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Australian Coronavirus news: Several Australian Open players tried to leave hotel rooms, said the COVID-19 quarantine commissioner | Instant News

Mexico recorded a second straight day of more than 20,000 cases

Mexico posted a second straight day of more than 20,000 coronavirus cases on Saturday, showing a surge in a country already struggling in many areas with overflowing hospitals.

There were 20,523 new confirmed cases as of Saturday after 21,366 infections were reported on Friday.

That’s about double the rate of daily increase a week ago. Reporting usually declines over the weekend, suggesting next week may bring the numbers higher.

The country also recorded 1,219 more deaths, close to a record. The country has now seen nearly 1.63 million total infections and has recorded more than 140,000 deaths so far in the pandemic.

In Mexico City, the current epicenter of the pandemic in Mexico, 88 percent of hospital beds are full.


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Australia’s ‘excess’ deaths were lower than expected, despite the coronavirus pandemic | Instant News

Australia recorded fewer than expected deaths from medical conditions in 2020, despite being amid a global pandemic.

So what’s behind the numbers.

What kind of death are we talking about?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases provisional death figures in December for a death certified by a doctor.

According to the ABS, “excess mortality” is the difference between the number of deaths in a period of time, and the number of deaths expected in the same period.

The December ABS report showed 116,345 deaths were recorded by doctors between January 1 and October 27, 2020, compared to a 2015-19 average of 117,484.

Doctor-registered deaths include deaths related to respiratory disease, dementia and chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

January 1 – October 27, 2020 Average over the past five years for the same period
All deaths are certified by a doctor, including COVID-19 116,345 117,484
Ischemic heart disease 11,152 12,661
Cerebrovascular disease 7,449 8,166
Respiratory disease, excluding COVID-19 9,977 12,161
Diabetes 4,002 3,727
Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease 12,007 11.305
Cancer 39,148 38,021

Source: ABS transient mortality statistics

After the initial wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Australia, the number of deaths from medical conditions has started to decline.(ABC News: Daniel Fermer)

“In 2020 when the initial wave of the pandemic hit, we had an increase in the number of deaths and the increase only lasted for about a month,” said ABS director of health and mortality statistics James Eynstone-Hinkins.

“After that, what we actually saw was a significantly lower number of deaths during the winter months through October, which is the most recent data we have now.

“What we can see is that the causes of death are lowest compared to previous years, mostly in the respiratory disease group, so it can include chronic lower respiratory diseases, such as influenza and pneumonia.

The statistics do not include deaths referred to coroners, such as accidents, assaults and suicides, which according to Eynstone-Hinks typically account for about 10-15 percent of deaths in Australia.

What happened to influenza?

Federal Department of Health figures show that last year’s laboratory-confirmed influenza cases to the end of November saw 37 deaths, a 50 percent drop from the five-year average.

There were 21,266 laboratory confirmed influenza notifications to National Notifiable Disease Control System in the year to the end of the 2020 influenza season, which is almost eight times less than the five-year average of 163,015.

Deakin University’s chairperson for epidemiology Catherine Bennett said Australia was heading for an early influenza season before COVID-19 arrived, but the restrictions imposed in response to the pandemic were slowing the transmission of not only the coronavirus, but other infectious diseases as well.

“Because we worked earlier and harder with our restrictions, we weren’t just preventing a lot of deaths from COVID – we were seeing 900 or more [COVID-related] death – but at the same time we prevent much more, “said Professor Bennett.

“In the process, by bringing in the initial flu vaccine and only the effects of restriction, isolation, extra hygiene that are practiced by people, we are also reducing deaths from flu and other infectious diseases, particularly respiratory, real-life deaths.”

Portrait of a woman smiling at the camera against an out of focus background
Epidemiologist Catherine Bennett said she hopes people will remain aware of social distancing and the importance of staying home from work when they are unwell.(Provided: Simon Fox)

Without boundaries and physical distance, Professor Bennett said Australia would record the same number of deaths from influenza as in previous years, as well as “more” deaths from COVID-19 than 900.

“The net effect for Australia is much more positive than overseas where they are less able to prevent COVID-19 deaths.”

When was the turning point?

In May, the number of excess deaths in Australia started to decline.

“Australian figures actually look pretty close to the average over the last five years, but actually this is the period after May, before the second wave. [in Victoria] and after a second wave where we saw the net effect which was a decrease in reported deaths, “said Professor Bennett.

He said it shows the positive health impacts of social distancing and hand hygiene.

“I definitely hope one of the legacies that we see [from the COVID pandemic] is that people are more aware of distance, keeping your distance from other people, hand hygiene, and even masks if you are in a crowded place.

“The workplace understands their importance not to make people sick; whatever it is, you don’t want your other staff to get sick.”

Two masked shoppers wait at the grocery counter in the indoor market.
Social distancing measures have slowed the spread of not only COVID-19, but also other respiratory diseases.(ABC News: Ron Ekkel)

Mental health warnings

Experts have expressed concern about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the mental health of Australians and have warned of a potential spike in the number of deaths from suicide.

Suicidal deaths are not included in the ABS mortality statistics because they are referred to the coroner and it takes longer to record the cause of death.

From the available data, It appears that the suicide rate did not increase during the pandemic, but researchers and mental health workers have warned that the pandemic’s effect on suicide rates could be delayed.

The Black Dog Institute said there had been an increase in people accessing mental health and crisis pathways, and waiting times for mental health services had also increased.


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Australian Coronavirus News: Victoria eases restrictions for Brisbane as Qld notes no local transmission | Instant News

That Victorian Government have just issued a statement in two cases aboard AO aircraft from the US.

A spokesperson Victoria’s COVID-19 quarantine said one crew members and a Australian Open participants who are not players has been transferred to a health hotel after testing positive.

Flight crew members and passengers arrive in Melbourne at 5 a.m. on January 15, 2021 on a charter flight from Los Angeles carrying Australian Open participants and other participants.

The passenger tested negative for the test prior to his departure.

“Flight crew members and passengers have been interviewed and transferred to medical hotels according to normal processes for positive cases.

“All 66 passengers remaining on the flight have been determined to be close contacts. Any players and supporters will not be able to leave quarantine to attend training.

“The remaining flight crew all tested negative and were allowed to fly, without passengers, directly to their port of origin. They departed at 7am today.

All passengers are in a quarantine hotel, where they will undergo routine tests applicable to all international arrivals.

“Passengers who have been designated as close contacts will not be able to access training and will undergo a standard quarantine period of 14 days.

“Players are supported to access equipment for their hotel rooms to help them maintain their fitness over the years.”


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Pakistan’s Covid-19 positive ratio at 5.99%: NCOC | Instant News


According to a National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) update released on Friday, Pakistan’s positivity ratio currently stands at 5.99 percent.

The highest positive ratio is observed in Karachi by 15.97 percent, followed by Peshawar at 13.62 percent and Mirpur by 11.49 percent, NCOC revealed.

The positivity ratio across the various federation units was observed at 7.36 percent Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), 4.75 percent Balochistan, 2.43 percent Islamabad, 5.55 percent Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 4.49 percent Punjab and 9.49 percent Sindh.

As for the death toll, Pakistan’s Covid-19 death toll jumped to 10,863, with most of the deaths reported in Punjab, followed by Sindh. At least 2,294 Covid-19 patients are currently in critical condition.

Separation by province

Detailed data by NCOC province reveal the positive ratio for Lahore is at 6.69 percent, Rawalpindi at 4.04 percent, 2.52 percent in Faisalabad, 4.25 percent in Multan and 5.26 percent for Bahawalpur in Punjab.

In Sindh, Karachi’s positivity ratio was recorded at 15.97 percent and 8.01 percent in Hyderabad.

As for KP, a positivity ratio of 13.62 percent was recorded in Peshawar, 3.65 percent in Swat and 3.45 percent in Abbottabad.

In Balochistan, Quetta’s positivity ratio is recorded at 1.87 percent. Meanwhile, the positive ratio at Mirpur AJK reached 11.49 percent and 5.56 percent in Muzaffarabad.

Fatality rate

The case fatality rate (CFR) for Pakistan is 2.12 percent compared to 2.14 percent globally. Approximately 69 percent of patients who died from the virus were male and 77.6 percent of all who died were over 50 years of age.

Head of the NCOC, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, on January 12, referenced to several countries that witnessed the third wave of Covid-19 and appealed to Pakistanis to continue to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) to contain the spread of the virus.

The federal minister stated that the second wave of the virus was worse in countries such as the US and UK and warned other countries to continue to act responsibly.

In addition, Asad Umar highlighted that the federal government had warned the public about a second wave of the virus in October.

“In November, we saw the number of cases increase rapidly and took steps at the end of November regarding the sectors / activities that caused the increase, including restaurants, wedding halls and educational institutions,” he added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and other government officials have also repeatedly urged the masses to be very careful and comply with the Covid-19 SOPs to reduce the spread of the virus.


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Coronavirus Australia News: Queensland CHO says there is ‘no risk’ if a woman leaves hotel quarantine with a sick father | Instant News

In the effort to administer the coronavirus vaccine, the Deep South is falling behind


Coronavirus vaccines have been rolled out unevenly across the US, but four states in the Deep South have dire inoculation rates that worry health experts and frustrate residents.

In Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina, less than 2 percent of the population has received the first dose of the vaccine earlier in the week, according to data from the state and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As in other parts of the country, the southern states face a number of challenges: a limited supply of vaccines, health workers refusing to be inoculated and a bureaucratic system that is not equipped to schedule the large number of appointments that are being sought.

But other states are still succeeding – to the best of their ability – to deliver vaccines to more than 5 percent of their population.


While it’s unclear why the Deep South is lagging behind, public health researchers note that it is typically lagging behind in public health funding and filling gaps in care for large rural populations.

“When you combine the large percentage of rural residents who tend to be populations that are difficult to reach and have a lower number of providers trying to build vaccine infrastructure quickly, that’s just a recipe for a not very good response,” said Sarah McCool, a professor of public health at Georgia State University.

In Georgia, the state’s rural health system has been in ruins in recent years, with nine hospital closings since 2008, including two years ago. The local health department has become the main vaccine provider in several locations, as officials work to increase the locations where doses can be administered.

“If we were the only game in town, this process would take a long time,” Lawton Davis, the director of the large public health district covering Savannah, said at a news conference Monday.

Alabama and Mississippi have also been hit badly by rural hospital closings. Seven hospitals have been closed in Alabama since 2009 and six in Mississippi since 2005, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina’s Sheps Center. Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi rank in the bottom five of US states in terms of their access to health care, according to a 2020 report from the nonprofit linked to insurance giant UnitedHealth.


But overall, experts say it is too early in the vaccine rollout to draw conclusions about shortages in the region, and they cannot easily be attributed to any particular factor or trend.

(with AP)


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