, fatigue, muscle ache and nausea. “I ended up going to urgent care as this was happening so that the doctors could keep an eye on me and run some tests,” Haydon said during CNN’s coronavirus town hall
yesterday. “But like I said, after about a day those tapered away and aside from that brief episode, I’ve really had no issues whatsoever.”
The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Moderna in partnership with the National Institutes of Health has been found to induce immune responses
in all of the volunteers who received it in a Phase 1 study. The early results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine earlier this week.
UN says rich countries need to step up now or pay later
The United Nations’ top official in charge of humanitarian aid has warned the world’s wealthy industrialized nations that a failure to act now will leave the virus free to circle round the globe
At the current rate, the pandemic and the global economic crisis tied to it could trigger the first increase in global poverty in 30 years and “push 265 million people to the point of starvation by the end of the year,” the UN said.
“The response of wealthy nations so far has been grossly inadequate and dangerously short-sighted,” said Mark Lowcock, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, in a statement released yesterday. He has called on the world’s major economies to donate $10.3 billion to support 63 vulnerable countries across the world. As of July 12, only $1.64 billion worth of assistance
had been received.
ON OUR RADAR
- Spanish authorities have ordered the culling of almost 100,000 mink after a number tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
- Canada is telling American tourists to stay home.
- A Florida coronavirus patient went from diagnosis to dying in her daughter’s arms in a matter of days.
- The Republican National Committee is scaling back its plans for the national convention in Jacksonville, Florida next month.
- Meanwhile, Democratic officials have told members of Congress not to travel to their national convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- India is resuming international flights for the first time since March after forming “air bubbles” between India and the US, France and Germany.
- A 24-year-old Texas woman who spent nearly three months in a hospital fighting Covid-19 says she wishes she had listened to the advice of officials and experts and worn a mask.
- Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff thinks masks — like seatbelts in cars — need to be part of the American way of life if the country is to overcome the pandemic.
- We knew that hydroxychloroquine didn’t help hospitalized patients, but a new study has now shown that it also doesn’t help Covid-19 patients who aren’t hospitalized.
- Three northern California churches have gone to federal court to challenge the state’s ban on singing and chanting in houses of worship, arguing that it unfairly singles out religious services while ignoring protests against police brutality.
- Uzbekistan has launched a new travel campaign to lure in more visitors. It’s promising the sum of $3,000 in compensation to any tourists infected with Covid-19 during their stay.
Thinking about hosting an outdoor BBQ? Here are some safety tips
from CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta:
- Keep it small
- Seat people from different households six feet apart
- Route guests through the yard, not the house
- Prop doors open so people don’t have to touch handles
- Provide hand sanitizer
- Wear a mask
- Don’t share food
I’m really worried that the political pressure to re-open schools, the clash of messages between what public health is saying needs to be in place and what people in politics are saying should be happening, is going to lead to some schools reopening that aren’t safe. — Rich Besser, Former acting CDC director
The White House is eager to get kids back in school, but many teachers and families worry about the role kids might play in spreading the virus. Dr. Gupta talks with former acting CDC director Rich Besser about the risks and rewards of sending children back to school, along with the importance of following public health guidance from organizations like the CDC. Listen Now